What emotion does sexism incite?
It’s an important, if somewhat redundant inquiry to define; for much of the hesitation individuals experience in identifying as feminists perhaps is prompted by a perception that they wear rage as their primary emotion. Feminists are angry at the patriarchy, full of fire-blooded and heated mettle.
And it’s true that I, myself, fall enraged and vengeful at times in my battle against injustice, in a manner expected at some point of all impassioned by inequality. But more often than not I shed my sword and shield and crawl tearfully into my partner’s arms for two hours, disheartened by the manifested inequality between characters in Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Princess Mononoke.
These are the moments the media do not depict of the war on sexism. I don’t often, if at all, angrily launch coups on the patriarchy. I, instead, scramble to keep afloat as my mind tumbles into the inescapable, condition-controlled loop that is the attempted reconciliation of prescribed gender roles. Sexism incites a cyclical reanalysis of social interaction that lasts for hours. And the conclusion of these frustrated analyses is often ambiguous and undefined.
Feminists aren’t always up in arms, ready to fight. For every warrior is prompted to battle not by rage, but by sadness, fear, pain or want. All warriors are broken by their circumstance before they rise. Feminists are no different, and therein lies the valiance of their struggle.