Thursday, June 20, 2024

Womanhood is More Than a Feeling.

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( I know this is a touchy subject, and by some it won’t be received in the spirit of its intention…regardless of how I word the matter. Let me begin by saying the respect that one demands has to be a respect that is given. We can’t look at a situation and mute someone’s feelings on a subject because it is not in alignment with what we want. We must also realize when feelings are standing in the place of the facts of a matter; both have a valid place and should be respected. Two things can exist in the same space, but if there are two things, we can’t just decide to ignore one of them. If someone has the right to determine how they will be defined…so does the next person.

Womanhood is More Than a Feeling.

Being a Black person is not a feeling…it’s been my reality since birth. I would never sit back and tolerate someone that is not Black telling what it means to be Black…and to be Black in America. Being a Black woman is not a feeling…it’s who I am; there is more to it than simply adapting [ or appropriating] the culture. With that being said, womanhood is more than a feeling. It is also a collection of experiences that begin from day one. This is not a position that is not against any grow, but it based on the experience of having grown from a girl to a woman with all the ups and downs that comes with it. No, I don’t have a phobia, and it’s time we misusing and weaponizing “phobia” against biologically born woman who have a voice about their position on womanhood. They have just as much of a right to speak on the matter and define themselves as the next person.

Being a woman is more than sex identification, and it’s more than a feeling. It is also the instincts that come with being a woman. It’s learning how to navigate a world that is not always kind based on gender alone. Navigating social norms and expectations is not an easy task. Many of us grew up battling with what was considered feminine, and if you were a tomboy like me…depending on your family that was rough water to navigate. I grew up being told there were too challenges I would always face…being Black and being a woman. This isn’t just a feeling…it has been a reality that has shaped who I am and how I move in the world for as long as I have lived. Every woman has a “when my menstrual cycle began” story, and many of them are filled with confusion, and embarrassment. I learned to cope with severe pain when “that time of the month” showed up, as missing school wasn’t an option; and dealing with a very heavy flow meant trial & error, and embarrassment. There should have always been free sanitary protection in every girl’s bathroom when we were in school…but there was not.

Again, these were tough spaces to navigate that came with growing pains. There are women going through health challenges as we speak that are solely tied to them being a woman. Do they not deserve to be heard? Their medical battles are more than a feeling, and they don’t deserve to be muted. Women have been risking life, and some losing their life, since the beginning of time giving birth. Black women have been dying in labor and delivery at an alarming rate…they had a voice. There are so many growing pains and experiences that are more than just feelings…it’s literally a no escape reality. This truth has to be respected.  When women express these feelings, they deserve to be heard and have what they are expressing be respected as much as the next person. However, this is not the case. When biological women began talking about protecting self, spaces, and and existence they [and their predecessors] have ha to fight for…it’s met with vitriol and accusations of hate. While these accusations are flying, these same women are also being asked to understand and respect the rights of other woman to exist according to their feelings. There is an air of unfairness that is toxic and doesn’t help the cause of any woman involved.

This is not a position of fear nor hate. It’s more so, all feelings and experiences need to be respected. You can’t strong arm a position and define others while demanding a self-defining space. When a biological woman says don’t call me cis-gendered…respect that as much as you want pronouns respected. She has the right to define herself. The biggest issue on the table is, if all don’t agree in silence they are branded as haters and told they have a phobia. This is the art of doing to others the very same thing you claim to be fighting against. Lastly, it helps to keep in mind that more than one thing can exist in a space and all of it needs to be respected. Womanhood will never just be an identity nor just a feeling. I understand that some won’t agree, and I respect their right to disagree. I will continue to stand on fairness and my right to have a seat at this table…I was born to it.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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