So, today being International Women’s day, I have been thoughtful all day. Last year, I went to the local march, even though it was excruciatingly cold.
I felt like I didn’t belong, or like I was an imposter, because I didn’t grow up in a body like theirs, and because I still had the benefits of male privilege at times. I was made to feel welcome, and the relationships that I formed that day are still going strong, and have allowed me to grow and flourish in my activism work, and given me some beautiful friendships.
However, this year, despite the way some people treat me (Looking at you TERFs) and look at me, I feel more entrenched in my identity and like I deserve the identity of woman.
The sad part about that is that a lot of it is because of shared victimization by misogynists (both Men and “Gender Critical,” A-Holes, who, let’s call a spade a spade. You are just spicy misogynists, and not a feminist in any sense of the word.) and feeling like I am not enough. Not Woman enough, not pretty enough, not Feminine enough, not thin enough, not quiet enough, not submissive enough, and on and on and on and on.
That is just a lie that my gender dysphoria, my head, and the outside world with their lies and bigotry tells me. Women are loud, Women are messy, Women wear all sorts of clothes, both “Masculine,” and “Feminine,” (Spoiler Alert: Clothes don’t have a gender). Women Wear Makeup and don’t. Women Wear Jewelry and don’t. Women bear children and don’t. Women have facial hair and don’t.
I can be what the world tells me what a woman is, or I can be me…And, to be perfectly honest, being what the world tells me a woman is sounds an awful lot like who I was when I was told I was a boy and a man.
I limited myself, edited myself, and lost myself in an identity that I was told I should have because of what I looked like…even though that identity was never mine. It was always off and always felt like I was broken, even before the trauma that the world and I put myself through broke me.
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”Bilbo Baggins, The Lord of The Rings, JRR Tolkien
Bilbo said it right. This is how I felt all of the time when I did what you told me and was who you told me I was.
If I do the same thing as when I was hiding in my boy shaped costume, I will be in pain all of the time, my emotions will be minimized, “unjustified,” and theorized. My interests are not for me, my job is not for me (I work in STEM), I am too loud, too opinionated, much too much, too feminine, too masculine, too everything.
By your (the world’s) definition of Femininity and womanhood, I just shouldn’t exist, and by that same definition, so shouldn’t a lot of the strongest and brightest women that I know.
With All Due Respect, Fuck That
I can be me, a woman who is loud, angry, joyous, sensitive, strong, poetic, brash, hardcore, an activist, an anti-racist, an anti-ableist, a mental health advocate, a nerd, a geek, a Lesbian, an Asexual, a warrior, a princess, your strongest ally (or your worst enemy), sweet, sassy, demure, dominating, and so much more.
OR, I can be a subservient shell of a person…which is what the world, society, and politicians want me to be.
With All Due Respect, Fuck You and The Horse You Rode in On
If that is what you want from me, what do you want from your daughters, your wives, your sisters, your nieces, your aunts, your grandmothers, etc?
I suspect, the exact same thing
Women are whatever and whoever they tell you they are, and whoever they want to be. So today, of all days, I am standing up and telling you:
I am Justice, I am a Woman, I am Trans, I am Bold, I am Loud, I am Sweet, I am Sassy, I am your best friend, I am your Worst Nightmare. I am filled with anxiety and depression, I have hope, strength, and integrity to do the right thing whether it is what you say it is what your big bad sky daddy wants or not. I am a Beauty and a Bitch, and I am not going anywhere.
Intensely and Victoriously,
-Justice Faye Dazzle