“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
Growing up, I never identified with anything “feminine.”
I loathed anything pink and frilly. Instead of playing with dolls, I instinctively ran straight to the coloring books and Transformer figurines at the toy store (the sweet throwback ones that morphed into animals, so rad). Skirts and dresses were out of the question and I vowed to my childhood friend Cynthia that I would get married wearing a denim skort lol. I hated being called “pretty,” so I took out my earrings in hopes that outsiders would assume that I was a boy. I was a proud tomboy who wanted to be recognized for my mind and my skills rather than solely by my appearance. Overtime, my sense of style changed drastically, but my disdain for all things “girly” remained …
Until I saw strong females that looked, sounded, and acted just like me.
I discovered my inner goddess while witnessing the Spice Girls yell GIRL POWAHHH from the top of their lungs during a televised concert. It was the same feeling that was sparked whenever Xena: Warrior Princess swung her chakram while belting out her signature ululation. I heeded their battle cry, and I unknowingly became a feminist. Twenty years later, I felt the call to action once again at the apex of the Women’s March on Washington movement.
We endure so much as women. From forced prostitution and marriages, FGM, acid throwing, breast ironing, foot binding, “honor killings,” “corrective rape,” bride burning, dowry death, female infanticide and straight up femicide, not to mention the incessant attacks on our reproductive rights and gynecological wellness. Millions of people united, putting their energy into protesting to show that sexism, racism, xenophobia, & marginalization will not be tolerated. Although I wasn’t out there walking with them physically, I was along side them in spirit. It was due time for the queens of the world to make our voices heard and I’ve never been prouder to be a woman. When we unite to bring about change, the world listens.
The ironic flood of crocheted pink pussy hats starkly contrasted with the gloomy gray weather, proudly showing our greatest strength: the unity of sisterhood. In that exact moment, I realized that femininity is the antithesis of everything that has been marketed to us our entire lives. Not only was I uninformed about our divine feminine power, I realized that I have been conditioned to think a certain way by our society.
Since this realization, the concept of yin & yang has entered my realm of consciousness and I’m striving to create a healthy balance of these two energies I once considered diametrically opposed. Recharging the essence of my femininity has enkindled a greater sense of self awareness within me: logic is now being balanced by my intrinsic female intuition, sharp focus and discipline is being softened by empathy and compassion, and I see myself becoming more patient with others.
Reconnecting with my feminine qualities and balancing my energies has allowed me to continually learn more about myself and the world around me. I’m using what I’ve learned to unite with and support my community, devoting more of my time to efforts that focus on improving conditions for local women and children. I vow to share, love, and support my fellow sisters, and use our power to create and serve others instead of dominating, marginalizing and exploiting. I want to be that example of a strong woman to new generations of earring-less tomboys.
We are the strongest force on the planet, something that was understood and acknowledged by our ancestors long before patriarchy became the norm. The Divine Feminine isn’t weak, fragile, demure or submissive, she’s a force of nature; a destructive tsunami wave and a prolific rivulet, simultaneously. She is strength without aggression, and she’s gentle without being feeble. She ain’t called “Mother Earth” for nothin. We are fundamental to life. We are the embodiment of the earth’s solid foundation, the moon’s magnetic pull, the softness of falling snowflakes, and the power of scirocco winds, coupled with wildfire passion. Goddesses of organic beauty, priestesses of sacred ancient wisdom, the “matrix of creation.” Without us, there is no beginning, middle or end.
We are courageous.
We are resilient.
We are strong.
“Here’s to strong women.May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”