On the occasion of International Women's Day, I find myself wanting to write about feminism. I don't know what wave I am—4th, or maybe some unknowable iteration in the process of being born and matured. But I do know that I think a lot about what it means to be a woman wielding her power in the world, and today I thought I'd share some of those thoughts with you. They don't have much to do with Nepal, except peripherally, so my apologies.
[...] in the world) to be able to recognize the signals of our body—as we learned to recognize hunger as children, we need (all of us) to teach ourselves to see fear, anger, loneliness, joy, mania, stress, lust, when they arise. And we need (all of us) to learn how to disallow those things from controlling our every action. I am by no means saying either that all actions are controlled by those things, or that women are alone in sometimes forgetting to recognize emotion as a controlling agent. [...]
[...] And when the burning desire for retribution against any wrongdoer—a rapist, say—expands to become retribution against anyone with the same body parts as that rapist, we do ourselves an injustice. WE commit the same crime of gender stereotyping that others do when they pigeonhole us as ‘women. I believe that all kinds of feminism are only true feminism if they recognize that the restrictions and abuses against which feminism has historically struggled are not only greatly felt by women as a group, but also by groups of socially marginalized CLASSES, ETHNICITIES, and SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS. [...]
[...] In highlighting the hardships, impossibilities and dearths that surround the lives of women, it also began to highlight, to realize, that there are other ‘groups' which feel these same hardships, impossibilities and dearths, perhaps even more strongly than ‘women.' In congruence with the civil rights movement in America, also in the last hundred years or so, all these issues are coming to be understood as deeply interwoven. It will be harder for a poor person if she is also a woman; it will be harder for a woman of color, or a non-heterosexual woman. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee