“She’s a Lady, I’m a Lady, You’re a Lady, We’re the Ladies”

I saw this mural in Pilsen, just under a billboard for a fantasy video game and a piece of graffiti that read “DEAR GOD, BRING THE DOOM.” I was instantly drawn to it because I love ladies. I love ladies and I love fighting and the idea of fighting for the ladies. I came to Chicago with vaguely naive hopes of being a champion for the ladies and this mural reminds me of that. I believe the only way to be a champion for the ladies is to fight for the rights of all ladies. Ladies with hijabs or with afros, ladies young and old, or ladies who are bravely coming out as ladies. This is what this mural reminds me of.

I identify, above all else, as a woman. When I write about Chicago, I most often write about the experience of my specific type of womanhood in Chicago. Between choosing which side of the sidewalk to walk on, smiling for your own safety or thinking of a certain Presidential candidate’s opinions on whether your body is a 10 or not every time you see their name emblazoned on the sides of buildings, I am always hyper-aware of my gender and its implications when existing in this space. The small injustices and micro aggressions we face daily as urban women, whatever neighborhood of Chicago we inhabit, is a constant reminder of why I am here. To make Chicago my own is to make it a safe space for the women who also call it home, and this image represents the first steps of doing so. Feminism that does not recognize the slights and oppressions faced by all types of women is not feminism, intersectionality is the best way to unite one another for the common good especially in such a vastly diverse city as this one. I came to Chicago with vaguely naive hopes of being a champion for the ladies, but when I see this mural and the message it represents, it makes me realize maybe it isn’t so naive. Dear God, bring the doom.

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