The first time I saw the movie “The Color Purple”, it nearly ruined my favorite color for life. The seemingly acceptable abuse in the movie gave me nightmares for months. How could males do this to children, to girls, to women? Why was this acceptable? I had been told about the dangers of the world but I had not experienced them by media or otherwise, so I was left in shock. I was brought up to believe that women are royalty even without material riches, because we are rich of wisdom. Wisdom runs through my blood like that of an old soul, I walk proudly, twist naturally, and hold my head up regally. I have a passion for the heart of women and I desire to see us all recognize and walk in our queendom. But I would later discover that a great number of women don’t know they are queens because they didn’t recognize royalty in the woman that birthed them or they were never shown how to recognize it in themselves.
In my youth, I labeled the women in “The Color Purple” as “Purple Women”. Sure, ultimately they were triumphant but the mental abuse, physical degradation, and emotional trauma they suffered for years was inhumane. (Ironically, in 2018 the developers of International Women’s Day changed their signature color from red to purple. Looks like my thought process was way ahead of it’s time.) I’ve encountered multiple Purple Women of various: ethnicities, ages and walks of life over multiple decades. I never want to be a “Purple Woman” and I will do my best to weaponize my daughter and my daughter’s daughter, and daughters of every and all generations to come to prevent them from becoming one as well. Women reared in wisdom are commonly rejected by society but they are less likely to be casualties of it as well. Wisdom is often seen as dawning a cloak of judgement because it is contrary to popular opinion, but that illusion condemns many to become victims.
Like many women, I have established safe guards to help protect myself from ill intentions but nothing is fail proof. I’ve been a victim of unwanted, unwarranted advances from men on multiple occasions regardless of my safe guards. A co-worker, a mature professor and a “trusted” friend, have all made suggestive statements or physically touched my person without my expressed consent at different times in my life. The sad thing is, I’m considered one of the “lucky ones” to have “escaped” my youth without sexual trauma. It’s mind boggling as to how much men are uninformed or reject correction of the misinformation regarding how women are viewed. I don’t personally know any woman who birthed a son that she didn’t love, yet once those sons are adults (in some cases) those same Mothers have felt hate from their sons, in only the ways a man can express. When did Adam turn his heart so cold against his Eve?
Tragically, abuse has affected so many women that it seems a common practice. It is my view that even one case of abuse is too many. There is no expiration date on speaking out against, rape, sotomy, molestation, or any other form of sexual abuse. Yet, I’ve still encountered males that have the audacity to question a woman’s “timing” of speaking out. The “MeToo Movement” has touched my heart in a very intimate way because it has allowed women everywhere to feel comfortable using their voice. To not accept the opinion that “boys will be boys” without the clause that “boys will be boys AND boys will suffer the consequences”. Too many beautiful women in my life were injected with: insecurity, self hate, body dysmorphia, jealousy, and a host of other crippling effects of abuse. Men don’t seem to be faulted for acting on their impulses but women are at fault for not speaking up or fighting hard enough when violated. What a cruel world we live in when men don’t feel obligated to be our protectors but rather executioners.
What if our expectations for men were the same as our expectations for White society regarding Black and Brown Peoples? What if women began addressing the epidemic of “male privilege” (beyond the workplace) as aggressively as the racial divide? How greatly would the relationships between men and women improve if we expected better, and then received it? Every time I see or hear a woman speaking up about the abuse or manipulation she suffered at the hands of a man, as a woman, I feel strong passionate pride. While others are questioning the timing, I know that this is the moment that the woman has shed her cocoon to become a butterfly. I’m happy for her! It’s a good indication that your moral scale needs a severe re-calibration if you’re desensitized to the gross abuse of another human being because it took too long for the abused to speak up. “Purple Women” represent all women in some way, but I’m convinced that we can reach triumph in ways that don’t involve us having to travel through inhumane hell first.