To be a woman is one thing.
To be a BLACK woman is another thing.
To be an aspiring, go getting, confident and fearless black woman is something else!!
The truth is though, I don’t care much for labels and I feel less for rigid identities that have been fitted out with hurtful and offensive layers of control and manipulation.
I am Catrina first. So let’s start with my name.
When I was growing up, I gravitated more towards boys than I did girls. Girls would always reject me because I wasn’t pretty enough, or popular enough or daring enough or promiscuous (also coined as mature) enough. With the boys, I could be more of myself. Kick a ball around. Play the drums. Run riot, grazing my knees and elbows. Ride a bike from after school until the sun set. And still feel a sense of belonging and companionship.
But, as I got older, I realised the gender wars that were going on all around me. I realised the lack of respect and power that women had on a global societal level. I almost lost my mind studying politics at degree level, as it was more of a bitter insight into the oppression of the woman suffered throughout many centuries.
I realised the women suffering in silence. I realised the women whose stories would never be heard, let alone believed. I realised that I couldn’t change the skin I was in.
I too am a woman.
I realised that I needed to own being a woman.
Being educated. Being aspiring. Being bold.
I realised that I had to figure out how to survive, in order to move on to thrive. In this cold gender biased world.
For today, I go hard in the knowledge that I am not a piece of meat to any man or woman. I do not have to sexualise myself in order to be liked, accepted or to succeed. I do not have to buy into subservience just to be seen as “wifey” material. I do not have to turn a blind eye to women being great lovers, or to the fact that I may just want one for myself. I do not have to trade my peace by choosing a shit guy to be with, for want of management over a ticking biological clock that I have been told to stay ahead of – just so that I don’t miss out on being a mother. It’s funny though because sperm banks are far and wide, but freezers for eggs are…never mind.
I do not have to do or be anything that does not honour me.
My name is Catrina first and I am a woman. Do not label me. I am not for sale