What does it mean to be woman? Am I a feminist or not?
As I have discovered who I am, as a woman, I have learned that respect and peace for women everywhere matters deeply to me. Feminism, though not always birthed out of peaceful origins, has sought to make peace with what it means to be a woman. Seeking to make peace has come at the price of war.
Rage can protect and make sacred what matters.
I’m thankful for anger; for the gifts it has borne in my own life. I’m incredibly proud that women, throughout the centuries, have become angry enough to wage war against various injustices, and to paint their own strokes of clarity concerning what it means to be a woman. I’ll always be grateful for women that stood up and continue to stand up to laws and norms and theological perspectives in order to pose needed questions.
Feminist movements have fought the war against injustice, and yes, I think some feminist movements have contributed to injustice. I have known wise feminists, and also those who have retracted their words and deeds claiming foolishness. Feminists range from St. Catherine of Siena to Betty Friedan. I pay respect to each feminist I have encountered; every single one has forced me to examine what kind of woman I want to be. Also, those who do not wish to proclaim themselves as feminists have certainly won my love and admiration; these women have taught me something too. We each dance our way through womanhood; sometimes this looks like engaging in feminism and sometimes it doesn’t.
Over the years, I have danced out what being female means to me, and it has shaped how I view feminism. I’ve danced with poise, and I have danced like a drunk. I have danced choreographed steps, and I have gone freestyle.
Sometimes I’ve had no control over the melodies that played. Although there were times when I wanted to switch soundtracks or felt like refusing to dance, I danced to the music anyway.
My six-year-old self spun in a silk nightgown to the sounds of Queen Esther’s courage.
My sixteen-year-old self, red-faced, heart palpitating, pounded moves into the pavement away from confrontations with Reformed, complimentarians.
My twenty-eight-year-old self moved to the sound of the Hail Mary, and gently stirred towards the chimes of the Eucharist.
Today, my twenty-nine-year-old self is rocking a baby to Alanis Morissette, and imagining new dances, in circles of freedom, for women everywhere. Today I am measuring my heart against the heart of Mary, mother of God. Today I am praising other women, navigating what it means to be a woman. Today, I am moving my feet in hope, and praying that someday we shall all know Peace.
Today’s post is part of the synchroblog discussion, Feminisms Fest.