what does it feel like to tell the truth?

What Does It Feel Like to Tell the Truth?

What does it feel like to tell the truth?

I find myself wondering this all the time lately. I have often, this last year and half, been afraid to speak about my own experience of and thoughts and questions about this process of awakening because of a vague sense that I will do it wrong, that I will inevitably offend someone or express a thought that’s taboo or politically incorrect.

I have often, this last year and half, felt that the world has gotten very loud and aggressive, and feminism has gotten very loud and aggressive right along with it. I often feel an un-winnable combination of guilt and defensiveness for calling myself a feminist: on the one hand, I feel like I’m not a very good feminist, and on the other hand, I bristle at the idea of there being rules that I must follow to champion women ‘correctly’. I don’t want to be in spaces where women are told they’re doing feminism and, by extension, womanhood ‘wrong’ anymore.

Maybe I’m naive, maybe I’m sheltered, maybe I’m too reliant on my own privilege. I genuinely acknowledge any or all of these things could be true. But I am concerned that the aggressive feminist voices, the hardcore police-types, the political and social critics who are speaking loudest are, in the process of what is undoubtedly very important work ‘out there’ in the wider world, intimidating some women away from exploring the very important work needing to be done ‘in here’ on the personal level and, especially, from connecting with other women for the purposes of communing and commiserating with them about our mutual experience of womanhood.

I know, at least, that I have felt intimidated. And so I wonder …

What does it feel like to tell the truth?

I know what it feels like to withhold it. I’m sure you do, too.