• Ashley Casillas

Does my womanness scare you?

(as are the stories of women told by men)

What is it about my womanness that makes you puff out your chest? Breathing heavy as stories of wild women pass through your mind, a history of women as told by men. Why do you beat your

fist to your heart and sweat from your brow if I am that creature that is said to need protection (as are the stories of women told by men)?

Where does your mind take you when you feel like you are losing control over me?

My womanness is my own and it can be however it is. This is not something that can be manufactured and spit out to be purchased on the sales rack at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ross or Amazon. Nor is womanness to be rated on a scale that was printed in the 1999 edition of Cosmo Teen.

My heart beats and with it I move. The fences in place are the results of false constructs to better be able to rule over the feeble (yet dangerous) female (as are the stories of women told by men). I roam searching and forming, shaping myself to be something only I can know and express. When the shape loses its form, I am not gone forever. There is always that spark of my truth. I would like for you to offer kindling.

Lost. Sometimes this being within us that wants to survive gets lost.

Within the depths of my stomach,

hidden in the nooks and crannies of my intestinal tract.

Somewhere between 6 feet below

and an infinite quantity above my crown.

Who can find this piece of me? This piece of the universe, of my ancestors, of my soul, other than me, my self.

My soul. My woman’s soul. My neck and collarbone, my breast and rib, my hips, my lips, my toes, my hair. They know who I am and they know what belongs to me. It’s been a long time on this earth that each part of a woman’s body is seen as a weapon. But what weapon is this that only yearns to be free to express without prejudice and a painted smile?

You see my arms but do you feel the cold extension of a noose from which your pride may hang?

You touch my lips but do you also hear the sound of an AK47 firing without abandon?

You yearn for the warmth of my embrace, but do you see what may also potentially be your death if you allow for things to just be?

My identity cannot be yours and I refuse to be anybody else but myself.

It has been told that an untamed woman can bring about misery and destruction. There have been stories written about women who have rebelled and only centuries after their death, do we see that they were only seeking to express their truth. Nations have been destroyed because of a glance from a provocateuse with beauty beyond compare (as are the stories of women told by men). How easy is it for us to blame the woman for simply being herself, unashamed and unwilling to cover her truth to protect the weak, sad egos of men!

The truth is a funny thing because it may not be a fact. But what is a fact other than human reasoning and so-called scientific deductions?

By the way, it was a fact that the earth was flat.

Do you not believe my womanness because it does not fit with your factual and historical conditioning?

My womanness is my own. It is mine to mold and adjust as I see fit. Are you scared because you are no longer in control? Are you scared because I am in charge of my womanness? Because I can and I will?

Please turn the page and write your own story. My story will be written by me. Thank you.