Origin: Spanglish, circa 1988.
def: Strong, independent woman; not just an ordinary mujer. A woman to be dealt with. A woman who can deal.
alt: M.T.B.D. (Mooj To Be Dealt with).
The term was born a long time ago. I was 20 years old, living in Madrid, Spain. I was having the time of my life (what does that term mean anyway? is this not, too, a time of my life?) Anyway, I fell in love with another girl for the first time. It was the universe cracking open and showing me a gorgeous explosion of epiphanies. I was in head-over-heels with everything. Let’s call it emblissed.
My first love and I made up a word for something we didn’t see a lot of among Spanish women, but when we did, we had a huge appreciation for it: A woman who did her own thing, her own way, for her own reasons, without apologizing. I remember we once saw a woman worker come out of a manhole in the street; something extraordinarily rare in this Catholic patriarchal bastion where women were sisters, moms, nuns, good girls, grandmothers–but not construction workers, not girls in hard hats fixing stuff in manholes, not–except in a few very interesting corners of the city–lesbians. Anyway, we knew when we saw that one that she was a MOOJ. And the term stuck.
So, me. Well, now I’m in my early 40s. I feel I’ve earned the term and it’s the first thing that came to mind when I had to come up with a name for this blog. And I like the concept of mooj in orbit. Connotations of circling around, on some unknown path, learning something different in each cycle. But also kind of floating out there, in space.