#icantkeepquiet

milck

You could say that I’m in touch with my masculine side. I spend my days working for men, the last decade of my life dedicated to supporting the oldest and most established fraternity in the world. I grew up as such a tomboy that it could have been said I’d crossed over the line to gender-bending. I have two brothers and no sisters. My mother is six feet tall and for the better part of her life weighed more than most line-backers. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by masculine energy. I’ve embraced it, covered myself in it, embodied it, and worn it as a veil.

That veil was lifted recently.

I’ve never considered myself a feminist, per se. I don’t even understand what the word means or which wave of feminism I’m suppose to identify with when I hear it. I’ve never felt protected by that word. It never held any power for me. When I hear the term, a part of me cringes. I pooh-pooh the notion and I don’t know why.

I was ill the morning of the women’s march, though I could hear it from my apartment situated near my city’s center. From my bed I saw posts about the march from around the country on social media. I could feel the energy from it. But I did not fathom the enormity of it: for the world, for this country, and least of all for me.

And then an anthem showed up in my feed and it broke me. It exposed a vulnerability I hadn’t know I was hiding – a raw nerve I spend tons of precious energy, daily, protecting. A frosty clear callous has built up as a membrane over the most precious part of my essence: my femininity. A pulsating, glowing crimson nerve that I never realized I didn’t feel safe accessing in this society. I had not realized, until this movement, that most of the time I walk around feeling painfully vulnerable, undefended, and unsafe. This relentless feeling and the coping mechanisms I’ve built up as a result are so second nature that I didn’t even realize it was there.

All I could do is sob.

This sudden acknowledgement from the lyrics of this song made me feel supported in a way that I’d never, ever felt before. I cried tears of relief I didn’t know needed to be cried. I’m tough, I am a woman after all. The notes of this song correspond with the markers on the DNA of all women. How many of us have been told to “just lie still”? How many of us have been made into “monsters” and scared away friends or family for having spoken up against the ugly actions taken towards us by our oppressors?

But at it’s heart this song isn’t just for women. This song is for everyone.

At the heart of the human experience is the desire to be known.

“…no one knows me know one ever will, if I just keep quiet, take that dry blue pill…”

If you are human…if you do not feel that you can speak your truth, you are on a downward spiral of what is akin to a primal death: NOT BEING KNOWN.

It is your responsibility to MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN. No one can know you if you are quiet. This song has finally honed in on the worst thing that will happen if you speak your truth: you will scare a few people away, they will feel that you’re a monster. Would that be so bad? These are the same people who are doing you a favor by exiting your life: stage left. It doesn’t matter if these people are “family”; you cannot afford to be your authentic self with people who do not honor your truth: for that is too high a price to pay for silence.

What is the best thing that comes from speaking your truth? YOU WILL BE KNOWN. This is life-giving, aversion of a death-sentence.

If you are being oppressed in any way – you are not the one who should experience shame. The shame lies upon the actions of the oppressors.

This song hit home for me in ways I hadn’t realized that I’d needed: to be heard, healed. I have been told to keep quiet. I have been told to lie still. I have been made into a monster for telling the truth. I have felt forced to cut off familial connections because of abuse and been told that I am the one who’s the monster for having taken these measures of sanity and self-preservation. Somehow I ended up bearing the emotional labor for not just myself, but my quietness was supposed to keep those who’d hurt me from getting THEIR feelings hurt. It’s exhausting.

In the official video, which I will post along with lyrics below, Milck is restrained and sitting in a glass tank that is being filled with water. This image represents what we go through as the waters of our life experiences rise. Eventually we become engulfed and it is impossible to breathe. As the inundation of experiences swirl around her and she begins to suffocate in ernest, she does the most counter intuitive thing: she opens her mouth. In the video it is shouting that shatters the glass walls of Milck’s enclosure. Not being quiet opens your mouth and it lets the water in, but it is also what breaks the metaphorical tank holding the water that is drowning you. It’s what takes the experience that is compressing you and it forces it outwards, back onto the source – in the video, her executioner.

We have the privilege of having been provoked. The raw nerve of our collective wound will not stand to be violated anymore and we are taking this opportunity to speak up. “Sometimes we just need to hear a clear voice harmonizing with ours,” as Milck says.

Relieve the pressure that prevents us from connecting with others authentically. Share your human experience by refusing to be QUIET.

“…There will be someone who understands…”

“…Let it out now…”

It is what will save you and by extension: us.

View Video HERE

Lyrics

“Quiet”
Written by MILCK and AG
Produced by AG

put on your face
know your place
shut up and smile
don’t spread your legs
I could do that

But no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, if I just lie still
Would I be that monster, scare them all away
If I let the-em hear what I have to say

I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I can’t keep quiet
For anyone
Anymore

Cuz no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, take that dry blue pill
they may see that monster, they may run away
But I have to do this, do it anyway
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh I can’t keep quiet

Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
Must be someone who’ll understand
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now

I can’t keep quiet

www.icantkeepquiet.org