FeMeditate Book Club alert!
I have been reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The premise of the book is freeing: in a world full of too much choice, you must develop the skills to delineate which choices, assignments, and obligations are right for your goals and direction, and say a firm "NO" to all the rest.
How does this relate to feminism, and enlightening our lives for empowerment?
Scholar Angela McRobbie helps us define postfeminism as the era of choice - in other words, a woman can do whatever she wants to do, be whatever she wants to be. But with choice can come the burden of too much responsibility. Women feel (because of societal pressure) that because we have the option and ability to do it all, we should do it all. That's why we're fighting so hard for equality, right?
By tweaking McKeown's bottom line, we can apply the freedom of essentialism to mothering, work, familial relationships, friendships, significant others - and begin to give ourselves a break. We can return inward, to sit quietly and understand what it is we want.
I know that the premise of this book - that you can turn down opportunities, tasks, and favors that are not totally in line with where you are going in life - is not available to everyone. McKeown overlooks privilege in this work, especially age, economic, and racial privilege. There are too many instances for some where they simply cannot say no. And I think that, for those that are able to apply essentialism to their daily lives, should also be thinking about those that we do not grant the option of becoming an essentialist. And that in our pursuit of less, we are not marginalizing others to more. How can we free all of us?
The strategies McKeown discusses are unique to his suggestion, so for those, I recommend the book. What I can do for you today is ask you this:
What are you currently doing that is not contributing to the life you want to lead, what society thinks you should be doing? What is one way you can bring essentialism to your life to empower yourself through unique challenges that we as women face?