I was innocently scrolling through Facebook the other day and saw a couple of memes and even watched a video clip denouncing a certain famous man’s daughter for pretending to be a feminist while neither her actions nor her words, quite match her stance. I tend to agree with this conclusion. But here’s where things got fuzzy for me. I also scrolled past a meme that said, “Every time I judge someone else, I reveal an unhealed part of myself.”
I’m pretty sure that I was judging her. I’m also pretty sure I was also judging the women in my country who don’t see her, or her father, the same way I do.
Let me be clear from the beginning that I believe it is possible to maintain the opinion that someone is not what they claim to be (or decidedly not want to identify with what they believe in) and yet not judge them. This, however, was not what I was doing. Not if I’m honest with myself. What I was doing was judging.
I also believe that we do reveal ourselves in how we treat others, even when that treatment is thought based.
So what did my judgment reveal about me? Or maybe the question is better worded, what unhealed parts of myself have been revealed by my judgment?
- I judged someone for not being a good enough feminist?
* Do I believe that I am not a good enough feminist?
* Do I believe that I don’t recognize my own privilege or that I feel guilty for my own privilege - b/c let’s face it, I’m privileged. I was born in the US to white, educated, middle class, married, heterosexual parents. I’ve never had to go without food, clothing, electricity, education, support or love. Being a woman is pretty much the only non privileged element in my life. I have experienced the patriarchy in all kinds of insidious ways, but as a white, educated, middle class, hetero woman, I still have it easy. Am I more like the famous man’s daughter than I want to admit?
* Do I believe that instead of pursuing my PhD and doing the research and writing that I dreamed of, and instead became a stay at home mom, that I am not worthy of being called feminist? That I chose the “lesser” path? The path that made it harder for my fellow women to lift their fists in defiance of stereotype? I became the very thing that the Betty Friedan’s of the world fought against and that the Phyllis Shaffly’s fought to maintain. Am I a hypocrite?
- I laughed at a meme that pointed out the disparity between a woman with an advanced degree and vast political experience to one who was born to wealth and designs handbags. I judged the designer as less.
* Do I believe that I am unworthy because I didn't get the advanced degree that I dreamed of? I let life get in the way. I let myself get sidetracked, I didn’t believe in myself enough to go for what I wanted. I failed.
* Do I believe that I am unworthy because I am a yoga teacher? I put myself in the same category as the designer. Do I see myself as less than women who have achieved obvious success in fields usually dominated by men? Am I jealous of the very women I put on a pedestal? Is my derision for the designer derision for myself?
I think I’m beginning to see my raw unhealed self. In fact, it is painfully obvious what my “issues” are, but it boils down to this:
She is unworthy because I am unworthy.
So what now?
I heal myself and I continue to fight. Because let’s be clear - I am worthy. I am worth fighting for and beside. Now I just need to convince myself that it’s true. And thankfully, I believe that can be done.