I grew up hating Eve. She's the reason we're in this mess, I'd think to myself. Why did she have to eat that damn apple? If she hadn't have, none of us would be suffering in this misery. We'd all be walking naked around a garden, talking to the animals.
I turned on my own kind. I let misogyny root itself into the subtle cracks of my consciousness. Women are weak, we're emotional, we can't be trusted to lead...these are the thoughts I grew up with floating around my head like a lead balloon. So it's no surprise that when I reached the grand old age of 18, I thought further education was pointless. I was just going to get married and have kids, while my husband looked after the family and made all the hard decisions. Because, after all, I'm not capable. Women can't trust themselves, because Eve couldn't - our nature is faulty, sinful, prey to temptation. NOT CAPABLE - the words ring through my body, their resonance hitting every square inch of my being, to the furthest reaches of my soul.
I would see women who were walking empowered and think "Oh they are just so full of pride...that's why women shouldn't be in leadership." Gah, trust me when I say, admitting to this kind of thinking is vulnerable, exposing, but it's necessary. Admitting to the misogynistic thinking that wove it's way like a snaking weed through the foundations of my soul's expression is necessary in order to heal.
I abandoned myself to patriarchy. I also abandoned my fellow kind.
I will never forget the words of a young female East Indian bank teller as they haunt me to this very day: One day, when my son was 8 months old, I went to the bank to deposit a cheque. My son was strapped to me in a carrier. The young teller asked me how old he was and if my baby was a boy (he was buried in my chest and she couldn't see). I told her how old he was and said yes he is a boy. She looked at me and said "You're lucky you have a boy, I have a daughter, girls are not valued in my culture. Boys are what you want. You are very lucky. " I walked away feeling some level of grief for her, shock at her boldness about her own culture, and horror that this is still something that we battle with. But now I think to myself, is my culture that much different, or are we just better at hiding it? I think we're just better at hiding it.
This is just the start for me. This is the start of discovering, unpacking, and healing from the affects of misogyny on my psyche, relationships and worldview (to name a few). I've been blind to it, but I don't judge myself harshly because I believe many of us (if not most) are blind or have been blind to it. It's been embedded into us for centuries. I'm seeing how it's turned women on women, pitted them against each other in the subtlest of ways. I don't want to be a part of this system. I don't want to be against my own kind because of what I grew up thinking and believing. I don't want to hate Eve.