When I read about feminism or emancipation of women, races or gender inequality I wonder if I’m reading an article from the 60’s or 70’s. Growing up in the 80’s (I’m from 1976) in the Netherlands with a single mother I didn’t know better that women work, take care of their children and have hobbies. They also have feelings, a sexual appetite and (who knew) freedom.

They stand on their own, strong as a (wo)man. I never gave women rights a second thought growing up since we all have the same rights, human rights and my mother was all the right I needed to know about. Of course a woman has a different role and posture than a man. She has a vagina, bears children and has more affinity with taking care of her offspring but it never made me think more but certainly not less about her. Her rights where the same as the man. She was my hunter, my provider. She was my teacher, my care taker. My role model. She didn’t need rights, nor protection. She protected me. She was the right, why I exist.

Maybe for growing up without having a pertinent “alpha” male in my life I get things confused. However, we live in an era where many things are changing. (Just like every other era before us since we invented fire…) Our gender roles are being questioned, transformed, or maybe even enhanced into some hybrid form? Who knows. Sexuality is being freed from oppression. There is a lot to cope with that is not fully comprehensible for a 38 (t h i r t y  e i g h t!) year young old man. Human evolution takes its course in many ways and you can not fight change. Emancipation came with the brain. It’s part of our evolution. It doesn’t care about gender roles, politics or religion, it sure won’t be stopped by skin color and most definitely not by one’s opinion. Read the world history if you don’t believe me. *winks*

But let’s get back to my point… Here I am! Being surrounded by a diversity of women. Short. Fat. Tall. Blond. Black. Hairy. Bold and/or bald. One more feminine while the other is more traditional. One more to my liking than the other. (I’m human too.) One to drink a beer with, the other to flirt with, all to talk with and listen to. And yes, they’re all beautiful. They are all lovers and they are all fighters. There is no doubt. Just like any other man, there is an other woman. I don’t see the need to stand up for their rights for they are fully capable of doing so themselves. I will however stand in support and cheer them on.

(You go girl! Woman. Lady. Fight like a girl and bring a man down)

I am standing up for human rights and they are just as human as the man who thinks she’s less than him. I’m standing up for them and applaud them as I see them walk the path of life. As I see them fall and get up, dust their hearts off, pull their pants up, adjust their hair and take another step into the shadows ahead. So this is not about your rights! Definitely not about your wrongs! This is about creating an equal playing field for all that are involved.

It might be a shallow attempt to apologize for being me. For solely seeing you as a cook, as a cleaner, as my desire, as a reason to hide for and from. But mostly as a salute. I’ve been raised in an era where I saw the change happen but it’s like society never overcame.

So to all Debbie’s, Diana’s and Diane’s. Mae’s and Mees’s. Caresse’s, Caitlin’s, Claartje’s, and Coraline’s. Fatima’s, Nazirah’s and/or Shireen’s. There are Eva’s, Emma’s and Eve’s…  Sabrine’s, Sherianne’s, Sylvia’s, Soraya’s. Tara’s, Theresia’s and Trix’s. Renske’s, Roelle’s, Patty’s and Patricia’s *breathes*  Angi’s, Anja’s, Ilse’s, Yindee’s, Elisa’s, Joyce’s, Jennifer’s,  Hester’s, Lisette’s and Ling’s! From the Catherine’s to the Shaniqua’s. Vanessa, Vee’s and Ness’s. Also the Kelly’s, Kim’s and Kimberley’s. I might have left out some Amanda’s, Monica’s, Maria’s, and all the other maam’s and misses.

Forgive me for I have only so much time. But to all, to all women surrounding me, standing under the same light as me. That have seen the darkness and shared their joy…

I recognize you. Thank you for letting me see you.


Music of choice: Cyndi LauperGirls Just Want to Have Fun

Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have