My feminism has evolved. Once I strongly believed that gender was entirely a social construct. I think I still do, but as I become more spiritual and connected to the earth I am aware that a lot of the material I read uses the concept of ‘essential feminine’ characteristics. Much of this work, like Motherpeace (Karen Vogel & Vicki Noble) or even the not overtly spiritual Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Dr Christine Northrupp) discuss the role of intuition as something almost unique to women. Similarly, elements, chakras and energy patterns are designated male or female. To be honest, I don’t even really find this grating any more – which I realise is a large inconsistency in my belief – because it just doesn’t seem relevant.
I think of myself as a woman. A lesbian. For a while I felt utterly genderless. If I left my left-wing rainbow bubble and went to say, Chapel St on Saturday night to see a show, I was astonished to find women in towering heels they could barely walk in and in tiny clothes offering no protection from the cool of night. I have been there myself a very long time ago, but I felt like I was looking at a different species. I’m sure they did too. Now I am proud to be a woman, showing my young nieces that there is a different way to be a woman than the image they are constantly bombarded with in our over-sexualised society.
My feminism is comforting, unreconstructed, and hopefully will evolve further through awesome conversations with friends, articles in feminaust and maintaining the rage. As it said on my Women’s Department show bag in 1998,
if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention
- The F word (podcast)
- Bitch Magazine – a feminist response to pop culture
- Ms. Magazine
- Andrea’s Dworkin’s incredibly powerful memoir: Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant
Alison is a current trainer and member at the Women’s Circus, a former board member of the YWCA Victoria, a former political adviser with the Bracks and Brumby Governments where her proudest achievements include being part of the team that changed the laws governing abortion and access to assisted reproductive technology. She is currently studying at the VCA and all of her unreconstructed views on feminism are her own and in no way purport to reflect the views of these organisations.