So .. bye? DUNNO!(38 Posts)
No one can be an activist or think about difficult stuff 24/7. It's exhausting! One person can also not change all the things in the world at the same time (this how I feel a lot) It's neccessary to to take it easy and enjoy things like and recharge batteries to do more difficult work and thinking.
I have days, and weeks, where I feel like it's all just a monumental waste of energy
I have a bit of a history of despondent "Why the fuck am I bothering" posts on here
So I take a bit of a break, keep on doing what pleases me and stuff everyone else
if it involves shaving, plucking or painting so fucking what
if it involves closing my ears for a bit and just not engaging with the fuckwits around me, so be it
stay true to yourself, you won't go far wrong (cheesey, but true)
and before you know it, your batteries are recharged and you are doing your bit to challenge the bad stuff again
Compatible not comparable. Need to learn to spell.
I find it difficult on these threads to articulate as well as I'd like, I need to read more I think..
I know though that I am a feminist, I don't do I am, I want equality with men, I am aware we live in a patriarchal society, that life is less than fair. For me it's about awareness, informed choice, raising my daughter to be as equipped as she can be, raising my son to see women as his equals. I could not give up feminism, it is, alongside other deep felt beliefs, part of who I am.
Make-up, hair, clothes; I do think of them and my values inform my decisions, not just feminist values, but they are key I think. Women are judged on their looks in a different way to men, the expectations on us are higher than the expectations on men, which doesn't mean that there aren't men who spend a lot of time and effort on their appearance, there are. It is totally comparable with feminism to spend a huge amount of time and money on your looks IMO. I don't want to spend the time every day to make myself up, so I don't, and I am going quite grey, which does make me look older, and I'm OK with that, I am getting older and I don't feel I have to conceal that, so I'm not going to dye my hair. I don't care what anyone else does really. I do try hard not to judge others on appearance.
I was just trying to give a couple of examples of my behaviour that I thought relevant to the OP. I don't think you can give up feminism, it had never occurred to me that you could. I find the feminist boards on here hard though, more thinking involved than elsewhere on MN.
I get what you mean StickEmUp, I feel the same, and am sick and tired sometimes. I suppose doing 1 tiny little thing occassionaly is better than doing nothing. So do what you can, when you can?
I have days too when I feel so tired and more recently days when I wonder what its all about, partly I think because my own experiences throughout life are not reflected by what I read. Logically, rationally and intellectually I know women are not enjoying freedom and equality especially outside of white middle class Western experience. I know too that thousands of women are being subjected to violence in their own homes and intimidation out of their homes in the UK irrespective of class, education and other opportunities. But being bloody lucky, as I am, I sometimes have trouble because what I hear doesn't accord with my own experiences. So I struggle but differently.
I have read a fair bit of Femonade and to be honest, if I really reflected on some of it and stewed on it I would more likely wan't to give in completely and jump off a tall building. It's grim. Its also cultish and untheoretical, ungrounded and full of polemical diatribe (IMO) I think we have alot to thank early radical feminists for, the rantings of Femonade are thankfully not the sum and total of what radical feminism has to offer women. Unfortunately it is one of the first points of contact for many women new to feminism and it either proves to be far too grim, tapping into our empathy to a point that the reading is too painful or it simply scares people away. I also think this brand of common RF espoused by the non-academic angry woman is also stoking up almost all the antagonisms we now see towards feminism
I second what others have said StickEmUp about going easy on yourself, we can't undo two thousand years of inequality in two but we can all do our own little bit, even if it seems quite unradical such as supporting micro-businesses in Africa or supporting refugee women here in the UK, or helping friends out and supporting other women at work. No arguing, no tearing asunder, just small acts that benefit others, in this way you can at least feel rewarded rather than just raw with emotion. I would also question whether its ever easy to just turn back and forget everything you have discovered, I know I couldn't.
Take care and hope to still see you around x
<wonders if LRD knows the kind of academic bloke who takes up a deliberatlely controversial position on something he has no emotional investment in just for the pleasure of being "intellectual" where others are passionate>
You don't have to fight every day, or even every week. Tis ok.
I don't dye my hair, I don't think I should have to look younger, men don't
Er, many do, though.
And yes, just live what you believe.
Maybe try setting up a page if you're feeling like you still want to be 'active' but can choose how active/when you participate.
I get so frustrated with it sometimes and wish I didn't see things the way I do sometimes, just for a break!
I set up a facebook page a few years back that now has almost 5000 likes and plenty of people post/discuss on it, even if i'm not taking part, which makes me feel like i'm still involved even though I'm now a mum and very busy and not really able to do much outside of the home/my job.
Also agree with living what you believe. You'll always be 'active' if you live like that.
Please don't go!
I love it here, I don't have much opportunity to hear any intelligent discussion IRL. The articulacy of the posters here combined with 1st hand experience keeps me fighting to call people up on their shit and when you do come across the type of person who just cannot accept that there is inequality, I just box them off into the people I can't take seriously category and move on.
But I do try not to take myself too seriously
Another one saying please don't go.
I find that it can be really difficult making sure that my actions are supportive of women, particularly in the workplace, all of the time and since I discovered more about feminism, I've discovered that ther is now a constant but tiring awareness.
Constantly being aware of how news is reported, constantly being aware of sexist language, constantly being aware of discrimination against women, constantly being the one who brings the conversation down from a joke about rape to a serious discussion, constantly being aware of friends lives and how they are treated, constantly being disappointed by society. It never goes away.
I feel like I've found religion and that I'm boring people with my evangelical feminist stance. I've done the whole denying I'm a feminist, rejecting radical feminists as nutcases, supporting rape myths, doing things that aren't supportive of women or considered particularly feminist. Then I went through a shouty angry phase ( my mother called it particularly strident) and now I'm back in touch with my liberal feminist stance, with a tendency towards a wee bit of radicalism and I refuse to beat myself up anymore.
That's not to say that sometimes it doesn't still get me really down. Much as I want to engage with posters who just don't get it, it is really frustrating and some times, soul destroying. I've decided that if someone refuses to listen or persists with a dogged determination that feminism isn't needed, then it really is ok to disengage or occasionally tell them to go the fuck away. Their problem, not mine.
There are things I won't let slide where it comes to DV or rape and I refuse to engage with someone who simply wants to have an academic argument to demonstrate that they are right simply for the sake of superiority.
If I want to shave my legs, I do and accept that it's ok not to sweat the small stuff because I at least understand the small stuff whereas before it was unthinking.
But you're right to feel tired and fed up and to want less confrontation - I think we all go through that.
The great thing about these boards is that, when it's obvious that someone is feeling particularly fed up and demoralised by it all, there's always someone else ready to step in and patiently explain things to the latest troll or those genuinely wishing to have a meaningful discussion. I love it when I can switch off and watch those posters set out well balanced and thoughtful arguments without involving myself. Sometimes I can do that, other times I'm the one shouting and getting deleted. But someone always has the back of women on here.
So lurk when needed, post when you want, take the support offered but remember that life before feminism wasn't actually any better, just less aware.
You haven't let me down.
Oh I know relationships are complex and not clear cut StickEmUp, don't worry. Just be aware and take care of yourself (((hugs)))
You are definitely not invisible, though (but I know how you feel sometimes)!
Cross post - ah, ok. Sorry, of course, I don't want to pry. It was just a vague thought.
Oh, give yourself a break!
You know what I've done today? I've washed DH's laundry, put it on the line, cleaned the kitchen, and emailed a female relative to respond to an invitation on behalf of my husband issued from her husband.
And I've faffed on MN for a while, while adding to the tonnage of writing about male authors for male readers.
Whereas you've at least gone and berated someone.
I actually think knowing nice men and talking to them is a huge thing.
Oh, lovely, don't cry.
You're definitely not invisible.
I would say ... I'm dead wary of academic blokes. In the nicest possible way - is he trading on that a bit, do you think?
Isn't being a feminist something you are rather than something you do IYSWIM?
I wouldn't say I actually "do" being a feminist, although I have challenged many ignorant views and made sure my dd and DS see things in what could be considered a feminist way.
Oh, no, don't go!
I would say: of course you can be a feminist 'without doing anything'. But I don't believe you are doing nothing. You don't have to be doing something every minute of every day, but so what?
I do know how you feel. I constantly flip-flop between thinking 'wow, I'm furious about x, y and z and I must change them' to missing how I used to enjoy settling down with Vogue (which, fortunately, has got shitter than it used to be as well as unfeministy) or whatever.
I think something I struggle with is that a lot of the 'treats' that are easily accessible are either less enjoyable, or feel like a unfeministy kind of thing, if you get into feminism. And I find it's easy to feel there's nothing to replace that except high thinking and burning activism, which aren't really sustainable long-term for most of us.
I think one of the things we have to do is get better at finding lovely things that help us recharge our batteries, as well as being furious and activisty and whatnot.
I'm never sure what the solution is (I had a thread on feminist ways of feeling good about yourself yonks ago that some people really found offensive because it sounded too close to S&B stuff). But for a shortcut, I would say, for god's sake just enjoy painting your face if you want to, and don't fight everyone. It's not like someone is keeping score and cares how many arguments you win for the feminist stide - it's also important you feel ok in yourself and respect your own need for a bit of downtime.
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