For me, the #HoeIsLife movement has always been about taking ownership of my body and sexuality.
As a Christian girl already in my late twenties, who’d never had penetrative sex with a man before, I was well aware of the harm caused by men who pitted womxn against each other by constantly labelling some as pure and some as bad.
That helped to strengthen my convictions to fully embrace and subscribe to the movement.
#HoeIsLife seemed intent on starting conversations about owning and exploring our sexuality as we saw fit. The unfairness of how womxn were treated for the same decisions men made was interrogated and we were refusing to be boxed.
#HoeIsLife became a safe space to discover that sex belonged to all us not just to men.
It was awareness by womxn for womxn reminding them that they weren’t tools created only for the enjoyment of a man. We rightfully owned the sex and all the pleasure it came with.
We learned to stop hiding in shame and communicated our passions loudly.
The word hoe no longer left a sting when spewed in your face with the intention to disgrace or break you. We broke down the stigma around the word and how it was unfairly used to shame us for being sexual beings.
The movement sought to speak out against the internalized misogyny. To recognize the damage done and the versions we had extended by judging and misguiding each other. It helped us feel set free and unbound. We were learning to finally give ourselves permission to explore and do as we please with our bodies.
We were able to question our convictions and trace their damage. We didn’t want to be part of any systems that taught us to break each other down for the decisions we made about our bodies. We were owning our sex and taking it back from the clutches of men, our church doctrines, and even from our own mothers.
We were not asking anyone for permission to be! We were rightfully becoming and empowering ourselves to know and be better. #HoeIsLife became an important movement that played a crucial part in my life.
We live in a society where the word ‘sex’ does not even belong in a womxn’s mouth, and the hashtag gave us a powerful platform to reclaim and speak up.
The movement spoke deeper into black radical feminism as a whole. The hashtag demanded all to pay attention and know that we were taking back all that belonged to us. It wasn’t just a trend, the hashtag continues to challenge and confront many stereotypes.
What has #HoeIsLife meant to you? What do you believe are the movement’s biggest misconceptions? Do you see any opportunities for improvement?
Photo By: Lonwabo Zimela