I Do Not Belong To You

It is important to understand that you taught me that I am nothing without him.

Living as a woman will always be something that will be unmatched. Not to say that living as a man isn’t tough because I am completely aware of the identity constraints. But I am taking this moment to write about what I know, because I lived it. When you are born female, here are the expectations. You are to like the color pink, you are to wear feminine clothes, and you are to present yourself in a way that is suitable for marriage. You must take into account your personality and personal goals, but all to make sure that a man is willing to give you a last name other than your own. ‘Oh okay, so I need to focus on being worthy of a last name change, GOT IT. ‘

So traditionally, every girl has received these speeches or given these cues in some form of fashion growing up. It is completely exhausting trying to base your existence on how someone else views you. You must never forget the mission at hand, and that is you must be suitable for a man to claim you as his wife. Yea its cute and all that us women have our own hobbies, getting college degrees, or knows all the lyrics to a Beyonce song, but if it stops us from being “taken” by a man, then there is something wrong with us ad we need to fix this problem. It is ingrained in our minds that a woman must acknowledge that a man has more power in this world and we must act accordingly. Exhibit A: Do not raise your hand too much in class even if you are the smartest person in the room. You may intimidate the boys. Exhibit B: You can not carry those bags on your own because you simply are not physically strong enough. Even if you are the only one who can endure childbirth and bring actual life into the world; A man is stronger than you. Exhibit C: Keep your legs closed and refrain from having sex as long as you can. Do not be feed your sexual desires because men will see you as a hoe. Even though women think about sex just as much as men do on any given day *cues Summer Walker*. Exhibit D: You are expected to be emotional because you are not knowledgeable enough to understand that emotions are considered a weakness. You unfortunately was just born that way. Even though, dealing with emotions are more healthy for you than not to feel nothing at all. We are not robots. Overall It is a struggle to dissect every complexity of the guidelines in how to be a woman because let’s face it, I am not complete without him.

The idea that as a human being, I am to be possessed or owned by another is very problematic. Even in a sexual sense, that the reality is that I am considered valuable by how I look to a man to be sought after even if he is not welcomed. The fear of simply walking down the street and being spoken to as something to conquer is demeaning. To express my views and opinions on issues in a professional setting, but having your body being fantasized as a toy to give the man his release is dehumanizing. We are only objects for you to have, a prize for winning at the games being played.

We hear it in songs all the time. While we are singing our hearts out or shaking our asses to the beat, to be real, we are seen as things not people. Of course, once emotions are involved, then there is more that goes along with having a woman by your side. But initially the woman is a symbol of how far you made it. She is not seen as another person who is good all on her own. We don’t even try to talk about how messed up that for centuries the mentality that women are a form of property is something that is normal TF?’ I’m not into real estate and I am not trying to act like I am an expert because I definitely am not, but let’s think about a house. A house is built on a piece of land which is known as the foundation. This is similar to a woman’s upbringing, teachings, and life experiences. A house sits on this land and the goal is to be purchased by someone. Now, the house can be bought by a person with the right amount of money and particular economic status. This is similar to a man showing how if with him, a woman’s life will be better solely on what he can provide. Then, you have the appreciation concept. If you add anything to the house or update it in any way, the value of the house goes up if you try to sell it in the future. This is similar to making sure you add weave, make up, a certain wardrobe, ass shots, boob job, harmful waist slimming, facial reconstruction, etc, to enhance what you were already born with, to be of better “value” than someone who ‘woke up like this’. If you don’t have all the bells and whistles, then there is a chance of depreciation. You are only seen as wears and tears over a period of time and not considered a good investment.

But what about the other things, does that even matter? Is it really possible to completely dismantle the idea of women as assests and simply as people? I doubt it. And I only say this because we are dealing with a viewpoint that is so deeply messaged in everything that we see, hear, or do that it would be extremely difficult to completely avoid it messing with our subconscious. Although, I admit we are slowly changing the narrative and it is better than nothing being done at all. To better define the essence of a woman, there needs to be more discussion on, yes the layers to it, but to no longer excuse or justify that this perspective is okay for future generations on both sides. Women, in my opinion, are not trophies *side eyes Future*. Women are the souls behind change in this world. Women encompass the power of challenging the idea that the human body is limited. Women are the moral values and the lessons learned in life. Women are the cause of wars and the reasons for living. Women are the epitome of what it means to be revolutionary and untamable. Women are the questions and answers to love.

This is how we should view women, if we really want to pivot from the toxic behaviors and habits we have acquired from thinking otherwise. I, as a dope ass black woman, should not be compared to something that is man-made when I am not even close. I should no longer be allowed to compromise my identity because I was created to be powerful beyond all things. I, as a dope ass black woman, should not seek permission to validate that I am worth being worshiped and invested in. We were not put here to belong to you. I am not here to belong to you. I belong to no one, but me.

Kiara Byrd