Thursday, October 26, 2006

How I Feel About Being A Feminist

On one of the genealogy websites that I visit, there has been a minor thread about the actions of of and reaction to English Suffragettes (I prefer the US term Suffragists, it just sounds more serious, but, well, I'm English). The general gist of this thread went along the lines of - those women had too much time on their hands- they were over-privileged women who didn't work- the women were an embarrassment to their families- and so on. It was an amazing little discussion. And then I noticed that all the contributers were women and my face just fell. How can this be?

Some days I feel tired of fighting. Tired of objecting to "EVERY SINGLE TINY INSIGNIFICANT THING"*, exhausted by my own attempts to counteract the bad things with good thoughts, positive thoughts, empowering thoughts. I get dragged into hating myself. I allow myself to be shrunk down and stepped on. In the face of overwhelming pressure to conform and be "normal" it just all gets too much.

Then I think of something peculiarly feminist, like oh, an Indigo Girls song, or labrys badges, or being a good Mum, friend, sister, human. Or Mary Daly's amazing Wickedary, the Bronte sisters, Audre Lorde's poems, the women who lived and breathed and died for women's Suffrage and I just feel amazing again. Powerful. Fleshed out and whole. I become re-excited by radical feminism and the promises of grace, agency and imagination contained within those two spiky, precious words. Today I may be knackered and burned out but tomorrow....

Watch and Enjoy!

* Quote courtesy of my always lovely, non-feminist mother!


witchy-woo said...

That was brilliant Pippa! Thank you :)

Funny, you know... I remember learning a long time ago that most revolutions have been started by the relatively privileged middle classes. The upper classes have too much to lose and the lower classes need all their energy to survive. I wonder if that still applies?

But, just like you, when I feel overwhelmed by the constant, never-ending, incessant and exhausting daily battles I think about those women who've fought before and that really helps revive me. And then I think of the wonderful radfem women I'm connected with in all kinds of different ways and I feel like I'm a part of something honest and good and growing.

You coming to Reclaim the Night on 25 Nov?

SarahYell said...

A fantastic post. I can also relate to feeling so burnt out on some days that I almost have no energy to stand and fight. Thinking of all the women who took a stand in the past definitely helps.

Pippa said...

Thanks you two. Witchy, i hope to go to RTN. I will pingyou if it looks like I will be going, maybe we can meet up for a laugh and a drink and so on!! Cheers, Pippa x