Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Personal Inventory: Feminism - A Label Worth Wearing

As some of you may be aware, my month-long absence from this blog has been due to the fact that I moved back from college for the summer, lugging both literal and figurative baggage from the dorm room back to the place I call home. After strenuous hours of unpacking all that had been my life for the past two semesters at McDaniel, it became apparent that my mind would need just as much unpacking as the pink and purple sticker-slapped trunks that held many a novel and poster. The transition from independence and academic dedication to rule-following and codependence is never an easy - or enjoyable - feat. The withdrawal from freshly blossoming relationships with new girlfriends is like jumping on a diet plan for the first time in months. You know the time off from the sweets will do you all some good, but the health benefits of dark chocolate and the pleasure that comes with consuming it far outweigh the need for change. Yet, something worth pondering has sprung from all of this - something change oft encourages.
While I hadn't posted anything to this blog, I had questioned myself as to if I should return to it at all. While  at college, this blog served as the platform through which I could discuss the events I observed out there in the world that jeopardized, endangered, or merely sparked that divine feminine core that resides in myself as well as my female sisters around the world. One particular question surrounded my contemplation - "Why?" Why am I running this blog? Is it for myself, my friends, my mother, the women I know and may benefit? Is it for some sort of sordid self promotion? My answer is this:

Many people, even those closest to me, hassle me over the fact that I call myself a Feminist. I'm labeling myself, they say. I'm fitting myself into a category that struggles beneath the breathless oppression of gender and society to flee label itself. But to me, feminism is a label worth wearing proudly, and a concept worth believing in and fighting for in a time when everything else is in question. It would be a lie to say that my affinity for the feminist movement and all that goes with it is not a direct result of both nature itself as well as the nurturing I received throughout my growth into an adult woman. Having been raised by a single mother who gave birth to me four months early because of my father's domestic abuse, I was raised under the biblical standard of belief that men were different that us. Everything in my father's life seemed to have been handed to him, while my mother starved in order to buy my food and medication and used an open oven as the heat source for our home. As I started to get older, my mother broke beneath the weight of jobs requiring manual labor. But when I visited my father, his job seemed to be to sit and get smashed on J&B all day under the roof of his own bar while his fellow male comrades offered to buy me a Coke and told me all the things they thought of my fine, youthful womanhood under the assumption (a correct one, at that) that I was too embarrassed and self-unsure to repeat a word. The Lifetime Channel was our church, the women who fought against shady husbands and demeaning bosses the saints that inspired our hope for the future. "Pre-nup, Pre-nup, Pre-nup" served as both mantra and prayer.

[to be continued...]

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