This day last year, I launched this blog and podcast. I was undergoing a dramatic shift in my own creative life and was craving connection with other women, as they might know what I was going through. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to interview the nine incredible women on the podcast and it was like a balm that my soul needed.
I have so many plans for this site and for the podcast, a list as long as my arm of women I want to interview, ideas for how to build a community of support and encouragement and I loved the idea of doing a site relaunch today on International Women’s Day.
One of the greatest flaws in our modern understanding of feminism is the emphasis on productivity and visibility. It’s hugely important that we see women rise, that we see women succeed and that we hear their voices, do not misunderstand me.
But often I think we do feminist as opposed to be feminist. I am a feminist by virtue of the fact that I believe in equal rights for men and women. I believe that the capitalist patriarchal system we are apart of is deeply unjust, mightily oppressive and that it sets up men and women for failure. I think being a feminist for me means stepping right outside the parameters of the system and envision a completely different reality.
It’s what I’m exploring in my family, what I’m investigating in my creativity and what I’m excavating in my faith. What would life look like outside of the current system? What would feminism look like outside of the current system?
With that in mind, I’m erasing the word ‘should’ from my vocabulary with its connotation of obligation and coercion. I have long been terrorised by the mentality that I should do something, or should feel something or should be someone other than who I am.
I should be marching in Dublin today. I should be more involved with the grassroots feminist movement in the arts of which I am a part. I should be more active in challenging sexism and misogyny in my faith tradition. I should be a better mother to my daughter and my sons. I should be a stronger partner for my husband. I should be working to earn more money. I should enjoy by my work in the home more than I do. I should write this blog more often. I should figure out how to monetise this site. I should get it together. I should grow up and quit dreaming. I should dream bigger.
Well, today, on International Women’s day, I’m saying Fuck that Shit.
Today, I’m advocating radical self care of my feminist self in the form of taking my antidepressant medication, catching up with a dear friend, picking my kids up from school and going to celebrate my youngest niece’s birthday, making dinner for my family (and you know what it might just be beans on toast tonight, shock horror!). I might go to bed super early or I might read my book. I might watch some shitty television.
I’ve written this blog post. It might be the first of a flurry of activity or it might be the last for a while.
I’m going to do what I know to be best for my body, soul and mind and that is the most radically feminist thing I can think of to do.