Where Do We Go From Here?

by Julie on April 6, 2012 · 13 comments

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I’m sitting here with a heart in pain.

After a few moments on Twitter, I notice many tweets mentioning
the #waronwomen. I search on the hashtag and see a slew of tweets
that seem to span the gamut of feelings on this subject.

It all feels painful.

It all feels so far away from what I know is alive inside each of us…that sacred spark of the divine.

How could we be facing this in 2012?

How could equal rights for one gender STILL be in question?

::

In my heart, I know…

We teach our children that their body is theirs and that no one has the right to touch it. We teach our children to alert us when someone touches them inappropriately.

Yet, we are debating whether it should be law to control women’s bodies and the power we have to choose for ourselves and our bodies.

At what point do our daughters no longer have the right to say, “No. Stop. This is my body.”? 

::

To those who want to control us, what do you say to your own daughters and granddaughters? To your wives? To your mothers? To the women in your life I know you must truly love?

To those of you who feel such a need to try to control women and our bodies:

It hurts my heart to be at war with you.

It hurts my heart to fear you, to rage against you, and  to fight you.

And,

It hurts my heart to be shamed, humiliated, and denigrated because I am a woman.

It hurts my heart to even begin to think about what my granddaughter will have to face as she grows older.

My heart is not a weak organ. It is bold, and fierce and completely ready to stand firm in what I know to be true…

That we all lose in this system of privilege and oppression, domination and control.

That we will not survive if we continue to let fear rule over love.

That I will not die with words left unspoken.

Who we truly are is not of this war.

When we come to be united as women, and those men who honor and respect us, we will know a power we’ve not yet known.

There is a place outside of, and out from under, this system where we can live in full respect for both genders.

If I rage against those who would want to control me, I just strengthen them.

Yet, I do feel rage.

Let our rage be a creative force that finds a new way.

Let the fierceness that is at the heart of women forge this new way.

This new way is the way of love, and lest you think love is weak, think again.

How do we mobilize? 

Where do we go from here?


 

 

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Jacqui April 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Julie I read your words and my heart is heavy. There are so many good respectful men out there that I just pray that our sisters that tolerate and allow themselves to be tormented by the controlling male sees the light, gets the support and knows there is a better life and a better way for each one of us and our children and their children too. The change has to begin now.

Julie April 7, 2012 at 5:39 am

Jacqui,
Yes. Yes. On an individual level, absolutely yes. And, on the cultural and collective level may we have men and women courageous enough to change the current tide of wanting to control women’s bodies. Thank you for your heartfelt comment.
Julie

B April 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

Julie– One of the most frustrating things for me is the fact that women are often leaders in the ‘war’. Some of the most misogynistic legislation considered/passed recently was introduced by women. I see it in less political situations as well – friends who are intelligent, educated, and accomplished saying things about women that make me cringe. I know this dynamic is not new. . .but it does surprise me in this time/culture. What IS this? A form of (pathological?) hatred of the feminine by women. I think the focus should be on exposing and countering patriarchal notions and supporting the women AND men who do this.

Julie April 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Dear B, Thank you for sharing your comments and insights. Hatred of the feminine isn’t gender-exclusive (nor is hatred of the masculine!). Yes, many women support these things as well as men, and many men are continually supporting women’s equal rights. The system teaches all of us a certain worldview. How deeply we adopt them, and how deeply we wake up to them depend on many factors.
I look forward to more conversation!

Julie

Alana April 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

I’m not exactly sure where we go from here, but I have hope, and I trust that Divine spark in all of us.
In reading B’s comment, I am reminded of your post for Angela’s Women’s History month: http://www.angelakelsey.com/2012/03/a-transforming-force/
There is something in our fear of ourselves…our discomfort with other women…something some of us absorb while young and take years to bring to light…This is why women are part of the war on the feminine, this fear. Wondering if we can get them to dance? There has to be a way to reach people that flies under the radar of the rational (or irrational) mind – a way in through the body, the spirit, the heart. I’m not sure what it will look like but I hope and I trust…

Julie April 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Alana,

Yes, so wise…something in our fear of ourselves. I think dancing is exactly what we all need…a sure bet to fly under the radar!

Thank you for sharing, and for your love.

Julie

Amanda @ Click. The Good News April 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I go back and forth between getting so upset about our current cultural/political climate, and then just getting so frustrated and angry. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece. I’m just hoping that all this publicity will lead to more dialogue and actual progress on changing values.

Julie April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Dear Amanda,
I think a myriad of emotions are to be expected. And, I know things are changing. My next post is already brewing. Thank you for being part of this continuing conversation.
Much love,
Julie

Sidney April 11, 2012 at 5:45 am

Please keep the conversation alive Julie. There is an undeniable effort occurring to keep women as “less than” men in our culture. Feeling frustration isn’t going to turn the tide. Women will need to step up in force, together, to show we will not stand down. I don’t know when … But I believe it’s simmering on the edge. I’m in.

Nikki April 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

Julie, you articulated this so beautifully. Like Sidney says, feeling frustrated isn’t going to do anything, ranting and raging won’t get us very far, but if we all, en masse, stand together, stand up for what we believe……….. I just can’t believe that, in this day and age, we are being backed into this corner (again.) It’s heart breaking. Galling. Unfathomable.

Jermaine Lane April 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi Julie,

My wife and I had our first child last year, baby girl is 8 months and is a spankin’ miracle. It is on my mind and heart as a man and as a father on how to cultivate her character and not control her behavior.

It seems so much of our culture is about controlling or monitoring behavior: wear this type of clothing, don’t wear that, you can’t do this, etc. Where do we go, march forward in love.

Love which causes us all to give pause, to tremble as how to respond. Love which transforms enemies into friends. Love which gives hope for my baby girl and your granddaughter as we move deeper in our creative work. Love which saves the day. To quote To Write Love On Her Arms: Love is the movement.

Julie April 15, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Jermaine,

Thank you for your beautiful comment. Yes, love. Congratulations on your new daughter. I’ve seen her pictures. She is beautiful.

Yes, Love. Love arises in many forms, one of which is a fierce reverence for life as it is, not controlled and dominated. May we all know what it is to be fully expressed, knowing we are deeply loved.

Blessings,

Julie

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