The Subconscious Feminist

I actually first wrote this post at 4.30am a few days back, but wordpress failed me and I lost the entire post. I was too annoyed to write it all again so here is a half version. 

I’ve been sitting on this thing, a pretty big thing. I made the excuse that it was never the right time to share, but this is my blog – narcissistically about me – and so now is probably as good a time as ever… *cue dramatic music* I’m in a long distance relationship with someone on the other side of the world. It’s been one crazy roller coaster, and more than once have I wanted to get the hell off this ride, but the inner optimistic in me won’t let me give in to the unfounded fears just yet.

I’ve been hiding this partly out of embarrassment for people I know reading about my private life; but more than that, I think I’ve been a little afraid to acknowledge how this past year has changed me. It feels a little contrived though, since I’ve always very openly acknowledged the love and support of my friends and family. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I graduated from an amazing all-girls high school, filled with intelligent and capable individuals.

Perhaps, my time at Mac.Rob socially conditioned me to act like a strong, independent black woman feminist, complete with my “don’t need a man” facade. The thing is, I’ve never particularly identified as a feminist; as much as I acknowledge it as a problem, it’s not something I get particularly passionate about. Having said that, I seem to instinctively reject even the mere suggestion that he might have had some influence in my life. Isn’t strange how rhetoric can embed itself into us without our permission?

A while ago, I stumbled across an article claiming that it is disproportionately the female partner who relocates in the majority of long distance relationships, complete with allusions to the feminist injustice this represents. Rather embarrassingly, my first reflex was to store this “fact” away as ammunition for use in our “who moves?” discussions. Indeed, I wanted to believe a gross injustice had been waged on “us” by some amorphous misogynistic male, and it was my duty as a women to fight it with a refusal to be submissive and “give in” to relocating for love.

But what’s in a number? What was in that majority of female relocations? To be sure, there are some in that number who were coerced, but what about the reasonable, considered decisions, the ones where both parties came to a mutual understanding? What of reason and empathy in my own relationship?

I am not a statistic, and nor is my life some righteous ideological fight. I can and will decision what is best for myself, although all the options really terrify me right now. I will have this discussion as myself, not as some feminist crusader – even if her mask is much more comfortable than my own.

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been posting that much lately/this year. I’ve been feeling rather frustrated with myself for some number of reasons. I think I’ve forgotten that it’s okay to be frightened, to question and to make mistakes. I stopped writing mostly for fear of posting crappy posts and the embarrassing recognition that people I know actually read this stuff. As a result though, I’ve lost that small creative spark I managed to light last year. Here’s to trying to reignite it. I think my posts will be a little shorter, and more disjointed as I try and find my rhythm again, but I really want to just start writing again. It’s been too long.

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