Whether I like it or not, the holidays are upon us.
My closest friends know I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas. (Yes, I love sweet baby Jesus, but let’s all admit that this holiday has very little to do with Him.)
I can, however, be bribed into participating in your cookie swaps and ugly sweater parties.
If you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas, here’s “My Feminist AF Gift Guide.”
Though I need a shirt that reads “Since 1965,” I proudly support StyleBlueprint’s Women’s Votes Matter campaign. With the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, women finally secured the right to vote. But for decades women (and men) of color would continue to be disenfranchised by literacy tests and other measures specifically designed to prevent racial minorities from voting, especially in the Deep South. With the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 these tactics were finally outlawed. As a black woman from the South, I cannot and will not take the right to vote lightly. And so I will wear this shirt today as I go to the polls to vote.
The women in my world are warrior women.
They are strong. They are brave. They are courageous.
They are not warrior women because they are flawless or because they live perfect lives or because they never fall apart.
They are warrior women because when they do fall apart they find the strength to write themselves back together again.
They are brave enough to share their stories. They are courageous enough to show their scars because they know their words can help heal other women’s wounds.
Today as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., many of us will read, listen to or share quotes from King’s famous I Have a Dream Speech — as well we should. I made listening to his speech part of my morning devotional.
But there are many powerful words of wisdom from King that we rarely hear. A few years ago BuzzFeed compiled 17 Martin Luther King Quotes You Never Hear. Yesterday, I read through them again and there was one in particular that struck me:
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
Last year See Jane Write almost killed me.
I put so much time and effort into building See Jane Write into a business — while still teaching full time and taking care of family matters — that I often sacrificed sleeping, eating, and exercising for the sake of work.
And, of course, I got sick. Very sick. My body is still healing from all the damage done. But I’ve promised my body I will never hurt it that way again.
This year I promise to take care of myself and I’ve realized that to do so is a feminist act.