A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective
Once a year we come together on Women’s days (national or international) and fully focus on the ghosts who haunt the existence of women, careful to run through all the plagues of female-hood. We roll them out one by one, campaign by campaign: Gender Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation, Economic disempowerment, lack of representation in higher structures, access to education and the ever present ‘Glass Celling’.
We take the whole month to dust off the truly awful aspects of being a woman and trot them out for the world to see, just in case they forgot.
Which they most probably did.
Now this is not to say that being a woman is easy, by no stretch of the imagination. It sometimes takes Spartan endurance to be a lady and the world can be a social, physical and mental mine field. However there are times when it really is quite spectacular and this is something rarely celebrated. A comprehensive list can be compiled with examples such as the fact that our sexual organs are muscle and can do weights as well as:
Keeping the human race incubated is not easy (and we do it well)
‘The Miracle of Child Birth’: picture a serene mother who rubs belly. This visual is followed by another as she contentedly holds her new born child. This is image is based on a myth that makes it seem like child birth is akin to having a picnic.
It is not a miracle, it is a precision production at its best.
Do we call a Ferrari a miracle? Or a Swiss Watch? No. If you have ever seen a production line you know, making things is rough, and we are built to perfection to create one of the most complicated things on earth: a human being.
For nine months we work tirelessly 24/7 to create, build and put together something that can function for the next 60+ years in some of the harshest conditions.
Even Apple at its best could not claim that.
We do all this whilst still holding a job, families, friendships, interactions and daily tasks all the while fighting off the army of hormones attacking every day.
Also anyone who has watched a birthing video knows what the miracle of child birth is less miracle and more Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Therefore, thank you for the sperm contribution, your effort has been noted.
Growing and building the human race is no easy business nor is it a fluke or a miracle, it is practically a war on your body and
… We. Are. Sparta.
Multiple Orgasms are a reality
For many a year there has been statements that speak of ‘the myth of the female orgasm’ and on to this ‘myth of female ejaculation’. However both are very real, and explosive.
If the woman in your life is not having orgasms it could be one of two things: either she suffers from a condition in which she is not able to have an orgasm termed Anorgasmia or it could just be you, Hot Shot.
The idea that sex and women are a mix that only comes together for men is an age old phallocentric legend that has led to at best some men being generally lazy in bed and at worst practices such as Female Genital Mutilation where they cutting off the clitoris because, hey, she just does not need it.
We do need it and can make extremely good use of it when necessary.
The clitoris is a matrix of 8, 000+ sensory nerve endings which mean that whilst men are plagued with being sexual ‘one hit wonders, during a (good) sexual experience we are like Beyoncé, under good management can produce hit after consecutive hit.
We can be a CEO of a company or run a home, or both
The number of female CEOs has risen in a world where single parent households are more often than not the norm. With many of these households being run by women (or the oldest female child) I do not mean to point fingers but it would seem like someone is slacking, and it might not be us.
Unlike men we have been told that if we cannot stand the heat then we must go back to the kitchen so we have made it work. Men are able to neglect the family life until its time to roll out the kids for the company picnic but the minute women do it our professional lives are called into question.
So we have borne the brunt of this and pushed forward despite the fact that the ability of women to hold down a household is not intrinsic no matter how much the world is convinced that women are filled with ‘maternal yearnings’. No one is born knowing how to be a parent same way no one is born knowing how to be a professional of any kind. As women we work hard at learning how to do both and end up doing it very well in many cases.
It takes time, dedication and probably a spreadsheet or two.
It is something that is insanely difficult to handle but somehow the number of women in the work place continues to rise and so do the number of single parent households within South Africa and the world. We can balance budgets and babies and this should be lauded and celebrated and never forgotten.
Our sexuality is pure money and power
Oil. Diamonds. The female form. These are things that are all found at the basis of billion dollar industries.
If you doubt my hypothesis merely look to any industry, from music to cars to perfume to bricks. You want to sell it, put a beautiful woman by it.
Sure we all love to watch George Clooney drinking an espresso but a woman is still appears in the advert, oozing sex, giving the sale that extra boost that Clooney cannot That is just the way of the world, how the capitalist, sexist machine works.
Although many would argue it is the exploitation of women (in a number of cases it is) it still speaks to how magnetic female sexuality is, and for that reason women should own it and realise that they are unstoppable.
With enough sexy I could sell you the scrap napkin this article was drafted on.
These are just some of the things to list and with only a limited amount of words (the full length thesis will be published soon) one can only speak on a few of the wonders that make women.
It is important not to forget that although it is sometimes difficult being a woman, there are a number of ways we are not lesser than and that we do not need pity. As Theo Sawa said at an AWDF/ Femrite creative writing workshop ‘we are a not a series of sad stories, we are human beings’. I as a woman can do a number of things outside of being a victim of social ills, one of which is lift weights with my vagina.
First published on the Mail and Guardian