With so many debates happening in our world, deciding who matters more and comparing who deserves the spotlight, I would like to share my own perspective. I’ve never liked labels much, the hesitation in even muttering the word boyfriend has issued arguments and misunderstanding from past lovers, I haven’t been shy with declaring my independence and refusal to commit to even a phone conversation if I’m unaware of my schedule in the next day. In process of standing up for myself, I’ve called out inconsistencies and double standards I used to ignore. I have found it hard to place myself within the platforms, eventually joining the feminist movement. I felt like it fit, I am a woman and I believe I have equal rights as men. I still had a hard time in conversations, in proclaiming proudly I am woman, therefore I am equal.
Last week, I sat down with myself, got really honest and decided, I am not a feminist. I can’t proclaim above the rooftops that that is something I believe. Hold on though, before you get disgusted and click away, let me explain.
I grew up as a white girl in the suburbs, curiously watching as the sea of pale skin, usually more tan than my own gathered in the empty space between city and farmland. My parents wanted to introduce us to diversity and we went to cultural events, attending museums, talks and fairs to open our eyes to the world beyond our backyard. I noticed in high school when all the black kids stood in the 2nd floor stairwell and when my friend was denied service for having a Puerto Rican ID. I noticed when my return to the United States I was waved through customs without a glance and the man in front of me who was brown was hurriedly shuttled off to extra screening. In college in New York, my friends were a rainbow and I was called casper, snow white and cracker. I kept listening, I kept my curiosity high as I was welcomed at the same time a friend was turned away. I haven’t done anything different, I notice when a man spends less time and effort and receives more praise and honors, while I get whispers telling me that I’m talented when people are too scared to say it loudly or in earshot, when they apologize I wasn’t the one who got paid more when I’ve comparably spent more time and effort in my accomplishments.
When I take all of that away, what is the truth? In a list describing myself, woman doesn’t come into the top five. It’s rather irrelevant unless you are my lover in some capacity. I’ve identified 2 things that I know for a fact every living soul who can read this right now can agree with. I am Love and I am Human. Two words that I can stand up and proclaim. I guess those are my labels. I don’t have a yard to show my support to Gay Rights, Black lives matter, science is real, immigration and woman’s rights. And what about every other human that doesn’t have a sign, or a community? I view the entire world as my community, filled with humans I’ve never met or known, each of them has felt persecution for some belief, I’m sure. How can I join this conversation; the one where we can talk about empowering our children, about seeing the beauty bursting through the cracks of civilization, including every single being of our species. I am not saying these labels are wrong; it’s so wonderful to see people picking them up, flexing passion and awareness in order to create a harmonious change.
I choose all the forms of love, a currency that’s pink, opposite of the lush green we take for wealth, a material we strive to stack up, filling rooms we never use, shielding us from our natural sources. What is Pink Money? How can we live using the richest currency that is known around the globe? How can we become so wealthy that we own the world? The secret is giving it away. I have everything I need, with a simple twirl of my body I see the compassion in hugs embracing my soul, I feel words of encouragement nudging me upright, I hear the collective heartbeat keeping rhythm on the breeze. I don’t highlight anything I cannot readily give away, I’ve found ownership enslaves and stunts growth. I don’t need recognition as a woman. It doesn’t matter what gender I was born to be, it doesn’t matter the color of my hair or what size my clothes are. These are all obstacles we created, we stand in our own way, sometimes confusing our shadows, not realizing the sun is to our back.
I have two choices: to love, or to fear. In each moment, can I feel light on my feet, fingertips tingling with possibilities and strength, ready to explode in warm radiance among my fellow humans. Or do I feel small, wanting to bury my face in a mound of blankets, holding my breath, caught in a web crawling lightly over my skin. I’d rather take the first.
So what do I do when I feel fear, the burden that clings like a parasite, a mosquito net draped over lifeless possessions, ghosts during renovation. I feel it. I force myself to do the opposite. I breathe as deeply as I can, throwing my shoulder’s back, spreading my ribs, stretching and collecting the spiders, the junk drawer and residual grey matter. I hold it as long as I can and then evenly blow it away. Again I take another and another, each gets easier and my chest loosens with fresh air. This is what love feels like, lighter than a feather I cannot be contained except in the ball where you all have joined me, as Humans, as Love.
From this point onward, I no longer stand for female empowerment, I stand for Power. I stand for PinkMoney, it’s the love that makes the world go round, and I am lucky you are here, fellow human.