HOW IT WORKS!
The BWPW Movement is comprised of three steps:
1. Choose your blank
Choose an adjective that describes your identity or a personal struggle. This adjective will fill in your blank. Pick something that:
a) you feel is a crucial part of your identity or life experience
b) society sees as taboo, unacceptable, or shameful for women
The idea is to explore our complexities and experiences as women, and to declare that we are all phenomenal. We are striving to celebrate ourselves by turning perceived weaknesses into strengths, and showing that no one is any less of a woman for having gone through a particular struggle or identifying a certain way.
*Examples: "Black Woman, Phenomenal Woman," "Battered Woman, Phenomenal Woman," "Gay Woman, Phenomenal Woman," "Fat Woman, Phenomenal Woman," "Poor Woman, Phenomenal Woman," etc.
You may pick whatever you want for your blank, as long as it adequately and honestly describes your personal struggle or identity.
2. Write a personal story around your adjective
Once you've selected an adjective for your blank, write a personal story to explain your identity, how you overcame a struggle affiliated with that identity, or how you're still coming to terms with your feelings. When composing your story, ask yourself these questions: What do I want to celebrate about myself and my story? What stereotypes or stigmas surrounding women do I want to challenge or eradicate?
The story can be as short or long as you'd like. The only stipulation is that your account must be honest, and must end with these words from the late Maya Angelou's famous poem, "Phenomenal Woman": "Cause I am a (fill in your blank) woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me."
The goal is to encourage someone else reading your story to be able to draw some sort of connection to you, and most importantly, for you to begin the difficult work of trying to work through some of these issues by being honest about them. This is an activity as much about self-exploration as it is about building community and sisterhood among women.
*Note: If you'd prefer, you may also pick an adjective or a blank that describes a woman in your life (mother, sister, friend, etc), and compose your story around her identity or struggle. In this instance, you would detail as much of her story as you feel comfortable sharing, and explain how her womanhood has inspired you in some way.
3. Submit and share your blank
Once you've finished your story, submit it to bw-pw.com via the site submission form. You can click the link here, or go to the "Contact" page of the navigation bar at the top of your screen. You are also highly encouraged to send a high resolution photo of yourself (or something relevant to your story) to firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos will be included in the BWPW participants gallery, which will allow readers to more easily find your story. Pending review, your story will be uploaded to the site. If there is a problem regarding your submission, you will receive an email in response.
Once you make it to the site, share your story wherever you can! If sharing on social media platforms, be sure to use the hashtag "#bwpw" so others may join the movement as well. Encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to submit their own stories and be a source of light and inspiration to other phenomenal women!
WELCOME to the BWPW family!