The Art of Feminine
The aerial quick change on Spanish web act that Darielle Williams and I have created speaks to the power of women, and more so, to the power that is derived from the balance of the masculine and feminine within us all. And celebrates the incredibly unique differences that make up women around the world.
I originated this act as a reaction to my own experiences of being a woman and the process of accepting my femininity. It is a reckoning of overt misogyny and tearing down the white patriarchy from my own mind.
The euro white centric patriarchy that has made property and product its god, also constructed an image of the perfect woman. This image has changed over time but, in general, it has reflected some sort of weird barbie. These images and illusions of a man's ownership over a woman have manifested in a wide array of my experiences. I've been told to get a boob job and wear a blonde wig. I've been locked in dressing rooms where I had to ward off advances. And I've been driven into a forrest where I couldn't ward it off.
But even then, my relationship to being a feminist wasn't coherent in many ways. While I related to being a strong woman and aggressively asserted my sexuality and lived a life of my own making, I scoffed at Feminism as a bitchy ladies club. I was more comfortable in my masculinity and vilified my femininity. My pendulum swung to defiance. I rejected being "lady like", which inferred docility and submission. I was the tomboy, the punk, and later, I donned the men's suit to feel success. None of this is bad per se, but in my rebellion against the woman I forgot that her values, free from the construct, are precious. Almost everything that falls under the feminine... motherhood, nurturing, empathy, connection, acceptance and spirituality, I regarded as vulnerable and fragile.
I had to relearn the virtues of the sacred feminine. I had to remember that there is power in listening, power in nurturing, power in loving, and power in community over hierarchy. Performing this act is a testament to balancing the powers of drive and logic from the masculine with the empathic and intuitive powers from the feminine.
As a black woman, I live in the intersection of oppression both for being black and for being a woman. My assertiveness is often labeled as anger, and my body can be deemed too masculine according to Eurocentric standards. Adding to that a slew of stereotypes, an effort is made to diminish my presence, voice and worth outside of my own community.
Women are still unfortunately judged by their beauty over their intelligence and talent but black women are continually dismissed for not possessing any of these qualities, despite history proving otherwise. To this day my looks, smarts and talents are often met with poorly hidden surprise by white individuals. And although this can be viewed as its own sliver of privilege, it is still not enough to grant me equal treatment or consideration for benefits in society. In my own superficial industry it has been proven to me time and time again that black women are not considered beautiful enough to be featured often on stage or in front of a camera.
This is not meant to implore sympathy. Having dealt with this my entire life, resilience becomes the norm and I’m grateful for this act in showcasing the strength and beauty of two representations of women. As it finally becomes clear to society that feminism typically excluded black women, this act proves to defy just that. It would quite literally be impossible without my role in making it work. The only way forward is together and together we paint a picture of multi-faceted feminism and the balance of masculine and feminine energies that we all possess.
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