What My Tattoo Taught Me about Being a WomanJun 30, 2021
I have a tattoo on my wrist that I sometimes hide.
I got it by myself one morning after a restless night’s sleep.
Not a bad one.
The kind where you’re on the brink of something that finally feels right.
I got it done in an empty parlor on Venice Boulevard by an inked up old lady playing pirate music.
“Getting that tattoo is one of the worst ideas you’ve ever had,” my brother told me.
It’s gotten me stopped in the streets where a man insisted I be taken to church.
It’s been covered with gold cuffs so I could “safely” roam the streets in Marrakech, just like the hijab covering my hair.
It’s been suffocated with fabric when I do anything societally “professional,” just like my chest and legs.
It’s considered when I pack to visit foreign countries that are (if you can believe it) less progressive than we are in United States.
It’s been covered with band-aids when the perception of self-harm seemed more acceptable than representing being a woman.
It’s not too much for me to worry about though.
I’m used to being told to cover up my body.
I’m used to hiding my sexuality.
I’m used to worrying about my safety.
To be a woman…
is to be the earth itself.
To be all animals.
To be the storm.
To be dynamism.
To be sensuality.
She is fluidity.
She is resilience.
She is the witch.
For all the womxn who have burned at the stake, I have a permanent pentacle on my skin.
Isn’t it funny that the symbol of women is so often “mistaken” for that of the devil?
Power’s scary, isn’t it?
Sisters, show me your ashes.
Show me your scars.
I’ll light my fire to their legacies and watch them blister.
You can’t hold me down.
I’m not afraid of the woman inside of me anymore.
Womxn: I promise never to hide any part of me that hides all of us.
Especially if it lights me on fire.