It is no secret that I have been a feminist for the bulk of my life. While I have always believed in the cause, it wasn’t until later in my life that I began to *fight* for the cause. Life gets in the way, sometimes, of the things you really wish to do. Marriage, work, children (whom I adore) were roadblocks in the journey that brought me to where I am today. While medical issues may conspire against my getting out there and marching and protesting, things I would love to do, I fight in other ways. My feminist page on Facebook, called Shakti Warrior Goddess, is my best present weapon. It has a mix of feminism and Goddess Spirituality. I try for a balance between the two, but invariably the feminism wins out.
Why might this be, one might ask. It’s because this world has always been a time bomb for women. The harder we fight, the tighter patriarchy tries to grip. I believe patriarchy is dying a (very) slow death. I will most likely not be here to see the end of it, unfortunately, but I know, in my heart, that it is coming.
What many people fail to understand is that feminism is not just about equal rights for women, it is about equal rights for EVERYONE, men included, as they are damaged by patriarchy as much as anyone.
The world, and the country of the US, where I live is becoming scarier by the day. Fighting against injustice, not just against women, but against injustice everywhere and against everyone is exhausting. Ask any feminist who not only believes in the cause, but fights for it, and you will find one very tired woman; a woman who is tired of the rhetoric, the hatred, the intolerance, and name-calling, the harassment, the assaults, and who gets tired of fighting the good fight every……single…..day.
I look around and see a new Hitler-in-the-making in a so-called presidential candidate, daily terrorism by the actual terrorists and by the police in the street. I see young men of color being shot down and then the inevitable retaliation. We have guns, guns to easy to get, guns everywhere, being used to shoot innocent people, shot by those whose minds and hearts are filled with anger, fear and hate. This is all part of feminism, whether you realize it or not.
The online harassment of feminists is a consequence we pay. We are attacked verbally, technologically, and yes, sometimes those attacks become personal as personal information is learned and precautions have to be taken against those angry, hate-filled people. Most of us know this is a possibility going in.
For me, I find the consequence that is hardest for me to deal with, is the burn-out. Every so often, I get tired. I want to give up this fight. The things I see, hear and read hurt me emotionally, spiritually and psychically. I get to that point where I cannot stand turning on the news, opening a newspaper, as each article, each new story, is another hit that sends me down for the count. This has happened numerous times through the years, and I know that I am not alone in these feelings. My feminist friends report the same.
This is where I am now. The shooting at Pulse, the barrage of police shooting young men, the acts of Daesh (I refuse to call them the name of a Goddess), a hate-filled man running for president and his angry, nasty followers have brought me to a place where I do not like, nor wish to be. I know how this feels; I have felt it before, and I’m sure I will feel it again in the future. But, for now, it is time to take a temporary step back, to find myself again and remember why I choose to fight this fight.
The writing, the blog, will continue, as it always has, but the focus will most likely temporarily change as I take this step back. Burnout is a consequence of being a feminist activist; a consequence one must recover from. I’m going to go recover to come back stronger.
In the meantime, I would recommend these books:
*Disclaimer: I am included in these Anthologies