A woman’s fight to survive the day, each and every day, is different than a man’s. The average woman’s struggle also is more difficult than the average man’s, I’d argue (and I don’t want to argue with you, so please don’t), and it has to do with differences large and small, and those differences are the result of both accidental circumstance, and forceful oppression.
There’s a reason why there’s a Woman’s March on Washington (and in individual cities), and not a Man’s March. Yes, James Brown, this is a man’s world, and nothing has reminded us of that fact so starkly as Donald Trump’s (un)presidential campaign, victory and his conduct in the two months since the election. The war on women’s bodies, choices and right to not be attacked by rapists (only to be punished for having the audacity to get attacked)–it’s only intensified, and only going to get worse.
The everyday fight is hard, and the struggle to gain equality and justice for women is adding more weight to our already overburdened shoulders. We want to continue fighting, but some of us (including me) are overwhelmed. The typically female response is to power through the feelings of despair, exhaustion, depression and other negative forces. That can be dangerous–continuing to fight when you’re at your breaking point just increases the likelihood you’re gonna get broken.
Self-care isn’t just taking a bubble bath (despite the predominant FB definition). It’s doing what you need to do for yourself to avoid going past the breaking point, or even recovering once you’ve gone past it. It’s different for everyone–for me, today, it’s stepping away from my computer for the rest of the day, avoiding arguments on FB, and coming back to it tomorrow. I don’t mind admitting I feel overwhelmed by work, the impending Trump inauguration, struggle against the GOP evils and other things. I’m not being lazy, and I’m not neglecting work or the fight against Trump to slack. As Audre Lorde (the lovely person above) said:
Caring for myself is not self indulgence. It is self preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
If I don’t take a break from the things that are weighing on me, I could lose my shit. Taking a half day for myself, though, will leave me in better shape to take care of my shit when I get back. See you then.