I would like to live in a world where no one ever had to worry about being taken advantage of. Where being female and disabled didn’t mean you had to be on your guard 24/7 because around the corner would be some person just waiting to take advantage of you or treat you differently. I would like to live in a world where everyone wasn’t just looking out for themselves, thereby causing people to be taken advantage of. I would like to live in a world where if someone runs into you, you don’t have to be the one who has to be a bitch because otherwise the insurance company will screw you over. I would like to live in a world where women can walk into car dealers and auto shops and be treated with the same respect their male counterparts are. Where we won’t be charged five times more because the auto shop thought we just didn’t know any better. I would like to live in a world where if you work hard and are kind, that isn’t taken as a signal to walk all over you or give you less respect. I would like to live in a world that’s fair.
But this isn’t a world that’s fair. This is a world where most people are out for themselves and where companies want to do nothing but take advantage of people so they can reach their bottom line. It’s a world where you’re treated totally differently if you’re female and if you’re disabled or have a different skin color, religion or sexual orientation. It’s a world where we have to go through all the work in order to try to avoid being taken advantage of. We’re the ones who have to change ourselves or change our behaviors so we don’t become doormats. We’re the ones who have to keep fighting. It’s not the people causing the problem that do, it’s those of us who are the victims that carry the burden.
I’m trying to figure out how to navigate all of this while staying true to myself, staying grateful and joyful and not losing any last ounce of faith in humanity I may have. It’s times like these when I wish I could channel more of my grandma. She certainly takes her lack of filter a little far sometimes but I never stop admiring her ability to just say what she thinks and feels, no matter the situation, with zero guilt or shame. I’m sure as a woman now in her 90s, she’s encountered plenty of people who have tried to take advantage of her. Maybe that’s why she’s as vocal as she is now. Maybe she had to become that way to be treated the way she deserves. Maybe I’m going to have to become the same way and this is all a part of that process, who knows. What I do know is right now it’s super exhausting and I’m trying my best to fight through it.