Monday, November 29, 2010

Feminist Break-Ups

My roommate from this summer/one of my favorite feminists just brought to my attention this really sweet article about how to deal with a break up while feminist. I would summarize, but I will let the author win you over herself with the below excerpt:

How To Get Through the Feeling Betrayed / Feeling Sorry for Yourself / "My Life Sucks And Nobody Has Ever Been In As Much Pain As I Have" Phase:

In this garbage dump of a situation, I realized I have an AMAZING group of friends. ...They made me laugh, they let me cry. Which made me realize how important the feminist value of sisterhood's so important to have a close group of girl friends that will get you through to the other end and keep you on track no matter how trivial the problem you're dealing with seems in the scheme of things.

My Relationship with my Mom/Other Female Role Model
Strong women role models – in this case, my Mommy – helped me (and can help you) remember that even when other people act in ways that are pretty low, you can still hold yourself to a higher standard and rise above them.

How To Move On To Empowerment

Set Yourself Aside and Focus on Other People

Settle Your Karmic Score

I realized that while I was hurting, I had hurt other people. Without going into it, freshman year my two best friends and I had a huge fight. Stupid freshman that I was I walked away thinking that I was the only one who had been hurt. It took nearly 3 years and some heartbreak to figure out I may have hurt them, too. I began to realize the people I had designated "good" and the people I had designated "bad" were turning out to all be in the wrong categories and set out to fix it.

Now. Maybe I didn't react to this experience in the most feminist way. Maybe instead of focusing so much on this one incident I should have channeled that energy into rallying for a more important cause. Instead of curling up in the fetal position, I probably should have volunteered for Planned Parenthood or something. And maybe this advice isn't even the most feminist guide ever. But sometimes life, emotions and just being a freakin' teenager interfere with perfect feminist theory. And when that happens, this is what I have learned: be a kind human being. Treat others the way you want to be treated. When you slip up and do something bad to somebody else, own up to it and make it right. When somebody does something bad to you, try to maintain your integrity and look inwards toward your own strength and outwards towards a future where you are a stronger person for the pain. Because in the end, that's essentially what feminism is.

I highly recommend you read her full article, which elaborates on all of her advice and details her own recent break-up experience.

Please share your own feminist break up advice (for any or all genders) in comments.

1 comment:

Amelia said...

I have definitely used the "Focus On Other People" technique. For me, getting too caught up in my emotions never helped me move on in a productive way, so refocusing has always seemed to help. It also helps make positive things happen for other people, because I always find comfort in dedicating myself more fully to feminist work.