by Malia Arrayah Nahinu
I’ve already tasted what this world thinks of me
I’ve already known I wasn’t as loved like the majority
I’ve already seen how people felt about my woman life
My Queer, Indigenous, Native Indian, Native Hawaiian, Latin, Mixed Girl Life
I’ve won championships with less than a hundred fans in the audience
Whilst watching thousands pour in to watch the men’s team lose
In walking down the street
I’ve been screamed at by men
And I answer them all because I’m afraid I’ll be followed
Because I’ve been followed
I’ve been harassed
Threatened and yet because my story says I’m tall powerful and intimidating
I am safe
I am still, WOMAN
Seen as weak
Seen as a temptation of objectification to men who are looking for a thrill
But never a woman with a spirit, a soul, a life that can be valued
And when I speak on truth, I am CRAZY
Instead of perceptive
I am INSANE because I want to be respected by mankind, my words drip down the drain of oblivion because I am WOMAN
And I’ve fought these feelings of inadequacy my ENTIRE life because mankind taught me that my presence is to be PRETTY TO SMILE AND TO BE PLEASING OR ELSE I WILL SCARE MEN AWAY FROM ME… I will be too intimidating for JOBS that want me to be SMALLER,
IVE FACED EATING DISORDERS BECAUSE OF THE DISGUSTING MESSAGES written all over our patriarchy “YOU ARE A WOMAN AND YOU HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THIS TO BE ACCEPTED”….
I’ve had to WORK SO HARD TO ACCEPT MYSELF,
And I’ve yet to hear a man tell me he’s experienced the same, felt the same,
They seem to walk around oblivious to these same rules that women live
I’ve ALREADY KNOWN
My worth to the majority
Stuck in a "tall leaders" body
With a soft voice
And a feminine body
So, it doesn’t matter
That I’m tall because those rules only apply to men,
I do not have that privilege
but I sure have things to say…
I’ve been degraded to “soft spoken” even though I’ve been screaming
the same phrases for years and years
THERE IS NO RIGHT
WAY TO BE A WOMAN
No perfect body or shape
No makeup - she’s trying to be a man
Makeup - she’s a clown and trying too hard
She works out? Muscles are ugly on her
Doesn’t work out? She’s lazy and ugly for not taking care of her body
Too SKINNY TOO FAT TOO TALL TOO SMALL TOO THIS OR THAT
I’VE ALREADY KNOWN THAT MY BODY IS NOT ACCEPTED BY THIS WORLD!! And I held onto the strength of the women before me who sacrificed themselves to FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, FOR VOTING RIGHTS, FOR HEALTHCARE PROTECTIONS FOR ME… FOR A TIME WHERE I CAN BE POWERFUL WOMAN, STRONG WOMAN, ARTIST WOMAN, EXPRESSIVE WOMAN….
But, the backlash is so deeply engrained in our society, every inch of it. The misogyny, that hate for women, it’s already been here, it’s still here, it hasn’t left, and I’m not sure why we thought it was gone..
I’ve already felt this PAIN because it’s still here and now the progress that women have made through the years before me are being revoked. I’m being told I don’t have say over my body and this message will be detrimental to the girls and women after me if nothing is said or done. I won’t ever stop expressing, in writing, now in speaking. I won’t stop in any way I can stand up I will do what I can.
Because I think of the girls after me, my future daughters, and generations after me, filled with people who identify as WOMAN because it is powerful to be WOMAN, and
NO MAN SHOULD HAVE ANY SAY OVER MY BODY AT ALL AND ESPECIALLY SINCE HE CANNOT BARE A CHILD.
IT IS TIME FOR MEN TO SIT DOWN AND LET WOMEN LEAD.
I SAID WHAT I SAID.
Happy Mothers day...