Did the Early Feminists Take A Wrong Turn?
I couldn’t help but wonder if the early feminists, who undoubtedly had the best intentions, took a wrong turn somewhere.
My colleagues surrounded me in the small conference room. I was no longer present, yet I continued to speak on autopilot.
“I’ll connect with my counterpart in their organization. We need an aligned strategy. The optics aren’t good if we don’t at least try to work together. I have a few ideas I’ll float by my team offline.”
I wasn’t sure what any of that meant even as I spoke the words. However, it seemed to be correct, as everyone nodded in agreement.
“How did I get here?” I wondered silently to myself.
I felt captured in an artificial environment. Of course, this could have something to do with the fluorescent light and maze-like structure of the office space. I was repeating scripted phrases on autopilot, working on projects that may or may not come to fruition, and sitting at a desk for unseemingly long periods of time without sunlight or fresh air. I may have found myself a participant in a scientific experiment to see how long a woman can live without nourishment for her soul.
As much as I wanted to run out of the building to restore my freedom, leaving my employee badge and laptop behind, I felt safe here.
I got paid well, my coworkers were intelligent and friendly (most of them), and there was even a terrific cafeteria with healthy food.
I should have been content.
But I wasn’t.
Perhaps this is how a goldfish feels. No matter how nice the tank, with its brightly colored fake rocks and a treasure chest that opens and closes, it’s not the open water.
I felt a calling to come back. To what? I wasn’t sure. I guess you could say, a call back to the wild.
In her epic tome of women’s wisdom, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes:
“No matter by which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words wild and woman, intuitively… When women hear those words, an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to…