This really resonates with me.
As I've noted before vis-à-vis thin privilege, it's easier in many ways to be an ally than to act as an advocate for oneself. In particular, being an ally means having the privilege of opting out, of keeping a safe distance from the subject at hand. I can't explain how deeply exhausted I feel navigating the casual misogyny of everyday life as a woman. I often feel I am navigating it alone, too, thanks to the fact that women are socialized to hate themselves and each other, to compete against one another instead of working together. Establishing a supportive community is hard fucking work, and we are generally stretched too thin as it is.
There are so many things I want to talk about, but it is all so fucking complicated when abstract theory collides with your own private life. Particularly so when your inner life is the only thing you own. For me, integral to the experience of being female is the sense that I don't have meaningful ownership of my body. I know I'm not alone in this. Our bodies are subject to the whims of others. They are legislated and appraised and used against us and used against other women and generally disconnected from our humanness. I don't feel like I live in my body, and my relationship to it could only be described as 'combative.' I don't recall every feeling any other way. Behind everything I do there is a sense of permanent displacement.
The result is that I often fall short of being an 'ideal' activist. It isn't that I'm not angry, really; it's more that I don't always have the resources to constructively use that anger, because I'm often angry about things that affect me in a deeply personal and inescapable way. They're not abstractions to me. If any woman has ever struck you as being reactionary or unreasonably defensive when discussing feminist issues, reflect on this, please. If you had no choice but to think about these things every waking moment of every day, perhaps you'd be equally defensive.