Woman to woman / Woman against women

As a slowly aging, slowly advancing, slowly achieving , slowly seeing more , hearing more and understanding more,  South African woman and woman of the world. I have come to a conclusion that has been reached time and time again by many before me and many before them. I am my worst enemy, she is my worst enemy, they are my worst enemy even though ‘she’ looks just like me, has all my parts, has all my hormonal ups and down, shares my tears and fears and frustration. She loves me the most, fears me the most, admires me the most and hates me the hardest. It seems.

Women. We are wild and wonderful and wet and wicked and wise and whimsical, wretched, wrought, willing, wilful, some of us willowy, some of us wide, we wilt and whimper, whine and whisper, we wiggle and wind. We are winners, wonderful, women.

We are sisters, mothers, children,  lovers. We are the female sex, givers and bringers of life. We are teachers and leaders to those younger than us, scholars to those older. We are powerful beyond knowledge, yet we so often destroy what those around us, women and girls around us, try to build up.

It has only ever been women who have told me “I could not, should not, can not, must not.” It has only ever been women who told me that I was too big, too old, too dark, too muscular, too manly, too boisterous, too crass, too loud, too absolutely-everything-that-makes-me-,-me.

It is women who often ask of a rape victim, “What were you wearing?”  It is too often women who say after a friend or a colleague or fellow sister has been beaten or harassed or assaulted, “Well, what did you do to make it happen?” It is too often like this, and too often, in my mind,is enough.

As a woman are you able to tell your mother, sister, female lover, friends about things that you might have been made to feel ashamed of?  Even the little things, period pains, a bad day at work, the person who pinched your bum, the driver who hooted as you crossed the street. Maybe things that stayed with you longer even. Things like a hit in the face, a push, a forced sexual situation by someone who said that they love you, a lover, a brother, a father.

Can you speak about the way you love to touch yourself, can you even speak about your vagina without feeling ashamed. Can you discuss the enjoyment of climax, the taste, the smell, the warmth? Can you speak about new positions that you have tried, want to try, watched? Have you ever watched ? Have you thought about it? Have you asked any of the women in your life about it. Your body is not a joke to be laughed at and forgotten about. What it wants, what it needs, what it loves are things of great importance. Your body, your sex, your sexuality, your skin, your smell, you breasts and bum and nipples and vagina, these are all part of a whole that needs to be loved and looked after, like your hair or nails or favourite dress.

I fear that our lack of confidence and self-assurance and love for our bodies, blood, sweat and smell comes from ourselves. Comes from our mothers. Comes from our sisters. Comes from our female lovers. Comes from our friends. When a woman stands up she is using every bit of her power to stand, she is bashed down by almost everything else in the world. Why should we bash her down too. When a woman stands up, she is lightening the load for the next woman to stand, and she for the next and so on.

Allow your women to live, allow them to let go, step up, shout out, cry, wail. Allow your mothers and sisters, female lovers and  friends the freedom to be women. Allow yourself to love them and allow them to love you. Allow yourself the freedom to be the absolute best that you can, be honest, be true, be brave. Being you is being beautiful, being woman is wonderful. Acknowledge yourself and allow your knowledge to empower others.

Women. We are wild and wonderful and wet and wicked and wise and whimsical, wretched, wrought, willing, wilful, some of us willowy, some of us wide, we wilt and whimper, whine and whisper, we wiggle and wind. We are winners, wonderful, women.

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