Feminist Friday: Born or Becoming a Woman?

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If you’ve ever studied Feminism or Women’s writing you’ll know the quote I’m thinking of when I started to write this post. It started in France with one of the greatest feminist writers of all time; ‘one is not born, but rather becomes a woman’ Simone de Beauvior argued and how right she was. There’s a lot of debate in feminism about what feminism means to each and every one of us. I enjoy debate, it’s healthy in an intelligent society as long as we are willing to listen to each other.

I truly believe that no one is born into a gender. I wrote essay after essay in university about how gender is socially constructed, it’s not in our DNA. I loved those classes, because I really passionately believed in de Beauvior, in Judith Butler etc, I also wanted to apply it to a modern problem. Something that many wanted to ignore. I 100% believe we need to include Transgender women in the fight for equality and feminism. A few years ago Germaine Greer made very unfair and uneducated assumptions about Trans women.

While I myself am I white Cis female, I care very strongly about the LGBTQ community. I truly believe that all women, no matter what, have a right to equality. There’s no one shape for a woman, no one idea, that’s what feminism is about! Being ourselves and being respected. In each culture there is an idea of what a man is supposed to be and what a woman is supposed to be, it’s not hard-wired because of our genitals. It’s who we feel we are.

If someone goes through the experience of living in the wrong body, having to tell that to the people they love in the fear of rejection and then try to fit in with other women then, damn, they’ve tried harder than me. If they are not a woman then I am certainly not. I have my own struggles, problems and issues, we all do but to be insulted after all that and be told you’re still not accepted? I don’t believe in it, to me it goes against everything feminism stands for. We are what is in our hearts, not our pants.

We each become who we are, who we feel we are inside. Some become women, some become men. We, hopefully, become who we are inside.

I’d love to open up a conversation with you all in the comments below or on Twitter about this! If I have any trans readers who maybe want to talk privately DM me (@chloemetzger) or drop me an email on chloefmetzger@gmail.com, as always I’d love to hear from you all!

 

 

Sunday Seven: My Favourite Signs From Women’s Marches Worldwide

Yesterday millions marched across the world against the 45th president of the United States and his hatred and misogyny. While unfortunately, I couldn’t be marching with them, I was supporting them. I wanted to use today’s post to share some of the brilliant pictures I’ve seen across the internet in the last 24 hours.

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This is one of the first the caught my eye, because it’s true.

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I loved this because to me, he is like a fictional villain, and that’s worrying in itself.

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Men supporting women is important and it’s important to note that there were men supporting the marches too, they’re using their voices too, which is needed.

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Do I need to say more about why this is such a strong image?

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A strong statement on so many levels.

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Princess Leia was one of the first characters to be a strong female. It’s only right that she was there too.

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It’s important to remember that this march was about so much more than women, it was about anyone who has felt marginalised and like they need to raise their voices.

Maybe life’s not fair..

When we’re young we get told life isn’t fair and as we grow older we realise this. there are things that we can’t control that we wish we could, illness is one of those things. You can help with some to prevent it or sooth symptoms but there are others you can’t, and mental illness is the same. I’ve learnt a lot in the last few years about myself and the illness that I have. I’ve thrown myself into research to learn more about the science behind it, recent research and theories to try and have a handle on something that I didn’t choose to have.

Ask a group of people with a mental illness and none of them would have asked to have it. It interrupts life and sometimes for some of our friends it takes theirs. I’ve thought a lot recently about this, about health. As much as I try and treat my body right with certain foods and getting fit and healthy I can’t do much for my mind. Sure I can surround myself with positive people and listed to my mind and my body but other than that if I’m having a low there are a lot of times where I have to wait it out, live with my depression or the anxiety attacks I sometimes have.

That said, ask that same group of people if they could flick a switch and it would have never happened and it will never happen again, it would be a much harder decision. Don’t get me wrong, in the last 6-7 years my illness has made my life hell and has taken things away from me, but it’s also given me things too. I’ve had depression since I was a teenager, so I don’t know what it’s like being an adult without it so sometimes I wonder, would I be as empathetic if I’d never had it, would I be as passionate and would I be so grateful for the little things in life. I don’t know. But I do know, because of my illness, that I have the best possible people in my life who pick me up and who know when I need the day or when I need a kick up the ass. Through lows and highs I’ve got great writing ideas or lyrics I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of, I’ve connected with amazing people and can be blissfully happy by the tiniest of things like waking up in the morning and feeling ok and other things too.

Why am I writing this? For a few reasons, one because I didn’t feel so great in my mentoring session today and we talked for a long time about depression, how I feel about it and the fears I have. There is fear, fear that I might go back to a dark place like I was at school but my mentor pointed something out to me. At 15/16 I had no experience, I hadn’t been diagnosed and I didn’t have a good medical team. I didn’t have a lot of information or ways to recognise my feelings and try and combat them before they got too bad, I had unhealthy ways of dealing with my feelings. In the last 3 years especially I’ve done well to get as far as I have and while the fear won’t go away, if I take note I’m in a better position than I was when I was 15/16. I have a voice and I have you guys too, who can cheer me up on Twitter to no end.

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Taken on my 15th birthday, I was happy here and hadn’t really experienced bad depression yet. 

People may call me names like a nut job, loon, or make snide remarks about being unstable and therefore unable. I’m getting to the point where I’m starting not to care and their hate makes me more driven. This illness may never go away but that doesn’t mean people will always be ignorant, which is why I write things like this to educate, to explain. I’ve written before about my story (the short version, maybe one day I’ll write it in detail) before and I’ve always been open on here about my highs and lows. I think it’s important to remember, for anyone who has an illness, that this is just a part of you, it does not define you. 

So no, life might not be fair and there are thousands of people in the world who live with my illness every day, but we aren’t alone. We might feel like it when depression grabs us and drags us under for a few days but at the end of the day there are so many others out there who are at all different stages of their illness and recovery. Don’t be scared of being you.