Segment 1 of 4: woman, women, woah man.

In recognition of International Women’s day, and all the associated feels, I am reflecting on the importance of women in my life, how women are involved in my life, how women interact with each other and probably much more.

 


 

As I get older, I find myself yearning for deeper relationships with women around me. Women have so much power and strength. ¬†There can also be so much tension between women. Mostly recently, I have been conflicted with the concept of feminism–what it means, what it means to me and who it is for (then I came across the concept of inter-sectional feminism and my Facebook comments got lit.)

Storytime!

I moved to US from Saudi Arabia. When I came to America in 2005, my first desire was to set my tits free. I went to Forever21(finally!) and found a top that would serve as a non-verbal proclamation of my freedom in this new found, liberal, accepting society. I felt so empowered. No one could tell me what to wear, no one would judge me for showing ‘too much skin’.

Nah.

That didn’t happen. I received enough judgmental looks to feel very uncomfortable in my own skin (again). ¬†Isn’t that what America was about? Why were women giving me these looks? I expected it from men…but not women…Maybe I was doing it wrong.

I tried to strike a balance between showing some skin and being covered. For example, a group of college women and I went to a lake. I wore a sleeveless top (first time!) and a skirt that fell below my knees. “Why is your skirt so long? You know you’re not in Saudi Arabia anymore”.

How did that work? Tits out and I got disapproving stares. Attempt to strike a balance and I’m encouraged to be less conservative.

Fast forward a decade and some change and here is what I think I have learned and a question or two that I may have:

  1. White feminism is an actual thing and it is dangerous. DANGEROUS.
  2. Feminism is more than reproductive rights and equal pay.
  3. Black women are paid 63 cents for every dollar white men earn. For white women, it’s 78 cents. Write that on a poster.
  4. Black women and black girls are overly sexualized and this can be traced back to slavery and the treatment of black women and girls during slavery.
  5. Related to 4: If historical references are triggers for you because you think that we should “move forward”, “get along” you won’t get any sympathy from me.
  6. I am a conservative dresser. This is not because I lived in Saudi Arabia, it is just who I am. Once I accepted myself, I dressed for myself and no one else.
  7. There is absolutely no correlation between clothes and morality, or purity or anything else. Have you seen a witch in shorts ? —Ya.
  8. It is important to build deep relationships with women from all walks of life.
  9. It is dangerous to be offended by someone’s offense to the offensive comment you made. Stop that.
  10. Those shirts/posters/paraphernalia that say, “The future is female”–what does that mean? Who does that include? Who does that exclude? Think about it.
  11. You won’t find me praising Susan B. Anthony. Not here for it.
  12. I do not like being called a lady. Get away from me with your social prescriptions.
  13. If I ask you if you are a feminist and you tell me that you prefer ‘humanist’, I will verbally execute you.
  14. Politics is human. If you can put politics aside, acknowledge that as privilege.
  15. I need to better equip myself with the vocabulary to better advocate around LGBTQ issues.

 

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