The Power of Restorative Feminism

The Power of Restorative Feminism

I am a clinical psychologist, university professor, entrepreneur, holistic coach for women and mother of three young daughters. I’ve always considered myself a passionate “have it all” feminist. I have two sisters and one brother and our parents raised us Everyone knowing that we could be successful in any of our endeavors. I have a dense network of badass, successful women who “have it all” – but do we?

Like most working women I know, I always have overworked, overproduced, and underrested striving to “have it all” and “succeed” in male-dominated institutions. I’ve proven that I can do everything just as well (or better) than my male colleagues. I played the game and I played it well. But at what cost?

Over the past few years, I’ve become painfully aware of how I’ve pushed myself aside and put off my dreams to serve systems that don’t serve me – “take one for the team”, “make the safe choice”. ,” to develop “stability,” “putting my kids first,” or helping the “higher good.” I see the same patterns in my clients, friends, relatives and colleagues.

Source: Amy (IG @PrettySleepy1)/Pixabay

Women who juggle multiple roles and responsibilities often sacrifice their own well-being, feel guilty for making themselves a priority, and feel drained and overwhelmed.

  • Insecurities and low self-esteem.
  • Guilt, shame, anger and resentment.
  • Anxiety, depression, excessive alcohol consumption, addiction, etc.
  • Humane and unhealthy boundaries.
  • Toxic Relationship Cycles.
  • Chronic pain, insomnia, illness.
  • Persistent pressure, stress and exhaustion.

We feel like we’re not doing enough, that we need to “earn” our breaks, that resting is a waste of time, and that we have to keep checking things off our to-do list. Stay-at-home moms and women who choose not to have children feel guilty about those choices, as if they somehow disappointed their fellow feminists. We are exhausted and underestimated, but grateful for our success and opportunities. We survive but don’t fully thrive. Why is that “having it all”?

I’ve seen the ubiquity of this struggle with Glennon Doyle Untamed and Tricia Hersey’s work on the importance of reclaiming our right to rest as resistance to systems of oppression. Because when we talk about “having it all,” we’re usually talking about career, family, money, happiness—ideals upheld by capitalist, patriarchal, and white-centric systems. We’re not talking about rest, peace, tranquility, or contentment in the moment.

But what is feminism if it’s not about living the life we ​​choose based on our own values, beliefs, priorities, and joys? Why isn’t a housewife viewed with as much reverence as a working mother? Why do women feel validated by how busy we are, how little sleep we get, how stressed we are, and how overwhelmed we are? Why are the modern feminist badges of honor?

In a podcast discussion between Tricia Hersey and Glennon Doyle’s team We can do hard thingsthey discussed the seemingly contradictory goals of white feminism and calm as resistance. As I listened, I fought the morning traffic on my more than hour-long walk from daycare to my office. I was stressed for being late, feeling guilty for leaving my crying toddler behind, and worried about how my undergraduate students would take the material in my upcoming classes.

I was the perfect badass professional woman that morning, successfully fighting everyday life. And this podcast gave me clarity and the strength to embrace it – why have I worked so hard in all areas of my life? Why have I been so focused on working hard today to enjoy life tomorrow? Why did I delay rest, hobbies and other goals?

Essential reading for parents

That day I started rethinking my feminist concept. I began to view my mother’s feminist drive as something necessary to establish the legitimacy of women in the workforce but an obstacle to real justice. Why do women still work so hard to succeed in male-dominated white-centric systems that thrive when we serve them before ourselves?

My conclusion: If I want real gender equality for myself and my daughters, I need to exercise my right to rest, recharge and make myself a priority. I cannot be a culture martyr or a martyr of my motherhood.

In Untamedwrites Glennon Doyle:

“Every generation of parents gets a memo… Our memo: Here’s your baby. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life: when the hole in your heart is filled and you’re finally complete… parenthood requires you all; Please educate with your mind, body and soul… We have a terrible memo. Our awful memo is what makes us feel drained, neurotic and guilty.”

This profound explanation hit my heart. But I didn’t begin to fully implement it until Tricia Hersey helped me see the critical role that Tranquility has for Justice. I am very proud of my mother and grateful to her and to all the women before me who have worked so damn hard on feminist progress. And I don’t want to work that damn hard myself, and I certainly don’t want my daughters to feel like they have to keep proving their worth to the world by trying too hard.

I grappled with this idea – that one traditional feminist ideals do not promote true justice in today’s society. I want a framework that values ​​professional activities, motherhood, productivity and success in equal measure –and Stay-at-home activities, decisions not to have children, rest and rejection of systems that do not align with our personal values. The first enemy of feminism was unequal access to rights and opportunities. But the modern feminist enemy is unequal expectations of productivity and unequal access to recreation. As the enemy has changed, our tactics must also change to defeat them.

I am committed to it Restorative Feminism, a term that I believe describes a much-needed focus on women’s calm, self-sufficiency and holistic life balance. I see restorative feminism as a framework that can help women recovered of life circumstances and ways of thinking that hold them in unfulfilled situations so that they can reconnect with their true values, their self worth and their priorities live their most authentic, fulfilled life.

I personally am to recover from toxic sociocultural ideals and expectations that don’t align with my values. I reject the systems and expectations that don’t fully align with what I want for my best authentic life, and I fight the insecurity, imposter syndrome, and guilt that have been placed upon me. I am reconnect with my true self and my true power. I maintain healthier boundaries and adopt a “good enough” mentality. I don’t raise my daughters to be “good girls” who order themselves and blindly follow rules/norms. I raise them to it call for equal access to recreation as a human right.

But that is my diaryhey based on my personal values, history, experiences and goals. Every woman’s quest for restorative feminism will be as unique as she is reset, charge, refocus and rebalance.

Copyright 2023 Kelly E. Green, Ph.D., and The Center for Recovery and Reconnection, LLC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *