I always feel a little out of sorts when it comes to International Womens Day. I mean I am female-bodied, but I don’t identify as female. So where does that leave me in the grand scheme of things? There are Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists who would say that today has nothing to do with me. But I’d beg to differ. You see, I am a woman, I’m just not female. My sex and my gender are not the same thing. To be honest, gender and sex are very complicated in and off themselves. Neither really makes much sense, except that both are very much social constructs in the sense of the binary.
There are those who would argue that genitals do make your sex/gender. Others would argue it’s down to whether or not you have XX or XY chromosomes. But hey, kids, it’s really not as simple as that. There are women who are born with female genitals who have XXY chromosomes or XO chromosomes. There are men born with XXY chromosomes and male genitals. Intersex people exist. Transgender people exist. Non-binary people exist. Some species of animal have been known to change sex because they loose an appendage (octopi), some because of an overwhelming number of a particular sex being in their particular group (frogs), and there being a need to reproduce.
So the fact I’m non-binary, or several of my friends are trans women, shouldn’t stop us being included today. We are just as worthy of recognition as every other woman on the face of the planet. And before you argue we’re going against God…. Whose God? Because my Gods and Goddesses made me perfect just the way I am, and they intended me to be non-binary, lesbian, and fabulous as f*ck.
On International Womens Day we often forget that we should be uplifting all women’s voices. The LGBTQIA+ women, the women of colour, the disabled women, the autistic women, the women who come from poorer backgrounds, the infertile women, the women who live on the street, all women deserve to have their voices heard, respected, and listened to. Because every woman is worthy.
It’s taken me a long time to realise that I’m worthy. I was beaten (literally, emotionally, and sexually) into submission from a young age. I still carry around some of those issues. Okay, a lot of those issues. I still struggle to deal with that that means for me in regards to where I am with accepting myself and my self worth. But I am worthy. I am worthy of being included, and if you’re reading this and struggling today, let me tell you this:
SO. ARE. YOU.
You are worth so much more than you realise or know. And you will always be welcome to fill out the contact page on my site if you need someone to boost you up and remind you that you are worthy. That you are perfectly able and capable of finding that self-worth. It may take a long time, and I may not have the answers. But I can promise you that I’ll tell you those three words.
I was born with a severe heart condition.
I should have been dead by my fifth birthday.
I was abused by my own father.
I was bullied at school.
I raised my brother.
I took care of a disabled mother and uncle.
I was abused as an adult.
I’m disabled now myself.
I have physical and mental scars.
I’m in therapy.
I’m on anti-depressants.
I have severe chronic pain.
If I can come out of all of that and find my self-worth again because of a another human being giving me the time of day, then I should do the same in return, and pass it forward. Five years ago I was suicidal. Today, I want to live. I wake up each morning with a song in my heart, because I’m still here.
I’m not going to lie and tell you it has been easy or it’s easy now. It’s not. It can be a hard slog. But if you’re reading this and you’re wondering where you fit in to today’s picture, if you’re even worthy to count yourself a woman on #IWD, then let me tell you, that you are.
You my dear reader are beautiful.
You are intelligent.
Your smile lights up a room.
Your ability to get this far means that you can try another minute, another hour, another day, another week, another month, another year.
I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but you are perfect just the way you are.
Your imperfections, the ones you see that no one else does, are there for a reason. And they make you perfect in your own right.
You don’t want to be the same as everyone else, they are boring.
You my dear are magical.