Make Art, Not War

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women's Day!

(Oh my gosh, I'm a terrible blogger. It's been over a month since my last post. Oops!)
 I woke up today feeling like it was Christmas or something! It is a holiday, although, not as well known or observed as Christmas. Today is International Women's Day. It is interesting to note that even though is was started in here, Women's day is celebrated all over the world, and is given a lot more attention in other countries. I want to share every awesome thing I've seen posted on facebook today. Instead, I will just share the poem I wrote last year for women's day (and the whole month of March is Women's history month, by the way.) I first debuted this down at Occupy Mpls, back when we were still trying to hold the People's plaza (ah, the good old days). This video is from a poetry slam I did last month.

Honestly, it is the first poem that I have written on this "issue" because I, too, have struggled with my own identity as a feminist. I grew up thinking that being female meant being weaker-than (wonder where I got that idea). Sadly, I decided early on that I didn't want to be a girl, or do anything considered feminine (like cooking, gardening, sewing- woman's work). I wanted to be a person first, and a woman technically. And I put a lot of energy into this, because I didn't want to be so easily dismissed in this world as 'the other sex'. It is only in the last few years that I discovered how much of myself I was suppressing. And when I started to allow myself these little 'feminine' pleasures in life (the JOY of cooking, how much FUN it is to garden, wearing pink etc.) that I started to realize how I was missing out on, being a girl. (I believe the term for this is 'internalized oppression'). And I started to think that maybe it wasn't even my idea to deny myself in this way, that society (and the backwards views of my parents) taught me it is bad or wrong to be a girl. That if I wanted to be a strong person, it meant not being 'womanly'.

Well-that's crap. Women through out history have been some of the most courageous contributors to the greater good, overcoming oppression, and blazing the trail for the rest of us in terms of equality, peace, and justice. I know so many strong women in my own life now. My whole activist family, and especially the women of the Anti War Committee, have taught me how much women can do, and how important it is that we do! I am so lucky to be here now. Empowerment of women has to start with us, with our own misconceptions of strength, power, even beauty. So, I wrote this poem as a sort of 'coming out' as a feminist. If you haven't made that leap of identifying as a feminist (men and women alike), then consider this your invitation. Think of all the women in your own life, and how much they mean to you. If you think they deserve to live in a free and accepting world, then you might be a feminst :)

 (oh yeah, and the video) Enjoy!