Have you ever wondered why women are so much more prone to fatigue-related conditions and illnesses?
This morning I woke up bleeding. Western society has tried to normalise the fact that women bleed, and that it’s messy and gross; but this doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable for us. It still feels yuck, and is never a pleasant way to wake up.
Complemented nicely, of course, with the bloating and the pain. Some women don’t have very painful periods, but for many women they are debilitatingly painful. Mine are for the first two days, and often when I’m ovulating.
It’s similar to a sharp muscle cramp… except it doesn’t stop, and is combined with a persistent dull and intense ache. It’s not isolated to my lower abdominals (ladies, if you know what I mean), and usually my back, glutes, and shoulders will tense up.
It’s painful to sit down, and painful to get up. It’s painful to walk. It’s hard to concentrate, made worse by fatigue (generally, when you’re body’s in pain, it wants you to let it rest and recuperate).
This is not only my story. It’s the story of women across the world.
But here’s the thing, and here’s where feminism got it wrong:
I study and work with men. I have all the same work to do as them, and have all the same deadlines. And for good reason; I’ve proved myself time and time again as capable, or more capable, in some cases, of doing the same work or study that they can do – not because I’m a woman, mind you. Because I’m a human with a brain and certain capabilities.
But every month, I have two options: Stay home and fall behind in study, but give my body rest; or grit my teeth, put up with the excessive pain, and slowly trudge through my homework.
Something that a man does not have to decide every month.
Enter, “feminist” society:
The doctor’s response was to force my body to behave more like a man’s. To surgically implant a foreign object inside of my body in order to stop my organs from functioning as a woman’s organs function.
I have even genuinely considered taking the plunge and just ripping those babies out (obviously, I have no desire to birth children). All because, to prove my worth in society, I have to live, work, study, and act like a man – as though I don’t have bodily differences that make me physiologically weaker and more vulnerable.
As if my pain isn’t worth extra consideration.
I have to pretend that I’m not in significant pain, while my male peers skip through their studies without the added burdens of female hormones.
This is the society we have created. I have to pretend I’m not different from men, because we have placed men as the standard to meet.
Instead of celebrating, accommodating for, and adhering to the beauty of our physiological differences, we have told women that they must force their bodies to be able to do everything that men can do.
Obviously the reason for this being that many men abused the complementary nature that is inherent in men and women. If we didn’t force ourselves to show that we could do whatever they could do, they would never have started to take us seriously. So this isn’t purely a feminist problem.
What is a feminist problem is the continued attempt to achieve equality by telling the world that women are the same as men… because that’s what matters. Being a man.
People would say that I’m an internal misogynist because I want men to care for me while I recover from my periods, rather than a surgical option to remove the painful and annoying, but completely natural, occurrence.
Or because I say that it’s clear to see men and women have different strengths and different weaknesses; and so instead of trying to attain to the other’s physical standard, we should work to achieve equality by celebrating and upholding difference.
That women should be cared for in society when they are vulnerable.
I say that feminists who believe women should live period-free, child-free, emotion-free, and hormonally or physiologically as men are the true internal misogynists. A more obvious hatred for the female body, I couldn’t imagine.
Western feminism has come under the control of patriarchal thinking.
Meanwhile, young women are dragging themselves out of bed when their bodies are telling them to rest, so that they can go to work or do the study that they won’t get special consideration for. No one’s going to care about something as trivial as a period. Because we expect women to act like men, to work like men, to study like men. Through the pain that men will never feel, and through the exhaustion that men will never battle.
There is no mystery as to why western women have such a high prevalence of fatigue-related illnesses: we are forcing our bodies to work hard when they are needing rest.
My body is not a man’s body. My body needs to rest today. My body needs more care than a man’s body does. And the fact that I have to choose rest over study, which will ultimately impact the next two weeks of my life, is where feminism went wrong.