Coming Out

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drawing 10 Arch April 2013

 

I’m an introvert and a feminist. Hooray!

Why am I an introvert? Because Myers and Briggs say so. And because I know that spending time alone, really really alone, isn’t just a luxury for me, it’s a necessity. It is absolutely therapeutic and I will guard that time fiercely. Please don’t ever be offended if I decline to spend time with you because I am relishing a long planned and long anticipated day alone. Being alone makes me a better mother, a nicer friend and a cooler wife. Being alone gives me ideas, it allows me time to choose good ones and identify bad ones. Being alone gives me a moment to stop the constant noise in my head.

Why am I a feminist? And what kind of feminist am I? Well, I want to define it for myself, without reading anyone else’s ideas about what it should mean for me and who and what I need to believe in. I’m a feminist because I want the world to expect me to contribute richly in ways other than raising my children. I also I want to be able to go running at night without fear. I want to move in public space without thinking that I must act, speak, walk or dress carefully so as to avoid unsavoury, unwanted attention. I want to live my whole life without thinking that at some point, I may be attacked and raped. I want girls to stop dreaming about marriage and start dreaming about personal and community achievement. I want the daughters of my friends to grow up without having to look at images of women and parts of women that aren’t real, pictures that tell them over and over that they’ll never be thin/sexy/beautiful enough. I want the tomboyish girls and the princessy girls to learn from each other. I want parents to stop dressing their girls in ridiculous outfits for rough and tumble play in the local park such that she either curbs her play or shows her knickers to the world. I want men to get over the obsession with boobs. I want us to be able to have women in very high office and there not to be commentary about her arse, her clothes or her hair. I do not want words such as bitch, witch, dog and crone to be used about these women. I do not want words like c**t and slut to be used ever, ever again. I want a new acquaintance to ask me what are you interested in? instead of are you married with kids? I also don’t want as much of the traditional domestic role as I have taken on. Defaulted into. I also want to be able to declare my feminism without a (but I don’t hate men). Just like I want to be able to say that motherhood is boring and hard (but of course I love my kids). Blue Milk said it brilliantly last week on ABC612 (paraphrasing) – parenting is moments of wonderful and the rest is tedious.

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