“Each time a woman stands up for herself, She stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou
I am a female who grew up thinking I had somehow never been affected by a patriarchal society. I figured all of the work that my mother’s generation completed was why my female experience was pretty straightforward.
Nothing was worse than a feminist who seemed angry about things that were no longer an issue.
Better yet, it was almost better to separate yourself from shrill women. Align yourself with the men!
Gone are the days where I can get by with this ignorance. It took the past two years to understand my female experience and to take a hard look at the covert ways I have managed the patriarchy. Through this process, I have questioned everything: why do I have to shave my hair when men don’t, do I really like to cook and clean, how can I be okay with this rage inside of me? So, I jumped head first into this new transition. And let me tell you this caused A LOT of tension in my marriage.
Because things were shifting and anytime you shake up the status quo, there will be resistance.
My history has taught me not to gloss over the discomfort. To instead learn to live with this experience so I can see all that it has to teach me. I knew I was going through a phase that I would eventually incorporate into my identity so I could not rush past this. And through it all, I have come to know the most radical female experience is getting together with my fellow female tribe. In a way that is not curated and superficial. You know that feeling when you are scrolling through social media, only to feel increasingly lame about yourself? You see your friends on social media and you really can’t stand this fake representation? So, you have to meet these people face to face.
It is imperative that women get together and for some short period of time take off their masks. Because we all wear them and all anyone ever wants is to really be seen for who they are.
When women congregate they lift each other up through their energy. Through the mutual expression of “oh I’ve been there and made it to the other side.” When we are going through a tumultuous time collectively or individually, it is so seducing to slip into isolation. Embracing your female community is the way out. Because we are all stumbling along on this Earth, truly doing the best we can. As women, our greatest asset is our community. Its why women handle stress in such a different way than men. We take a moment, reach out to our community, feel the support, and forge ahead.