10 Ways Black Feminism Has Helped Me

Just a list I put together. I’m not here to debate whether or not being a feminist is good or bad. Or how one may think that feminism discriminates against men. Have that conversation with someone who hasn’t figured out that’s just a derailment tactic to take the heat off the responsibility to truly correct the wrongs patriarchy has caused.

Basically, I’m not here to prove the value of my life and struggle with anyone.

Now that the patriarchal male tears have been spilled over those last few sentences. Back to the topic. Below are a list of things I learned from feminism (specifically decolonized black feminism) and how it has given me emotional and physical gains.

1. I don’t try to prove that I’m “not being dramatic” anymore when I’m clearly addressing the situation in a clear manner. That doesn’t phase me anymore.

2. I no longer see sex as an act that “lowers my value” as a woman.

3. I no longer see my vagina and my uterus as abstract objects I should never talk about.

4. I take care of my reproductive system a lot more because it’s apart of me and should be addressed. It’s not a secret box that should be locked away from myself and only brought out for a man.

5. I stopped trying to talk to patriarchal men. If a man isn’t open to letting a woman be herself to make himself feel like a man, then fuck that. It’s simply not worth it.

6. I stopped trying to hide my personality and conform to what I thought men I talked to wanted.

7. I gave men more credit. Meaning, I no longer think all men think one singular way. Men are capable of healthy emotions, nurturing children, empathy, and self-control. Sexism says they can’t do these things.

8. I no longer care to get brownie points with patriarchal men.

9. I try to help other women feel better about themselves and I try to help all the sisters in my life. I no longer slut-shame and talk down on other women to look good for patriarchy. I also try to help the young men I come across. To address their need to express how they feel and be themselves despite the accusations against their manhood that they unfortunately come across because of patriarchy.

10. I love myself fiercely. My 8-year depression from ages 12-20 ended when I gave myself permission to love myself and be free from what patriarchy told me I had to adhere to.

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

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