Womanist.

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I titled this post almost three months ago but never seemed to get around to actually writing it. You know how life gets. It is somewhat poignant? fitting? apropos? that I would finish and publish this post on this day ,  isn’t it?

Today is International Women’s Day , a day in which we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. For me this is all day every day.  Today the rest of the world just happens to be doing the same. The theme for the day is #PledgeForParity and it speaks to everyone working together to achieve gender parity , supporting women and girls , respecting and valuing difference and creating more inclusive and flexible cultures.  All of which I fully support and continue to strive for in my own life and the various communities I often interact with. I recently spoke with an individual whom I greatly admire and she reminded me  of  a part of the women’s liberation movement’s that at times get downplayed and ignored altogether. The part that seeks to not only liberate women, but men from the patriarchal values which constantly affect their lives and keeps them from living full and complex lives.

The feminist movement can at times be seen as anti-man , unfair to men or focused on women getting special or preferential treatment.  The movement isn’t perfect by any means but I think once we look past the little bubble we live in – our biases and our prejudices; we can realize how far we have come and how much farther we have to go.

My feminism (womanism) speaks to equity between men and women , it speaks to valuing and respecting the difference between all people , it speaks to allowing people to define themselves and not allowing my notions of gender to define them. It speaks to constantly analysing the social constructs and contexts within which I operate and to unlearning much of what I was taught about being a womanhood , about blackness, and about queerness.

As we celebrate the achievements of women I hope that we will pledge not just for parity but also for perspective. We cannot experience the lives of all persons but we should respect them enough to listen to and value their individual experiences however far removed they may be from ours.

Love and light,
Rushell

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