During lockdown I wrote a short story. I hadn’t written a short story for a long time and somehow it felt important that it had something to say.
I’d recently listened to some of my friends talking about everyday sexism and comparing stories. They approached the subject with stoicism and nodded in agreement. Yet we all agreed that there was very little we could do about it individually.
I felt helpless. So I did what I can do and wrote about it. Sexism is often described as overt, yet I was interested in the more covert, creeping, taken-for-granted attitude. The ‘know your place’ look or expression that can take the shine of someone in seconds.
I’ve seen women shine and I’ve seen them pushed into tight containers that don’t let in the light. That’s what Dancing, Not Floating is about. I’ve felt that awful realisation that I am not what someone was expecting. That I am much more, and that just won’t do.
I am not Calista and Calista is not me, but I hope I have managed to put that feeling into words in her story.
Dancing, Not Floating will be published in the Fly on the Wall Press anthology The Ones Who Flew the Nest on 12th May 2023. You can pre-order it here.