I’m a dangerous human
Queen and Priestess
Ocean and Fire
And as though that isn’t enough wonder
I’m a woman
Make no mistake about it; this generation is rewriting how history will define womanhood. This is the turning point generation in which womanhood can be expressed in an infinite number of forms – all powerful, all purposeful, all possible.
I always knew that girlhood was not the destination for me, not that there is one endpoint. However, as a girl, I was taught by my parents that everything that I was given would culminate in the becoming of a woman who I would journey as for the rest of my life. So it was important that I understood womanhood as important, limitless and powerful because those should be the backdrop against which every woman finds expression for herself.
Feminism has blossomed and created an awakening that is raising women who are questioning the constructs that we have always conformed to. It has given women the consciousness that our voices are valid, vital and must be used because our lives depend on the value that we create from expressing our essence. Heck, feminism is awakening women to the truth that identity is not something that can be thrust upon us without our permission.
However, just as with every other socio-political movement, feminism finds meaning within the context of the diverse experiences that women embody and encounter and so I believe that there is no formula for it. There are different expressions of it just as there are different kinds of women whose realities have made for infinite shades of grey areas that they have to navigate in this quest for equality and prosperity for all.
I see cyber battles where women shame others who have chosen to build realities that they feel are not enough of a statement to relate our defiance against the ills of patriarchy. I see how the systems in which our girls are raised are not being intentionally engineered to teach them the power of their essence as females and how that is something to protect, develop and create from. I see how factions of feminists wage war against each other and especially against the male folk, forgetting that unfortunately, everyone is in some way a victim of social conditioning and constructs that have been perpetuated for centuries; the individuals in themselves are not quite the problem. Beyond the people, we must take a structural approach against inequality and the ills attached to it – developing individuals (male and female) who embody the tenets of feminism, justice, accountability while retaining their individuality and creating socio-economic and political systems that reflect those same values.
The idea that there is a specification for who the ideal feminist should be defies the essence of the movement which is equal opportunities for all. We must be careful not to, in our zeal, fan the dysfunctions that patriarchy and inequality have perpetuated because of a loose grip on what really matters. Education, economic empowerment, human rights, security must be strived for, not because they qualify us to be better women but because they enable us to unlock the potentials that we embody as women and create a balanced, more wholesome world. This is everybody’s job. This is not the job for one kind of person. This job cannot be done by women whose girlhoods were stripped of the knowledge that they can deliver on this. This is not the job for a particular type of woman.
For starters, there is no real woman. There is also no better woman who deserves more privilege. The idea that anything in its natural state is not real because it does not conform to your position on reality is ridiculous. A real woman is any woman who is in fact, a woman. To understand this is to understand that the fight for equality should be nothing if not universal.
We as woman must define and hold unto the tenets that bind all our aspirations together no matter how we seek to find expression for those desires – as mothers, as moguls or as matriarchs.
Every motivation and action should culminate in empowering every woman with all the resources that she needs to create the most value from who she chooses to become. Today, this may not be handed us so we must for all our sakes, demand for it, work for it, speak for it, create it until limitless possibilities become the normal reality of women. Our humanity depends on this.
Happy International Women’s Day!!!