“It was with joy/frustration/hilarity that I read, then, Judith Warner’s piece in the New York Times about the rise of the yoga memoir. And how it ties into the death of feminist political action, because all anyone wants to do anymore is “find themselves.” These days that means in the yoga studio, in the bedroom, in their home, rather than in their community, their job, their consciousness raising group. I read a list yesterday of the whatever 11 resolutions all women need to make for 2011, and of course it was nurture your soul, find time for yourself, not let’s go out and rally for real political change, or let’s protest our banks’ behavior by taking our money out, or let’s establish a community garden so that we make sure our children, regardless of financial situation, are getting nutritious, fresh food. No, let’s light a scented candle and talk to our inner child.”
Ha! Look, I’m not going to make the case that yoga is bad, because obviously it’s really good and good for you and more importantly, I happen to enjoy it and feel better when I do it. And I’m not going to make the case that having a clean and organized home is bad. I’m sure if I could ever figure out how to have one I would really enjoy that too! And I’m not going to make the case that all the “real” feminism happened in the 1970s, because there is a vast and diverse community of brilliant men and women figuring it out in front of us as we go. I’m also unsure about the whole take-all-you- money-out-of-the-banks-by-way-of-protest thing, because it makes me think of the guy in my hometown who has Revolutionary War cannons in his front yard and once put a baby raccoon into my trick-or-treat bag. I bet he took all his money out of the banks years ago.
But I’m thinking back to Brene Brown’s talk, and how one of the things we do to numb ourselves against fear and vulnerability is to “perfect.” Sometimes the world really makes me scared and angry, like when the financial industry runs a protection scam on the entire country, or we start a bunch of wars that we don’t know how to get out of. It makes me really scared and angry when we torture people – even really bad people – because I think there are things that humans should Just Not Do Ever. I should totally do something about all of that, after I find an exercise regime that really works for me and find a way to pare my wardrobe down to a few elegant and perfect essentials and try out some meditation and relaxation techniques so I can become more centered. Read More