Disclaimer: Readers be warned, this posting contains frequent use of the dirty little F-word.
No, not that one. The other one.
I am a feminist.
Feminism, of course, being defined as equal rights for men and women (and hermaphrodites too. Feminism isn't about man-hating. It isn't about pissed-off lesbians. It isn't about yelling angrily at crowds and public bra burning. (I happen to love my bras). Most feminist are straight, and the bisexual/lesbian one usually aren't angry. The few ones who are angry man-haters aren't feminists, they are women who have issues that they need to face and come to peace with.
But feminism, at times can be very frustrating. It can make you angry. I read the reports of the thousands of girls in Africa who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation in order to become "pure" makes me cry every time. (Female genital mutilation, also called FGM, is the removal of the clitoris, often with a knife or a shard of glass. This often renders the female unable to experience sexual arousal and an orgasm when she reaches sexual maturity.) To read about the wives in India who are burned alive because they didn't produce a male heir will get me absolutely infuriated.
Yes feminists do get angry, usually when we see heinous violations against other women. Can you blame us? We also rejoice. We laugh. We cry and mourn. We learn. We question, constantly. We challenge, we debate, we argue, even with other feminists.
However, I would be lying if I said feminism didn't have a sharp, angry edge to it, anger at all the injustice of the world.
I believe all people should have equal rights, regardless of gender and sex. I get angry when I see an injustice towards other women committed; I get angry when I see injustice to men committed.
Yes, I am a feminist.
But I am also a Buddhist.
Feminism fulfills a need in my life, a need for justice, a need to see the wrongs committed in this world against my fellow humans, and a reason to strive to fix these injustices, to raise awareness. I've taken women studies classes; I've studied the issues, both past and current. I've written papers, given presentations, send letters to the newspaper editor. I know the related issues, and I constantly read up on them, research the facts, view them from all angles. I'm not shy about voicing my opinion of such topics, and I do so in a civil manner. People are more likely to listen to a polite and friendly feminist then a loud and belligerent one.
I live in a state that boasts the highest domestic violence rates in America. Every 1 in 5 women will be raped in my city. At 824, my zip code has three times more registered sex offenders then any other zip code within the city.
Yes, this angers me.
Buddhism calms me; it gives me peace, compassion, and awareness.
It’s kind of like a yin and yang balance. Feminism and Buddhism aren't really much alike, yet in my life they complement and even complete each other. The Buddhist calms the Feminist. The Feminist stimulates the Buddhist, giving it questions, raising awareness and concerns. The Buddhist provides peace while the Feminist provides awareness. I'm having a difficult time explaining this as eloquently as I would like too, but basically there is a balance there, and to me, it is a very beautiful balance.
You get the idea.
I am a big fan of the concept of balance. I don't really believe in a world were there will be supreme peace or constant violence. As long as people exist, there will be acts of violence, as well as acts of compassion and peace. Balance plays a large part in my personal belief system, and I love finding examples of balance in my life. This particular one, the balance of Buddhism and feminism, really excites me as it is a elegant relationship between of two of my biggest passions.
6 hours ago