For My Women: Don’t You Fucking Forget It.

​Dancers dance. Players play. Singers sing. Predators prey. See the dilemma here is that we have a verb for most nouns. We have a direct correlation between what you are and what you do. Painters paint. Photographers photograph. But predators? They prey? They hurt? They abuse? Where is the verb for the ones not spoken for. For the ones who have been preyed upon, who have been hurt by a predator, a friend, someone in hiding. I think we avoid giving weight to things like this because we like to pretend this isn’t a real thing. That just because someone isn’t ripping you open physically doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally. Emotionally. To prey is to hunt and kill for food. Predators hunt and they may kill but not always. Sometimes they just touch. Sometimes they just antagonize, push their limits of power and hold it over your head. This is predatory. This is not okay.

It’s easy as a woman to blame yourself when unwanted acts of sexual orient transpire. I have two legs. I could leave, I could walk away. And I promise you next time I will. I promise I will stand for myself before I ever kneel for any other again. I’m scratching my skin in memories of things I don’t want memories of. Things I do not like and am not proud of. One of my best friends told me, Danielle you don’t have to let these people who have hurt you back into your life. This is not your fault. Men have a socially acclaimed power over women and they will use that shit up even when they don’t see it as such. See these things we know, but damn I’d be lying if I said I don’t need to be reminded regularly.

My power as a woman is greater than any power this society could bestow upon a man. My power as a woman pours out of my soul through my pores and melts onto everything I put my fingertips on. Everything I place my gaze upon, becomes all that I could imagine it to be. That is my power as a woman, alone. My power as a woman full of life and love and struggle and triumph and I will always fight fight fight for the power that I hold and I will harness it and channel that energy into the most beautiful souls mine could find and the deepest art my heart can create.

And I’ve had people hurt me in ways I’ve never released. Never opened up about because shame is real in this country and I swear I’ve been shamed into believing my story was different than the truth for far too long. I know my truth and I will speak it, I will scream it until I have no voice. When I have no voice, I will write it, I will type it, I will paint it until I can no longer move until I am dust and nothing more. And this isn’t just for me, this is for my women of this Earth. My women who do things out of obligation and out of fear. My women who don’t do but are done upon, I speak this for you. I fight for you and for me and with me here, you will never be alone. We are an army of strength and power and beauty in every form. All forms.

So like my friend told me, the blame is not on you. We could play the blame game all day but when it comes down to this or that, men have an inherent power over women that creates a fear and dominance which immediately puts us in a vulnerable position. What I have to say is protect yourself. No friendship is worth your heartache. No silence is worth your peace of mind. Do not think you are not believable. Do not let status shame or scare you into denying your truth, denying your worth. You are everything. You are the sun that shines and the rain that pours. You are life. You give and you can take- don’t you fucking forget that. You give and you CAN take. Your power is yours and the real fear lays in the men who shame us into believing power is resigned to them only. They can’t even imagine what we are capable of and THAT is how we succeed. That is how we win. How we gain our power back. Don’t you fucking forget it.
My only true male friend on 35mm film

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