Just wanted to put this out there, as this resonates with me more than I care to admit.
Consider Spinster‘s concern with the way women melt into their relationships: “It wasn’t merely that my identity was constructed entirely out of my relationships with other people — my relationships were my identity. My relationships took the place of myself,” she writes. Anyone who has worked with younger women will tell you this mentality is neither unusual nor specific to Bolick’s milieu. Subsuming yourself in relationships, no matter how empowered you were raised to be, is a common affliction of growing up in patriarchy.
(so it’s not just me?)
“The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own,” wrote none other than Betty Friedan. The secret that Toni Morrison’s story reveals is that women, in fact, do better by their loved ones — whether in traditional, unorthodox, or unofficial arrangements — when they buck the messaging and become their most fulfilled selves, refusing to be swallowed by relationships or reduced to them.
My feelings about (third-wave) feminism and how women should treat other women can be summed up by Amy Poehler,
“’Good for her! Not for me.’ That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”