I wish I had written this, but I didn’t. The original post can be found at http://takingsteps.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/seam-of-skin-and-scales.html Reblogged because it’s effing great.
“I am not a woman trapped in a man’s body. This body is no man’s; it is mine, it is me, and there is no man in that equation. And I am not trapped in it. There are a million and one ways out of this body, and I have clung to it, tooth and claw, despite an endless line of people and institutions who would rather I vacate the premises, and have sometimes been willing to make me bleed to convince me they’re right.
This body is mine, and I claim it and its bruises, and it is not a man’s, and I am not trapped here. I have looked leaving my body in the eye and I have said, in the end, hell no. There is too much to do, too much to love, too many who need one more of us to say hell no and help them say the same.
You might not like it. It might be a wrongness to you.
I am done with traps. I am done with the philosophy of traps, and I am done with the feminism of who owns my body for what cause.
It is time for something that tells you that I am here for blood–my blood, the blood of my loved ones, the blood of the people who have battered themselves against my life and found me still here.
It is time for a feminism of the monstrous.
That is this body. That is this me. That is the voice that says get your names off of my parts and your hands off them too, that says stop colonizing my reality and telling me what I mean without listening to a word I say.
What I say may be in a language incomprehensible, but there is a time for that, and it is right now, because this is a monster’s creed. It is for the cobbled-together, the sewn-up, the grafted-on. It is for the golden, the under-the-earth, the foreign, the travels-by-night; the filthy ship-sinking cave-dwelling bone-cracking gorgeousness that says hell no, I am not tidy. I am not easy. I am not what you suppose me to be and until you listen to my voice and look me in my eyes, I will cling fast to this life no matter how far you drive me, how deep, with how many torches and pitchforks, biting back the whole way down. I will not give you my suicide. I will not give you my surrender.
This is for the Lilim, because you forget that the next part after your co-opted icon parts ways with Adam and goes her own way is and she begat monsters, and she becomes terrifying. This is for the Gorgons and the vampires and the chimaeras, for Cybele and Baba Yaga, Hel and Ashtoreth, for Lamia and Scylla, for Kali and Kapo ‘ula-kina’u. This is for all of them with teeth.
It is time to look the monstrous in the eye. It is time. It is time to say that we are beautiful in our fierceness, and that we are our own. We are not the rejected of what we can never be. We are what we were meant to be. We are not pieces of wholes thrown together incorrectly. We are not mistakes.
We are not inferior knockoffs of someone else. If our monstrousness is frightening, then it is time we bare our teeth and draw that fear close to us and stop being so afraid of our fearsomeness that we fear everyone and everything else right back.
I am throwing my head back, here, and saying it: no more being afraid. Hell no. My monstrousness is not a place of shame. It is a strength. It is the power to say I am mine, and I will tell you what I mean. Not you. I am not any thing trapped in anyone’s body. I am tougher than that, and I have plenty of blood to spare in this body of mine, and plenty more miles to go before any of you can bring me to my knees, and I dare you to try.
I am choosing to stay here, and it is mine to choose. And if that means changing shape, if that means putting together the unexpected, that is any monster’s ancient right. It is damn well traditional.
The only ones setting traps are the ones in our way.
There. There’s my teeth. There’s my cause.
Keep kicking: a thousand, thousand slimy things lived on. And so. Did. I.”