“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
I’m not interested in reading about “well behaved” women.
No nice girls for me.
Give me your outcasts and your witches. Your dykes and your butches and every last one who refused to conform to the script they were handed at birth.
Take me to your untamable and uncontrollable and unfuckwithable. Find me the ones who never met a rule they wouldn’t break.
I want to sit in circle with the midwives and the healers. With the whores and the dancers. The ones who chose the terms of their own inevitable exploitation and alchemized it into the keys to the cage.
Give me the ones you chained and burned and left for dead. The untouchables and undesirables. The ones who saw the shadows of their oppressors clearly, held up a mirror, and cast a spell to turn the evil back on the ones who meant them harm.
I want the women who went against the grain and pushed the limits and changed the paradigm and cooked dinner and washed the dishes and picked the kids up at daycare and did their part to topple the patriarchy in their spare time.
The nasty women. The subversives. The cast out. The sluts and the sex workers and the queens who never had a chance at the god damn crown. The glass ceiling crashers and the unlikely CEOs and the starving artists who wouldn’t compromise their passion for anything.
I want to know the ones who reclaimed the language of cunt and queer and bitch and took it back for their own and plastered it on billboards and t-shirts as a call to freedom.
Send me the princess who rescued the prince and left him to fend for himself because she had better things to do.
Show me your girl warriors and your mama revolutionaries – the ones who fought the battles and nursed the babies and made it back to the front lines in time to march. Put me into orbit with the single mamas who worked three jobs and went to school and still made time for the holiest of pleasures.
The ones who brought down regimes but never denied the truth of their own tender hearts.
The ones who turned their blood into art and refused to let you look away from the truth of their womanhood.
The women who claimed the right to name the terms of their own femininity and gender and presentation, regardless of biology or birth certificates or oppressive laws written by old men in white suits who sit in church on Sunday’s secure in the safety of their gender.
Give me the drag kings and the burlesque dancers and the queer theorists and the feminist scholars and the girls who can’t tell you how or when but know they will fight with everything they have to name the terms of their own existence.
Sit me at the table with the woman who survived violence and who named her abuser, the one who paid for law school with her Only Fans, the tattooed burner who will never fit in at the school bake sale with the other khaki pant wearing moms, the bullied 13 year old who will go on to change the god damn game for the ones who come after her because fuck if she’s going to let this happen to anyone else, the quiet ones with a time bomb ticking in their chest who are biding their time and waiting to break free.
No, it’s not the well-behaved women who call to me. Send me your sovereign, your autonomous, your wildly free.
And then, let’s make some god damn history.