Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Woman with a Pen by Leanne Dyck

I'm the first, last, and only daughter in a family dominated by males. 

I spent my childhood tagging along after male cousins. They did cool things like climb trees and jump from rooftops.

Sometimes their friends said, "Leanne can't do that! She's a girl."

Thankfully my cousins didn't listen. Unfortunately, I did. In my young mind, I began to equate being a girl with being weak. I did everything I could to prove that I wasn't a girly-girl. This self-talk shaped my life. I became a feminist because I thought if we worked really hard we could shed our femininity and prove ourselves men's equals.

My mom's death changed my life, in so many ways. She'd always been my sage. Once again she taught me. I witnessed firsthand the steel strength she possessed. A strength nurtured by the women who encircled her hospital bed.

What does it mean to be a woman? What powers do we possess? Why do we act the way we do? What challenges do we face? How do we overcome them? These are the questions that make my muse dance.