season of illusions, season of the witch

(proenza schouler dress from filene's)

I received an email the other day from a reader, inquiring why I don't write about feminism on my blog as much as I used to. That email has been sitting unanswered in my inbox for about a week.

It's a fair question, I guess. This is a feminist fashion blog. And the reader is right - I haven't been talking about feminist issues as much as I used to.

I went through a series of mixed feelings after reading it. Anger, that someone would dare tell me how to write in my own blog. Embarrassment, at being called out for being a "bad feminist". Annoyance, because, hello!, I spend 40+ hours each week working for a social service helping to house low-income families affordably but apparently that doesn't matter because that fact isn't splashed plainly across my outfit posts.

Finally, the truth became crystal clear the longer I considered it. I'm SAD (or maybe not even SAD, just actually sad?) and sometimes, being SAD means that the world around you feels less colorful. You've got less energy to devote to the things that make up your impossibly complex personality, no interest in fulfilling your heart, no desire to challenge the status quo because at the end of the day, taking a nap on the couch seems like the only thing you can reasonably handle. I've been napping a lot.

But last week, I dragged myself out of the house to go to Season of the Witch. It's a private womens-only event at Late Bar that focuses exclusively on community-building by raising women's self-esteem. There's no traditional activist component. Just women sharing their trials and tribulations in a safe space with frank discussions of relationships, women's health, professional inspiration, femininity, and hugs over tears. It was an eye-opening experience because I realized something so painfully apparent but something that the Feminist Tumblr/Twitter Oppression Olympics Community sees to forget: activism comes in many different forms. There are so many ways to be a feminist, methods that aren't limited to reblogging/retweeting the latest Outrage Porn Thing viralling all over the internet. I mean, let's be honest. Those types of things are important for educating people about the truly fucked-up shit that goes in this world. But at the end of day, it doesn't give comfort to women who are in pain. It stokes our anger but maybe doesn't inspire our love and compassion.

It's difficult to muster up the strength to rant against something when I am completely helpless to fix it. Sometimes I have that strength; right now I don't and that's totally okay because I'm an imperfect human being, just as we all are, and strength wears through us all at some point. So I think right now, while I annually struggle with SAD, I'd like to focus on positive feminism that lifts women up. Practical enduring comfort, in the real world, for real women. So while it may not look like I'm angrily feminsting on my blog, do not fear!, I'll be doing it in my real life.

xoJane.com had this perfect quote that I'm going to share.
"Women are not perfect. Even feminists live in the real world, and sometimes feel bad about our bodies or make irresponsible choices. We are products of the same society we may not always agree with."
Let's attack that society first, one woman at a time, through positive communities and strong feminist outreach. Let's come at one another from a place of love. <3

Note: This was written, of course, from the perspective of a passably-white heterosexual abled employed cisfemale. I recognize that my privilege allows me to feel this way. Take that into consideration if you will.


Lydia said...

I'm pretty new to your blog, so I didn't even know this was an element that has been lacking. But I feel like A, you can blog whatever you want, and B, you totally have a right to scale back if you just don't have the energy. Sometimes you have to push yourself, and make yourself do things you don't feel like doing, but don't wear yourself out. That isn't healthy. Listen to your body. Taking care of yourself IS feminist. Maybe let your readers who find your feminist posts important know you're still in the fight, but cut yourself a break too. I don't think you have anything to feel bad about.

Isabel said...

This is absolutely beautiful, and gave me a lift up when i needed it. Damn, your writing is powerful Meagan, I think everyone should read this post! So excited to have you as a contributor for PLANT! :)

badphotoshop said...

too bad I can't go.. :(

Magnet said...

I agree with Lydia, you should write about whatever you want and if you don't have the energy for a while, that is completely fair enough. Hell, I know all about being in different moods and the energy you need to write and discuss certain things. Especially issues you feel strongly about. Keep taking those naps, maybe you'll feel well rested soon :)

Claire said...

Man, this post is so inspiring! I really think that a lot of the time people seem to feel that the internet is the entire world, and that they can post about issues online, but then do nothing to change things in "real life".
Great post!

Ellinor Forje said...

That is a very cool effect in the photo. Love the straps. Thanks for sharing the photos and feel free to drop by me too, soon.

Emi Coco said...

Such a lovely post!

You've got a gorgeous blog, I'm following. Please follow me back, I'm trying to reack 1000 followers!


Meagan said...

that quote makes me feel so much better. I constantly feel like a hypocrite because I get jealous or I don't like a girl or I feel insecure, etc. and I'm a feminist. But feminists are people too. So thank you!

L. said...

Beliefs like feminism are occasionally better on the subtle, lead by example level as opposed to creating an outward physical (and ultimately) force that pushes people away. Also why flog a dead horse? Just be a lady.

Have you read Fosterhood? It might make you sadder but also give you hope on the socioeconomic plagues of the U.S.