Jordan's RiverAfter reading an entry about generations who didn’t understand that they had been victimized, I was reminded of an old poem. Though not my best writing, it describes the ‘good old days’ when people didn’t rock the boat, they just accepted their circumstances, their community guidelines and gender roles. And some didn’t realize they were being conditioned to be a passive part of society.

I read an entry about three generations of women who didn’t realize they had been violated in some way. What I read made me want to jump in the room of that situation and go, “Can’t you hear yourself? Don’t you understand you’re describing a violation of your person?” But I wasn’t there to say that. I read on, shocked, horrified and saddened for the individuals who live veiled by decades of community conditioning.

Community conditioning says, that’s just how it was back then, everyone had to deal with it. Well, that doesn’t make it okay. It doesn’t make it any less of a violation, if anything its more because you’ve been convinced it was you who needed to change your behavior instead of perpetrators changing their behaviors. Saying, ‘that’s just how it was back then’ doesn’t properly require accountability and it sets up future generations to suffer the same indignities. The veil of denial is a license for predators. Denial that this is wrong and should be stopped will rob your little girls and boys the right to their body without interference of any kind. If they don’t learn it as children they sure won’t learn it as adults. It’s up to parents to teach it. If parents are of the opinion that “these things reported aren’t that bad” then they impress on their children that they can be victimized this way and it’s not that bad and it’s somehow their fault.

Exactly when were the ‘good old days’?

I can only shake my head at the number of people who still live under the veil of conditioning and who believe if they can handle those situations and not feel violated under the #metoo flag then others can and should, too. It is about the ‘you should too’ individuals that I post this poem.

I Long For The Day

There was a time, not so long ago when I could hit my wife and no one called me a brute.
I could blacken the eyes of my youngest son and no one said it was abuse.
This world moves about in an arrogant wagon collecting this boy, that girl,
Instructing tolerance, teaching patience
But I shall not conform.

I long for the day when it was quite right to hate you because you’re Irish, German, Spanish, a Jew.
I long for the day when I didn’t have to explain
Why I won’t hire you, house you or sell you my goods.
He’s Lebanese, he’s African, he’s White.
It was enough, back then it was enough.

I could slap a queer and my buddies would buy a round,
Beat up a bum in exchange for a pat on the back,
Roust boys from the other side of the tracks and lead others down my path of unbridled wrath.
Such noble days are a thing of the past.

I yearn for the years when mothers commonly looked the other way as her daughter’s innocence was stolen.
I ache for the easy times when all I had to do was teach her to cook and be a wife
How to accept drunken revelries and anger driven nights.
But now, now she has to discover her way,
Explore womanhood in a world of free thought.
She’ll be lost to me and no amount of baked goods will turn her head back
To when gender roles where clear cut
And behavior was controlled by irrational thoughts.
No one stepped outside the box.
I long for those days.

Strength has been replaced by psychobabble based on delusions,
Sicknesses scribbled on scrap paper by a man made famous by his addictions.
Untie your boot straps.
Air your dirty laundry all to your family’s shame.
Oh times, how they have changed.

I use to hit you and answer to no one
Turn my back and ignore evil
Teach boys to be boys
And hear “maybe yes” when you said “no”.
For those days I long
But my heart clings to what does not sway.
Through war, through peace, generations lost,
Foundations torn and laid
Still we celebrate the marriage between victim and blame.

Copyright 2008 © F. Magdalene @ Sundrip Journals
All rights reserved

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