In August, South Africa commemorates and honors women for their contributions to society, for overcoming adversity, and for their role in inspiring an entire nation. Every year this concept seems bizarre to me … As odd as Black History Month, Earth Day, and other occasions that seem too important to be recognized with a day or month.
As a person who self-identifies as a woman, it feels limiting to think of myself or others who society has labelled "women" as the only ones who get to identify this way. According to what I know and recall from the many African languages to which I've been exposed, we don't have the same binary approach to feminine and masculine. When referring to individuals or objects, most indigenous languages in South Africa do not use the pronouns "he" or "she". The same is true for many of the languages spoken in West Africa and throughout the continent. We have always had gender-fluid practices, whether cultural, traditional, or spiritual. We have redefined gender for ourselves as a result of the journey to remember and reclaim who we were before colonialism and capitalism.
When I think about what it means to be a woman, the word I prefer to explore is feminine. Feminine, not in the sense of a person being "girly", but in the sense of connecting with the source of creativity, flow, and strength. When I think of the feminine energy, I think of our planet that creates life, nourishes, and holds us all. When I think of the feminine, I think of the oceans, the softness, and the incredible power of it … How it takes many shapes and forms. This is how I perceive feminine power: fluid, ever-changing, transformative. It exists in the grey area rather than the binary of black or white.
On this Women's Day, I'd like for us all to recognize, celebrate, and nourish the feminine within us all. For all of us to lean into those aspects of ourselves, remembering that when we honor those parts of ourselves and each other, we honor our land, our creation, and our spirit. We honor those who came before us, and those who are yet to come.
A collective movement towards alignment.
With love, through love,