“Women, on the other hand, come to understand the world in its immanence. Immanence means existing within—in other words, they see the world as it already exists, and they are one of the things existing in it, with no power to control it.
So when de Beauvoir says that women live in immanence, she means that when a woman asks herself, Who am I? she does not answer, I am a person who will act upon the world and will be changed through my actions accordingly. Instead, she looks at herself as she is (her body, her preferences, her emotions) and thinks that these qualities define who she really “is.” This belief, that you are who you already “are” and you will always be that way, is misguided and rather tragic. It makes it so that when you ask yourself, Who am I? you just look at yourself over and over, and it leads you to a lot of navel-gazing that takes up your time so you can’t actually make stuff and have an influence on the world.
Wasting the limited hours that you have on this earth to explore and explode the depths of your imagination to worrying about what he (or she!) would think is not going to leave you with sufficient time to explore or explode. Perhaps you fear that nobody wants to hear about the crippling and shameful thinking that bores holes in your head when you try to write down what it is like to be confronted with weak, female thoughts in an age where we have supposedly come so far that we no longer even need feminism; maybe you do not want the reaction from the male-controlled world to be polite silence, like a witness to a train wreck every time; you are fed up with the I-can’t-comment-on-this- because-it-is-so-far-from-my-experience line. It is a frustrating reaction, yes, but better it be them who are forced to grapple with understanding. Listen, girl: you have the advantage here. There are relatively few contemporary female writers that have submerged themselves in all that hideousness that crosses and cripples the female mind. Most women are still too ashamed to discuss these bleak thoughts that we should not be having. For this reason, write it. Write it, and put it out there. Make art about your shame! Transform your anger into something shocking! Create! And if you write in a manner that is not dried-up and that employs an appropriate dose of self-deprecation, then you are sure to embarrass and disturb and antagonize your readers; you are certain to explode. And if explosion does not entice you, then at the very least you might perform an unintentional act of goodwill: you might make some young woman who is drowning in her very female anxiety feel a tad better. Join her: risk embarrassing yourself, put on your ugliest face, climb inside your mind at its worst—and perhaps she will find in you a confidante; perhaps she will feel a little less lonesome, a little less ashamed.”
-from Stuffing Myself with Immanence by Anna McConnell, Rookie Mag