I am a woman, first. It is a declaration that more than one person my life would find surprising, if not humorous. Me—a woman, first?! Do perish the thought! Me, this woman who goes to the gym four times a week and lifts like she is trying out for a professional football team and the test of the Combine is around the corner. Me, this woman who has men’s pants and men’s shoes and men’s shirts.
Me, this woman, who has traded in her sleek, slim femininity for scotch and steaks, muscle and masculinity, for stubbornness and strength.
Yes, me, this woman, a woman, first, who ached for every size up she had to accept in the dress shop, who has more scarves and stockings and garters and lingerie than pretty sorority princesses, who wields a flat iron as bravely and deftly as she would, if these times were medieval and mean, a sword.
Yes, me, I am that woman, and I am a woman, first, before any other label (of race, of sexuality, of socioeconomic status, of class, of profession, of beauty score, of dress size, of nationality, of gender expression) can be applied.
I do not roar.