It’s winter here, and the weather is cold and dry.
In addition to the weather changes aggravating my pain, it does a nice dance on my skin.
I have really weird skin (in my not so humble opinion). It is really oily sometimes, but it is really, really dry. In the middle, my nose, my chin, part of my forehead, and almost to my eyebrows (but not my eyebrows) are really greasy feeling sometimes, that I always am worried that I look gross, even if I have just washed my face. Yet, if I don’t put some kind of moisturizer on those places, they itch. This isn’t helped by my skin picking disorder, but that is digressing (or maybe not, let me get to the point in a moment).
My cheeks are mostly OK, but they get irritated and itchy if I don’t put something on them…it also has to be gentle, because otherwise they will get red and more irritated, but at least not dry.
Then there is the outermost parts, near my scalp, under my chin, and my eyebrows. If I don’t use something very gentle to cleanse, those parts of my face will dry out and actually crack in the time it takes for me to get from my bathroom to my bedroom to get my toner and moisturizer. Even after the whole routine, I am lucky if it isn’t driving me pissy with itchiness.
All of this means that I have to think of my entire face when I consider how I care for it. I would love to get something that sloughs off the dead skin on my forehead and flushes out all that extra oil, like those trendy three in one cleaners I see every where, but I have to remember that my jawline will crack and be raw if I try to go that route. While the oiliness of the middle of my face might be paid attention to OK with a deep cleanser it won’t help my whole face to heal. But if I use a heavy, greasy lotion that will sooth my dry cracked parts, it will make my nose and chin heavy with oil, and probably break out.
And with my skin picking, that usually leads to me picking at the blemishes, and leaving it red and bloodied and raw in places.
The women in feminism and womanism are a bit like my face, I think. There are parts and intersections, who are all hurting from the different ways that we have been marginalized. We have been wronged, we have been choked with oil, or left to dry and crack while some parts get paid attention to, because that is what is in the middle. Parts have been picked until they have bled, sometimes by ourselves.
But we can’t treat the sores in one part of it without considering how it will affect the other. We have to try to find a way to recognize our commonality rather than tearing each other apart.
And this includes recognizing that when some of us fuck up (and own it) that we move past the shit that they have done.
This includes not further pulling scabs that we know will bleed.
Feminism (and I say this only, because I have not noticed this kind of tearing down among women who identify as womanists, but that doesn’t mean that the Invisible Pink Unicorn isn’t Pink) needs to find a gentle cleanser. We need to remember to include those on the margins, and remember that they intersect when we consider.
And if we forget, if we mess it up, we work to heal it, in a way that isn’t further hurtful.
So that the scabs don’t itch and we don’t want to pull them.