In the last few days, as the key question revolving in my head is how to convert mobile views to the few career sites existing into applications in the multiple tracking systems there are there (which user experience I consider absolutely horrible by the way) came the celebration of Ada Lovelace day, and after almost two years of extreme exposure to the topic of women in technology, the multiple tweets on the matter were ever more visible. Some of them shared stories of women in the industry after having experienced sexual abuse, while others were trying not to be seen in the light of a victim. I couldn’t help but wondering how many see this issue as something real and how many others consider it an issue because they are told to. How many are just caring about a ratio rather than a shift of paradigm?
In the midst of all this I came to the point I usually come to. If it is true than in most organizations and countries in the world women have a harder way to go than men (I have been blessed to never have suffered this type of discrimination in my environment or maybe lucky enough to have developed a thick skin for it since early in life), it is often women who have to start with that shift in paradigm that many expect of men but as women, no everyone have shifted all the way.
After a number of tweets, I started looking at the broader spectrum of the global gender conversation that is going on to be reminded that sadly, often times, it is not only other women who hurt women the most, but in many cases its ourselves; And by this I do not dismiss the men-women problem that is there, or the pain suffered by those with bitter experiences in the past not only women, but also gay and transexual individuals.
In any case, I took a jump into the old stuff as this period in life lately inspires me to and I decided to share the following: Some thoughts from a lost author that in my individual quest of femininity (not to be confused with feminism) and self mean and meant something, some day.
I hope it brings you through the journey of despair, solitude, discovery, acceptance, love and empowerment it once brought me through.
I know girls that are trying to fit into the social norm, like squeezing into their prom dress. Some are low rise, mac eyeshadow, and binge drinking, that wonder if they’re disaster and sexy enough to fit in. They are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin, playing russian roulette with death; it’s never easy to accept that our bodies are fallible and flawed but when do we draw the line? When the knife hits the skin? Isn’t it the same thing as purging?
We’re so obsessed with death, some just have more guts than others. The interesting thing is women like us don’t shoot, don’t make no hood, we swallow pills, still wanting to be beautiful at the morgue, still proceeding to put on make-up, still hoping that the mortician finds us attractive, we might as well be buried with our shoes, and handbags and scarves. We flirt with death every time we etch a new tally mark into our skin. I know how to split my wrists like a battlefield too but the time has come for us to reclaim our bodies.
Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral, offering this mess as a pathetic means to say, “i only know how to exist when i’m wanted”. Girls like us are hardly ever wanted, we’re used up and sad and drunk and perpetually waiting by the phone for someone to pick up and tell us that we did good.
So try this: Take your hands over your bumpy naked body and remember the first time you touched someone with the sole purpose of learning all of them, touched them because the light was pretty on them, and the dust in the sunlight danced the way your heart did. Touch yourself with a purpose, your body is the most beautiful royal. Fathers and uncles are not claiming your knife anymore are not your razor, no put the sharpness back. Lay your hands flat and feel the surface of scarred skin.
I once touched a tree with charred limbs, the stump was still breathing but the tops were just ashy remains, I wonder what it’s like to come back from that. Sometimes i feel a forest fire erupting from my wrists and the smoke signals sent out are the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen. Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet and brother, arm wrapping shoulders, and remember, this is important:
– You are worth more than who you fuck
– You are worth more than a waistline
– You are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows, more than a man’s whim or your father’s mistake
– You are no less valuable as a size 16, than a size 4
– You are no less valuable as a 32A than a 36C
Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood; wisdom. You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out: reborn.