Despite the age of Euripedes’ play, and the fact that the events it refers to take place almost a thousand years before his own work, it’s striking how little has changed. For all our technological progress, as a species, the same abuses continue to the modern day. Slavery- whether in the form of debt bondage or sexual servitude- persists, and, of course, violence towards women has never ended. In the contemporary era, the figure of Talthybius persists in new and different forms, and the sad truth is, as Hannah Arendt suggested, that evil is banal. Talthybius isn’t some monster; he’s all too human.
This piece is my small contribution to ‘The Women of Troy’ project supporting the production put on by Eagles Nest Theatre Company. The initiative is to combat violence against women through creativity and collaboration.
We speak of violence against women, yet when we turn to our sisters we are largely oblivious that 1 in 5 of them have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. More so, 1 in 3 have experienced physical violence and the chances were that this was in their home; a place of safety and refuge.
“Violence against women was endemic to warlike society 2500 years ago. The threat of war is no longer prevalent for most first world citizens, but the level to which women across the globe are subjected to violence in their private and personal spaces is nothing short of an epidemic” (Eagles Nest Theatre Co.).
Have we not evolved beyond this?
It shakes the skeletons of my mother’s mothers to think that their trauma has brought no change.
It leaches into the spirits of our boys brought into this world through wombs whose memories tell dark stories. It tarnishes our future when these boys perpetually continue the cycle of all they’ve glimpsed through dungeons behind dull eyes.
It leaves rusty red stains when women hold the hands of the perpetrators, of any gender, and stand idle with clenched sledgehammer jaws.
Maybe change is coming…
Maybe the village can help.
Let’s tell our stories and hold hands while the elders sing songs of healing.
Maybe the songs will carry into the valleys and over the hills and far away.
Maybe the songs will spread far and wide;
And maybe they will go down in history and be sung in another 250 years time when things are better. Maybe things will be better.
A spoken word piece about the daily fear that women face walking home at night. Dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives at the hands of a man.