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Not all who wander are lost. I'm letting the world change me... so I can change the world.

Vagina Warrior

BELIZE | Wednesday, 5 December 2007 | Views [673]

I am a vagina warrior; a feminist, humanist, women, daughter and sister. I think that all humans are equal in worth, that no ethnicity, education level, gender, economic status or religion is better than any other. For this, I have been called many things; Fem-Nazi, granola, bitch, communist, man-hater, tree-hugger, lesbian, socialist, and yes, even cunt. All in a negative connotation, even though some of the names I place on myself. I am proud of who I am, what I believe in and what I fight for.

I have a silver medallion that says “Vagina Warrior” (thanks Kali Rae). I wear around my neck as a badge of honor, to make people stare and ask questions. Its really is a great conversation (and argument) starter. My dad gave me the ‘look’ when he first saw it, the “where did you come from and are we really related” look. I get the same look from other relatives when I wear my ‘Gay? Fine by me’ shirt, that I got at pride last year. I intentionally wear it when I know I will be seeing my conservative relatives. Is it to be arebel, piss them off? I don’t know. More than anything its fun to see their faces, and then having my mum give me the ‘you know better than to antagonize them’ look.

My freshman year of university I read the Allegory of the Cave for La 101. With the first reading I had no idea what was happening in the story, something about shadows on a wall and walking into the sunlight. I remember being completely confused, and only after asking my roommate (thanks again, Kali Rae) did I understand the story. If you haven’t read the story, you should, it really changed my outlook and understanding of life. It may be a simple story to some - a ‘duh’ in their minds – but for me, it made so many things clear, and helped me to understand the differences in people, and why, no matter how hard we may try to help someone ‘see the light’ , all they can see is what they already know – the shadows on the wall.

I used to get upset when my cousins and family would put me down for what I said, what book I was reading or what buttons I had on my jacket. I soon realized, that it didn’t matter what they thought of me. All that mattered was what I thought of myself, how I viewed myself. It took time for me to understand that, and I know that there people much older than I, that still cannot grasp that idea.

Before coming to Belize, I got negative reactions from some, those who could not, or would not understand what I wanted to do. At first I was upset and would easily get into debates (or arguments) then I realized, I didn’t have to answer to them. I didn’t need to explain why I wanted to do volunteer work instead of rushing off to Grad school. Why I wanted to help Mayan women in rural Toledo instead of working with lower income white women in St. Louis; its for my own reasons, and no matter how hard I try to explain them, even to people who encourage and support me, to express the feelings I have working toward development work and changing someone’s life – I don’t have words for.

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