The question becomes, Whose femininity do we seek to question and most obsessively seek to uncover its “dirty secrets”? Are other women’s beauty so readily dissected and probed in private boundaries made public? Whose beauty is a deceit, needing to be uncovered, and whose is seen as simply an extension of an inherently beautiful and awe inspiring womanhood? And finally, what does it say about the way we view not only Black women, both cis and trans, but women across the board? What does it say about how mistrustful we are of our own femininity and unsure of our own standing in the context of a patriarchal gaze. When womanhood is so readily deconstructed by the very purveyors of its infinite power and mystery, what hope is there for a feminist revolution?
In a society in which womanhood, blackness, and trans womanhood are all pathologized we would do well to collectively challenge hierarchies. What would it look like if we as women collectively pooled our best cards and challenged patriarchy for the grand kitty? How do we expand the definition of womanhood to serve our lives and not the whims of a world that sees us as inherently less than human cut out dolls? Perhaps we can take the bra off womanhood so she breathes a little easier, knock out the wall, and make the powder room a little roomier. Its 2014 and we all need space to fix our makeup and fluff our Lena Horne inspired curls, to take over the World.
–Shaadi Devereaux, Rollersets & Realness: Black Womanhood Defined as Drag Performance