For the record, feminism by definition is: ‘The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’
I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.
When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.
When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”
When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.
I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.
Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?"
You will continue to wake up in the morning. You will sleep in every bed except your own. You will skip breakfast but you will eat lunch. You will eat dinner. You will eat breakfast tomorrow. You will get dressed. You will make yourself beautiful for no one in particular. You will make yourself beautiful for no one but yourself. You will need to do this. You will have something to prove.
You will get in the car. You will drive to the book store. You will drive to the pharmacy. You will drive to the highway and consider going back home. You will not go back home. You will go hiking. You will bring your dog. You will bring your friends. You will go alone. You will learn the most when you go alone. Your iPod will die and you will listen to the forest. You will listen to the river. You will listen to the trees. You will stand at the edge of a cliff without jumping.
You will cry. You will cry to your roommates, to your pillow, to your ex-lover on the phone. You will try to stop crying. You will yell. You will scream. You will curse. You will keep crying. You will not dry up like a well in the desert. You will not crumble like an autumn leaf. You will not shrivel and disappear like you did last spring.
You will keep living. You will end and begin again. You will collapse and bruise but you will not break. You will stand back up. You will keep standing."
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do."