Many people believe every age marks something significant, that you should accomplish a certain something by a certain time. Your first kiss, losing your virginity, getting married. Learning to drive, knowing what you want to be, succeeding in your goals. But that’s not true. Let things just happen. Make sure you’re ready. Stay wise. Give yourself time to develop. There is no rush to live.
The problem for women is that being hurt is ordinary. It happens every day, all the time, somewhere to someone, in every neighborhood, on every street, in intimacy, in crowds; women are being hurt. We count ourselves lucky when we are only being humiliated and insulted. We count ourselves goddamn lucky when whatever happens falls short of rape. Those who have been beaten in marriage (a euphemism for torture) also have a sense of what luck is. We are always happy when something less bad happens than what we had thought possible or even likely, and we tell ourselves that if we do not settle for the less bad there is something wrong with us. It is time for us to stop that.