And every day, I read blogs and articles and features about American politics, my real interest and my not-so-secret ambition. Looking at my Google reader, looking at the list of contributors on various sites, I’m always disheartened by their straight-white-maleness, but most particularly by the maleness. There’s one or two female contributors here or there, but given the rates at which women are now achieving university degrees, it just seems entirely disproportionate.
But then I get frustrated, because for all my complaining, why is that not me? Why am I not a successful political pundit, or running for office, or writing that first, great novel? I have the capacity, I don’t doubt that. But somehow, I lack the will. This blog, which I’d hoped to be my political voice, often descends into ramblings about music and my life, overly personal and not overly insightful. I can’t seem to find time in my days- or, more accurately perhaps- I can’t seem to find the energy in my days to think, really think, and come up with good ideas.
So here my feminism and the reality of my life meet: is it fair for me to expect of others what I can’t seem to do myself? And is this strange unwillingness, this lack of focus, this frustration, the product of a world in which women are expected to bear the burdens of so many, largely home-based expectations, that we’re distracted from arguably bigger things.
Would I be more successful if I didn’t worry about my weight? Have I internalized myths about domesticity to the extent that I am crippled by my need to have a tidy house? Is the pressure I feel to do “normal” things on a “normal” timetable, like settling down, somehow undermining my drive to take extraordinary risks? Or am I just lazy? Or is it that, as a woman, I have to work extra hard, be extra-extraordinary, in order to get the opportunities? Can I write with an authentic voice and still be heard, or do I have to mimic a male one?