a note on lived feminism on a day of lull…

I’m not sure that feminism means the same thing to everyone.  I’ve seen searches behind the scenes in my blog for things like “bra-burners” and “feminism without cosmetics” and stuff.

This has been sort of a day on hold, in a decade on hold in a way for me.  Anyway, over at NQ I saw a piece about feminism and so I was thinking what I would teach, and how, if I were doing that.  I’d use novels and classic texts and lived experiences?  That sort of thing.  It would be really fun to be a teacher in a way.  Or just a writer.

I feel sort of lost?  Losing my parents and so forth.  Sort of lost, today.  The fire is out pretty much and ash is everywhere!  I have a lot of things to clean up and I don’t feel like it — so I took the day off and just watched a lot of TV with my husband and periodically drifted in and out of the web proper.

Anyway, those of us from the 70’s-80’s had a very different experience of “feminism” than the women of the 60’s did.

I had this book called “Memoirs of an ex-Prom Queen” when I was about 14 or so.  I still have it!  It would be interesting to go back and see why I got it.  I remember reading Erica Jong’s poems in Jr. High and High School too.  The woman who wrote it has a web page here…

Alix Kates Shulman

My copy looks like this…

I have a lot of books.  Too many maybe for this stage of life because I feel like paring down or doing what is going to come next?

Anyway, I don’t remember getting this book — but when you look at the web page — this was a seminal book!

My gen, the Lost Generation at the tail end of the Boom was different from hers.  Maybe my mother got this book — but somehow it came to me!  In 1970 my mom would have been 43 at that time — so this book could have appealed to her…I was reading or looking at her books at that time, a lot.  So, for me, feminism has had to do with staving off males?  So I could get an education and make something of my life.  There have always been males.  Who needed things.  Or wanted things.

Feminism was about carving out space and not succumbing?

So I’m not a particularly good wife.  I’m just not.

Today I was looking at the ads on TV and thinking that they were so 50’s redux.

Really.  All the ones for washing machines and cleaning products and?  Nothing too intellectual there…

I’m having to come to terms with my life?  Certain eras of it?  Certain relationships…

I have so many photos.  I can almost reconstruct things from those.  I really feel like I should be working at something that is like a career and I’m not.  After my mother passed away I just gave up on major career two.  But?  I feel I need to do something and I just don’t know what?  My husband has a different view of this, for me.  He thinks I should just be happy as is.  He doesn’t realize how much of my life is controlled by him.  It has been since we married.  Almost everything is on his terms and so I feel very erased if I’m not working.

My old best friend and I have parallels in our lives.  Many, many relationships later.  I’m trying to write a book about our gen, called “whitegirl” to dispell some mythology people have about feminism as lived in our time.  One very early thing I remember was that we had to petition to wear pants to school — in the 70’s.  Before that only skirts were approved.  So we did.  I remember my little girlfriends and I doing those, and getting the signatures.  Roe v Wade also was passed in 1973.  No one speaks about what Roe’s impact was on my generation.  Or how men in my gen used Roe as an excuse to avoid being fathers?  And so I plan to cover that too.

My first serious relationship was at 19.  I  was thinking about him yesterday.  He was 36, and an actor.  I was really in love with him and it ended after three years.  His father was a very famous director.  I don’t think he is still alive?  And so yesterday, I was thinking about that — and him — and wondering.

My mother was divorced twice.  So, I grew up without a father.  Pretty much.

She wasn’t motherly in the classic sense at all.  Today is mother’s day and so I’m thinking about that.

For years my best friend was estranged from her mother but they have made peace over these last years.

Mine and I were very close for years — up until I married.  We weren’t close after the mid nineties.  I was distancing myself a lot.  Sometimes I feel that as a woman I’ve had to care for so many people in this life — and then I did when I was a therapist too.  So — since my mom is gone — I’m without that role?  Except for him?  He lost his parents too, and he is 15 years older than I.

Dunno.  I feel like I need to work!  Or move.  Or do something valid.

He thinks I should just paint, but I’m not painting.

I’m just not ready to be here, yet.  In this lull.

I mean, my life as a feminist has been about work!

Not mopping floors, doing laundry, shopping and cooking.

I wish I could have been happier doing just that, but no.

I am feeling more and more stressed at what I see happening in this country — especially politically.

Totally stressed.

Dunno.  Maybe I’ll read and just escape into a book.  The news is stressful.  The personal has always been the political except I can’t fathom any of what I am seeing out of these types who are running things right now.

Anyway — to understand feminism in America read women and books like the above…

I think I’ll revisit it and see what it’s like ages later…

I think I should have been a mom, sometimes?

Maybe I wish I had been more feminine and less feminist — it’s just that work equalled worth for my gen.

Dunno.  Puzzling it out.

Being a mother was very difficult for my old best friend — I could write some stories about things she told me…

Her second marriage was all about getting a solid dad for the kids.

2 thoughts on “a note on lived feminism on a day of lull…

  1. Reading your post makes me want to re-read Gail Sheehy’s (sp) “Passages”. I think I still have a copy, somewhere, read it in college for a psych course. I hope you write your book about feminism for late boomers, I’ll buy a copy. I remember when we finally were allowed to wear pants too! I think we could only wear them on Friday’s at first, LOL! I’m glad the wind has calmed, and the fire with it. The ash will be gone soon too, don’t worry, it was a good day to relax.

    Like

  2. Passages!

    I used to have that…OMG. Isn’t that funny about the fridays and pants? We were wanting to wear 501’s — embroidered at the time…you know you are the second — no third who has expressed an interest in that? Seriously. I think I was in my 20’s when I had Passages geez–
    Our gen is really young for itself and we really have lived tons of eras?
    We just have. I was writing it in the 2nd person POV — but it seems to work, so far!

    ahhhh life!……..

    yeah.

    Like

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