Women need iron. Not the vitamin. The barbell.
We are trained by the world around us to have fucked up ideas about our bodies; iron unfucks them.
We are supposed to be as thin as possible, as small as possible, perhaps until we disappear; iron teaches us to take up space.
We are taught that the only good direction for the scale to go is down, and to agonize ritualistically when it goes up. Iron teaches us the power of gaining weight for strength and gives us another weight to care about – the weight we are lifting.
We are taught to eat small amounts daintily and treat food as sin and pleasure. Iron teaches us to eat heartily, to see food as fuel for life, and to seek out nutritious food rather than avoiding sinful food.
We are taught to think of our bodies as decorative, an object to be looked at; iron teaches us to think of our bodies as functional, our own active selves, not passive objects for another’s regard.
Whole industries exist to profit by removing from us our confidence and selling it back as external objects. Iron gives us confidence from within through progressive training and measurable achievements.
We are taught to be gentle and hide our strength or even to cultivate charming physical weakness until we start to believe our bodies are weak. Iron teaches us how strong we can be.