It’s International Women’s Day!

I was reminded that the day this post first appears is March 8, which has been designated as International Women’s Day, so despite the fact that I had another post almost finished, I decided that I should write about women.

I mean, I am a woman. While I like a lot of things coded male — swords, for example — I am definitely not male. In fact, my current go-to answer when asked to name my gender is “not male.”

And while I find the idea of non-binary attractive, especially since I do not fit particularly well in many of the niches coded female and am fine with “they” as well as “she” when it comes to pronouns, I am a woman. I am also very sure that nobody gets to tell me what that means.

In particular nobody gets to tell me it means wearing pink or wanting babies or civilizing men, not to mention that nobody ever — EVER — gets to tell me that I can’t do such and such because I’m a girl.

I resisted that lie as much as I could while growing up, which, of course, meant that I never fit in much of anywhere.

I still don’t fit in much of anywhere, but one of the best things about getting old is that you don’t give a fuck.

I’ve done some things to push boundaries in my life, like criticize sexist practices in organizations, go to law school back when women didn’t much, and get a fourth degree black belt in Aikido, but here’s the thing I’m proudest of:

I love my body.

I came to this love through martial arts because I discovered in training how my whole body informs who I am. So part of this love is the fact that my senses and the way I move are integrated into who I am.

But also, I’m capable of looking at my naked body in the mirror and enjoying the shape of it, the curves of my hips and breasts, the width of my shoulders, the strength in my chest and legs, my height.

I don’t have a supermodel body; my height’s in my torso, not my legs, and there’s no way I could get skinny enough to fit into those tiny clothes even if I wanted to because my bone structure is too large.

Also, I like food way too much to starve myself. It’s my understanding these days that, despite all the uproar about obesity, being what is labeled “overweight” is actually healthier than being “normal,” not to mention “underweight.”

Which is to say that our norms for health and weight are completely entangled with our norms for beauty and it’s hard to take any of them seriously. I claim overweight with some pride.

Another thing I’m proud of is that I am not afraid of men. Continue reading “It’s International Women’s Day!”