Far be it for me to bite the hand of the movement that’s fed me.
If it weren’t for the feminist movement, I would be a mere shell of the woman I am today. There have been many brave women who have gone before me who warrant deep thanks for their tireless effort in paving the way for as much egalitarianism as our innate and biological gender differences can allow for. I humbly bow to those visionaries who saw us as something much more than a mere and second-class possession or object.
What has been hard for me not to notice, however, are the many women my age (I’m 32) who are finding themselves at an identity crisis point at this particular juncture in their/our lives.
Whereas a hundred years ago (and still in some parts of the planet today) I would have been laughed at (or killed) for my masculinized tendencies that have run most of my short life, I find myself struggling with how to temper the more stereotypically male aspects of myself that I have valued so much, to return to my natural, more feminine rhythm. It’s a rhythm that was lost in my attempt to prove my competency, survivability and valor in a male dominated society and entertainment industry ” a most valiant and effective attempt that I have no regrets about, but one that did not go without great sacrifices along the way that I barely noticed at the time.
As I write this, I am taking the first real break I have ever taken since I was 9 years old. I am just learning how to cook (I am within hours of having made my first true meal), and am finally slowed down enough to be hosting incredibly fun parties at my house regularly. A hundred years ago, I would most likely have been shamed publicly for my inability to do the things most expected of a woman: to keep house and provide meals for her loved ones, to be the centerpiece and heartbeat of her community. Today, based on my achievementsâ and all the bacon I brought home to my own self, people are kind to cut me some slack. But I wonder, what else, besides my inability to cook, has been lost in my effort to prove that whatever a boy can do a girl can do betterâ?
Has my obsession with my career and feminism been responsible for the aspects of the divine feminine that have gone un-nurtured and unnoticed in me? How has this unshakeable focus on my stereotypically masculine qualities skewed my vision and thereby my ability to see and connect with other women? And how has it affected my ability to follow my natural and intuitive feminine rhythms?
In the midst of creating the answers to these questions, I now find myself at this most exciting place of wanting to thank the feminist movement, and thank the women who came well before and precipitated it, and to then move forward into some new kind of 2006 grey area.
An area in which I am aware of my competence and ability to swim with the guy sharks, so to speak, but in which I am also aware of my ability to be all girl, all soft and surrendered and receptive and allowing and connected to the divine in a way that is equated with the great feminine’s way. For all that I have achieved, and all that it has cost me, I am now ready to claim it all– the true gift of the feminist movement: choicefulness.integration.
The gray area of knowing that if I wanted to take the path of the more male-oriented, I could, that It’s available to me at any time. But then to feel the invitation to explore the other side as well, now, the side of woman, and all the goodness that that holds, is the single most exciting and relaxing thing I can think of. It’s like the grand return home after fighting a war, a war going on in our own identities and hearts and social structures.
I feel a growing peace in knowing that I can trust rather than run counter to my natural feminine rhythms, wherever they may lead meâŚwhether It’s to the kitchen, the boardroom, the garden or the Oval Office. I think this is the true gift that feminism has been leading up to all these years. Because eseentially, egalitarianism, at its’ core, speaks to mutual empowerment, the seminal win-win.This sigh of relief alone is worth all the efforting that has led me, and trillions of other women, to this point. And I feel that somewhere, my feminist fore-mothers are smiling, as though they knew this is where we were headed all along.