An Open Letter to the Women of Ann Arbor

Being a women is a blessing, a curse, a triumph and a toil. Every woman has moments of joy that are unique to us: giving birth to a child, building unbreakable bonds with other women, triumphing over stereotypes we’ve won over, reveling in the unique beauty of our bodies, and more. But in the midst of joyful moments, our lives can also be struck with pain and struggle that confront us in equally unique ways: the delicate intricacies of our female bodies which sometimes seem to actively fight against us, the gender norms like how we should have a family, what industries we should work in or what sports we should play that can box us in, the seemingly impossible balance between career and family and the never-ending tirade of lies about our beauty and self-worth.

We know that being a woman isn’t easy, but we also know that it can bring us more joy than we imagined possible. There are so many experiences and emotions that we face unique to womanhood. But sadly, if we’re honest, many times we feel we face them alone. But we’d like to change that. We want to join women who want to see womanhood become sisterhood. Women willing to be vulnerable, courageous and strong enough to unite their individual experiences into a bigger story. Women willing to support one another with honesty, inquiry (not judgement), and encouragement. We believe that our individual experiences (albeit different) can find a reflection in the experiences of other women, and together we can shine light into each other’s lives. We want to build a community, a safe-place where women can learn to ask, receive, engage in open, honest dialogue, live and thrive in their womanhood, embrace hardships, navigate the unexpected, and find the strength to overcome as they stand alongside others who have walked similar paths. We believe that in sisterhood these powerful, impactful bonds can be formed.

So we want to hear from you. We want to hear about the obstacles you’re facing and the ones you’ve overcome. The things you’re grateful for and those you’re still hoping for. We’re asking you to share the treasure within YOUR HEART.  We want to echo your thoughts and dreams across this community, and as sisters, to support you.

Women of Ann Arbor, tell us what you feel, need, want and desire. We will hear you, share with you and stand with you. If a question will help to start the conversation: What are some of the things you, as a woman, are wanting/hoping for in life?

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.