When I was in High School I had a problem with women. It would take me years to realize that the problem was me. Women add to the violence of women, daily. Either by supporting the violence done to women, or by actively engaging in violence of their own.
Two useful examples:
1. Emotional warfare: Putting down other women as a means to raise one’s own self worth.
2. The Cool Girl: Reinforcing patriarchal ideas of what women should be when they’re in the company of men.
These types of violence are quick, easy, and painful. They take power from women. They give you a false sense of goodness.
True goodness, and true womanhood, comes from supporting other woman. It comes from finding strength in communities and building one another up. You should not have to tear down another woman to find your strength. This is not real strength.
Three months from my Women’s Studies degree I realize I am growing a deeper understanding of what it means to be a woman. A white woman. A monogamous woman. A privileged woman. An educated woman. A bisexual woman. I’m challenging ideas of friendship and romance. I’m trying to find a path towards a challenging and rewarding career. I’m still trying to find pants that make my butt look good and a color of lipstick that I can wear every day. There’s a lot going on.
In all of that I’m trying to understand that what makes me a woman doesn’t make someone else less of a woman or more of a woman. Being a woman is personal. Being a woman is political. There are women out there who are black. Who are trans. There are women out there who have been told they don’t deserve pleasure. There are women out there struggling in abusive relationships. There are women out there growing in strength, and women out there who feel like they are losing strength.
National Women’s Day is for all women. It’s also for men. It’s also for the gender queer. Because we all know women. We all love women. Yet we still live in a world where women are not equal. Not in the terms of how they are treated personally or professionally. Ignoring this or trying to pretend that it’s not an issue means that you can’t see it. Aren’t touched by it. Are lucky enough to be blind to it.
Feminism isn’t just about women. It’s about men. It’s about transgender men and women. It’s about family. It’s about poverty. It’s about race. It’s about culture. It’s about sexuality. How women are treated influences everything else.
Every woman has a journey and every person knows a woman who is on a journey. Today, I celebrate myself and how far I’ve come. And I hold up a whole bottle of champagne to all you other bitches.