This International Woman’s Day, I’d like to celebrate brutal women.
There’s this notion that we – women – are born soft, delicate, and fragile. We’re supposed to be kept behind steel walls and only see the light of day when it is time to step out of our parents’ house and into that of our husband; only to be locked away again. We’re more often than not compared to nature in all its beauty; the softly swaying blades of grass, the centuries’ old oaks, and the wild flowers that add color and comfort – a home for beings to roam free. Home. Someplace that is warm. The space where you can relax. The space where you can sink into and let go of everything that worries you. Mother Nature is what we call her, no?
I know so many women like that, soft, pliable, loving, and generous. Women who are full of life and joy and endless hope. Women whose beauty you can get drunk on. Women who with a gentle smile or soft spoken word can lift you up and bring down whatever walls encase your heart. Women whose breast feels like home and whose presence can lull you into peaceful sleep. Powerful women, yes, but soft women. Women we have celebrated for years (and should continue to do so), but what we have not celebrated ever, is a wholly different type of woman.
broken women. shattered women. hopeless women. women who have become mere shells. women who appear soft, and are anything but. women who’ve gone to war. women burying their rejected love, piecing together shattered spirits, and trying to get up after being put through hell. women who have been through things that destroyed every ounce of seeming beauty and gentleness within them. women who refused to stay broken. women who refused to stay oppressed. women who refused to let abuse bury them alive. these women who have become hard places. sharp. hard-edged. unrelenting. women whose eyes spit fire and whose mouths hammer against injustice. women whose hearts are battered within diamond fortresses. women whose heartbeats sound like war drums, calling to battle.
What I’m trying to say is: Let’s celebrate the women who can’t remember the last time they felt soft, or the last time they felt feminine – whatever that means – or even, the last time they didn’t feel achingly alone. The women who are no longer even perceived as soft or delicate. Maybe because they do not look soft. Maybe because they intimidate. Probably, because they have become brutal. Unforgiving. Vengeful. Cold. Women who reek of destruction and rage.
It’s quite funny, I know some of you won’t understand. What happened to our awe inspiring Mother Nature when we abused her? She is not dying. She is killing us. This coldness? That’s her revenge. That’s her wrath. Consuming, is it not? Is it clearer now? Do not complain when your oppression and abuse come back to kill you in the end. As people are so often of pointing out today: destroy the patriarchy, not the planet.
Hallelujah to all my sisters, may your gold flow and your enemies tremble.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Also: my eternal gratitude to Salma El Wardany, for always making me feel empowered knowing that I am a brutal woman too.