Yeah. I used to say this. I used to say it a lot. I used to wear this phrase like a badge of fucking honor. But it never was really all that true.
What the phrase should really be is “I am scared of myself. I am scared of my own power. I do not want to look in a mirror and see all the things I am too frightened to be or not be.”
Today is International Women’s Day, and I can say this: I was wrong for a really long time. It was never about not liking women. It was about being uncomfortable in my own skin. Then I joined roller derby, and I didn’t have a choice but to look in that shitty mirror every fucking day. Roller derby served as a really great halfway mark between feeling extremely uncomfortable around women and conversely, feeling great around them. But yes, it was only a halfway mark. Just being part of a large group of women who loved the same sport did not bestow upon me the kind of affection and care I feel for the women in my life today.
Because looking in that mirror is hard, y’all. I saw in every one of you what I hated about myself, and what I wanted for myself but was too scared/unmotivated/unwilling to go get.
So what changed? Me.
My perspective shifted to one of gratitude and realization for all that this mirror has done for me. To look through the mirror and to really dig down deep and find yourself in the faces and hearts of your sisters – that’s what has changed for me. The ugly, the splendid, the spectrum of human frailty and emotion and strength is all there. Was always there. In you, and in me.
So if you also find yourself saying “I don’t get along with women,” maybe it is time to dig a little deeper into the murky pit of why that is. It’s a little gross in that pit. But I can guarantee you will come back out of it with something you didn’t have before: You.
To all the women who have spoken up, fought, persisted, and just kept livin’ in my lifetime and throughout the centuries, and to all the women who have not found their voices yet: