Vallaura's Blog

"Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted."

The Price of Feminism

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Nope. I am not going to talk about feminism on what the picture represent. Even though I share my soul agreeing with it. This one is about a story of one of my Copenhagen days. 🙂

Yesterday, after a weird job interview at Valby, I went to my danish course in Kødbyen. I blamed on the weird interview that I somehow played my bike’s gear all the way from Enghave to Fisketorvet bound to Kødbyen. Well you see, the road there is quite climbing, 1 degree probably, so I need to see how this “new” bike adapting with its two hands gears. That was when I could not feel that I was pedalling my bike. *shit* I knew this feeling, the chains must have lose. And of course, it was.
I stirred my lose-chained bike to the parking lot. Yes, I could get hold on using bike without proper working chains. Yes, I am that good. And saw what I knew was happening. But what I did not expect was that apparently this new bike has its chain cover. Does not life look so much easier now?

I put my turquoise longchamp bag on the left hand grip and put my Yves Rocher shopping bag on the right. I rolled my long sleeves wool cardigan 3cm and squatted looking like a smarty pants girl knowing stuffs on how to fix a loose chain. I don’t know shit.

I tried to rationalise my condition for 2 seconds. And I just arrived to the conclusion that I need to do something fast, now! It was around 6.30pm. Most of bike repairs close at 6pm. And of course the darkness will come around 7pm. And only god knows how I could manage going home with broken bike from Kødbyen to Østerbro at a cold Copenhagen night. I tried to fix it for almost 7-10 min when I heard a voice in English talking to me in a distance. Without looking away from the stupid chains, I answered him “yes, the chain lose”. Actually, I knew that he was sitting on the seats behind me with his friend(s). I could hear them talking about some stuffs in danish. They were young danish boys, probably just 16-17 years old. And I added “it’s because there’s this stupid chain cover, so it’s difficult to push the chain back to place it back in”. To my surprise, one of them walked towards me and he must have been smiling or laughing at me, because the next second I heard his friend yelled at him; “Don’t laugh. It’s annoying you know. I’ve had that before long long time ago. It’s really difficult and not easy”. I gave a sympathetic smile that he could not see. It was annoying. It was difficult. And definitely, it was not easy. At that time, my whole hands were already covered with black chain oils.

2 min passed, when I  sense the same person approached me again. This time, I guessed he was trying to help me out of pity. Because before I could even give a glimpse look at him, I heard his friend yelled again at him; “Hey, what are you doing. Leave her alone. Tsk. Tsk. Marcus (I forgot his actual name), you know that you don’t need to help everyone, don’t you? Let her just do it by herself. She does not need your help. Get out from there”.
I blinked my eyes out of frustration. Here, in Denmark, feminism is uphold highly. I am very happy with this fact, except for that minute. I was almost begging to these two young boys to get their asses from that comfort seats to help this poor old women to fix the damned bike before it got dark and nothing could be done! My hands were all covered by oil. My fingernails were scratched and pushed toward the chain cover to fit in the chain back to its place. Some nail cuticles were off. And my knees and legs… gosh, they were dead because I had been squatting for more than 15min. But then suddenly. I fixed it.

I could not believe myself. But there was no time for self admiration. I legs were numb and asleep. So, I got up and stand straight. That was when I was the boy. He had his golden blonde medium long curly hair waving on his head when he approached me again. He looked pity on me, slightly offered help or forced me to ask help to him, when he said; “it is difficult, huh?” and put his eyes on the chain. I straighten my numb legs and told him that I just fixed it. He was still in disbelief and looked at it even more carefully. I assured him that I did it, I did not know how, but I did. And he smiled. And happily he said “thats’s good. Good for you”. I just casually replied with thanks and smiled back to him and showed my hands and that I need to get inside the building to wash them clean.

I kept this story for couple of hours during my danish class and whispered to myself, that was the price of feminism. People are complaining that the modern world kills chivalry. Well, I guess there is a price for everything. And the price for feminism is chivalry. You could not hope that your knight in shining armour is ready to help you and save you from all the puddles in life, while at the same time you are shouting for women’s empowerment. Or as what I’ve read somewhere before “why do women get upset because men do not put down the toilet lid? Men could also get upset because women do not put up the toilet lid.”

Women, you want equality? empowerment? Start with yourself.

Lastly, what I like about feminism in Denmark. Men, here, if they were not jerks, they were very lovely and caring men. They were raised along with viking women, who wore black stocking to look fabulously sexy during cold winter nights. They treated women as their equals. But. But… when any women (or anyone for that matter) ask for help. They, instead of being jerks and shouted “eat your feminism!”, are amazingly helpful. Nothing soothe you than knowing that the magic word of help is still magical in the heart of everyone around you. One of the reasons I love Denmark.

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