I feel like my most recent feat of freedom, is that of my own body. To be very honest, and transparent, this mainly came in the form of me detaching from the male gaze. Detachment from existing merely in light of being seen as tantalizing, as the full package, or as wifey material. I've instead decided to reclaim the pieces of me, that I allowed for men to rule, and own, for over two decades of my life, aka nearly my entire existence.
Unlearning what I deemed to be ugly, from my rolls, to my stretch marks, my excessively and wildly growing hair, to all the lumps and bumps, I never took the time to understand. While learning to love my body as the only home I've ever known. As a space that has provided me with refuge, a space that has nourished me, and fought to keep me whole. To now a woman who I see as beautiful, as is, in her uncut "rough draftness." Without needing to pluck or polish what I frankly don't fucking feel like. And without feeling the need to fulfill every mans fantasy, at first glance.
I'm a free ass woman. Free from how you see me, or who you think I should be, because I have a pussy, or because you're subconsciously projecting all that toxic shit you're walking around with onto me. I refuse to live my life that way, because I'm a free ass woman.
Below are three ideologies that helped me to develop freedom over my physical body. As always, I don't have the answers, and this may not be the blueprint that you need. However, I'm hoping that you can at least use the below as a catalyst for your liberation journey with your body.
Your body is YOURS! Yours to make decisions around, yours to dress, yours to decided who you want, or don't want to engage or exchange energy with. Yours. There is not a soul on this physical earth, who can tell YOU what to do with YOUr body. Your body is YOURS! Unlearn what you need to here.
Whew chile, once I really started to unpack and understand the adverse affects of misogyny. I really began to look at where I saw them resonate over my life, and I saw the shit err-where. I was shook, SHOOK! Trying to understand, how I could have possibly been operating in that way, for this amount of time. But we here now.
For me, detaching from the male gaze is about really looking at why you are motivated to do a number of things that you do. From why you shave your legs, style your hair the way you do, or view other women the way you do. Hell or even why you take on some of the roles or duties that you do. If they stem from wanting to be deemed wifely, attractive, or above your sisters throw it away. It could root as deeply as why you tolerate certain behaviors. So as with all of this, take time, to process how you actually think and operate here, and then where you can make the necessary changes according to you.
Detaching from the male gaze has brought me a reclamation of ownership over my own self. As well as a sense of savage, and fuck it, that allows for me to operate unapologetically, and authentically as myself.
I'll take this from a more woman to woman approach, and I'll caveat this by saying that in 2018 a good chunk of us are past this, but it needed to be said. Under our noses, we judge and police our own sisters on a daily basis. For what we wear, to how sexually open we are, to our spiritual choices. There is constant judgement, in the form of separatism under the lens of the male gaze.
Separating ourselves into what is "socially acceptable," and what is not. Using words like classy, and ladylike to symbolize that some are more worthy of men. I love y'all so much, so this is a plea, first please work to understand the ways in which misogyny has resonated in your life, and ways you can dismantle it. Secondly, with the way that we are under attack right now we must stick together. It is beyond counterproductive for us to pettily pick ourselves apart.
There is not one set way to live, that we all must abide by. We all have the space and the liberty to understand who we are, and then to decide how we want to live our own lives. As long as we aren't hurting ourselves or one another. If you haven't already wrapped yourself around this concept, the sooner you do, the easier it will be for you to navigate the world. Thus, without imposing your views of how others should live their lives within it.