Another fascinating postcard at PostSecret reveals a not so big secret that many women feel about the Feminist Movement. I long to meet this person and hear what is her full story and what exactly transpired to blame a "Movement" for her unhappiness. I have to be honest, though, and say that when I read it, I immediately nodded and empathized.
I knew what she was talking about. It's hard to find happiness when the Feminist Movement (leave the F and M capitalized) ignores you. Or has misled you (or continues to do so). It's difficult to be "liberated" when your desires, sexuality, choice, and culture are absent from the Agenda. The Feminist Movement has insulted and hurt me more times than I can count. It has pissed me off to the point of tears and hurling books across the room because of its unapologetic history of racism and deliberate short-sightedness of womyn of color and international feminisms. It has rained on my footpath with its pathetic "first, second, third waves" explanation of progression and its ruthless inability to prioritize critical analysis of race, class, religion, and citizenship.
Women's and Gender academic programs have bulldozed its own field and played the Master in the house of so-called freedom. What is particularly nauseating is the US feminist's inability to unglue herself from either her navel or mirror and pay attention to transnational issues where she is asked to not be a savior or charity worker to other causes, but a vessel of understanding and soldier of true feminist journalism; to tell the stories of marginalized and silenced womyn.
That was me, my anger, before. That was MY ecdysis about a year ago.
And then I found Helen Zia who said, "...there is no feminist movement, capital f, capital m. There are feminist movements, plural."
And it is that truth that has bolstered me through so many disgusting episodes in the feminist blogosphere, in the political arena, and in media. And it is the community of like-minded feminists with whom I find a safe haven and courage to say, still, I believe in feminisms, plural. I believe there is much to till and even more to plant. I believe in womyn of color and that their voices are the future of this nation.
Whoever you are, dear postcard creator, I hope I can someday hear your story and find out what or from whom you learned about the Feminist Movement. I hope that you find the untold stories of women who are living evidence of choice, accountability, and deep joy. So, it with great respect to your secret and to sharing it with the internets that I share this with you:
Find your community. Find your cause. Build your feminism. Build your movement. There, inside that sacred piece of collaboration and relationship, where passion and energy still have breath, will be your happiness.
If I still relied upon mainstream Feminism for deep sages or guidance with its icons, fames, and blindspots, I'd be pretty unhappy, too. Luckily, and this is my hope for you as well, I learned how to define myself in relation to, and sometimes despite, the Feminist Movement.