Guest Commentary

Some thoughts during Women's Herstory Month

March is Women's Herstory Month, and we celebrate the contributions and struggle of women worldwide. In Tucson, you can feed on the strengths and accomplishments of sisters who have made it and decided to share their stories with the world. Some women have persevered against tremendous odds, showing a deep understanding of what it means to be woman. Antigone Books is a special venue located among the many shops on Fourth Avenue. The bookstore has become a community staple offering a little something for everyone.

Community members who believed that the voice and contributions of women deserved to be heard started feminist-based Antigone as a grassroots effort in 1973. Today, Antigone is owned by Trudy Mills and Kate Randall. "We exist because the community supports this effort. What we give, we get back through support and patronage." said Mills. Antigone is located at 411 N. Fourth Ave. and can be reached at 792-3715.

The piece below explores my feelings on the current state of affairs as it pertains to women.

As I sit and wonder and ponder, I close my eyes and try to imagine what this world will be like for my daughters, 18 and 20, in 2007 and beyond.

It is time we wake up and pay attention as the government and conservatives try to dismantle women's rights one by one.

It's the 21st century, and I wonder about the plight of not only the two born of my flesh and blood, but the plight of girl children worldwide.

My sisters, cousins and nieces, of all shades of ethnicities and races. Hard to imagine the future without remembering the past, those strong proud womyn who have come before me: the mothers, aunts and grandmothers who struggled, taught and fought for equality and the right to survive against tremendous odds and all the freakin' -isms known globally.

The sexisms, the you're too old, too young, too black, too white, too ethnic, too skinny, too fat, too meek, too loud, too bashful, too outspoken--too much damn wo/man.

The racism and the oppression that make financial equality as evasive as the glass ceiling is a reality that many will tell you does not even exist. Do you want to keep your job or not? Play the game. He didn't mean it that way! You're just too emotional.

The oppression, the abuse that can hit in so many ways (all negative): the physical, the verbal and the emotional, which slithers like a snake to snatch your spirit and silence your creativity. Your God-given right to thrive and be.

Female genital mutilation/castration: the painful cutting away, the removal of one's clitoris or whole womb, depending on how savage the freakin' mutilator feels on a given day. The castration that takes away all that we are to the very core. Oh, no more, no more.

The socialization that automatically places girl children in pink dresses, with Barbie as playthings. Barbie, that model of all that is woman in the minds of many. Anorexic, pale and brainless--the pink and lace given early can lead to disgrace, loss of self-esteem, hopes and dreams.

Barbies, pink dresses and lace, fairytale dreams of love and mess "real and imagined." Not that I hold anything personal against love and softness, for these are good things, born of womankind in nature.

However, in a cruel, hateful and hurtful dog-eat-dog, male-run world, we'd better be to able mix and blend the soft with the hard--become chameleons.

Will the 21st century be kind to women? Hard to tell with all the subtle and often overt hostility that surrounds us.

Peace of Mind. Mind over matter. Self-love. Self-determination.

Knowing who you are--knowing that you are beautiful, that your womb brings forth life. Make sure that you are given the opportunity: Unite and take it if you have to! To be all that you can be as a child of the Creator.

I'm not a man-hater. This is just my prayer for the future of my girls and girl children worldwide.

Survival is key: The struggle continues. Peace.

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