Freed to Realize my Womanhood
By: Kat Kraszeski
I don’t desire my own biological children. I respect women’s choice to have their own children if they can, but it doesn’t feel right for me. I am met with barriers due to this. When I get my period monthly it’s mentally draining. My mood drops and my ability to live falters. A hysterectomy feels like my best option, but no doctor will agree. ‘I’m a woman and I should want my own biological children’. So I’m told. ‘I’m too young to know what I want’. Does this make me less of a woman?
At 20 I’m supposed to know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m supposed to know how to manage my money. I’m supposed to know how to do laundry, go grocery shopping, and cook my meals. Make my own medical decisions (kind of). Yet I’m not allowed to know if I desire my own biological children?
I don’t hold my identity as a woman in my womb or in the length of my hair. Does this make me less of a woman? No! It makes me my own woman. This makes me a happy healthy woman. I will not stop fighting for my right to do with my body what I want.
It feels like around every corner someone is telling me no. That I can’t be attracted to more than one gender. I can’t not want children. I need to look feminine all the time. I feel isolated almost every day. I don’t know many women in my day-to-day life who don’t feel attached to their womb. Or their need to have long hair.
I’m told women shouldn’t have armpit hair. Women shouldn’t have leg hair. Women shouldn’t fall in love with women and non-binary people. Women shouldn’t shop in the men’s section. Women shouldn’t work in the construction industry. Yet I’ve done all these things. So am I now considered not a woman? Just because my womanhood looks different then yours doesn’t make it any less valid.
I identify as a queer women. I chose the word queer for myself because it used to be used to belittle people, people in the LGBTQ+ community. But the community has taken the word back and uses it to describe people who are not straight. You might think ‘why not just say you are gay’. But gay to me means when a man is attracted to men and that’s not how I am. I wanted a fluid term that just said I’m not straight and that I owe you no other information. That’s exactly how I identify.
My first large step into expressing my queerness was cutting my hair. I used to have long, dyed-blond hair and slowly as it grew out I cut it to my shoulders. Then right above my ears. Then finally stepping out from behind the shadows; cutting it as short as I want. Now I feel free to let my hair do as it pleases, let it grow, let it be cut. It doesn’t matter to me any more. Now, I want to be freed of my uterus.
I’m not straight. I don’t just find men attractive, I find I can be attracted to anyone regardless of their gender. They can be a man, a woman, or non binary. They can have a penis or a vagina. Gender and genitalia are not important in my attraction, it’s the quality of the person. That’s my definition of queer, but queer can mean anything but straight. I’m a queer women who doesn’t want my own biological children. And this empowers me to fight for my rights and your rights. To love and express yourself! To shape your body to be your identity.
I’ve struggled with my definition of what it is to be a woman because I feel society pushes the idea that a woman should marry a man and bear children. And my vision of myself as a woman is to not bear children. All I hope for is to find someone regardless of gender. To share my life with. Someone who supports me in my passions. Someone who is kind and passionate about something they enjoy.
Although my womanhood, and the fact that I’m a woman, is important to me in my life right now, it’s not important to me what gender my significant other is. What’s more important to me is the type of person they are. I just want someone who I can connect with. Someone who can embrace me for me and I can embrace for who they are unconditionally.
I hope to be able to fully come into myself before I meet my person or people who I intimately share my life with. I want them to see me as I envision myself. Scarred but healed. Broken but mended. Fueled with passion by the rage of this society.