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  • Michelle Meyer

Caged In

Interpretation by Mary Huselid

I dated a guy once who told me I wasn’t funny. While chewing sloppily on his Rice Crispies he said with great authority, “women just aren’t funny.” And he certainly couldn’t be bothered to watch female comedians on stage or on TV because what’s the point of trying to watch the unfunny half of the human race try to be funny? Yes, he was obviously an insecure jerk, but at the time I fell for it. I went around for a year or two thinking that because I was female I was not, and could not, project fun or humor into the world. It was an abusive situation that I did not recognize as being abusive. I slowly fell into more and more self-loathing based on one jerk’s perception of me and the entire female population of the planet. This happens. A lot. I got out of it. Lots of women don’t. Lots of women are stuck in a cage and whipped into a shape that is not their own by charming abusers. We all know those women. My grandmother was one of those women. She was strong, bruised, beautiful, broken, very funny, and totally addicted to the comforting numb of alcohol for years. I can’t change that. But I can talk about it. I can write about it. And I can look back at my former relationship with a profound sense of relief. I had two choices — to continue or break the cycle. Snap. Crackle. Pop.

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