Just a woman
By Zara Mcgibney Fitzgerald
Artemis stands on a blank Smokey stage. She speaks up to the Heavens.
Well…. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.
Are you listening?
I’m not going back out there!
I can’t face that horrific world anymore. It’s too dark , it’s…it’s too flaky and crumbly and…and too reflective. I don’t want to look at it anymore.
I don’t like what is looking back at me. My eyes are in pain but not as much pain as this heavy heart. Can you not feel it? Can you not feel it breaking? Can you not feel your own child’s heart breaking? Can you not feel my pulse weakening? Because I can! I can feel their spirits fading, their soul’s evaporating, their smiles dulling. I feel all of it.
Talk me to me you coward!
I am so tired of lying to my daughters. You never said I would have to lie to my daughters.
When you sent me here, you said this job would be fun. You sent me here under false pretences. You are a liar! A big fat stinking Earthly liar!! You sent me here thinking that there was a battle that could be won and that is simply not the truth ,is it?
I see women wake up every day and fight a loosing battle. They wake up and get out of bed every morning, knowing that they’ll face a day of being a second-class citizen, but they do it anyway because …. Because maybe one day, if they try hard enough, the tides will turn.
I try my best to shield them from it, but time is ticking and chasing us down. It’s as if their maternal clock is starting to speed up as soon as we try slow down. I try to teach them what it means to be a good Human being. I try to emphasis the human bit. I don’t want them to grow up shackled with the mindset that they are “just” women. That they are “Just” home makers, that they are “just” a walking incubator. That they are “Just” a walking, talking vagina. I want them to know that before anything else, they are humans and that they deserve the same love and respect as all the other humans… but I am so afraid. I am so afraid because I feel like time is running out. You sent me here with too much work and not enough time. This bubble I created around us is growing smaller and smaller. It’s becoming harder to breathe in here. Claustrophobic, even. They’re starting to see through the smoke and mirrors I propped up around them. You do realise that they are more intelligent and intuitive than that, right? They are smart and funny and empathetic and kind and powerful… but how long before this bubble pops and smart becomes boring? Funny becomes attention seeking? Empathy and kindness become weakness and powerful becomes bossy?
Why can’t I keep them in this all woman show I’ve created for them! Where every night they are the main characters, and I am their standing ovation?
Sometimes….I tell them tales of our lands as bedtime stories and before you freak out before you freak out! …. You can relax. Beat Something as simple as consent is a fairy tale to them. It’s sad really.
Here, it feels like a magical word that holds no real power in their world. It’s something they dream about at night. It’s something their tell their youth about, the same way we gave them tooth fairy and Santa clause. because they want them to grow up with a sense of hope. No one wants to tell their daughter the horrible truth that they more than likely will not make it to the age of 18 without being non consensually groped.
I can’t do it anymore… I can’t…
How do I keep them from waking up to this nightmare ?
Please help them.
Please help us.
Zara Mcgibney Fitzgerald is a fourth year Drama and Theatre Studies student at Trinity College Dublin. She is a writer and an actor, and her previous performance credits include Precipice, Anne, and Spectres of Gorky (Samuel Beckett Theatre), and On Top (Prague Fringe Festival). She also devised and performed in man•i•fest, which was an honour and a most anticipated highlight of her four years studying at Trinity.
'Just a woman' is a scene that directly responds to a particular writing prompt. The prompt was to create 'multiple worlds' within one scene.