Someone asked me recently if the fact that I belonged to "the proggresive womens blog ring" meant that I was a feminist.So I thought about it and heres what I cam up with;
I consider myself to be a progressive woman,yet I cannot say, without some hesitation that I am a feminist,why? The moniker faminist has such a broad definition and often connotes a certain zealotry or extremism, and a fixeddogma at its core-the evil patriarchy.
I suppose then that it would be accurate to say that I subscribe to my own brand of feminism, which includes the well earned right to say no its not all about the patriarchy gals.
Its taken me many years and a good deal of struggle -mostly with my own demons--to attain a healthy self -esteem and ultimately, self- love. I've lived through some horrific times on the road to the safe & peaceful place that I now reside in. And Ive managed to not just survive these things- a feat in and of itself, (as many do not .)but to conquer them emotionally This grew out of the desire, indeed the need, to make something positive out of the pain of my past.- to make things better for the next person. Thus I became an unwitting activist for violence against women.
Now this isnt to say that my committment didnt waver, I often wanted to jump ship and "put it all behind me", as many victims of abuse feel they must in order to simply "go on". This temptation was made greater by well meaning Im sure family and friends, all woefully uninformed about PTSD and the healing process after any violent crime. Almost all discouraged me from talking about what Id had been through, as well frowning upon my involvement in trying to improve victims rights on a local and judical level- Once I did the important part, in thier minds, extricating myself from the abusive situation, it was over. Of course what every victim of violence like this knows; its never really over-we are forever changed. The question becomes what do we do with that?
In retrospect I know that like many people, they didnt know what to do with thier own feelings about what I had been thru, and by hushing me, they were in effect encouraging a denial-based coping mechanism for themselves.- While this doesnt seem awful on the surface, be aware that denial is a potentiating factor in the abusive relationship; denial on the part of the victim, denial of family and friends, denial of neighbors (along with reluctance to get involved)
Unwittingly, or simply through indifference, this denial become an accomplice to the abuser- they count on it. And this is why I write.