When I woke up to International Women’s Day celebrations today, the first thing on my mind wasn’t politics, but the personal connections I didn’t know I would forfeit the minute I stopped wearing skirts, traded in my long hair for a frohawk, and fell in love with a woman. In light of international women’s day, I can’t help but note how often my masculinity is used to exclude me from accessing the same sisterhood that nurtured my unwavery dedication to every woman’s empowerment.
Is the Self-Care Movement individualist or revolutionary? African culture prioritizes the welfare of the whole over the individual—perhaps too much so. But on the flipside, the individualism I’ve experienced in the US isn’t much better. Is balance between these two extremes even achievable?
Second post for my Love and Afrofeminism series for BITCH Magazine: “That my girl could mindlessly shimmy onto a dance floor even as a gay woman and enjoy the simple pleasure of a dance, go out with her straight friends to bars and not be stared at or called names, etc., while everything about the landscape, from the “Ladies free before 11PM” sign to the man-woman dance partner pairings made me so angry all of a sudden. And, I didn’t know how to handle it.”
Love is absolutely a feminist issue, a recurring theme in various parts of the political landscape. But we’ve grown so accustomed to framing our discussions and ideas for progress around everything but love—instead, facts, figures, statistics, issues, enlightement or problematicness—that I fear we’ve inadvertently distanced ourselves from the most important part of any of this: our lives and experiences as people.