Books + Comics

Stuffing Myself With Immanence

The lengths we go to to avoid being free.

***

I remember asking that roommate and another lady friend if they were interested in feminism. It was after a summer spent boozing with queer San Francisco anarchists in Oaxaca, and for once, the shame and anxiety I felt about my relationship with being female had turned to anger. I wanted it to stay like that, and was hungry for advocates. But soon after I returned to campus my blood once again became watery and I would quake at the thought of projecting my voice; needless to say, asking about feminism felt like an embarrassing question. They responded like it was an embarrassing question, or perhaps a dumb one. No, said the aesthete. No, said the Africanist. The gist: feminism had killed herself; there were smarter and sexier theories it had birthed; their mothers worked and they got great grades, so why would they consider feminism? The only self-proclaimed feminists I knew were men, but most of them ended up being interested in queer theory, which sounded nice but was 10 steps ahead of me and not the kind of personal, honest conversation that I sought. I felt too female, too weak, to approach the strangers that I knew called themselves feminists; I figured that they would not like me, that they would think me a bad feminist for being shy, clinging to my boyfriend, being jealous, worrying about my body, being weak. I was probably right. I considered enrolling in a gender theory class but backed off when I heard a rumor that the renowned (female) professor hated most women.

And that is why I wish I wasn’t a woman: words from my ultra-tough super-smart friend when I told her that ladies who entered my store were reduced to middle-schoolers, squealing over cashmere.

Perhaps it is the sorry plight of the privileged girl who gets thrown into a scene hung up on intellectualism: we are too privileged to have explored the feminist bit—our lives are fine, so we don’t “need” tired old feminism. And so we are taught to scorn all the shallow and weak feminine marks that were intaglioed into our bodies some time long, long ago; we scorn, but have yet to erase, these marks. We feel the secrecy of our shame, then we ask ourselves why we scorn, and are shamed, and question that, and question questioning questioning and question questioning questioning questioning questioning and so on and so forth until the weight of the emptiness of the hole that anxiety bores into our being is enough to make us…nothing. Blank. Silent.

***

My fear of feminine weakness is not satisfied by gnawing away at my own mind; it chomps down the rest of the world. I meet a great girl who is smart and confident, and then I catch a glimpse of her legs: they are grossly skinny; she is weak; she is a liar. I find out that a friend I desperately admire has suffered from an eating disorder, or has been wiped out by a boy—instead of acting like a friend, I feel disgusted and betrayed; I run away. If a girl’s legs are just right and she seems like just the kind of girl I would want to hang around, then I assume that she would not understand me and would hate me, so I keep my distance. I am distrustful of most men for the regular reasons, but mostly I am jealous because they can cook and be weak and vain without it all burning a hole in their head.

One time, after fleeing a masochistic relationship with a false prophet, I did what I tend to do when I am tired of how it always ends: I tried to love Him. I buried myself in Simone Weil and was truly blown away by the passion of her writing and the truth behind her ideas. But when I discovered that she had starved herself to death (and it didn’t matter to me how complex or noble her motives were), her words suddenly lost all value. Simply another weak female with the weak female disease rambling in her soapbox diaries. Even de Beauvoir was unable to escape unscathed. I read her book The Mandarins, and suddenly all her liberating theory seemed like a pretty lie—there she was getting old as her boyfriend, Jean Paul Sartre, went out and fucked younger women, and she has to go all the way to the U.S. to sleep with a scummy jazz musician just so she can prove her theory is right and she is free and equal and all that, but the whole time she hates it and feels old and sad and pathetic.

Fed up with women who come off as having transcended the hellish bodiliness of being female but clearly have not, I turned to Mary Gaitskill, who once slipped the word soul into an interview before correcting herself, claiming that soul was too big a word for her. Her book Two Girls, Fat and Thin is chockfull of vivid descriptions of the two protagonists mistaking their bodies for their beings, and being nauseatingly female. There is Justine, who at the age of 11 begins to learn that the sex of her body grants her access to participate in the outside world:

Sometimes glamorous older boys would follow [Justine and her posse] saying “I’d like to pet your pussy” and other dirty things; this was exciting, like the poem about the crucified man, only it made her feel queasier as it was real and in public. It was horrible to be in front of people having the same feeling that she had while masturbating… She was sure that Edie and Pam didn’t have feelings like that; probably they didn’t even masturbate. They blushed and giggled and said “You guys better stop it” but they swung their purses and arched their backs, their eyes half-closed and their lips set in lewd, malicious smiles. Justine would imitate them, and when she did, sometimes a door would open and she’d step into a world where it was really very chic to walk around in public with wet underpants, giggling while strange boys in leather jackets and pointed shoes called you a slut. The world of Justine alone under the covers with her own smells, her fingers stuck in her wet crotch, was now the world of the mall filled with fat, ugly people walking around eating and staring. It was a huge world without boundaries; the clothes and record and ice cream stores seemed like cardboard houses she could knock down, the waddling mothers and pimple-faced loners like dazed pedestrians she was passing on a motorcycle.

Then there is fat Dotty, who feels fullness and the truth of herself by being swallowed in the hatred of her body, which she finds in the mirror:

I went into the bathroom and turned on the light and took off my shirt to stare at and hate my body. There were pimples on my chest and I welcomed them, wishing they were boils or scars, anything to more fully degrade this body…I had the fleeting thought that my roommate could come home at any minute, and I hoped she would so that I could display the truth of how loathsome I was and feel her contempt as well as my own.

The passion with which I first hated this book was of the variety that I generally reserve for the people closest to me. I jumped up and down, screeching at the boyfriend who had recommended it that the book was trash, utter trash, before he quieted me by asking why I insisted on using that peculiar word, trash?

Trash: to be thrown in the dump and not looked back on. Trash: unironically lowbrow; undeserving of serious attention. Trash: all of my weaknesses and markedly feminine qualities that I have tried desperately to bury because if I am a woman living in an age that has supposedly surpassed feminism and I know better than to fall into traps and am still having weak thoughts that I pin to my femaleness, then I must be weak, and I must not utter these thoughts out loud, for they are undeserving: trash.

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68 Comments

  • anoziram September 10th, 2012 3:20 PM

    This was incredible, and so completely helpful and relevant to what I’m going through right now.
    Thank you, Rookie.

    • victoria September 11th, 2012 9:56 AM

      THIS COMMENT FOR ME TOO

      (it sounds unserious but I’m being totally serious. Thank you so much, Anna!)

  • Isabelle97 September 10th, 2012 3:40 PM

    Wow,that was amazing! I loved the style of writing as well, like a really personal diary crossed with an essay. But not a boring essay- one that’s actually stimulating and relevant. I totally get it, as well, there’s this whole interesting guilt complex I have about how, as I’m relatively privileged, I’m betraying myself by being what you called a weak feminist. Feminism is awesome, and it’s really done masses for women all over the world, but perhaps it’s also pushed a lot of issues under the surface. It’s like we had our time to speak, and now things are so great for women anyone speaking out is labeled as another “angry whinging feminist type”.

    • Mags September 10th, 2012 10:21 PM

      But the truth is that things are really not “so great for women.” In many countries all over the world women are still treated as sub-human. In some parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, women are treated like they’re worthless. And even in more “advanced” places like the United States, women are still looked down upon and not treated equally. We may have come a long way since a few decades ago, but we haven’t come as far as we and other people, especially men, would like to think. I mean, women barely got the right to vote less than a hundred years ago. LESS THAN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. That is insane! Sometimes I think that feminism has given everybody the false idea that everything is good now and we can stop trying, when the truth is, we have to work harder than ever now.

      • Isabelle97 September 11th, 2012 12:18 PM

        Hey, you’re totally right. I was thinking more on a personal level, because I’m extremely lucky not to have encountered much prejudice in my life, but yes, women get a terrible deal all over the world. I was reading this article about female mutilation the other day and it made me want to hurl…

  • bethleeroth September 10th, 2012 3:46 PM

    Just perfect. Wow. I’m speechless.

  • wudder September 10th, 2012 4:18 PM

    so gooooood

  • koolkat September 10th, 2012 4:26 PM

    wow. just… wow

  • JoanaNielsen September 10th, 2012 4:32 PM

    This is by far one of the best articles I’ve read. Long, but so interesting that I’ll remember it forever.

  • Anna123 September 10th, 2012 4:42 PM

    I think this was such an incredible article but I’m not sure if it made me feel better or worse. For me my main insecurity isn’t my body but my intelligence, and feeling like I lack an opinion in group discussions. I guess it all comes under the same umbrella, about shying away from certain things or aspects of yourself for fear of sounding or looking like an idiot. If I want to squeal over a cashmere sweater can I do so unashamedly or will I just seem vapid? And if I refrain from doing so for the fear of seeming vapid am I just caving in to a different type of expectation and trying to be above that when I’m really not? Or am I just squealing over the cashmere sweater in the first place because I’m a woman and society expects me to be interested in cashmere sweaters instead of having a real input?

    I’m not entirely sure what I’m trying to say so I’m gonna bow out, but your article really made me think, so thank you.

    • taylorhotel September 10th, 2012 10:11 PM

      Anna, for me, it’s intelligence as well as body insecurity, but I feel you so much here. Every day: do I raise my hand in science, do I speak up in the English discussion, do I get outwardly excited about the New Teen Movie coming out? I don’t want to seem stupid, and I almost always feel I am. I wish it were easier to see things — intellectual things — as subjective, and that everyone’s opinion is truly equal, but I can’t even see my own opinion that way.

      And this is a beautiful, well-written article. I love Simone de Beauvoir, and this all definitely resonated with me. Thank you.

    • dandelions September 11th, 2012 12:34 AM

      If this article made you think you are really smart Anna, because inteligence is not about knowing so many words or issues, it’s about thinking about everyday episodes and learn.

    • chrissylanay September 11th, 2012 9:37 PM

      I find that I struggle with the intelligence issue quite a bit, but even more than that, I fight with the concept of my “self” as a static notion. That somehow I cannot hold contradictory opinions – that being a hypocrite is not part of the human condition. We all have blind spots about ourselves and sometimes I think about a thing and I decide on my opinion and then later, I have a discussion or I read something that gives me new information and I change my mind. But once I have given a public opinion about a thing, then it is somehow shameful to have come to a deeper understanding of that thing, through reflection and writing and realize that there is something else going on, beyond what you first saw. How can it be bad to acknowledge such a transformation? Why the punishment heaped on those who learn from their mistakes?

      p.s. Your comment provoked my thoughts, as the article did for you – theory of transmission in action. Lovely. Thanks!

    • sweetsweetsweat September 11th, 2012 9:44 PM

      yes. yes and YES. you and me are in the same boat. wow.

  • HeartPlant September 10th, 2012 4:43 PM

    Is it enough to just point at things that are wrong? To call attention to things, say to people, “this shouldn’t happen”. Do we have to take action, or can we acknowledge things, heighten awareness before letting them dull and fade once more? Is being mindful enough?

  • marimba_girl September 10th, 2012 4:55 PM

    I love The Second Sex! To me this book is a better representation of feminism than books like The Feminine Mystique. Simone de Beauvoir is, in my opinion, the author to read when figuring out feminist thought, not Betty Friedan.

  • RockHatesMiriam September 10th, 2012 4:57 PM

    What a fascinating article! This part resonated particularly with me: “Women, on the other hand, come to understand the world in its immanence. Immanence means existing within—in other words, they see the world as it already exists”.

    wow, just wow

    http://www.pompandceremony.blogspot.com

  • kitafee September 10th, 2012 5:00 PM

    Definitely worth the long read, I loved this piece and found it very motivating and uplifting, even though it covered some sad emotions, such as shame! A good balance, it’s really nice to hear the opinions of another persons journey to being a FEMINIISTTT.

  • macs September 10th, 2012 5:03 PM

    this is excellent, thank you xxxx

  • dandelions September 10th, 2012 5:05 PM

    Male beauty is a sign of transcendence, that of woman has the passivity of immanence… WOW

    I´m so glad I´ve finally read this. I had this discussion with my boyfriend like a week ago. He said that women are just like men, that they hurt and judge like men do, and I was agree in some way… but he couldn´t understand my point, that women have been always judged about their looks or how good they were in “girl stuff”, like pleasing men or cooking. And I hate that icons about us, give man the possibility to call us frivolous or stupid if we talk or do “girl stuff”, and all other things that are not related to our immanence, must be for men. I really apreciate this article. GIRLS, READ THIS. And be so proud about being a girl and even more, about being a HUMAN BEING (that can cook, have children, think, read, create, love, be free… everything), a light body, a dream in the earth.

  • decemberbaby September 10th, 2012 5:24 PM

    OH MY GOSH THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. This is beautiful. This is so exciting. Thank you, Anna McConnell, and thank you, Rookie.

    I’ve been focusing so much on “being” lately… judging myself so much on what I look like and the facial expressions I make and the way I laugh and the way I think… I haven’t had time to do anything, when doing things despite — no, not despite, with and through — my insecurities and gross thoughts and self-disgust would actually heal me and make me stronger, or, at the very least, help heal someone, or make this entire conversation stronger. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

  • jill September 10th, 2012 5:59 PM

    This was exactly what I needed today, thank you so much Rookie you are perfect. <3

  • SarahCat September 10th, 2012 6:45 PM

    This article… wow. So many points are addressed. It is both reassuring and thought-provoking. This has to be the most profound Rookie article I’ve ever read, and I want to sincerely thank everyone involved with its creation and publication. http://deepblueoceanofnoise.tumblr.com/

  • Miss Erin September 10th, 2012 7:02 PM

    This is quite possibly the most relatable piece of writing I’ve ever read. Really. Thank you, Anna McConnell. I don’t think I can thank you enough.

  • amazeedayzee September 10th, 2012 7:09 PM

    This is a beautiful article. And I do agree–I think that it’s so important for people not to feel alienated by works done by people who are supposedly better off than them, who have supposedly reached this social ideal of what they’re supposed to be. I personally feel more comforted knowing that I am not alone in my insecurities and suffering, rather than reading stuff like “How to be Happy” articles or whatever by people whom I just can’t help but think of as having it all, and never having had to suffer before. In a way, the absence of people admitting their insecurities creates this distance between the reader and the creator who’s trying to make themself look better.

  • AnaRuiz September 10th, 2012 7:52 PM

    I have read articles on Rookie that have changed my life. This is one of them.

    • AnaRuiz September 11th, 2012 2:30 PM

      I have thought a lot about this article over the past day, and I now realized what troubled me about it. Raw honesty is all right, but if we are to remain at orgies of honesty and acceprance for the imperfect, then I think we would be well losing hope on progress.

      • Runaway September 11th, 2012 3:54 PM

        I so agree with you, Ana. I think we need examples of both honesty and strength.

  • Emilie September 10th, 2012 8:21 PM

    I AM VERY SKINNY AND THAT MAKES ME UPSET BECAUSE PEOPLE ASSUME I DONT EAT. I WANT TO WEAR MAKE UP SO BADLY BUT I AM AFRAID TO.

    • AYAtheOUSH September 11th, 2012 10:12 AM

      do whatever you want to do if you want to wear makeup do it. who gives a shit what others think. do it do it do ittt.

    • all-art-is-quite-useless September 11th, 2012 3:58 PM

      I know what you mean, how people automatically think thin girls are constantly dieting or something. My friends is very thin, and not because she doesn’t eat (her mum and sister both have the same figure) and some people automatically assume she’s constantly dieting or half-jokingly say its like she has an eating disorder. I know a girl who doesn’t like her, and one of her complaints, along with she’s annoying and “such a drama queen”, was “she’s too thin”.

      I hate it how people equate fat with unhealthy, thin with healthy (unless you’re “too” thin, then its “woah girl, eat more. But not too much, or you’ll end up a fat ugly pig and no one will love you.”). Or equate fat with eating too much, thin with eating too little.

      But anyway, if you want to wear make-up, do it. just do it. And if you change your mind and don’t want to do it any more, just don’t. (I know, that can be easier said than done…)

  • Sterling87 September 10th, 2012 9:16 PM

    God, I loved this. It makes me feel “full” in the best possible way.

  • lucsto September 10th, 2012 9:27 PM

    this is amazing. But truly. Everything we’ve all wanted to say for such a long time. Thank you, you’ve inspired me to write again.

  • missmerrikat September 10th, 2012 10:07 PM

    This is a brilliant article! The only problem I have is really minimal, and it’s only because it seems like Anna is dissing Simone Weil, who I have had a huge crush on since, like, forever and a day. SHE WAS SO AMAZING, GUYS.

  • Joie September 10th, 2012 10:16 PM

    Incredible.

  • msmargaux September 10th, 2012 10:40 PM

    That was incredibly raw and wonderfully written. Thanks so much for sharing. You’ve given great insight to some of the traps of being a woman (the way society has taught us to be rather than what women are striving for) that we can all so easily fall into without realizing it. Can a person grow that much from reading one article? because I feel like I have.

  • Yellie September 10th, 2012 11:02 PM

    crazy good writing, I just feel like this does not relate to me at all

  • paddyelephant September 11th, 2012 12:07 AM

    Your article ROCKED!! Its so personal in the way it captures my attention and original! <3 LOVED IT!!

  • jenaimarley September 11th, 2012 1:08 AM

    oh my Goddess

  • jenaimarley September 11th, 2012 1:08 AM

    This is what I think about every day.

  • Bene September 11th, 2012 1:55 AM

    This has changed the way I think, or more importantly allowed me to think the way I always have.

  • wissycosh September 11th, 2012 3:25 AM

    I relate to the eating but not having any eating disorders. I hate mostly that when I see skinny girls or hear skinny girls talk skinny things, I eat. They make me so hungry. It’s almost like I feel insecure about how insecure they are and I eat and I over eat. I get hungry and then I feel sick, but full, but never worry about it too much. Hell I got my muesli bar out as soon as my eyes surpassed that sentence.

  • jessica j September 11th, 2012 5:32 AM

    I’m really bummed that you included an image of a white girl in a headdress in this post. Cultural appropriation is really gross and I’m sorry to see it on the site.

    • Anaheed September 11th, 2012 10:11 AM

      Hey, you’re right, and we’re sorry. I should have caught that, but that is such an iconic image of Kate Moss that I didn’t even take IN that she’s wearing a headdress. Not an excuse!

  • patiencepatience September 11th, 2012 7:21 AM

    Just had so many realisations reading this that I am now in tears. Such an incredible piece of writting!

  • Achelle September 11th, 2012 7:22 AM

    Spot on.

  • Narnie September 11th, 2012 8:03 AM

    I have no words.

  • ivoire September 11th, 2012 8:44 AM

    Wow wow wow wow.
    I love this so much, ‘Whenever a woman has an ugly feeling, there is the accompanying guilt of feeling that she is a weak female, and then the double-guilt for feeling that guilt’.
    I feel guilty for witholding, for staying in the shadows sometimes. I think the main issue is that no matter where we turn, there is an expectation waiting for us to fail. I want reality and although we do need a strong rolemodel occassionally, I just feel guilt when i withold.
    This was an amazing article, thank you.

  • Torrie September 11th, 2012 1:02 PM

    This is one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking articles I have ever read on Rookie (as a few others have mentioned) and I assure you that I will be thinking about it for a long while and re-reading it often. Thank you so much for this.

  • pinbacksandplatforms September 11th, 2012 2:22 PM

    Amazing. There have been so many discussions on Facebook about feminism and humanism recently, and it’s gotten pretty disturbing. Mainly because a few of my straight male friends think that feminism and humanism are the same thing. They’re not the SAME THING! Feminism is about embracing a cause, fighting for something. To tell a feminist to stop fighting for equal treatment is like telling a starving person to stop fighting to eat. These guys always shoot you down whenever you say something about women’s rights, and act like we need to give it up already, become “humanists”. Really I think they’re just hoping that we feminists have given up the fight, so the western world can go ahead and keep being a male-dominated society. They keep trying to convince me that the world doesn’t need activists, and that everyone should just rely on themselves for everything, and that’s how the feminist discussion turns into a moral discussion. That’s how they divert our attention, and try to convey to us that feminism is a lost, dead cause. They think women are as equal to men as they’re going to get, and it would be more productive to focus on other endeavors. Can you believe these guys? Does anyone else GET ME? I’m so floored by the way these guys think. How can you not see the OBVIOUS INEQUALITY?! Here’s one example: Look at our United States government. Talk about inequality! Women don’t even come close when it comes to MAKING DECISIONS ON GOVERNMENT POLICY and REPRESENTING our mixed population of men AND women. I just want someone to understand!!

    • all-art-is-quite-useless September 11th, 2012 4:08 PM

      I don’t understand how people can say that sexism doesn’t exist any more. Its right there in front of our eyes! It frustrates me when people try to deny women’s experiences and BLATANT REALITY. It shows how male-dominated (and racist and hetro-normative for that matter) our society is, that even when inequality exists and there are FACTS AND STATISTICS THAT SHOW IT, NOT JUST MY STUPID WHINGING GIRL THOUGHTS, people are still satisfied with the idea that we are all totally, 100% equal.

  • Maradoll Mynx September 11th, 2012 6:59 PM

    This may sound rad, but I believe that until pregnancy/abortion is no longer a discussion shared with men or litigated in courts, but a decision made solely by an individual woman; and until women are legally allowed to sell (i.e., a demonstration of OWNERSHIP) our own bodies, we will feel DEEP DOWN they are the property of public domain, and should look the way society at large (from the male perspective) would dictate.

    We should have complete say regarding our own bodies.

    We should have 100% equal pay.

    We need to have childcare be a paid position, as it is work. The most difficult and the most important work.

    Yeah~we need to be fighting harder than ever now…and that’s precisely why society keeps turning up the heat in the LOOKS department…reminding us to tend to these bodies, because they don’t belong to us and we need to answer to society for the condition/appearance of them.

    Simone De Bouvier is apparently still relevant. Thanks for including succinct parts of her writings. I had not had a chance to read that far back but it sounds like she got to the crux of the matter for sure.

  • Pashupati September 11th, 2012 9:16 PM

    Relating to strong role models… role models can be strong and imperfect. In fact, it’s even better to have “normal”, imperfect characters and real life role models; in some ways, it’s less alienating and more honest.
    What you describe as weakness seems to be human imperfection to me.

  • Catvin September 11th, 2012 9:46 PM

    Thanks Anna,

    This was so informative and so inspiring. The first thing I did after reading it was return to page one and read it again. Please write more or show me where I can read more of your work?

    C xxx

  • kthrace September 12th, 2012 2:46 AM

    oh man i love this so much.

  • paige.xo September 12th, 2012 5:43 AM

    this article deserves a slow clap. its brilliant.

  • aruby September 12th, 2012 7:57 AM

    I made an account just so I could comment on how much I loved this article and how thankful I am for it.
    Everyone else has pretty much articulated my thoughts but really, this is awesome.

  • DanaAn September 12th, 2012 3:10 PM

    I agree, this is an important article. There’s this major subject in our lives which I guess most of us share yet hide, those bad thoughts and feelings of inferiority or weakness as a female. For me it’s sometimes really physical, like I can actually feel inferiority, insecurities or the shame of battles that I’ve lost crawling down my body and centering around my girl parts. What’s most interesting is how being a feminist and thinking about feminism doesn’t make us immune, more the opposite. It can turn what could have been a fleeting moment of personal insecurity into a big mess of gendered anger, self hate, shame, and the cycle of guilt. The other day my boyfriend was complaining about how he was always bad at sports and he hates his lack of coordination. All I could think was: nobody ever told you you’re bad at sports because you’re a girl, so why do you care? I couldn’t imagine caring about feeling inferior when it’s not a feminist issue!

  • rebeca September 13th, 2012 4:38 AM

    thank you rookie. just crying and crying and crying and trying to find words to describe how relevant and poignant this article is.

  • Wren September 13th, 2012 2:09 PM

    Thank you so much, this could not have come at a better time ! I was followed home from work by a creepy dude, and he said disgusting things, and I didn’t react like a strong feminist woman. I felt like such a bad feminist and a weak woman ! I feel a bit better now… Thank you…

  • trassel September 14th, 2012 10:16 AM

    I recognize myself in this text so much. It was very interesting and inspiring. I feel like this strong woman” female role model thing is turning out ridicilous. We don’t need “strong women” we need women who are portrayed as human beings, because women ARE human beings. If you find a perfect human being you are probably romantizising and don’t know the person very well. (At all…)

    I’ve felt the pressure to be a better feminist since I first bagun to become concious of the inequality of the sexes. Like I didn’t have the right to call myself a feminist if I didn’t do something RIGHT now to crush the patriarchy or whatever. I still have hose feelings even now. But it makes me feel a little better to know that everybody feels like that now and then.

  • eao103 September 14th, 2012 1:13 PM

    Am I the only one who was slightly horrified by the content of this article? I’m sorry but when you describe guilt about your “feminine weakness”, I don’t know what the heck you are talking about. The things the writer is experiencing are just part of the human condition, and a serious lack of self confidence. These problems are not uniquely feminine.

    • lizziefranalan September 21st, 2012 4:39 PM

      I completely agree and it’s upsetting that this book and article is attached to feminism because it’s not about that and if anything it’s contradictory. To say feminism is being solely dedicated to a man or a God is completely ridiculous. It upsets me that people would say that they agree with this or it saved their life because it’s so mislead. It gives off the notion of women being hysterical, which is perfectly acceptable, but not a feminine characteristic. I got a bitter feeling running through me when I read this and I feel unsettled to know that it was published. I plead with those that agree with the above person to find some support. It’s not about being a woman it’s about being human. I understand the issues raised here and the imagery is spot on, but the explanation and theories are those of someone who is trying to find comfort in loneliness by dragging the whole of womankind down with her. I’m not saying that she’s the only one who’s ever felt like this. But I strongly believe it’s not because she’s a woman, it’s because she’s very, very lonely.

      • zamboni September 25th, 2012 1:46 PM

        It may not affect your other feelings about the article, but this is a pretty drastic misunderstanding: “To say feminism is being solely dedicated to a man or a God is completely ridiculous.” The author is describing Simone de Beauvoir’s characterization of attitudes women fall into to avoid confronting their freedom–these are NOT examples of feminism, they are examples of negative outcomes for women.

        In the event you meant to type “To say femininity is …”, I’d disagree with you (because I think the author is talking about her/her friends’ anecdotal experience) but I’d get where you’re coming from.

  • itslaurafrances September 20th, 2012 7:16 AM

    I think this might’ve saved my life.

  • kp September 25th, 2012 4:24 PM

    Truly Brilliant

  • noqa November 10th, 2012 12:36 AM

    Wow. Um, wow. That really sums up so much of what it feels to be a young woman. It’s the constant struggle between delight in “femininity” and then disgust at that delight and then this constant cycle that we get stuck in. This is beautiful.

  • innogenchi December 8th, 2012 2:04 PM

    This article is true for me on so many levels.