The future is female – I read the black letters printed on a white t-shirt supporting a pretty firm pair of boobs, which I now have an excuse to look at. I stare at them – the letters, not the boobs – and wonder how feminism actually is. We fight for our rights, we go to rallies, we protest, we insist on female ends, we have thrown shining armor on our backs and grabbed bows in our hands. Some of us have even sliced off our own right bottom, ready to let loose a poisoned arrow into the throat of any scavenger who dares to claim that we represent less as women. We fight for us, for our grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters, but the discussion of womanhood does not come up in our conversations. Why? What exactly is womanhood?
In the conviction of many, she represents everything that our mother embodied in our childhood. In my family home, femininity roamed the living room as if it were so sad, subservient. She didn’t talk about her dreams, she cried in corners. I couldn’t identify with her, although I can’t say I had anything against her. After all, she was. In fact, always next door. She was, although I couldn’t quite understand her. She was, even if I mostly just ignored her and preferred to conform to the causal lord and master – the man.
Why did I choose dominance? Because for years I equated femininity with something weaker.
Today, I wonder if the patriarchy that I myself am fighting against hasn’t accidentally become so engrained in women’s identity that even when rebelling against it, we still follow its principles.
– Seriously, fuck? Did they screw us with this one too?
A little, yes, because we are building the foundations of feminism with the same bricks, behind the thick wall of which we have been walled up.
– But what do you mean?
And so. Daddies’ daughters, who are so opposed to men, cut themselves off from their mothers and, as little girls themselves, begin to treat their femininity as inferior. Do you disagree with my opinion? Let the first to cast a stone be the one who, growing up, did not give her father the greatest respect at home.
Why, despite sincere intentions, do we continue to fall into patriarchal patterns? Because the system we live in is built on the principle of domination, not partnership. Instead of leading to an egalitarian society, attempts at equality create a femina-centric system that, like patriarchy, is based on hierarchy, not cooperation. In society, we lack balance and respect for female energy at the collective level. This can be seen in the simple example of Mother Earth, who is systematically raped, plundered and abused, although she is expected to continue giving birth. Women are suffering along with her and are increasingly beginning to feel the need for what they once lost. What, the patronizing system took away from them.
Slowly we are beginning to understand that competing with men in their world according to their rules has been and will be unproductive. Something truly must be afoot, because women’s circles appear around almost as numerous as the condoms scattered at the equality parade.
– Then what should we do?
Certainly don’t immediately rip off your blouses with feminist slogans (although I urge you to do so in the case of owners of particularly attractive male torsos). Instead, it is worth considering whether radical feminism, however, does not stem from our own inability to accept our femininity and appreciate its value.
A woman wronged by patriarchy cannot heal her wound by suppressing the male element. Jung himself wrote about the process of individuation, in which anima and animus, male and female polarity, only integrated create completeness. This development requires a deep and holistic understanding of individual identity and its role in the collective, acceptance of gender differences and reflection on femininity.
– This is not what we were fighting for! – a revolt will be raised.
Well, maybe we heard so many times that we are insufficient that we finally believed it ourselves?
I continue to try to understand what womanhood is. I don’t have clear answers yet, but I know I’m drawn to dig my fingers in the dirt. Literally and figuratively. For my intuition tells me that the way back to myself goes much deeper, into the darkness that I must fully enter. As one of the mothers of feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, said, no one is born a woman, but becomes one. Even if their feminism is soft and warm, like mine.
Read the next Featurette: Polish martyrdom and papal cremains, or how Mickiewicz is wrecking our relationships