protest Person with pink smoke grenade by Warren Wong

I was at the protest today, praying for that girl’s soul and her bravery for coming out about being raped, abused, and dehumanized by the son of one of our MPs.

We chanted her name, considering her the Albanian Dr. Ford, almost hoping this would open the same conversation for us. #MeToo, her too, so many of us too.

The MP’s son was imprisoned. So many of us on the right side of history! I was there, overwhelmed by positive feelings I didn’t put into words, and by negative feelings that I did.

Here are some of the conversations I eavesdropped and some of the types of people at the protest.

Perfomative allies

Your performative allyship makes me sick. You try to take the perfect picture of your palm, where you’ve written: “I AM HER.” Your work’s done.

Politically involved spokespeople

You get out there to speak on behalf of our country, but unlike all the women in front of you, you scream and yell, Kanavaugh-style, you throw a tantrum. No, you don’t represent us. We won’t accommodate you. When you get off stage, you’re surprisingly not angry anymore. This is all for the show, and it’s painfully obvious when you pay just a bit of attention.

You just smile and laugh. Is this funny to you?

You announce, “You might think we’re here to protest violence against women. No, this is political.”

Sad story

You’re here as one of the cameraMEN, just doing your job, unclear to why you’re here, or why this is needed.

Jokingly, you tell your female friends “Yeah, right, violence against women. What all women need, is some dick.”

The female friends giggle. They say in unison, “Well, you said it, we didn’t.” They want to protest for their rights, but not that much that they’re seen as Angry Feminists.

So they agree with you, losing yet another tiny battle. You carry on, playing poker on your phone, smug face and all, you sure showed them. Mansplaining gender-based violence is one of your all-time favorite activities.

The ones that don’t get it

A woman says, “Are we done yet?”. She can’t wait for it to be over. She’s never been oppressed, “What is the fuss about?”.

Someone says, “Wow, look at that woman, she’s SO pregnant. Look at her!”.

Someone else asks a couple, “Why have you brought your baby here?!”.

So many people seem to not understand, and yet, they’re here. Unknowingly, unwillingly, cluelessly. And this is how you stay stagnant, moj Shqipni e mjera Shqipni.

Leave a Reply