Today I’m joining what I hope will be billions of women all over the world in celebrating “One Billion Rising,” a movement to end violence against women. According to the One Billion Rising website, “a billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.”
I rise because I’m a woman, because I find this statistic unacceptable and because I’m tired of it not changing. I call myself a feminist, draw insights into faith and feminism and write critically and personally about black womanhood because despite all the images, media, lyrics, laws and religions that tell us we’re inferior to men, we’re not. We bring life into the world. Sure, we need help in its conception, but only we have the capability of holding life, of growing it and then pushing it out. Even if an individual woman can’t have children, she is part of a powerful, life-force collective, and every time that power is beaten, raped, violated, murdered, called out of her name, silenced, disrespected, or otherwise devalued, the life and soul of all humanity is diminished a billion times over.
So even though I’m not a survivor of sexual violence or of intimate partner abuse, I rise. I rise alongside every woman who is. I rise from patriarchy, from racism and from my commodification and objectification in a capitalist society. I write this blog about faith, family, food, femininity and feminism. I write this book. If I ever have a pitch accepted again, I’ll write op-eds for magazines and newspapers. And tonight, I plan to blast “Run the World” through my headphones and shake the earth with 999,999,999 other women who will take some time today to dance this revolution.