this too
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
  International Women's Day

A friend sent me this picture as an e-card for International Women’s Day – such a bright, unexpected thing amongst my office e-mails. I’d forgotten it was today, which is astonishing, as I used to work for an international women’s organisation and this was a big deal.

In a later job, our Director once decided to send all the women home at lunchtime on 8 March. Really bad idea. It created so much bad feeling among male colleagues. The sex war raged virulently across the office for weeks – so much suppressed anger coming out, it was quite an eye-opener.

I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence that yesterday and today a fairly heavy discussion has been happening at Time Goes By on how we old-time 1970s feminists see things now. It was a good discussion, honest and not vindictive, heartening really.

My life was torn apart in the late 1970s when all my friends in the women’s movement offered me an option: them or the man I loved. It’s a scar I’ll always bear. I ended up with none of them, left and moved, alone, to another city. I probably only began really to recover when I came, in the last few years, to Buddhist teachings which deeply challenge the perceived boundaries between self and other. And yet, and yet, I can’t imagine my heartfelt identification with feminism ever changing.
What beautiful bright color! We are starving for color here - it's snowing yet again.

Women/girls have their own way of being brutal to each other. I've experienced that banishment from the fold. It's very painful. As the article you linked to says, women are equal opportunity offenders in life. But I've learned that women friends can also be incredibly supportive and a great joy in my life. I guess with time and maturity one learns whom to trust.

Yeah, I have the same heartfelt identification.

I wish we hadn't glorified anger, in those days. It seemed like a good idea at the time. In retrospect -- it was poison.
Quite agreed.
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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