"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes."
I am a woman who likes to appropriate the words of old, deceased male authors and poets to speak of my complexity as a young woman.
I am a woman who goes to one of the most expensive schools in the country but comes from a low-income household.
I am a woman who has experienced chronic, stomach churning anxiety since fifth grade but who takes on more responsibilities with every passing year.
I am a woman who fears rejection and instability but wants to pursue the most risky career possible.
I am a woman who is twenty years old but who is treated by adults differently because I look much younger.
I am a woman who feels an intense sense of spirituality but who has, as of the past several years, had no church to manifest it.
I am a woman who feels too Latinx to think of myself as white but too white to self describe as a Latina woman.
I am a woman who hates the objectification of women but wants to be thought of as beautiful by onlookers.
I am a woman who wants to be valued for my opinion and voice but sometimes lacks the confidence to broadcast it.
I am a woman who has strong and fully realized emotions-- often negative-- but does not let any of them define me.
I am a woman who feels shy in expressing my sexuality but feels secure in it nevertheless.
I am a woman who claims to be a feminist but has yet to learn much of the theory and history of it that I should know.
I am a woman who may or may not ever get an abortion myself, but will always fight like hell to ensure other women can.
Women/womxn are anything but one dimensional. To grossly understate the current state of our nation (if not the world in its entirety,) the voices of countless women of color, transgender women, non-heterosexual women, low-income women, immigrant women are concealed by not only heteronormative and patriarchal policy and social norms, but the voices of more privileged women. Women can't go on neglecting the struggles other women face that don't necessarily apply to their lives. And through the struggle, all of these women have their own idiosyncrasies, passions, insecurities, and inner contradictions that no one else can duplicate or understand without delving deeper. We should take more initiative to sing and celebrate both ourselves and one another.
I can't speak for other women, and I can't describe the extent of their complexity the way I can describe mine. I have a lot to learn. Nevertheless, I know that that women across every social identity must be seen as human beings who contain multitudes and possess endless agency and intelligence to make their own choices.