Many years ago (let’s just leave it at more than ten), a friend of mine took a women’s studies class in college and was just beginning to tell me about it. And sadly, my knee-jerk reaction was something along the lines of, “Fuck that femi-nazi shit!” *HeadDesk* I’m really sorry “Q”! I see the error of my ways now.
You see, I used to believe that women weren’t to be trusted. That I couldn’t get along with them or they me. That somehow I just couldn’t “put up with their bullshit” and well, I was all kinds of wrong. I mean? Well, I’m a woman, why on earth did I feel this way? How did I get so off-course? *Sigh* It happens. I didn’t have a strong female figure in my life growing up and certainly, for awhile at least, every gal I got close to would hurt me. So I made up this strategy/philosophy and let it dictate my own fears and comforts for many many years.
As I get older and wiser (one hopes anyway), I learn more and more about how the media/marketing and all sorts of other influences can make us hate our own gender. My husband often apologizes for the crimes against women, humanity and nature on behalf of his gender. I didn’t used to feel so loyal or affiliated with my own gender. But that all changed the further I got into the fat liberation (acceptance) movement. How could I continue to distance myself from an entire gender when it was the very group who were inspiring me everyday? The short answer: I couldn’t!
The at liberation (acceptance) movement has shown me time and again new ways of thinking and being and feeling. Not in some cultist way, mind you, but in very positive, common sense and even life affirming ways. I had no idea what I was missing out on! Not having a nurturing figure in my life (well, that’s a complicated story for another time), I missed out on lots of things and am only now figuring out things like eyeliner and tights and stuff like that! More so, the deep love and compassion a woman can give to another in a way that is neither sexual nor sisterly.
And I fucking love women! Women get shit done! Women are known for talking/chatting/gossiping? Huh! More like planning, organizing, plotting! I never used to believe in or apply the label to myself, but dammit, I’m a modern feminist! I’m not afraid to tell the world. No matter how weighty that word can be (and how convoluted it’s become sadly), feminism to me is simply believing in equality…for all! Go read my “about” page and you’ll see that that is a major thing for me. And I have no patience or tolerance for hate, not from the world and not from anyone in my life! None. Life is too short and too awesome to waste on that shit. And if you’re someone who spews hate at “skinny bitches” and shit like that? Check yourself, hun, please?! It’s judgment, plain & simple! And unnecessary! We need to get beyond this.
Now? Now I have more female than male friends (big switch from my past). Now I know some of the most beautiful, smart, powerful, creative, talented, wondrous women in the world! Women who fuel my passion for fat liberation. Women who inspire me and motivate me. Women who bare their souls to me without ever meeting me. Women who have survived horrible abuses who live to see another day and share their stories so that maybe just one woman will be saved from that pain. Women who lay their own lives on the line in the name of justice. I know these women. I am these women. You are these women! And we are an amazing species that have evolved and adapted and grown over millions of years.I am so proud to be a woman because of all of you.
I see men in a different light, too. Men who have touched my heart and my life in ways I didn’t think possible. Men who will just as quickly lay their lives on the line for our cause. Men who believe in supporting us and letting us shine or stepping up and helping in any way that they can. We need them just as much as they need us. This isn’t a competition. This is nature. The nature of our species and the nature of our world. Thank the stars above we have this very moment to breathe it all in and relish in the knowledge that we can choose to help and care for each other rather than battle. And I feel for the guys who didn’t or don’t have women to teach/show them things to help them understand the world, themselves and women, too.
I recently heard someone say that you can always tell when a guy grew up without sisters or women around. It made me think about it for awhile. It’s scary! To only really see one side of the world (in a way)? It is no wonder than many guys see feminists the way I used to. And I can say that they just haven’t been exposed! They haven’t seen the truth! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly interested, “Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice” (and you can get it for a steal!). I had no idea how long and how awful women were treated and why they were treated so terribly. It is a great read, educational for sure, but informative in ways I hadn’t imagined.
Thank you for reading. Take care of YOU!