I built a chapel for you to bow down.
Shout out to all the Native women and Californios. Shout out to all the pioneers walking to California while pregnant, shout out to all the women who had to bury their children on the trail, shout out to all the ladies who came by sea and freaked out seeing the jungles of Panama or Nicaragua because you would have never seen anything like that before. Shout out to all the ladies who came west with their husbands because it sounded fun. Shout out to all the ladies who had to come with their husbands but then stayed because it was fun. Shout out to all the ladies who came on their own for any reason at all. Shout out to all the women who were here all along.
Shout out to all the women who felt empowered like they had never felt empowered before, shout out to all the women who were disrespected and beaten down like they had never been beaten down before. Shout out to all the ladies who were enslaved, raped or murdered, shout out to all the ladies who survived that shit. Shout out to everyone who survived the Act for Government and the Protection of Indians and California’s gold crazed genocide.
Shout out to all the sex workers, all the women who chose to make money following groups of miners from camp to camp, all the women who didn’t choose that life and had to live it anyway. Shout out to all the Chinese women who were never given the dignity of being called wives when they were in fact wives. Shout out to all the wives, all the divorcees and re-married women. Shout out to all the ladies that built their own houses, tended their own gardens, managed their own money, ran their own businesses and opened those businesses a second time if they burnt down. Shout out to all the hustlers and the hustled and any other lady I haven’t mentioned yet. Shout out to every fucking woman alive and living in California during the Western Expansion.
I don’t know all of your names or all of your stories but I know you were there. I know you had names and I know you had stories and I know you deserve to be seen. I see you and I want everyone to see you, so I built you a chapel.