Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Woman Second

I have tried for a long time not to write this post. Mostly it was because I had very strong feelings on the subject and was not sure I wanted to put these thoughts out in a public platform. But I have realised off late that it is because I am a little embarrassed about how I feel.

I am talking about being a feminist. Even as I defend my right to work, pursue a pastime, not be tied to a kitchen etc I find I explain myself to all and sundry. I feel solely responsible when my house is dirty and guilty about uncooked meals. Even as I defend my right to wear what I want, I worry about impressions I make. Even as women and wife jokes repel me, I have spent endless hours listening to people I know crack such jokes because I am not sure I want to be "that person" - the spoiler of fun.

Any other group of people that are discriminated against can generally go home and find themselves in a safe environment to express anger against such discrimination. Being a woman I find I am still a kill joy when I do the same. This is not to say that I do not have a supportive husband. But that I feel like I am expressing anger against him every time I complain, which is not my intention.

Inside me is a ball of resentment for all the times I have quietly let people tell me what to do. For all the times I have kept quite while I have listened to educated men pass what are callous comments about the women in their lives. For all the times I have heard women judge other women. For all the time I have not asserted that I am a person first, a woman second. I have the same desires, ambitions, insecurities that any person may have regardless of gender.

I am ashamed of what I am becoming, have become - a silent enabler of my own mistreatment. This piece for me is just a step towards being more at peace with myself.