The feminist resistance in the Western and Eastern worlds – why are they different?

Women in the West wanted equal rights. And they fought for it, but they paid
the price of loneliness, personal comfort, loss of freedom or even their own
life. Thanks to them, we now have the right to vote, to have access to
education, to own properties, to decide if and how many children to give birth,
to have a job, a business, to speak publicly about what hurts them.

The Western women’s fight for their rights was usually carried out
in the street, as in the French Revolution, while the struggle of women in the
East was mainly underground, and subversive. People in Western countries
invented modern psychology, while Easterners had centuries of ritual, and
tradition. The Eastern women know that the feminist battlefield is not in the
arena. Instead, they developed other skills, such as intuition, the art of
manipulation, suggestion, and resilience. The chain of motherhood is the core
of resistance and the rituals make it stronger. Feminist resistance is
transmitted from mother to daughter, not only verbally, but more than words,
especially through presence, gestures, glances and tonalities, through the
preservation and transmission of rituals. The women’s battles were taken in the
streets by the first ones, as in the French Revolution, while the others’
battles were underground.

Western people invented modern psychology and Eastern people had the ritual.
The Eastern women know that the feminist battlefield is not in the arena. 
They developed their intuition, the art of manipulation, of
suggestion.  The chain of motherhood is the core of resistance and the
rituals make it stronger.  The feminist resistance is transmitted from
mother to daughter and its power stays in the presence, the
gestures, glances and tones, more than words.  So to preserve rituals
is essential for Eastern women, for it proves their power, and brings
focus to their contribution, because they know all the secrets of
religious holidays and how to bring the family together. 

Western women wanted equality and they fought for it. But they paid the
price of loneliness and accepted less personal comfort. We owe them the right
to vote, to own property,  the right to abort, work,  to
speak loud about injustice. 

Although the themes discussed by feminism concern us all, it seems that in
the Eastern world, they threaten deep-rooted beliefs and customs. It somehow
threatens the traditional institution of the family that Eastern women value a
lot. Even if home it is not always good for them at home, it is still the place
where they have or get their strength and power, and for some, it may be the
only place where they have it.

In Western countries, the family – as the cell of social organization – is
undergoing major transformations. There is greater acceptance of single-parent
families, LGBT communities, women who do not want children, those who choose to
remain single, couples who choose not to marry, women who have partners younger
than them, etc. In the Eastern countries, if you choose an alternative to the traditional
family, you face significant resistance, especially if you have children.

In Eastern countries not choosing the traditional way is a big
stigma, especially if the woman has children. 

Even psychology and psychotherapy are still seen with reticence and
suspicion in the East. Because the introspection necessary for psychotherapy
requires looking analytically and critically at one’s own family, which seems
unacceptable or skeptical to others. It can also be an explanation for the fact
that in Eastern families abuses are often tolerated and even normalized if they
happen within the family, because preserving the family essence is above the
well-being and emotional integrity of its members. Domestic violence still has
a high degree of acceptance, especially when more subtle and hard-to-prove forms
such as social, emotional, and financial violence are involved.

That is why the feminist approach in society will be successful to the
extent that the institution of the family can be re-evaluated for its true
value – of safety, development and unconditional love.


Ana David was born in Iasi and has been living in Cluj for 23 years. She
graduated from the Faculty of Marketing and a Master of Business Administration
at Babeș Bolyai University. She worked for 13 years in production and sales as
a Regional Director for a national company in the electrical field and she is active
in the HORECA market for seven years, managing a food franchise, and currently
manages his own business, Jogo cafe, as a result of an older passion for
coffee. Interior design is another hobby of hers, a way of expression that she
has developed through several interior design projects. She is married and the
mother of two children, a feminist. She loves stories, books and movies, nature
and skiing. Writing is a therapeutic way to express herself and communicate.
She dreams of a better world where women are free to think, choose, create and
love. She believes that education is the only thing that can demystify
prejudices and we can change something by acting together.

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