Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Anonymous was a Woman

"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." -Virginia Woolf

My sophomore year I took Women's Studies class. In that class we had a diverse group of women. There were Muslims, Christians, Wiccans and staunch Athiests. There were lesbians, bisexuals and heterosexuals. Equestrians, artists and scientists. There was one woman in the class who had been another student's girl scout leader. There were women who wore makeup everyday and women who don't know the difference between Cover Girl and Mabelline. (Really, is there a difference?) I also met the woman I am in love with in that class.

Through this class I learned some horrific and wonderful things about women. We studied more than just women's rights, but the social views of women and the way women feel about themselves. We looked at how we interact with one another. How society shapes us based on our biology. We learned how anonymous women have been throughout history, and how rapidly that is changing.

We are lucky to live in an era where women are truly components of change. To see things like the Idle No More Movement begun by four strong, Native women is to see society truly altering its collective view of women and it is an incredible and powerful thing.

The greatest surprise for me, though, was that I learned to be friends with women in a way I hadn't been before. I have always had a lot of female friends but I had never looked at the way women compete with one another. The jealousy, envy and unnecessary vying for attention. This class taught me how to truly care for another woman without all that. It helped me work through issues I've had with other women since I was a toddler and my sister was first born. Women's Studies class was more therapeutic than years of counseling and it changed the way I view the world and my place in it.

There was a sense of camaraderie in that class I've never experienced in another. A sense that we weren't simply classmates, within that room we were bonded by something stronger. I know it sounds cliche, but it truly felt that way.

I just wanted to post this because I want all those women to know how grateful I am to them for the bonding we did that semester. I want them to know that we don't need to talk all the time or share day-to-day experiences to be important to each other. I want to thank them for showing me how to be friends with women, and for lending me the strength to never be anonymous.

Image is "Judith and Her Maidservant With the Head of Holofernes" by Artemesia

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