Defend Your Own Honour

jan_10_2013.pngDefend Your Own Honour

Most of the time I am extremely comfortable being a single mother. I have become so used to it after seven years that I have come to embrace this way of life and the surprising freedom it offers. Only very occasionally do I think how nice it would be to have a man around. This afternoon was one of those moments, albeit for a short time.

 Buying fruit at my local corner store usually means a friendly chat with Dom the fruit shop owner, a relaxing meander through the grapes and mangoes and a few welcoming words in Italian from the locals. Today was different.

 As I approached the curb, a man walking on the road saw my car approach, yet he refused to step back up onto the footpath to allow me to park. He slowed his pace, stopped, blocked me and stared me down. He made it very clear that he would move when and if he was ready. With incredible patience- and my doors locked- I waited for this showdown of sorts to finish. As I finally parked, he walked behind my car and slammed his child’s scooter hard into my car as a final statement of his discontent.

 Five minutes later, while discussing the situation with a few others inside the fruit shop, the same guy appeared outside, now with young child in hand, blocking my exit and staring me down yet again, intent on intimidating me further. It was at that precise moment that I wished I had a man by my side, someone who would defend my honour and tell this fruit loop of a misogynist where to put his scooter pump.  But I knew wistfully that the only person who could defend my honour at that moment was me.

 He confronted me with stony silence, his arms folded firmly across his chest. I walked up to him, kept eye contact and told him he had no right to do what he did to my car. He began a tirade of abuse. I looked down at his child’s face, then up to his and quietly said, “Excellent role modelling for your son” and left. That man had no idea what he was doing to his own child through his behaviour.

 My car has a dent in it, my nerves a few too. But I stood up to the bully. Whatever his issues were, they were his, not mine. Maybe one day I will have my knight in shining armour. But for today, this maiden did ok for herself. As single mothers, we must stand up for ourselves, without anger, without vengeance, but instead fuelled by a self respect that we must hang onto tightly, particularly at those times when someone else is trying to take it away.  


Vicki Morrison is the founder of Mothers Moving Forward and the author of the children's picture book, So Shy.

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Category: Mind, Body, Spirit

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