I recently made a post on my Facebook page referring to myself as a Feminist. Said post proceeded to stir up a bit of conflict in regards to an others assumption of what “feminist” meant and my personal identification of the word. I was compelled to go deeper in to the ambiguous nature of integration.
I need to be honest here, this was the first time I have consciously called myself a feminist through public media, and in doing this I felt a great hesitation.
This statement along with the post was an underlining expression of choice to “out” myself. I had made it because I felt safe in my circle and assumed that they would understand my own connotations and not jump to derail the matter at hand because of their own projections and wounding.
I was wrong.
Know this, I have never publicly stated I was a feminist before because until a few years ago I never fully understood or accepted A: my own femininity or B: the history of violence, repression and degradation that Women have had to consistently live with for hundreds and hundreds of years.
But I didn’t want to identify as a victim, I didn’t want to put my own gender into a box that identified their entirety as a victim.
Although in doing this I missed a very important point; throughout history we have been persecuted (believe me the irony of the etymology of that word “HIStory” being used in this context is not lost on me), and for me to spend a good portion of my life not recognizing that personal and collective trauma - instead choosing to sweep it under the rug has had dire consequences to me.
For example: I am only now coming to terms that I personally have had inflicted upon me both sexual and physical abuse — some of it was buried by my own PTSD, and the rest I justified with excuses that characterized the occurrences as “my fault” — because if it’s “my fault” then i have control of it. If it’s “my fault” I don’t have to be the damsel tied to the train tracks, the waif crying helplessly on the side of the road — that's not me; so why would I need feminism?
Why? Because like it or not I feel that grief, and that anger — not directed AT men but at circumstance — anger at the culture that allows me to spend my every day in fear of being hurt, manipulated, raped or killed. Every fucking day, it’s become autopilot to so many of us that we don’t even notice it anymore.
A not so brief example: I never listen to my iPod with both earbuds in, I never walk close to a shrubbery, never enter a parking lot, playground, or walk too close to a parked car or back ally at night. Why? Because if you do, there is a chance you’ll be robbed, assaulted, raped and maybe killed if you struggle. It’s embedded in us so deeply that we don’t even shudder at these thoughts, this is the norm.
If we did venture to these places then it would be “our fault”.
This is what the culture has us believe, this is what we convince ourselves — to feign the illusion that we are in control. This is what we’re told by Women within their own denial when they hear we have been hurt and it presents them with an uncomfortable mirror.
In our world behind the tattered veil of so-called civilization there is a War on the Feminine; and many of those against us are in fact Women. Woman who are tired of being weak, battered and small choose instead to take the side that has convinced them that’s what they are.
Not men, but abusers. Whom, as we all know, come in all shapes, genders and forms, and many don’t even know what they are inflicting, and upon whom.
The ancestral anger is exceedingly palpable, but more so I feel what lays beyond it once properly expressed and acknowledged. Anger and grief are healthy emotions, but when they are not felt and dealt with skillfully they mutate into wrath. Wrath is chaotic, it is what the radical pro-rape men's groups are drenched with, which is also what the angry violent “feminists” are soaking in. It’s the same destructive hatred, directed towards anything and everything that is perceived to have hurt or may still mean to hurt.
There is anger and pain in our history and being told to “get over it, move on” is whats causing it to fester into wrath.
No one -man or woman- will win that war.
I didn’t want to identify as a feminist because most of my life I spent being close friends with men.
I saw them bullied, beaten and sexually abused and having no one to talk to about it. I watched them be told to suck it up, or that all men want sex regardless of the context, or plain and simple be told they were liars because they should be strong enough to fend off any abuser.
If the culprit was male, then the victim was scared to come across as a “pussy” or a “fag” that couldn’t defend himself. If the culprit had been female then the victim was bullied by his peers because “getting laid is getting laid” and berated because he couldn’t fight off a girl. Further perpetuating that Females are the weaker sex.
I love men, so much — I have such a grand appreciation for divine masculinity that I once almost completely relinquished my own gender on account of the abuse I saw inflicted upon the silent and victimized masculine. I see the pain of the masculine and it’s rooted in the same wounds of the feminine — the same history unacknowledged, the collective trauma that defines Women and Victims as second class citizens. We need Feminism to create a safe place for all Genders that have been hurt — we need to heal together or the segregation will continue to destroy us.
I am a Feminist and I love men, I want to live in a world where they can be soft-hearted, kind, and even feminine if they choose without having to feel weaker for it. I want to live in a world where Men and Women alike can feel safe to express their fears, insecurities, and traumas. AND RIGHT NOW, a redemption of the Feminine is needed to make a safe place for the reclamation of what it means to be a man in this new emerging paradigm.
Authentic feminism is not the adversary to Men as a whole, it’s the catalyst to change that will allow us to heal together and move into a new space where harmonious integration is actually a possibility.
So WHY do I need Feminism?
Because I need to trust Women again, because I see my Mother, and her Mother and her Mother’s mother and so on all suffering from the same wound that has landed in me. I see my whole life effected by trauma that hasn’t been spoken to from fear of being labelled a radical angry feminist.
I see being angry as a learned defence mechanism — because being angry is the only way we can feel sorrow whilst still feeling powerful. I see years of broken relationships with women, a lack of trust, a complete lack of sisterhood, a longing of which we no longer have a name for — so we become Catty, and say things like
“I’m not like those other girls”
as if abandoning our gender so nonchalantly is something that would make us better people.
I need feminism because to flourish we need to trust ourselves as women and our sisters without tearing them down. AND that has nothing to do with men, nor does it hold any threat to any man of whom is confident in himself.
I need Feminism because I can’t say Feminism or speak about wounding that has occurred to Women without a Man (or Woman) speaking as by me confessing my wounds it is somehow a threat or discredits the wounds of another gender. I need to live in a world where I can say “I am hurting” without someone else taking offence to it as if I didn’t see their pain. There are not enough years in my life to speak to every individual's anguish, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel, see and ache for each one of them.
I need to live in a world where it is okay to excavate the history of which may cause some to feel discomfort.
I need Feminism because I am only now in my late twenties coming to realize that which has been done to Females — having it barely touched upon in public schooling.
Only in this last year, I learned that the classical period of witch hunts in Europe and Colonial North American ran from 1450 to 1750; resulting in an estimated 100,000 executions. That's over 300 years, for some perspective in the realms of time — Canada it’s self isn’t even 150 years old yet.
I learned also that Woman who were in connection by blood or friendship to any accused witch were sought out, tortured, and in turn often also accused of sharing that same “sin”.
As such Woman stopped connecting to each other, they severed their friendships, their deep feminine bonds, for fear of their own lives.
This is something I know now is still very much a prominent wounding in our society. Women are just learning that it’s okay to not be small and that it’s okay to try and reclaim the understanding of Sisterhood that we were robbed of so long ago.
And again, this has nothing to do with men, nor does it hold any threat. In-fact in a world where women were not trying to find their Mothers, Sisters, or Female connections through their spouses or brothers — Imagine the profound lightening of the burdensome load that shame, guilt and constant failure Men experience.
I cannot even fathom the worlds vast expression and beauty if the Feminine as a whole felt safe to be allowed in it. The Feminine laying in both Men and Woman alike — what could our world be if there wasn’t a constant war ground situated inside of our psyches and our collective consciousness.
Feminism is not Anti Masculine. It is the Feminine’s attempt to rebuild and meet the Masculine in their unified power. Beyond the individual crisis, there is so much more of the story that needs to be adhered to.
I love Men very much, I am learning to Love Woman as I should have been taught by the Women that came before me — at no fault of their own, they too were withheld that same Human right. In learning to Love Woman, I will be a better Lover of Men. And vice versa.
Feminism is the recovery of what it could look like to live in a world that Loves without Fear.
One day, we may not need Feminism anymore. One day we may be able to see each other's beauty as it is without the prewritten stories of gender or weakness. But that day is not today.