I Don't Identify as Feminist, I Identify as Me

Not only am I one of the only Black women that doesn't watch Scandal (but to be fair, the only TV I watch is The View because I love Whoopi) but I also have not listened to or watched Beyonce’s new album.  I like Bey.  Don’t worry this isn’t about the her or the album.  However, conversations about the album have caused me to have to clarify repeatedly that I don’t identify as feminist.  I was also asked if I identify as a womanist.  Nope, I don’t identify as that either.  I don’t even know the rules of these clubs.  However, I see clearly what happens to people who do identify as such when they break the rules.  YIKES!  These rules change depending on the beliefs of the person who is defining the term for you.  Ask ten feminists for a definition and well, you know.  I suck at rules.  I do.  So, I simply identify as me.

I have a difficult time fitting into neatly shaped labels.  In regards to feminism, I lose already because I choose to celebrate my sexual energy.  Then, again, depending on what feminist you speak to, I may also be a champion of feminism because of that same very fact.  Confusing, right?  I choose to move through the world from a space of being power filled despite, no, in spite of all of the isms I get hit with.  These isms are restrictive labels that someone else put on me.  I did not choose or make them.  They are not mine.  I do have to move through a world where they exist.  I do not, however, have to give them power over me.  They are not welcomed to live in the part of my being that defines me for me.

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Life is so much more peace filled this way.  I make up the rules for myself as I go along.  I don’t get pissed off at myself for not playing the game right.  I don’t have to get into debates about what anything means in terms of my identity because it’s all my own.  I don’t need anyone to convert to my way of being.  I don’t feel the need to label myself as narcissist for liking selfies.  Heck, I like other people’s selfies too.  I made up the rules to live my life by all by myself (well with many life experiences and experiments for flavoring).  I checked out the things I learned growing up to see if they were, indeed, a good fit for me.  I promise I didn't even need a conference call with myself to discuss the meaning of it all for the greater good of the world or anything.  I suffer from severe suffocation when it comes to being one of the cool kids or doing things the “right way”.  I simply believe that everyone gets to have their own ways of being on their life journey.  Like one of my favorite cousins always says, “It’s your journey.  It’s not my journey.”

Life is clearly a journey.  Living a life on the road of self definition is not always a smooth and easy ride.  Some days, by my estimation, I just do it all horribly wrong.  I still prefer where this self definition road seems to be leading.  Guess why?  On my best days, I accept this and everything else about myself.  On those days, I don’t need to go on passion filled rages about how, why and what I did was wrong for all womankind (well, cuz it isn’t).  On those days, I’m at a place of simple acceptance of my perfectly imperfect self and life.  Can we make up another label like unicornist or butterflyist where the rules are that you make up your own rules & no one gets to way in on your choice to live life by your own design?  In this new term, you prefer not be contained and held to someone else’s rules or standards.  I can make up my own standards and I won’t even care if I change my mind.  I allow me to do that.  

 

I’m endlessly fascinated by how invested in the life choices of others people can be.  Please know that I have quite a firm grip on what many of the isms are just by virtue of living life as me.  I am a part of several marginalized and stigmatized cultures and communities.  Furthermore, because I suck at rules, I am a further marginalized part within many of those same marginalized groups.  Did I mention that I have never been down with the cool kids?  Simply living life has shown me a myriad of ways those with power & access will attempt to diminish my existence and value.  Yet, I choose to move through the world with the idea that I am not less than anyone.  I do not think that I am better than anyone either.  I believe that we all are one.  Call me a hippie if you want, I choose love. 

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I choose not to have the actions of those outside of myself throw my mood off.  I can throw my own mood off.  I do not need to outsource annoyance.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I say your life choices are for you to make.  If I am moved to feel  strongly averse to your ways, I can simply choose not to engage you.  Sorted :-)!  I am more than happy to only worry about what I believe to be true of me.  I’m content to work on making choices that make the world a place I like to exist in.  I accept that those I enter relationships with (friendly or otherwise) will work with me to define what it looks like for us by us.  Clear communication with each other will be our key.  It’s no one else’s business anyway.  I choose to value life's little moments of joy:  like this weekend when I shared a moment of laughter about sucking the juicy pulp out of a mango from a small hole bitten into the skin with people from different parts of the African Diaspora.  There was joy for all of us in mangoes from home.  Joy can be a cuddle.  It can be learning something new.  It can be in doing the work I love.  I don’t personally find joy in being bound up by ever changing rules unless I make them up for myself. 

You, rock on with your bad self!  Choose your choices, ist your ists.  I’ll be over here outside of the boxes, not coloring between the lines, twerking to the beat of my own drum if you need me.  I swear if I could, I would thoroughly suck the juices out of my right to be self defined.  I’d deep throat it to epic orgasms & be sure to swallow so as not to waste the energy of those precious journey juices.  Purple unicorn, heart & butterfly coochie sprinkles for one and all! *throws it toward you from blog post*