[AN: Steemit has reconfigured its jiggery-pokery and I won't be able to post today's story there until much, much later. When that happens, this post will have a link. Stay tuned]
a female who hears about bad stuff happening to other ladies, but are oblivious because it never happens to them. -- Anon Guest
Cindy never knew she was her friends' Protector for years. She just thought that everything that happened was normal. Walking with Sishawna and any of her friends to the corner store for groceries was normal. Walking her friends Lisa and Melanie to and from Pride was normal. Coming to pick her friend Layla up from the gym at night was normal.
It didn't become abnormal until that one party, when she heard some men joking about rape. Cindy knew some people who'd been raped, and nursed them through horrible times. So she loomed over the circle of jerks and said, "You know who likes rape jokes? Rapists. Are you guys rapists?"
And one of them said, "Oh shit, it's the Valkyrie."
She learned. They never told those kinds of jokes when she knew they could hear her. They never tried to sneak a hand up her skirt in the elevators for fear of her breaking their hands for trying. She learned that nobody bothered her and her friends when she was in the gym because she could deadlift half the guys in there. Heck, she could throw half the guys in there.
She was a white girl who was muscular enough and imposing enough for men to never want to mess with her. They didn't even wish to risk her wrath by calling her a lesbian. Around Cindy, men were polite, respectful, and actually attempted to listen. Around her, all her friends of colour no longer had to fear the police. Around her, all of her friends had no reason to fear anyone.
She held a small party in her flat, that week. Invited all her friends inside. And had a good talk. Asked them for their horror stories.
Cindy learned that the world is cruel to women. Cindy learned that it had to stop. And stopping things had to start somewhere, so she started with her friends.
She trained them. Helped them find a workout routine that they could use to build muscle as well as building their confidence. Teaching them how to fight to the best of their ability. Becoming forces to reckon with.
And she made a mantra. "Flats are comfortable, so are leggings, and if anyone lays an unwelcome hand on me, they get what they deserve!"
It took the world a year to notice the sudden and alarming increase in 'warrior women'. Cindy and her Valkyrie followers refused to be belittled or mocked for it. They refused to bow to the whims of self-important men who needed to diminish the strong in order to feel strong themselves. And they brutally incapacitated anyone who attempted to kill them for their choices.
The fact that every single one of Cindy's Valkyries could stop a punch with one hand, and disarm a gunman in two seconds had a great deal to do with the sexual reformation.
It took a lot for a certain kind of male to remember the manners his mother taught him.