Treasure Island

Joan Woodbridge

(May 9,1933 / Flint, Michigan)

Diatribe on the Unfinished Woman: a litany in progress


I
She who waits
She who is asleep to the present and lives in the future
She who waits to be awakened, defined, completed, validated
She who delivers her femininity into the hands of the Other
and then feels diminished
She who lives in longing
and confuses longing with openness and readiness
She who lives in mauvaise foi
She who waits

II
She who steals her own power
and gives it as a dubious gift to the Other
and then feels diminished
and then becomes angry and frightened
and then feels controlled by the Other
She who confuses hurt with harm
She who steals from herself

III
She who cannot separate
She who finds separation wrong cruel and malicious
She who denies her own need to separate
She who passively allows the Other to separate for her
She who separates through woundedness and rage
and then denies her piece of that separation
She who feels abused by another's truth
She who imputes thoughts feelings and motives
thinking that she knows
She who cannot separate

IV
She who denies her ambivalence
She who projects her conflicts onto the Other
so that the Other becomes her embodied shadow
and then hates herself in it
She who runs when her love is met
She who denies her ambivalence

V
She who is obsessed
and hates the obsession
She who is enslaved
and cannot see her enslavement
She who transforms her outer life to deny that enslavement
She who divorces, travels, has her own profession
and proves that she is independent
She who is obsessed

VI
She who will not ask
She who will not need
She who is at the mercy of the Other
She who sees the failure of the Other's psychic abilities
as a failure of love
She who will not surrender
She who will not ask

VII
She who fears true visibility
She who is a shapeshifter
She who changes her shape to match her fantasy
of what the Other desires
She who fears vulnerability
She who confuses vulnerability with openness to hurt
She who refuses to become visible

VIII
She who lives in the old-brain terror of tribal woman
dependent on pure testosterone for survival

She who waits for the Other to deliver her from her father-wounds

1993

Submitted: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Edited: Saturday, April 27, 2013

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