Unlike the trend, I am not afraid of using the word ‘feminism’. The dreaded F-word that carries a nonsensical amount of baggage and resentment. This is not an attempt to provide a precise definition, nor an appeal to reconsider its usage. In fact, I am absolutely unconcerned with the constant cultural conflict that is little more than petty feuding. The following is a critique and a modification of what has become commonly known as ‘feminism’. It is independent and of itself.
In humor I have called it ‘Red Sonja feminism’, a feminism not of perpetual victimhood and slavishness, rather one of strength and wholeness. There are inequalities in the US and globally. Certain social ills such as rape and spousal abuse is a serious matter and should be handled carefully. The major difference I am aiming to present is the framing and values concerning the whole picture. The current reckless communication commonly used when discussing these issues has only resulted in more problems, not less. There must be a shift from perpetual weakness to triumphant overcoming.
The words ‘her own divine’ were chosen not as a saccharine nod to goddess worship, nor a nod to diva female empowerment. It is the conveyance of wholeness which I define as a woman whose self-value is not contingent on male approval, and likewise who affirm themselves as their own. For the sake of discussion let’s use the fictional Red Sonja, she does not look to male approval nor does she see herself as a victim or carry resentment toward the world. The framing of “I am the oppressed, they are the oppressor’ is not found. This is what I am driving at, this slave mind state must be abandoned. It is incomplete and impoverished.
The pagan female deities of old, such as Artemis or Freyja, were not weaklings filled with resentful anger toward the oppressive ‘Other’. In one interpretation of myth, Actaeon the hunter committed a transgression, some say attempted to force himself onto Artemis, and in turn Artemis turned him into a stag to be hunted. A woman does not require male validation, nor does she require salvation. In current social justice feminism there is the perpetual ‘we are the oppressed’ mind state, it is one of weakness and self-pity. One can address social inequalities and injustices without being the permanent victim, the permanent lesser. In her own divine, in her own self, she is complete and whole. A historical example is the fierce warrior Boudica, queen of a Celtic tribe AD 60, her husband was killed by Roman invaders, she was flogged, her daughters raped. In retaliation Boudica gathered her forces and razed three cities, slaughtering around 70-80,000 Romans and Britons. We live in a civil time where this is unacceptable, but the state of mind should be no different. She refused to be oppressed, she was not the oppressed, there was no oppressor, and she made sure of it. She was a force unto herself which did not acknowledge the oppressed/oppressor dichotomy.
Let me state again ‘her own divine’ does not refer to fluffy goddesses or over-eager divas. It is one complete in themselves, a wrathful nuclear force that has transcended the oppressed/oppressor dichotomy. A victor in mind and body, not the resentful underling spitting at those supposedly ‘privileged’. If inequalities and injustices were approached with this frame of mind, the mind of a victor, there would be a drastic change in discourse. Complete women and complete men working together to address social ills, not as opposing forces but complimentary forces. The venomous resentment between man and woman must stop. It is petty minded, both still stuck in the victim mind state and unceasing insecurity. A god unto himself, a goddess unto herself.
This may sound ideal, optimistic, too difficult for many, perhaps it is. This is not meant to be the ultimate answer, definition, or resolution. It is my understanding of feminism, if I dare use the loaded term. Being a perpetual victim is not something to strive for, it is not a badge of courage, it does not make one a saintly martyr or a downtrodden peacemaker, such a perspective is entropy draped in self-righteous pity. Think of Boudica, Hypatia, not the resentful underling that is defined by the oppressive ‘Other’.