“Women had held their feelings of unjust for far too long and felt that it was time to let it out.”

Feelings of unjust are always hard to express.

I remember when I was teaching at a university that I suppose I shouldn’t name, but it was a place where I was tenured and important awhile ago, there was an “activities fair” at the beginning of the fall term so that students could get acquainted with the available extracurricular activities, student services, and social opportunities. The Counseling office had this sign hanging from its table: “Students: Do You Feel Lonely? Depressed? Unfaired Against?”

I know not who made that sign, but I have an uncomfortable feeling that it was somebody on the STAFF of the Counseling office, not some well-meaning but sketchily prepared passerby.

AND I confess that since then, I have from time to time referred to myself as feeling “unfaired against.” But I wouldn’t let it get by me in a student paper!

This student was writing about the women’s-rights writers of the nineteenth century in the U.S. She was writing in approval and agreement. I suppose I should have appreciated the phrase “feelings of unjust,” considering that it could have been “feelings of unfaired against.” Why, oh why, did she not think of “INJUSTICE”? The writers whose work she was discussing certainly used that term.

Well, at any rate, these women, having held these feelings way past their expiration date, had a new and presumably shared feeling: “Time to let it out!” In the sentence, at least, they seem to have simultaneously and collectively felt that.

What is the “it” they decided to let out, though? FeelingS? The same thing their brothers and sisters in the latter twentieth century wanted to let hang out? or the “it” that counselors encourage upset students to let out, there in the Counseling office?

Maybe just that collective breath freighted with unjust. We do understand from the sentence that they had held those feelings in, even though my writer doesn’t exactly say that. The words tell us only that they had “held” them. In their hands? In their arms? In some “holding tank”? Well, then, out like a held breath or out like opening those clenched fists, or opening those arms, or releasing the gate on the holding tank. Let “it” out.

Better late than never. Hurry up, please: it’s time!

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About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

3 responses to ““Women had held their feelings of unjust for far too long and felt that it was time to let it out.”

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