By Honutse Fali Dillys
“We call ships ‘she’. We call our machines ‘women’. We compare women to black widows and vipers. And you’re going to tell me it’s not ladylike to scream, to take up space, to fight and demand respect and do whatever I want. You’ve looked at war machines and being so in awe of them that you could only name them after women. Don’t try to downplay my power” Anonymous
You call ships “she”. For any vessel that can sustain life in an environment that would not usually be able sustain life is given a feminine name. You call ships “she” perhaps because just like the ship that needs a man at the wheel to control, you see women as an object that needs to be controlled.
You call war machines by female names. Machines that can kill hundreds of people. You call them “she” for they can be controlled and operated. You call them “she” for you see them as objects that can be controlled.
Women are compared to vipers and black widows because you code them constantly as malicious, treacherous and sexual beings who somehow pose a threat to men. The “black widow” who targets rich men, marries them, and then murders them for their money.
Whether you meant it to exalt or abate me, you liken me to a thing of power. You compare me to a thing of danger for you realize on a subconscious level how powerful I am.
Because on a subliminal level, you fear me. You want to control me for you see that power. You see that danger. You fear it, so you try to control it. You try to tame it. That gives me power whether you meant it to or not. You can’t take that back.
I may be a war machine, but I am MY war machine. I am happy to be a war machine.I may be a viper and I own it. I am happy to be a viper. I am happy to be a mighty gunship, or a nuclear bomb. For I am still me, and I get to decide what those things mean.
I don’t care how you define me as, I don’t care how you wish to shape me, I belong to myself. For whatever you try to make me to be, I’ll take that and make it my own.
I’ll embrace myself as something dangerous and powerful. I’ll bear my wounds open and proud.
Stop trying to downplay my importance. You can’t downplay my power. I know what I’m worth. And I’m not allowing you to take it away. I was made me. With fire in my veins and the voice of a thousand trumpets.
I was made me, an embodiment of a thousand melodies with the power to bring forth life. I was made me, with the stories of the women who came before me. I was made me, with the strength of the women who fought for me. With the scars that they bore fighting for a better world for me.
I come as me, with the scars of a thousand women who suffer everyday from your atrocities. You try to quench the fire inside me by making me feel it is unattractive but I was not made with a volcano inside for you to quench.
Your hatred, fear and disrespect cannot fully quench the fire that is burning inside me. I was not created to make you more comfortable. I will shout and scream until I’m heard.
I will not be silent about demanding respect to be treated right. I will demand the respect I deserve until my children come into a better world they deserve.
You cannot convince me my opinions make me unladylike. I will not tone myself down to make you feel better about yourself.
I am the “she” you talk about when you refer to your ships. I am that “she” you refer to when you talk about your guns and bombs. I am “she” that brings forth life. You CANNOT reduce my power.