I am a woman, partly because of something intrinsic, but also because I choose to be.
I know, I’m breaking a major queer taboo by saying this. After all, the “correct” thing to say is that my gender is not a choice, that it is as Fixed and Innate and Immutable as cis people’s genders, and that my bits just happen to be mismatched. We say things like this in hopes of convincing cissexists that we are who we say we are.
Thing is, though, that’s really not quite how it works for me.
Yes, I’ve always had awareness of discomfort with my genitals, and I’ve always been uncomfortable with being gendered male. And no, I didn’t “choose” to feel these things. This is true. But there is much more to being a woman, socially and in many other ways, than just feeling something. It’s a constant, conscious act, one in which I revel immensely.
Fundies often say that I could choose to go back. That’s true. I could. Hell, it would make a lot of things easier: I’d get my family back, I wouldn’t have to directly deal with misogyny anymore, I wouldn’t have to deal with a thousand little legal snafus just to apply for assistance and the like, and so on. Of course, it would make life in general much harder, as I’d go back to being trapped in a fake shell, and misgendered at all times by everyone. And nothing, nothing is worth that.
So, I choose to be a woman. I choose to continue on this course I’m on. I choose to give up a lot of things that used to help me survive, in hopes that I will go beyond survival and live.
And every time I am called my name, every time I put on cute clothes, every time I’m able to help another trans woman in need, I know it’s worth it.
It is a choice. I choose to be a woman, unapologetically, defiantly. And I’m not going to downplay that in order to cram myself into our enemies’ bullshit narrative.
Beyonce and Chimamanda on feminism with a small ‘f’
This morning at 4 am (GMT) I received a text from my sister that read, “Beyonce has a new album that also has 17 videos and Chimamanda’s on it!!!” Half sleeping, I thought I mis-read, but a few minutes later I got insanely happy. I hadn’t heard the song yet, and had no idea what the collaboration would sound or look like, but I knew that it would have something to do with feminism, and at that moment, I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep.
It’s almost like when you have a brain fart, because something that seems so random is actually perfection and it’s like these are the collaborations that we’ll continue talking about for decades, and I’m just sad that I can’t quit my job and be a part of Beyonce’s creative team so that my life can have meaning. But brain fart aside, the collaboration between Chimamanda and Beyonce takes shape in the track ‘***Flawless‘ and begins with the controversial ‘Bow Down Bitches‘ before transforming into the perfect boughetto anthem of black womynism.
Chimamanda’s contribution to the song is a speech, which consists of elements of her lauded TEDx2013 address ‘we should all be feminists.’ While I’m sure many could be confused as to how Beyonce’s lyrics connect with Adichie’s call to feminism it’s that very confusion that addresses the critical feminism that both Adichie and Beyonce speak to. When ‘Bow Down’ was released (or leaked?) earlier this year, there was a lot of discussion that Beyonce telling other women to ‘bow down’ was anti-feminist, which is what most white feminists declare whenever Beyonce does anything. Many have critically examined why white feminists need to leave Bey alone, but ‘Flawless’ hails as a powerful response to the notion that being feminist has to be strictly defined. In tandem with Chimamanda’s call to feminism- both Chimamanda and Beyonce are also critical of a feminism that doesn’t recognize a women’s right to speak through her body and sexuality (which is what many try and shame Beyonce for).
What I love about how Beyonce speaks through feminism, is how simplistic the language is. It reminds me of Nigerian feminist author Buchi Emecheta’s critical intervention to western narratives of feminism, where she calls for a recognition of feminism with a small ‘f’- opening our eyes to the fact that African women achieve in different measures, and also that women live in and through their decisions to be whatever they want to be. Even though Emecheta refers to ‘feminism with a small f’ in a starkly diffferent framework than female super stardom- I think it resonates through it’s recognition of the varying and supposedly contradictory ways we can lead our lives and still be feminists. For Beyonce, it’s really as simple as saying “I woke up like dis. I look good tonight’ and it’s interconnectedness to conversations of womanism that happens through ‘diaspora’ with Chimamanda is still causing brain farts in my mind.
Well, you’re not the only girl at the table anymore. We work at a police force full of dudes. We got to have each other’s backs, okay?
[Image description: six stills from the Negro documentary containing statistics on people of African descent.
(Negros) Ladinos: Hispanicized Africans
Negros Bozales: Africans captured in Africa
Negros Criollos: Children of Africans born in the Americas
Criollo: Person born in the Americas
Indio/Indian: Indigenous person
Mestizo: Mestizo Spanish person
Mulatto/Pardo: African Spanish person
Zambo: African Indian person
Negro: African/Black person
A disproportionate number of Afrodescendants suffer a lack of infrastructure and utilities, no health services, few schools, high unemployment, and low income.
Afrodescendant women are the most underpaid and underemployed in Latin America.
Mainly working in domestic roles, for less pay, with little to no security benefits.
2000 Census: 35.3 million U.S. Latinos
37% some other race
Enslaved Africans to the Americas (1450-1870)
South America: 50%
Caribbean Islands: 43%
United States: 4.6%
Mexico & Central America: 2.4%
Below the statistics are images of ten people of African descent.]
Stills from the 2-hour documentary!
Check out the videos in the Negro docuseries!
ok no but i think the one relationship we can all agree on is deanxseamus like there’s no argument there they ARE boyfriends
Recent Archeological findings have discovered ancient west African Mega cities dating back to 500 BC possibly rivaling other early urban civilizations such as Mesopotamia. Long before the coming of Islam and the days of the Songhay, Mali and Ghana Empires.
The Archeologists state they have not seen any signs of war & waring, therefore it seems like they lived in relative peace. Some of the cities were twice the size of Timbuktu (Medieval Timbuktu was twice the size of London).
What is most interesting about this information that it emphasizes how little we know of ancient Africa’s past.
Why does this have so few notes.