THE VIOLET MANTIS
Coping Emotionally with Being a Radical Feminist in a Patriarchal World
Recognizing the presence and levels of misogyny that permeate all aspects of our life, society, and history is liberating, enlightening, infuriating - it is also exhausting and depressing.
If you want to avoid burnout and be an effective feminist, you have to find balance. Dont succumb to endless doom scrolling in your free time, waste energy with fruitless online arguing, or bring yourself down with constant reminders/triggers.
Remember, a fuction of Patriarchy is to keep women demoralized. Don't let the system win.
-Seek out friendships with likeminded radical feminists
-Forgive yourself and others for not being perfect feminists (it's hard surviving under the patriarchy)
-Say no to things that bring you down
-Say yes to yourself and your needs/ desires
-Be too hard on yourself or others- no one is perfect, and our society teaches all of us a mountain of lies before we're even old enough to question it. We all have unlearning to do
-Involve feminism in every aspect of your life - you need an escape sometimes
Make sure you set time aside for personal relationships. Know when to cut off someone for being toxic, but don't burn bridges with people you care about over differences in beliefs. Humans have an innate desire for socialization, attention, and affection. A deficit of these can have negative impacts on our mental health. Invest in the people you love, being the example you want to see in the world can help the cause indirectly more than you'd think
Hobbies are incredibly important to happiness and wholeness as an individual, and women are not encouraged to pursue or maintain theirs at the level men do. Maintain your hobbies actively, allocate time for them. Explore new ones, allow yourself failure and waste in pursuit of enjoyment. Do not fall prey for the need to be perfect or set your standards by others. Be curious, experiment, let yourself look silly. Think back to childhood - was there something you wanted to try that your parents wouldn't let you, or you were told wasn't for girls? If yes, it's time to try it!
Hobby suggestions: arts and crafts, gardening, website building & programming, writing & journaling, hiking & foraging, stargazing & astronomy, women's sports leagues, solo outdoor sports like kayaking, a STEM or academic field that interests you, a new practical skill like firstaid or auto-repair
Media and Entertainment
Seek out neutral or pro-women entertainment that doesn't discuss feminism directly. Seek out inspiring, empowering, uplifting, comedic content in at least some of our entertainment/media. Laughter is an potent force - don't underestimate it.
Set up safe spaces for yourself.
Create separate accounts/feeds just for topics free of feminism and politics - nature, gardening, crafts/ hobbies, media/ entertainment, etc.
Have places you can go to rant and be cathartic without having to defend yourself. And take care to be a positive part of these spaces yourself - women face enough disproportionate criticism for just existing without piling on each other unnecessarily. That doesn't mean we should never acknowledge if a woman commits shitty behavior (like being racist or homophobic), but we do need to pick our battles carefully and try to open minds and build bridges rather than burn them. Everyone has societal programming to unlearn, helping others earns us more allies than attacking them.
High Standards and Perfectionism
Radical feminist theory can be demanding. It is admirable to want to always be the best feminist you can, and want to see it in other women. We want the liberation of all women and we want it now.
But we live in an imperfect world, and humans are imperfect creatures. It is crucial for the wellness of ourselves and our movement that we do not punish ourselves for every misstep and failure. This doesn't mean we give up on doing our best, it does mean we should forgive ourselves (and each other) for not being a perfect feminist all day every day.
Give yourself things to look forward. Indulge yourself. Let yourself say "no". Ask for more of your loved ones. Set aside days just for yourself, filled with activities you want to do or spend the day doing literally nothing at all, and tolerate no disturbances.
Advice on caring for onesself physically and mentally outside of the gaze of patriarchy
How to cope with the bleak feelings that come with opening your eyes to the pervasiveness of misogyny
Dating, Sex, & Relationships
Basics on how to navigate intimacy, sex, and love with the male sex as a Radical Feminist (without necessarily going full Separatist Feminist)
Male RadFem Allies
How males can resist patriarchy and be allies to women. Radical Feminist theory is the antidote to incel and MRA ideology.
Quotes in support of Radical Feminism and Gender Critical thought
Myths & FAQ
Misconceptions and frequently asked questions about Gender Critical & Radical Feminism
Links & Resources
Radical Feminist websites, news, and other helpful links