There are experiences as girls and women that bind us together- the confusion surrounded around our first periods, the curiosity of what it means, the embarrassment in being exposed. We share the frustration of taking on prescribed roles because of our sex, from care-taking responsibilities of our younger siblings & families to being forced to nurture and perpetuate the old boys’ network at our workplaces. We are encouraged to shy away from visible roles that hold power and the potential for greater change because there are more, needed spaces for us women. We all have stories to tell about the demeaning comments that have been made to us, near us, by us, and we can relate to one another when the rights we demand are co-opted and misinterpreted. We see ourselves struggling as mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, and can relate with one another with compassion and care.
My story reflects many instances of our shared experiences-when I was 12 I was in a grocery store with my mom. My shirt was tucked in too far into my shorts, so I pulled it out for comfort. I pulled it too hard because it accidentally went over my head, exposing my bra to the shopkeeper. He wouldn’t stop staring at me the rest of the time we were in the store. It was the first time I learned about the vulnerability of a girls’ body. At 21 a man cut in front of my friends and I in line, and when I asked him to step to the back of the line, he called me cute and didn’t seem to feel the least bit remorseful, he stood where he was. That was the first time I learned that although I was using my voice, it can mean not being heard. At 32 I am not partnered and I see my parents aging. I constantly negotiate being able to be self-sufficient, meaning economically secure, with being available for my parents. This is the first time I am learning about the resources (lack thereof) and support that are available for women who don’t have a partner to rely on for emotional and financial support, with the desire to care for parents.
I am on Pulsewire and consider myself part of the Worldpulse community because I strongly believe we must come together as sisters and realize our incredible strength to live each day with love and compassion. It is within this vision of Sisterhood, I imagine a breakdown of patriarchy, the same patriarchy that tells us we must fight one another instead of stand alongside each other. We all have our own unique stories, and my own only adds to our collective experiences. We need to use this knowledge to give us the encouragement to demand equality on all levels and everywhere, no matter where we live.