We have a special guest post today from horror reviewer Ellen Avigliano! You may have seen Ellen around Twitter and Instagram promoting horror for Dead Head Reviews and spreading joy, Supernatural gifs and book love like nobody’s business! Take it away, Ellen.
The Unbreakable Power and Unity of Sisterhood
We don’t have much time. All eyes are on me.
THUNK, THUNK, THUNK.
His footfalls are heavy against the tiled floor. Standard issue military combat boots, clomping along in a muted bass tone, echoing and bouncing through the narrow corridor. Between the steel-toed structure of his footwear and immense physical stature, there was no way he was going to tread quietly, but he certainly leveraged those clodhoppers to their maximum impact. Quite frankly though, it was all completely unnecessary. He didn’t have to lift a finger or move a muscle to elicit fear. He could have remained inert, simply looming in a doorway, and it would have instilled the same sense of dread within the bones of every woman in his vicinity.
His mere existence in the world rang alarm bells for every woman that crossed his path, caught him out of the corner of her eye. It stirs up all kinds of icky feelings. You know the ones. That sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you walk alone in the dusk, hoping to beat the darkness, and ignoring the lengthening shadows beneath the streetlights. It’s that dull pressure in between your shoulder blades, when you feel someone standing behind you, even if you know you’re alone in the room. It’s like someone is kneading the nerves leading up to your neck; your body is numb and yet simultaneously tingles. You want to flee, but you’re stuck. Immobilized. That’s the power he has. That’s the power all men have. Some men embrace it, and leverage it for their personal gain. Other men ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. A rare minority of men see it, acknowledge it, and call it out. It doesn’t much matter, though. All men benefit from it.
Except for today. Today, the power of men would be their undoing. His downfall, specifically. For I have something – excuse me, we, we have something — that men will never have. We’ve got sisterhood.
“What the fuck does that mean?” you ask. Allow me to elaborate.
The official Merriam-Webster dictionary definition is as follows:
sis·ter·hood | \ ˈsi-stər-ˌhu̇d
1a the state of being a sister
1b sisterly relationship
2 a community or society of sisters
3 the solidarity of women based on shared experiences or concerns
“Okay, fine, but what’s that got to do with anything? How is that going to stop a raging, brutish man with some thick-ass combat boots who is a dragging sledge hammer behind him like a caveman drags a club, and enough bulging muscles to make The Incredible Hulk look like a withering plant caught in a hurricane?!”
Sisterhood is more than just a word in the dictionary. It’s an ineffable connection between all women, be they cisgender or transgender. It’s hearing the sigh from the stall next to you, and handing over a wad of toilet paper. It’s the “yes, GIRL” as you walk by someone checking out the fit of some jeans in the dressing room, and the smile that spreads across their face in return. It’s the instinct to walk up to a complete stranger with utter conviction and confidence that you’re their best friend or girlfriend in order to thwart interaction with a predatory man. It is a neutral expression with direct eye contact exchanged across the room between coworker-gals, silently acknowledging mutual distaste for the mansplaining of the latest company project.
In short, it’s a wavelength that women communicate over which men just can’t pick up on their radios. That unifying force between strangers and an unshakeable bond. It’s an instinct, you know, like “spidey sense.”
And it’s the best weapon we’ve got right now.
For a split second, there’s a ringing in my ears, a whoosh, then the world goes silent and I can hear my heartbeat pounding in my skull. I scan the length of the hallway, eyes darting this way and that, brain making calculations as quickly as possible, assessing the threat of capture and imminent death. I spot a door at the end that’s slightly ajar, the faintest glow of sunlight radiating warmth against the sterile blue-white of the fluorescents. This just might work. If we all make a break for it at the same time, we might just make our hasty escape, and survive the horror show called “our lives.” We can’t make a sound. If we do, we’re toast. A mere pin drop would echo in these hallways like a hammer striking cold steel. I carefully remove my shoes, and gesture to the others to follow suit, which they do mechanically.
Suddenly all the noise of the world rushes back into existence at once. That’s when I hear him.
THUNK, THUNK, THUNK.
And I realize we’re out of time.
I nod my head to the right, then up, and do a little boogie-shuffle gesture to the side. Stiff head bobs all around in wordless reply. Good. We’re all on the same page.
I take a deep breath in, and get ready to make the breakaway. It’s now or never.
Let’s do this.
By Ellen Avigliano
My name is Ellen and I am an Artist, Illustrator, and Freelance Blogger based in New Jersey. I am a disabled creator with multiple auto-immune conditions supporting myself with my artwork and creativity. I’m also an Admin as well as Digital Content Manager and Team Contributor for DeadHeadReviews.com
I like dogs, houseplants, and drinking coffee. I am a self-proclaimed champion hula hooper. I have an affinity towards vintage and retro style. I read a LOT of books. I believe in challenging societal norms, equality and justice for all, and smashing the patriarchy.