(Lady Liberty lights went out last night. Coincidence?)
We come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. We come as creator. We are warriors. We are goddesses. We are lovers.
We are mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, best friends forever, wives and soul mates.
Many of us bare the fruit of life and care take the hardest and most glorious moments life has to offer.
We HAD grown accustomed to being under valued, under paid, assaulted, raped, accused, cat-called, criticized, demeaned.
We endured pussy as metaphor for weak.
There is nothing weak about pussy.
There is nothing weak about us.
You try doing it backwards and in heals.
As a young child, I rarely wore a shirt or shoes. When I did, I wore a red t-shirt with a rhinestone shooting star on the front of it. I swear every time I wore that shirt, I would see a real live shooting star in the night sky. Makes me wonder why I didn't wear it more.
I played with Barbie and Ken. Mostly naked. The dolls, not me. Mostly with Ken’s head on Barbie’s body and Barbie’s head on Ken’s body.
I wasn’t a girlie. I was wild. Rugged. Dirty. Princesses, dresses, dolls, princes - they weren’t my thing.
I remember early my father telling me I could do whatever I wanted to do, something about not letting my being a girl, or maybe he said woman, hold me back. He told me that nothing could hold me back.
I also remember my mother telling me about using my gender in a way that would make people give me what I wanted. I knew what she meant, even at a young age, that I could play the woman card so-to-speak and get certain things. She wasn’t referring to jewels or clothes; she was giving me practical tips on negotiating deals at the auto-body shop.
Both messages made sense and both were confusing. They were trying to tell me something very important, that I wasn’t equal. And that I was.
I went to an all-girls High School where I learned to demean myself and compete with other girls. I was painfully aware of not being anything enough – not attractive, smart, bitchy, funny, popular enough. In high school I learned I wasn’t enough because I was a woman.
It was then that the grip of misogyny fully grabbed hold and dug it’s way into my membrane. I became skilled at catty, mean, judgmental and self-loathing.
It didn’t help that I was in love with all of my best girl friends. That my sexuality was bursting through seams. There were no role models to show me the way.
My saving grace, the warrior beating down the myth was Joannie Parker, my high school woman studies teacher. Mrs. Parker and Adrienne Rich and May Sarton and Georgia O’Keefe and Madonna. Madonna knew that to succeed you have to play a game that eviscerates women and manipulates men. She didn’t want to do it. She had no choice. She described the experience perfecting when accepting the woman of the year award from Billboard Magazine. It’s well worth the watch. Madonna embodies all of us.
I learned early about the triple threat of misogyny – the self-deprecation, the woman on woman competition or violence as I believe it is and the world under valuing us.
It never made sense. It was manufactured. I always knew it was wrong and I was wrong in believing it was true.
I was the type of woman who was painfully aware of being the only woman in the room.
At Microsoft I was acutely aware of others claiming my ideas as their own. I truly thought I was a bad communicator.
I worked for a woman fifteen years my senior who criticized my every move. She could have mentored me but instead kept me small. My next manager was a man whose lizard tongue darted out uncontrollably as he stared at my chest.
I hated being in groups with other women as I viewed us as second class. The kool-aid was strong and I drank several glasses too many.
It’s been a process of recovery.
It’s been delicious to wake up from the drug and see feel hear know the beauty in all my sisters.
Nothing was more crushing than the criticisms attacks and loss of our Hillary. Nothing will make us rise harder from the flames than the misogyny we are endlessly combatting, the misogyny others say doesn’t exist.
Clearly it wasn’t the emails as you don’t seem to care when Mike Pence does it.
She was too strong, too smart, too experienced, too good.
Who did she think she was?! She was flawed.
Well, America certainly told her.
My niece recently told me she broke up with her boyfriend because he was unconsciously misogynistic. I have never felt so proud of her. Every story she told about him, about the things he said to her, I responded with “good for you.”
She’s awake. She’s twenty-six. She’s kick-ass.
I’m blessed to know beautiful feminist men. Men who amplify all the women around them. Men who see our strength, grace and beauty in our truest form. Men who love powerful and smart women because they are powerful and smart women.
I know so many fierce women who are fighting the good fight. Who love on each other harder because we’re sisters. Who are elevating each other to highest form. Who would go to the ends of the earth for each other because we get it, because we’re in it together.
We lose each time we pay a woman less, we let a rapist get off, we value men over the women who gave us life.
I have learned to re-love being a woman.
We give life.
We are earth.
We birthed you.
Elevate us today as we elevate you.
Elevate us everyday.
Wear red. Make calls. Never stop fighting for what is right.
I am in love with you –