Behind Her Scream

Her head is shaven, her floral dress transparent.

She screams and screams for five minutes as a man leaves.



Words tumble out of her mouth as the washing machines tumble behind me. I’m reading Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford at the laundromat. One look at the blurb and I felt a sense of something missing.

Did I agree with her desire to get women to rise up in rage and power?

Surely there is another way to respond? 

Because – 

Aren’t there enough wars in this world?

Why do we pick battles that divide instead of standing in solidarity, in humility.

– Not seeking power and authority.

The woman stands on the corner now, silently screaming. Her eyes daggers, lined up down that street for the man who knows her flesh but who has evidently left her heart mess.

She’s coughing and spluttering, all the signs of a sickness of soul.

She hunches over and disappears from my view.

I wonder if she’s gone for a smoke, releasing those fumes from this constant fight, this front she puts up to all men.

How many men has she seen hit that street?

How many men have come to her for their sexual fulfilment, failing to satisfy her deep emotional need?

I see behind her screams, her rage, her desire for control. 

She’s scared. 

She is strong. She’s independent. But her sense of self and worth has been conditioned, built on this ideal of “woman” in the eyes of man. Her identity is an image. She’s trying to hold in focus the pixels, but she shatters. She is unable to see her true value in the eyes of God because she’s let men define her beauty.

So what happens when the men leave?

Her identity shatters, because her sense of beauty and worth are based on an unstable entity.

She questions herself and others. She fears she doesn’t measure up.

She lives afraid, stuck in an attention game. 

How to deconstruct this form of self, this ideal of woman –

one that seeks attention and validation from man instead of God?

My thoughts fall like these drops from the clouds.

Surely this isn’t how women should see and be seen?

Women aren’t powerless.

Women don’t need to rise up in rage and power.

Surely there is another way to respond? 

Women need ferocious love.

A Saviour’s love.

His power.

His strength.

His protection.

The man comes back, bringing the woman something.

She lets him cradle her, he holds a nook in her back.

Together they hobble back to the house behind the bricks.

And I’m just there, bundling my laundry, left chewing on

… this beauty

… this question of identity

… this despair of men defining women’s worth

And I’m wondering why the woman gave in so easily to the man

– to the security he provides her.

Surely there is another answer to her scream for identity?


You hear our screams.

You know what is behind our screams.

May you define our beauty and identity. 

Let our hearts behold your beauty.

Let us find ourselves secure in your love.

Let your love replace the lies of what makes one worthy.

There is only one who who is worthy.

Worthy are you, O Lord.

To receive all honour, power and glory.

Reveal your glory to us.

Help us look to Christ as a secure identity.

Forgive us for how we dishonour you and our own bodies.

In your power, restore us to yourself.

In Jesus name. 

Respond from the Heart