I would call myself a feminist (to be honest I don’t understand why you wouldn’t - who doesn’t want equal rights and opportunities for all people?!) as well as a yogi.
Generally these two components of my identity don’t conflict, but one thing has come up recently that has made me question which part of my identity is more important to act in line with.
Through a course I did this summer, I learnt some new information about my body and my cycle that made me think. I learnt that when you are in your menstrual phase of your cycle (when you are bleeding) your body needs rest and time alone, during this phase you need to take things slow as your body is working overtime. This makes sense. As I learn more and build a greater awareness of my body and flow, I realise that my body does want more rest during my period.
However, I have been very much of the opinion that I can do anything a man can do, just as well if not better, even, and especially, when I’m bleeding. I would just take a few painkillers and try to carry on as normal. A man doesn’t need to have a slow unproductive week once a month so why should I? Why should I sacrifice a whole week of productivity once a month (12 weeks a year) just because I have a uterus?
This new information and my old views combined has made me ask the question: Is it more of a feminist rebellion to comform to the patriachal system and show I can work the same way as a man, or to honour my female body and my sacred cycles to work the way I was designed to, in spite of the way society wants me to?
At the moment, I feel it’s more of a rebellion to honour my body.
The world was designed for men. While a woman's hormonal cycle is around four weeks long, a man’s is only 24 hours, hence the world runs on a 24 hour cycle. For me to plan my life according to my four week cycle, is an act of feminist rebellion.
Moreover, you don’t lose out on productivity, as I previously thought. You still end up doing the same amount of work you just rearrange so that you do the introverted mundane work in your menstrual phase and the extroverted exciting creative work when you have more energy in your follicular and ovulatory phase. Because you’ve given your body the rest it needs, you have far more energy later on in the month to double your productivity. Surprise surprise, mother nature knew what she was doing.
What the patriarchy doesn’t want you to know is that listening to and honouring your body is your superpower.