Last week I have spoken to a friend, something relationships related; this fall has hit me hard with feelings, and I don’t really do emotions, as a proper detached Sagittarius dwindled with commitment, in a constant quest for more freedom. But all of a sudden, it threw me left and right, ceiling to floor like it was on a mission to collect for all of these years of not reciprocating, well, something. Anything. 

I always knew payback will come hard and unannounced. What I didn’t know was just how much it would test me. Test my patience, my trust, my instincts, my intuition. My want. And my hunger for this person I still can’t process properly. I’m a pretty intense human being; I’m not for the faint of heart. Mostly, I do everything I want when I want it; my brain is incapable of processing the concept of restraint. And my payback, of course, required just that. In speaking with a friend about this subject, I told her – “I can’t do this, I can’t balance or plan or restrain myself. I’m hungry – I eat!”

Hunger. Hunger has been on my mind a lot, recently. The absolute painful need I had for this human being before I even realized I had it. How it crept at me, without warning. And how everyone around you always tells you, you need to control your hunger, not just for a person, but for everything you’re hungry for. Hunger is not ladylike, hunger is aggressive, you can’t have these feelings of mindblowing want, you should just be receptive to someone else’s want, “because that’s what women do”. You can not have a hunger for sex, that’s what men have, you can not have the hunger for your career, that’s aggressive and bitchy, you basically can not have a hunger for anything or anyone. You need to only be receptive to it.

A friend of mine recently shared an interesting concept, on this exact same subject:

Do you ever feel hungry to be finally heard, finally understood? Hungry for your identity? Hungry to be seen as you really are and not some kind of a male fantasy while simultaneously hungry to be left alone and at peace, without someone poking at your every action? Hungry to just exist by your own standards, without having each part of you under a microscope? Your thoughts and your ideas often being dismissed without second thought, your anger that follows, fading into background noise.

That hunger is not just yours. It’s also your sister’s, your mother’s, your grandmother’s. All collectively silenced and starving. I think there’s something very female about hunger, it’s passing down from generation to generation, deeply integrated in our psyche. 

When you feel frustrated or angry, how many times you just bottle it up? Deny it? I do, often, thinking changing things in my life, doing what I need and what I want could result in a catastrophe. Then, like many women, I return to repression. And that only makes our hunger grow! You aren’t destroying that hunger, that desire, you are just pushing it to the back of your mind where it’ll be nurtured and turned into something you feared it would become.

Every time you say no to your desires, every time you try to convince yourself you don’t need something or that you didn’t deserve it, that you are doing fine without it, it grows. It grows and it starts eating at you. You settle for less, and you say “it’s fine, it’s okay” when it isn’t. You say “It’s fine, I don’t need it” when you do, in fact, need it. We turn into someone like Jesse Zimmerman who said – “Hunger makes me”, proud of being low-maintenance. Proud of not taking up much space, proud of not needing much to be happy. How many times have you said to yourself, maybe even others, “I am not difficult, I don’t need much to be happy” – only that happiness isn’t happiness, we aren’t really happy. We trying to be calm and collected to the outside world, while our inside world is full of violence towards ourselves.

We also have a fear of taking something. Not only a fear of taking what is out there in the world, but also a fear of taking what is already given to us. Career opportunities, relationship opportunities or any kind of an opportunity. Do you ever think – “did I deserved this”, “am I being too greedy”, “am I taking this from someone who deserved it more than me” – when someone offers you something? Guilt is also a byproduct of hunger eating you. It’s a gift society has given to women. I am telling you now to abandon all feelings of guilt, abandon feelings of shame. It’s a sinking ship, it can only take you down.

But hunger is also a conflicting concept, at best. We’re expecting to have hunger but not act on it. We are expected to maintain it, but never indulge. If we don’t show that we have enough of hunger in us, we’re viewed as uninterested, uncaring. But if we satisfy our hunger, take what we need, we are, well… you know how that story ends. Rude, never satisfied, greedy, selfish, lacks empathy, only thinks about herself… The list goes on. We are suppose to want something, but never take it. We are suppose to want a man, but never make a first step, never articulate our feelings, not to be too much for them. We are taught to let them set the pace and we are the ones who have to answer to it. Accept it or not accept it. But never start it.

The only taking we’re allowed to have, the one without consequences, is an answer, instead of the action. A passive figure in our own lives, never actively taking, only accepting what is given to us because not accepting violates someone else’s desires.  One moment we fear we are too much for someone, another we fear we are not enough. I believe those two are essentially the same, and have the same source – hunger – that comes because we cannot be who we really are.

The whole idea of what we are “allowed to” be is well explained in the Cool Girl monologue by Gillian Flynn in Gone Girl: “… because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry, they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.” A woman that is an extension of a man, and only desires she is allowed to have are the ones aligning with his. If you’re something different, then comes the classic – “I like strong women”, while often screwing someone else down the line. I like strong women, but not too strong!

We are taught to be small, quiet, not asking for much, not taking up a lot of space. A woman who devours, wants, needs, is no good. Too much. A good example is Megan Fox’s character in a teen horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body. She becomes a man-eating demon after a group of guys sacrifice her in a ritual. The first thing she does after surviving her death is eat everything there is, starting from food. It’s all control lost. She doesn’t stop herself and she doesn’t try to. How much do we all want that, even for a second? Not the man-eating part, but to stop restraining ourselves, to stop punishing ourselves, just do what we want to, when we want to.

I believe us women deal with huge amounts of fear because the most talked about version of a woman who indulges is also the one who, consequently, destroys. But we don’t want to destroy, so we turn back to hunger, back to our mental prison, back to starving, back to abstinence, back to sacrifice. Back to eating ourselves, hidden, away from public’s eye, until there is nothing left of us.

The source of demonic women, was written by men. That is how they see our hunger: a recipe of apocalypse, pure violence. The truth is, it only becomes that when it is starved to death. We don’t acknowledge it, we trap it instead of letting it run free. Eating at us, inside, instead of satisfying the hunger we have for the world around us!