I can discuss feminism all day. Feminism is my thing. If you don’t learn anything else about me in a chance meeting, you will probably know I am a feminist by the end of our conversation. It’s a lot. I know. I don’t care. That is me.
I find myself in a weird space, unable to define or articulate what that means to me. And it’s uncomfortable because I spend a large quantity of my time discussing patriarchy and its impact on womanhood and yet… What. Does. It. Mean. To. Me? *crickets*
I have to think way back and dig down deep. I have to start with girlhood.
I was a girl who hated dresses, played with the boys, but was somehow still obsessed with Barbie. I remember thinking, “I’m a girl and I can do it all.” I always had good female friends and good guy friends. I never went through the “boys are yucky and I am a dainty girl” phase. Kids that did that confused me because I didn’t understand why anyone would box themselves up that way. Girlhood felt like freedom with certainty.
And then came adolescence. What a mindfuck! I was no longer certain about anything. The rules for everything changed I found myself using feminism to define and find my womanhood. I kept looking for my womanhood all through my 20s.
I turned 31 three months ago and I’m finally starting to feel like a woman. That feels strange to say, because I still don’t think identity is a box. I feel the way womanhood feels to me, but I do not believe that womanhood is a one size fits all situation. I think womanhood is diverse and complicated and amazing and ineffable. I don’t think it’s something that can be defined. It just is. It exists.
When I think about womanhood, I think about the younger women in my life and what I hope they accomplish. I want them to find meaning in their life and recognize the agency they have in this world. I want them to be aware of the various ways that womanhood is expressed and be inspired by that.
I think about the important women in my life: my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmother, teachers, friends, and how some of the smallest gestures and interactions had a huge impact on me. It makes me take notice on how I interact with other women and what kind of energy I put out.
Womanhood is everything.
A friend of mine said to me “yeah, I’ve put on some weight, but I think I’m just finally growing into my grown woman body.” And I thought, “yeah, me too.”
Joy is a black feminist that is low-key obsessed with learning about various religious movements. She spends her work week teaching college students about various religions through the lens of intersectionality and her weekends, doing whatever she wants. Writing is her first love and she is slowly finding her way back to doing it leisurely
She can be found on Twitter but you'll have to send a request to keep up with her musings.
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