Words by Marissa Waraksa, photographed by Stephanie Brusubardis
I'm tired of the titles;
The labels that become
And the daily combat of just trying to explain
To the point of exhaustion that I
Getting to the point
Where we solve world problems
Or actually fix things.
I'm tired of the semantics that get in the way of any real enlightenment, equality, and respect. And I’m looking for a fresh perspective that might just be the magic lens needed to allow the things I stand for to be seen and heard as they are actually meant.
The intention is to be seen. To be heard. And yet, so many people need only to see or hear the word "feminism" and immediately tune out; are turned off from it, and, again we remain, unseen and unheard.
I love the F word. Adore it. I used to spit it out between breaths to ensure everyone knew and understood what it was all about. But lately, I've started to see just how much further an embodiment of what the term represents can take things, further than words or even action can. Action is staccato, fierce, strong, and then gone. Words can be overanalyzed, or flow in one ear and right out the other. But consistency, I think, is key. Instead of spitting the F word out left and right, or going to a rally with like-minded folk (where the people that we want to see and hear us had already shut us out before they woke up that morning), I’ve begun finding ways to incorporate feminist principles and practices into everyday life, conversation, and experiences, without using the term, and especially with people who don’t appear to be seeing things my way.
After all, feminism is breathing and eating and pooping and bleeding and walking and talking and singing and feeling and sleeping and touching. ALL human beings do all these things, don't we? We should be able to communicate about the things that could use some evening out, some equality.
Issues still need the staccato of rallies; the words overanalyzed by others, because we cannot reach certain people, or get close enough to them to have a conversation. But we can start from the people we are surrounded by, and simply stand up for ourselves and the world we want to walk through, the world we hope for our children to walk through.
I choose to be the kill-them-with-subtle-feminism-ties killjoy. I’ve noticed that that sort of fluid, slow, consistency in perspective will have hella more of an impact on somebody than a sharp-tongued reaction or rebuttal using the F word that only causes them to label you as something crude, pushing them further away from the understanding of what their impact is, and what it could be if they could try to see things your way.
We determine our story, as a collective. And we only determine what we want through the interconnected weavings of sharing our stories with one another. Through learning more and more through our shared knowledge, since what we need to know most is never taught in school, nor perpetuated with positivity by those in the limelight of our societies.
The most important things I’ve needed to know in my life thus far have pertained to my life as a woman. How I move through the world around me as the gender I am defined as by our culture seems to define me more than anything else, fortunately and unfortunately. But, as is quite often the case, what wounds us empowers us. And so here I am.
That is why I feel so passionate about TRIBE. We have no vendetta or agenda; we are not advocating for anything--we are advocating for everyONE. Every woman deserves to be seen; to be heard, and TRIBE gives them each the platform to allow these stories and experiences to be shared and empathized. Women and men are one, no matter what, and we all need to remember that and remind those whom have forgotten.
Connect with author and photographer through Instagram- @mariesa_faer @queenpolexia