I’m tired of women and girls being told that they are sensitive because they cry. That they aren’t strong enough because they let emotions get the best of them. I’m tired of men and boys being told that they can’t express fear or sadness because that makes them less of a man. That they won’t survive in the cold world. Let people cry. Let girls kick and scream and shout and lash out all the frustration. Let boys shed tears and be told that it’s ok and that their emotions are valid. Let. People. Feel. Alive. Quit telling them how they should feel. Holy shit.
The other day, my Middle Eastern History teacher told us a story I wanted to share with you guys.
When he was travelling around Turkey by train sometime in the early ‘90s, he once had to make a stop at a town named Afyon. He didn’t expect to find anything interesting there; according to the travel guides, Afyon had nothing much to offer.
However, when he left the train, there was a man at the station who came up to him and offered him a tour of the city. This man said he was a history teacher at the local school. “Well, I am also a history teacher, so nice to meet you, colleague,” said my prof, wary about being scammed.
He wasn’t scammed, though. Instead, he was taken to the old Armenian neighbourhood of Afyon. Beautiful houses, but all in disrepair. My teacher was stunned. “But… this isn’t even on the map, it just says there’s a field here” “Of course it does, the government is trying to blot out every trace of Armenian history in this town. That’s why I wait at the station every day. To show any tourist who travels through here the real history of this town.”
Later, speaking to other residents of Afyon, my teacher found out that the man ran a high risk of getting arrested for what he was doing. One day, they said, a police officer would disguise himself as a tourist and put an end to his meddling.
I just wanted to share this story with you all because it made a really big impression me. Historians can change the world.