So it is general election day in the UK and also the fourth anniversary of my marriage to a man I’m now separated from. Needless to say I am a puddle of anxiety.
Therefore I’m trying to write in some attempt at catharsis, and also to explore some feelings and thoughts I’ve been having a lot for the past couple of weeks.
It began when I started watching the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, became instantly hooked, amazon primed the book, and read it within 2 days. Then, over the course of my holiday in France I read Only Ever Yours alongside I Love Dick and was left in the stickiest of patriarchy detesting head spaces.
While I love my boyfriend and enjoyed the holiday with him, being alone with a man wasn’t the ideal situation while I was trying to process my disgust over the entire cis-male population. I had a painful epiphany moment where I realised that no matter how socially aware, no matter how woke, some guy claims to be; no cis-man will ever truly be be able to empathise with the pain (both mental and physical) and anxiety that comes with being perceived as female.
And this is me coming from the privileged stand point of a cis, white, bi-but-straight-passing, woman. We’re each existing within our own bubbles of privilege, unable to ever truly reach out and touch on the experiences of one another.
As the anxiety attack went on I started thinking about how exhausting it is to constantly be Othered by man’s innate inability to understand; along the lines of Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of white male as the default, and everyone else as Other or extraneous. How dangerous that was to all women, but particularly WoC, LGBTQIA+ folks, and of course the deadly intersection between the two.
I started manically messaging girl friends, craving womanly interactions and desperately attempting to arrange meet ups so I could surround myself with that nourishing feminine energy.
The weekend I got back the gallery I volunteer at was holding an independent book & zine fair. I managed to picked up a copy of Jemima Khalli’s poetry chap book Lands, which I have been after for so long, and a zine by Sophie Jones titled Girls Need To Support Girls.
FUCK YES. Is about all I can say.
Khalli’s poetry is this beautiful telling of her experience as a young woman of colour. The first page is the statement so let them taste the salt in your words which gives me shivers every time I open the book.
Jones’ zine on the other hand is more light-hearted in its exploration of life as a British millennial girl. It has collages dedicated to Drake, writings on mental health and social media, and my favourite page: a text collage repeating BLOCK HIS NUMBER AND LOVE YOURSELF with GIRL GIRLS GIRLS layered over it.
I’ve been reading these, listening to Riot Grrrl punk, loving on girl friends, spending a lot of time on Ev’Yan Whitney’s website and scheming the creation of a sexy, witchy, online feminist space with my beautiful friend Jess.
All of this is to say, I am greedy for feminine magic right now. So send me your favourite writers, your favourite rituals, and reach out to me if you’re also feeling depressed by the patriarchy’s gradual destruction of society. Let’s all educate ourselves on our privileges, act as allies where possible, and give as much as we can while still taking care of ourselves.
And queer, british femmes hit me up if you want to run away together and start a commune where we can all be friends, lovers, and plot the revolution 😉