Women’s March: But what’s underneath “feminism”?

Re: “politics”: the ongoing torquing of mind and sensibility has left me splayed out, flabbergasted. How to compute? For example: I used to follow “left-wing progressive” alt-news websites — until they seemed to unite with the MSM in the shameless promotion of Hillary for President. Thus, at some point within the past year or so, I found myself, to my dismay, switching to some commentators on Fox News! and even to Alex Jones infowars! What? These alt-right websites, formerly anathema to me, were and are “pro-Trump.” I’m not pro-Trump either, though I sure prefer the uncertainty of whatever he will bring to what Hillary would have done to keep the status quo cemented into place.

Meanwhile, the beat goes on. Now we have the massive Women’s March on the day after Trump’s inauguration, springing up in hundreds of cities and towns not only here, but across the world, inspiring an estimated four million people to get up off their couches. Even Jackson Wyoming, my old stomping grounds, drew hundreds of people off their skiis.

My response to this is ambivalence. On the one hand I laud those who get off their couches to join with others in common cause for respecting the sovereignty of women, their bodies, and Mother Earth. On the other hand, I am concerned that “identity politics” (gender, including the supposed blending of genders, being one of them) are being used to divide us further, as usual. And worse; for example, today’s infowars headline: Harpies Shriek Following Trump Nomination 

Such low-form misogyny! I thought that aspect of the anti-feminist animus had spent itself decades ago.

Of course I’m  still a “feminist.” And yet, given that feminism seems to be now identified with “We came, we saw, he died” Hillary, I’m very concerned that the current conflation of feminism with Hillary is still determined to take Trump down.  Not that I love Trump, but I am excited that his enormous, seemingly “god-like” presence on the world stage appears to be shaking up absolutely everything and everyone. Because we need that shakeup, as we blindly feel our way forward into a very uncertain future.

Meanwhile, let me close this post with a bit of nostalgia. Here’s the photo that appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1969 with a teeshirt to which a fist had been silkscreened.

The graphic designer and wearer of that fist was the young man and Harvard student Ray Frieden who, along with his wife Nancy, were and are my oldest friends in Massachusetts from our years in Cambridge (1965-1972), where of course, Nancy and I transformed into ardent feminists.

Here’s Ray now, with one of his grandchildren.

But is there something even more basic than feminism? Even more worthy of devotion? Yes. I want to burrow underneath feminism, underneath any and all our “isms,” those superficial mind-created forms that function also as barriers pretending to divide this from that. Yes. Let us descend into the heaving, swelling, nourishing life force that drives my body, your body, every animal, insect, bird, plant, tree, the soil, the water, the Earth, the Sun and Moon, the wheeling galaxies both seen and unseen! Yes. Underneath the divisions, underneath the divisiveness that so powers today’s politics, let us feel our way forward, aware of every heartbeat, every breath, sensing ourselves as each a vast, brilliant, pinpoint presence of the one living loving Being that powers the universe.




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9 Responses to Women’s March: But what’s underneath “feminism”?

  1. It is so past time for humanity to evolve and grow up…All of this nonsense, or it was, has now become a royal pain the ass and it is wearing peoples minds down to frazzled egg shells….It has to stop or we as a whole will not move forward. How tragic that would be given this grand opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons…..VK 🙂

  2. Joy Shayne Laughter says:

    Thank you, Ann. I did not attend the Indianapolis march, because I too am uneasy with those who conflate this “defend women’s rights” energy with Hillary Clinton. However, I am not hearing about such conflations being expressed by people who were at the marches – the signs and shirts and energy seemed (from what I have heard/read) to be more about being Here Now, active with what is really going on Now, what the resources are Now for what we need Now … nothing about HRC. That heartens me, that people are apparently ready to embody their own activist power and not hand it over to a public figure.

  3. brie petty says:

    What do you mean by “the supposed blending of genders”?
    Biological sex is one thing but gender is a social construct.
    Just curious/trying to understand.

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Brie and I had a conversation about this topic early this morning. It’s a sticky issue, obviously, and difficult to understand fully — especially by all of us who do not walk in each others’ shoes. However, I look to my own life, and recognize that I have been consciously working to integrate both male and female within myself for over 40 years now. On the other hand, I don’t make a big deal of it politically, don’t proclaim this integration as my “identity.” We agreed that is very important, however, that every single person has certain alienable rights, no matter who they are. Period. How that translates into who gets to use what bathroom, I have no idea.

  4. TheGoodGero says:

    This is vile. The only reason that the current state of feminism has been lead to different places because it’s being lead by people your era’s feminism was still trying to ignore. If you can’t realize that all women don’t all have the same needs because some of our needs aren’t acknowledged as women’s needs, you’re incredibly out of touch and have some serious reading and learning to do.

    You’re really showing what you think trans women when you say that is fighting for ourselves is “dividing us further,” instead of hateful trans-exclusionary women who would call themselves feminists despite their actions which contribute greatly to our abuse, criminalization, and even suicide.

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      The hostile attitude expressed in your comment appears to be an example on how gender issues are being used to “divide us further.”

      • TheGoodGero says:

        My hostile attitude is only in response to you insistening trans women asserting our existence is a bad thing. If we weren’t being treated with hostility from the get-go, you might not feel it necessary to police our tone or dismiss us because we sound “too angry,” as you’re doing here by bringing up *how* I’m saying things instead of *what* I’a saying.

  5. rose day says:

    Ann, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Women’s March. Your comments are personally resonant and I too am especially cheered that the issues being promoted are topical and essentially universal.

    Every advancement made on every ‘rights’ issue ultimately advances humanity as a whole. We are fortunate to live in a nation that provides for public discourse and
    hopefully we are entering a phase in our collective evolution wherein that basic
    freedom will be more securely safeguarded.

    Time will tell.

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