If I fight for you, will you fight for me?
Rita is a fighter, ready say out loud what others just think, ready to engage anyone with a sprit of justice and commitment.
“She is easy to love when she is on your side,” her headmaster and lover notes, but when she is up against you, digging in her heels, well, she can be a real pain.
Because she will fight with them her kids know that she will fight for them with the ferocity of a mother who has very high expectations of you. Those high expectations are always a gift and a curse, seeing the possibilities but demanding you do the work to reach for them.
In her uniform of jeans, heeled boots, flannel and leather, she fights like a lioness. While you wouldn’t want only her for a role model, Thorpe makes it clear that everyone can feel empowered by following someone so intense and determined.
But Rita is very clearly a woman. She is always ready to admit when she is wrong, to be convinced and change direction, always listening to what others say to her. Her fights are not absolute, they are battles of pragmatism, striving to get the best outcome she can manage.
Her lioness sprit drives her sex life too, coupling like an animal to take the best of the men she finds affirming. Relationships, though, well, they demand a lot of compromise, a great deal of playing nice, and that isn’t her strength.
Like any mother, Rita is nourished by the relationships around her. When her kids move out, starting their own lives, she is a bit lost, looking for others to fight with and for.
Rita doesn’t fight like a man, with a clear goal of her choosing, single minded and refusing to compromise, trying to get to be the big boss on top of the heap, with others following.
Rita fights like a woman, always for the good of someone she sees who needs her help, working the process to create the best possible outcome. She wants empowerment; the more smart and strong people in her network, the better the world they share will be.
This means that Rita has the heart of a woman, needing emotional support and nourishment even as she seems to be the strongest and fiercest person in the room. She will always be a fighter, moving forward like a shark as her ex says, but she will always be tender, with an open mind and an open heart.
In the same way Rita needs to fight with and for those she loves, full of drive and compassion, Rita needs other people around her who need to fight with her. Her love is so intense that her fighting is never to push people away from her but rather to draw people closer, bound in blood and caring.
I know how to fight for the people I love, how to fight with the people I love. I changed the lives of my parents, giving them many more good days.
What I miss, though, is people who are willing to fight with me and who are willing to fight for me
Maybe the don’t see me as a woman or maybe my trans nature is just too baffling, or maybe it is just very hard to find smart, compassionate vulnerable fighters in the world.
Fighting for myself isn’t in my repertoire. I fight for others. But finding someone who will return that gift by fighting for me, well, that seems to be an ask too large.
I need to fight for someone who will fight for me. Too much to ask?