Dear diary, I am a woman by birth, a woman by heart but this country does not recognize it nor understand what it means to be a woman. I have been married for almost twenty years now, maybe twenty two. I am already confused, as my body is tired, to think of the number of years I have been married. I could even barely recall the time I was born or the exact date I was brought to this wretched world.
The years seemed to have gone by too fast, yet the pain and the harsh experiences carried in it are still here, in my body and in my heart. Oh how I wish they have all left together with my youth.
I am old. My eyes and the skin surrounding it are already too dark and deeply imbedded in their sockets. My lips are too dry to even speak to anyone else. Wrinkles are all over my face, as if representing the countless agonies and hardships I have endured.
Marriage is the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. It deprived me of all my individuality and happiness in life. Britain, my country, gives us, women, a hard time by forcing us to marry Britain’s savage men. There are few men compared to women in Britain, yet they are far more savage than us women.
They are like wolves hunting for lambs, tearing the flesh out of their victims. Because of marriage, I was not able to enjoy my life as a young adult. I was not able to lavish my self with material things. I was not able to eat exotic foods which I have been dreaming of eating since I was a child. I was not able to wear elegant clothes or build a huge house for myself. I was not able to enjoy the fruits of my labor because I am, or us women, are expected to depend highly on men. The money that I received from the death of my father due to the war was passed on to my husband after marrying him.
All the money that I have earned through the countless hours of working was collected by my greedy husband. It’s all thanks to my country’s unwomanly law, the 1882 Married Property Act. It deprived my off all my independence and freedom to live on my own. It imprisoned me in the hands of my no-good husband. I believe that women should be given the equal rights to property and dignity of self-support. I have been dreaming and wanting to divorce him for years, after the first beating I have received from him, months after our wedding. I caught him cheating on me, having sex with an old-hag in our neighborhood.
I threw everything that I could lay my hands to him on during that day. The thoughts of killing him also flashed into my mind, but I didn’t, because I feared Britain’s cold prison. I have the right to be angry and should have the right to divorce him, but my country doesn’t give me that right, they simply won’t let me leave him. It is the fault of the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 which gives men more power over us women. Because of this law, they can divorce or discard of us anytime they want as long as they provide evidences of adultery committed by their wives.
However, even if we caught our men cheating, we cannot divorce them. Even if I was divorced by him (Oh I’d really love to be separated from this beast) this law won’t let me see my angelic children. Giving birth was the most painful for me. I have a slight curvature on my spine. I think this increases the risk of paralysis when giving birth. I assume such thing would happen based on the twenty-ninth woman’s story in the book which I read called “Motherhood Bondage” by Margaret Sanger. She has three boys, and worked really hard just as I do.
If I remember what I read right, her right arm was paralyzed when she gave birth to his second baby and was totally paralyzed (her whole right side) when she gave birth to the third (Sanger 86). I sympathize with her and hope that it does not happen to me. I already have thirteen children, five weak boys and eight sickly girls, at my age of 40. Luckily, I have not experienced any paralysis. But it was definitely painful. Having these lovely angels give me hope and uplifts my spirit. However, having so many children can also be a burden especially if a husband doesn’t provide financial support to his wife, just like what my husband does to me.
My husband doesn’t support us that much. I am only able to raise my beautiful angels because I hide some money from work. My fool husband can beat me to death but I will never give him all my money, especially the little savings I have for my children. Truthfully, I love all of my children, but I do not want any more of them. On the contrary, my husband seems to want more. Well, not particularly children, but specifically sex. He comes home late at night in his elegant pants and fine coat, hiding the beast within him. He’s always drunk and is fond of beating me.
My sadist husband rapes me every night, pushing my face to the hard headboard of our meager bed. He enjoys every scream I utter in our small room that echoing the pain on the soiled walls. He thinks that I am his property, an object which he can toss around and dispense anytime he wanted. He arouses me by playing with my clitoris, stimulating my body to lubricate the part which he wants more than his wife; my vagina. If he accidentally hurts his private organ by pushing too hard, he strangles me and yells that I am sexually frigid.
He questions my capability to have a vaginal orgasm and argues that I am sexually incompetent. But to tell you the truth, he is simply ignorant. My stupid husband who only finished his secondary education thinks he is superior and very intelligent, but he does not know much and does not actually understand women. Vaginal orgasm is purely men’s idea about women and neglects the fact that the “vagina is not a highly sensitive area and is not constructed to achieve orgasm,” it is the clitoris, which is the women’s “center of sexual sensitivity and which is the female equivalent of the penis” (Koedt 133).
Is it still my fault for being sexually aroused yet sexually unsatisfied? I did not want to have sex with him on the first place (and I would like to emphasize that right now, I really regret marrying him) but he keeps using me, treating me as a sex slave. His sexual appetite seems unquenchable like a wolf who returns every night, wanting to devour another lamb. I am already old and my husband as well, but his yearning for sex is as vigorous as ever. Remembering our honeymoon or our first night together was really exciting.
My heart was beating really fast as he unfolds every clothing that hides my smooth and tender skin. With every touch, my heart skips a beat. With every kiss, my cheeks turn red and my bosoms rise as if they were touching heaven. When he first entered me, it was painful, yet pleasurable in a way. It was like dream, only that time it was real. However, having sex with him few weeks after that was like nightmare; it was a living hell. As a woman, my right for voluntary womanhood is violated.
I simply cannot stop him from having sex with me. Everytime I disagree with his yearning or push him away, he comes back with a forceful punch or a hard kick on my stomach, on my face or on my chest. I can no longer refuse to submit to my husband’s sexual demands. Something which I believe is a right which should be given to me, as a woman, as a mother and as an individual. I believe that there should be “right on the part of a woman to decide when she shall become a mother, how often and under what circumstances” (Grimke 942).
I am a woman by birth, a woman by heart but my husband, the men in this country, my country, do not recognize it nor understand what it means to be a woman. I know that writing this on a piece of paper won’t do much. But I am hoping that someday, somebody who has power or understands women sees this and liberates me or at least women from the shackles of this patriarchal society. I am old, but my heart as a woman will forever be young; young in the sense that it had never been given the right to grow. When I die, I hope that this woman in me is cherished, nurtured and developed by others.
Diary, can you help me find that person? Please? I hope you can, and I hope it’s soon.
Grimke, Sarah. On Voluntary Motherhood. For Women Only! Your Guide to Health Empowerment. Eds. Gary Null and Barbara Seaman. Canada: Seven Stories Press, 1999. Koedt, Ann. The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm. Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism. Ed. Dawn Keetley. UK: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. , 1970. Sanger, Margaret. Motherhood in Bondage. New York: Brentano’s, Inc. , 2000.