To Review. Again.
There has long been an obsession to modify the full & lived experience of womanhood into thinghood. An object. A thing.
These days having an opinion, thought, or idea about your own individual existence is wrong.
We aren’t talking about deeming yourself to be superior.
We are talking about you deeming yourself, your individuality, your uniqueness to have value and worth.
In a world where self-love, is critical to safety and survival, valuing yourself is critical.
In a world where self-care is an act of resistance and survival, valuing yourself is critical.
Paraphrasing Audre Lorde, people have a right to not only define themselves for themselves but also to feel good about who they are.
Women, we aren’t: Slang Terms for Women (Some were left off but surely you know them well)
We aren’t objects. We aren’t things.
Respecting All Who Mother
People may mean well, but, no, we aren’t “birthing people” “birthing bodies” “menstruators” “cervix havers” nor “womb haver”
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was a mother when she was murdered and had her baby cut from her womb.
Heather Snively was a mother when she and her unborn son were murdered when her son was cut from her womb.
Flavia Godinho Mafra was a mother when she was murdered and had her baby cut from her womb.
Angelina Rodrigues was a mother when she was murder and had her baby cut from her womb.
As it relates to the global epidemic of violence against girls & women, it matters that these murdered women are not objectified and reduced to bodies giving birth.
They were human beings who mattered.
The children growing in their bodies mattered.
For months, those women were nurturing those babies even before they were birthed into this world.
They don’t ever deserve to be objectified or reduced to simply being “someone who was pregnant.”
Diversity and Inclusion is Required
We can be, we must be, diverse and inclusive. We must be diverse and inclusive without being reductive to girls and women.
We all deserve respect for our rights as a human being.
WE never want to return to a space where any human beings, especially women, especially enslaved Black women are referred to by their body parts or reproductive functions.
Violence against women is too widespread for us not to realize that objectification and dehumanization of women and girls is something we must avoid at all costs.
The dehumanization and objectification of Native American and Black girls and women continue to impact each of us to this day. Native American and Black girls and women are missing and yet no one is utilizing taxpayer-funded resources to search for them.
Meanwhile, dehumanization and objectification continue to exacerbate domestic and sexual violence. Reducing girls and women to what they do for others is potentially dangerous and deadly to the entire population.
And, 2-4 women per day are murdered by a spouse or intimate partner.
Many of us aren’t ashamed of our history. Reflecting upon this history brings sadness at times. At other times it renews our resolve to keep loving, embracing, and making a difference in the lives of others.
It is the honorable duty of every adult human being to prevent us from traveling backward.
Girlhood and womanhood don’t have to coincide with objectification, dehumanization, abuse, rape, violence, and murder.
We got this. There is room for everyone. None of us would even be here today if there wasn’t enough room.
We can do this. We must do this. We will do this.
But dehumanization and objectification of women isn’t the way. That much has already been proven.
Womanhood is not synonymous with thinghood. So we just have to find a better way.