The Feminine Wound

The Feminine Wound

I clearly recall growing up and attending public school with an open heart. I also clearly remember the feeling of being ostracized, judged and condemned by my female peers. This during the utterly difficult and confusing time of adolescence. (Add to that family dysfunction writ large.) That time was hurtful and caused me a great deal of pain. I never understood why girls behaved that way, or what prompted such ugliness. I wanted to be friends, to be liked. And, I’m loyal to a fault. There’s a cliché about girls being catty towards one another and competitive. Many clichés exist because they are true. As I grew older and left the era of public school I found true friendships and sisterhood with other women. Many of which are not just intact to this day, but are thriving, nurturing, uplifting, supportive relationships. One of my most profound experiences of sisterhood came as I worked for a short time as an exotic dancer. We were all loving and supportive of one another. Protective even. Each time a dancer would take the stage there was a recognition that sounded like “There’s _________, so beautiful, unique, doing her gorgeous, mesmerizing dance moves. My friend and ally.” And, that was certainly the case. We had to stick together and look after each other. I’ve always been the kind of person, the kind of woman who loves other women. I celebrate them, befriend them, offer my best. There’s a strange awareness that has pervaded many encounters with other women along the way, one of intimidation. I have rarely felt intimidated. Rather, they were intimidated by...