On Borrowed Sisterhood

I am finding it difficult to express with words my feelings and thoughts on the subject of sisterhood. Where does one start when one is uncertain? One step at a time? A sprint? Of sisterhood, who is even invited? To this I owe my current trouble and my current reverence. I often wonder just how I am fortunate enough to be immersed in the ideals of sisterhood and yet completely unattached in the identity of such, a man who finds friendship amongst his own brethren to be limited by the confines of suburbia let alone the virtue of its own consequence?

Sure, a brotherhood may exist, but only for the sake of itself, there is no societal excellence to behold nor a moral high ground to uphold. We can talk of sports, weather, if we’re lucky politics and humor, but what of literature and art, its cultural significance and majesty? What about hurt? What about happiness? There is no passion in the masculine dogmas of a nation to which I was born into, at least none to which I am acquainted with. So how then is a man who unburdens himself of the frivolity of male bonding able to earn trust among the sisterhood? Have I not sold-out the brotherhood? How can I be trusted not to do the same to my band of sisters? A twist of fate or perhaps the generosity afforded to me as a result of having an older sister?

It is conceivable in a sense to entertain the idea of a borrowed sisterhood, and in it, the opportunity of kinship and repentance. Kinship in matters of soul and spirit, for the rewards of empathic conversation never elude my sisters. There is a comfort in compassion that I have taken solace in many times. I believe I find such solace in the integrity and grace that seems to be inherited from sister to sister, for no woman knows the implications of history and abandons compassion toward the future. When I speak of comfort it is also in the forward thinking of sisterhood that I find it, like any group affected by oppression, they know that the only way to reconcile the past is to move forward, to not make amends but to change behaviors and thoughts, to shift the zeitgeist. There is freedom in moving beyond our past and designing our future. The earthly dogmas, national traditions and prides, these identities do not matter so much to the sisterhood as they do to the brotherhood. Perhaps the vulnerability in not caring is the opportunity of such kinship. Is this not the definition of integrity, an authenticity born of compassion with a disregard for self-important persuasions, in it a kindness extended that affords me a sort of repentance, or at least a chance at it.

I have observed a few years of life by now, enough to realize that the ease, comfort and honesty which we can call my admission to this borrowed sisterhood has without a doubt been imparted from the benefit of an older sister and an ever-present mother. From them I have learned what it is to be a person led by heart and spirit but still I wonder how I am deserving of such graciousness of this sisterhood in my failures to not mind my ego as often as I could? Is this where I am allotted my chance at repentance? To make up for my shortcomings as a younger brother as a son? I’ve to thank my mother and sister for my upbringing, for raising me and valuing me the way they value each other, not only as a family, but also as a larger consciousness of sisterhood which I was not born into but I was brought into by their graces. I too cannot reconcile the past, but to set aside my pride and trade my ego for my authenticity, I can take this borrowed sisterhood as a means to be a better friend, ally and brother.

This sisterhood has brought me kindness, purpose, empathy, compassion, kinship and beyond, but I have borrowed this privilege, it is a gift but I cannot claim its identity for if I am to be authentic to my own self then I must for the meantime be my own agency. I learned early on that there is no honorable brotherhood to identify with for we have historical shortcomings that must be acknowledged before a brotherhood can exist worthy of walking alongside the sisterhood. As a society we mustn’t lay claim to these archaic patriarchal traditions, they have been pillars of chaos to which we have built our history upon, both personal and of the world. I cannot promise a society, but I can promise to work towards shifting behaviors and ideologies within my reach, within my community in order to share the graciousness and goodness of borrowed sisterhood bestowed upon me to one day enjoy an equal and just existence.

3 thoughts on “On Borrowed Sisterhood

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