Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Feminist Falters

A catalyst is rarely intended to stir up the cacophony that soon follows. A mother scowling at her overweight twelve-year-old as she grabs a potato chip doubtfully means to give her bulimia and the assassin of Franz Ferdinand couldn't have possibly planned on turning the whole world into a battlefield.

And that is why, when an acquaintance told me that a community in which people don't believe in relationships was the perfect place for me, I doubt he meant anything by it.

But behind the strained smile I had managed, a bomb exploded.

There comes a moment in a strong woman's life when she starts to wonder why exactly she's so strong. Well, she begins, she has a strong mind and even stronger ambition. Nothing wrong there. She has overcome obstacles. I'd say that's objectively viewed as admirable. So if all is well and good, then why does her strength feel like her greatest weakness of all?

It's pretty commonly known that when many women hit thirty and have no prospects of marriage they begin to panic. After all, most of their friends are married and it's an experience many other women have had that they haven't.

But what about when a woman hits twenty and she's never been called a girlfriend? It's not really covered in the media, but, um, it happens. And she obviously doesn't need a boyfriend to be happy, it's nothing like that, it's just... it's an experience that many other women have had that she hasn't.

She isn't ugly, or boring, or dim-witted, or clingy. She's actually quite the catch if she does say so herself. But she's beginning to wonder if she has a fucking tattoo on her forehead that says Do Not Date. And it's starting to get to her, to gnaw away at her because what in God's fucking name is the problem and WHY if she's so fucking strong does she even care at all?! And maybe, just maybe, it isn't that men only use the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain to communicate while women use both (because they do!) maybe it isn't the genes or the chromosomes or the hormones, maybe it's just that by being so fucking strong, by being so God damn sure she could stand on her own two feet, that nobody thought she needed a hand to hold when she started to fall. And so she fell. Down a spiral of science textbooks, friendly fucks, and questions that don't have answers.

It doesn't make her research less valid.
It just makes her wonder why she has such a passion to research in the first place.

But what is she supposed to do? Pretend that she doesn't have a thirst for answers? Make believe that just because there may not be an answer, the questions don't persist to rain in her head?

And so she continues to put on her armor of red lipstick and carry Darwin's text as a shield, all the while wondering if her hubris will ever bring her happiness.

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