Sexist? No. Feminist.

I am a sexist.  Actually, I’m really not a sexist but have recently been accused of being one (and not for the first time) by someone who should know me better.

I am a realist.  I see the plight of women all over the world and here in the supposedly free and progressive United States.  What I see makes me cringe and it makes me cry; it makes me feel broken — physically and in my heart — to see what it means to be a woman in today’s world.

I have friends, mostly online, who see what I see.  I’m grateful for these women because they make me feel less alone.  In my real life, I have no friends who see how the world treats women.  They are too busy to see.  They are too blind to see.  They are too man-identified to see.  They don’t WANT to see.  It upsets their world.  It upsets my world too, but I see and I cringe and I cry.  Yet, I am  proud to be a woman.  I am honored to be a woman.  I am grateful to be a woman.  Yes, even in this world that treats women like so much collateral damage.

For thousands of years, the conquering men of the species have run the world.  They have written the history, both religious and secular.  The Bible was written over a period of hundreds (!) of years.  Each man (no woman had a hand in the writing of this book!) wrote what he felt should be and revised what was written before.   Secular history was also written by men, usually the winning men, the stronger men because, you know, might makes right.  The history of this world is filled with war and conquests, started by men, fought by  men, finished by men.

It’s not a fairy tale, though, to say that once upon a time, there was a world in which men did not reign, did not control, did not make women and their families submit, did not think the animals and Mother Earth was here for the to rule.  There were civilizations that were run with an equal partnership between men and women; where women were revered for their closeness to the Goddess Who Was All; honored for the of bringing new life into the world, both children and the crops that were grown for the community’s sustenance.  Lineage was through the mother, who represented the Goddess.  They made decisions, invented what the community needed, did what needed to be done, but never with a power-over mentality, but always a power-with point of view.  Everyone worked together in peace and, mostly harmony.   This changed when other cultures and civilizations, those of power and brutality, of men and conquest, conquered these peaceful territories, bringing with them their harsh gods who, eventually, overcame the Goddess, the old pagan religions and completely re-wrote history.

Women became less than they were.  They, through the writings and re-writings of these religions, ancient Judaism and then the newer religion of Christianity, became obedient, submissive, subservient because this is what the male God wanted; this was the way it was supposed to be.  It wasn’t, but it was made to be so through all of those re-writings of history.  The Goddess became the evil serpent that forever changed the world.  Women healers and mid-wives became witches, consorts of the devil.  God was male; male was divine.  Women were not divine, not any longer.  We were what the newly made patriarchy made us to be.

Eventually came those who fought back, women who fought for the vote, the first wave of feminism, then the second wave in the 60’s — Gloria Steinem, Z Budapest and more.  Roe vs Wade was fought for and won, but now the old patriarchy is trying to take back what we have gained.  Take a look at this if you are unsure of what I am saying here.

The country and the world is run by men, by the patriarchy; it is in their best interests to have this dominator system remain in place.  However, it is my belief that if it does stay in place, the world and all who are in it, are doomed.  This is not the way to peace and harmony in the world.  Women need to become a bigger part of the solution to the world’s problems.  War and conquest are not the way.  Caring, nurturing – these are the way, in my own opinion.  The patriarchy needs to be demolished; a new age must be forthcoming.

So, do I tend to only teach women what I teach, be in women only groups on Facebook and on the internet, read about the Great Goddess, whom I honor, read of the old matrilineal cultures and civilizations?  Guilty to all of this and probably more in the eyes of some.  Does this make me a sexist as I have been accused of being?

No, I am not a sexist.  I am a realist; and yes, I am a feminist.

Blessings to all!

Recommended Reading:  The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler; When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone; When the Drummers were Women by Layne Redmond

 

In Memory of Margot Adler (1946-2014) Priestess, Journalist, Skeptic, Mystic by Elizabeth Cunningham

A wonderful article on the late Margot Adler.

Elizabeth Cunningham headshot jpeg“Ritual has the power to end our alienation from the earth and from each other. It allows us to enter a world where we are at home with the trees and the stars and other beings, and even with the carefully hidden and protected parts of ourselves that we sometime contact in dreams or in art.” –Margot Adler

Margot Adler died of cancer on July 28, 2014. A Pagan priestess, she asked for memorial events to be held in the season of Samhain, also known as Halloween.  At this time of year, the rituals of many religious traditions remind us that we are all connected, the living, the dead, and those to come, one continuous communion.  In this spirit, I offer a tribute to the late Margot Adler.

Though I must have heard her distinctive voice on National Public Radio where she served as an innovative and eclectic journalist…

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I’d be Stupid to not be on My Own Side!

As I’m sitting here at my desk, I have yesterday’s Boston (MA, USA) Globe newspaper next to me.  These are some of the headlines, big and small, that I see:

“Abduction Suspect Faces Rape Charges”:  A man who kidnapped a young girl, is now charged with raping her, as well as kidnapping her.

“NY baby’s Death Ruled a Homicide”:  A man beats his 3 year old stepdaughter to death.

“Man Held in Woman’s Death Leads Police to 6 More Victims”:  The headline explains it all.

“Woman dies in Dorchester Shooting”

“Mother’s Death Now Called Murder”:  By her son, no less

“Fall River Man Held in Assault”:  A sexual assault with intent to rape and indecent assault and battery.

 

Notice anything?  I do and when I look at these headlines, I want to just hang my head and cry.

When did the lives of women become just so meaningless?  From the youngest to the oldest, we are being assaulted, beaten, raped and murdered by men, men we know, men we don’t know.

If you notice, these are just a handful of articles in a big city newspaper.  They do not include the women around the world who are raped as a part of war, who are handed over as children to be wed to someone 4 times their age, the women who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation.  Over and over, we are barraged by these stories of women whose lives are being thrown away by men. These are not fiction, this is real life for women all over the world!

How did we get to this point in history?  What happened to the world that was, in the words of Riane Eisler, “the Chalice”, the world of the Goddess, where women were revered as the representation of the Goddess on Earth?  How did women go from being an equal partner in all to something that is seen as just war fodder or a sex toy in someone’s fantasy, something that they can do anything to?

We’ve come a long way, baby!  But not as far as we need to.  We are still fighting the same old battles over who has control over our bodies, we still do not get equal pay (although to be fair some women do make a very good salary).  We have women on YouTube and Twitter who cannot wait to tell us why they are not feminists, what is wrong with feminism and why it is no longer needed.  I want to just say, honey, take off those blinders, open your eyes, look at the world, SEE what is happening to women all over the world.  Of course, in my experience, I have found that most women just do not pay attention; they are “just too busy” to be “bothered” by that, or “yes, I care, but I just don’t have the time to deal with it, it doesn’t affect me personally. Sweetie, of course, this affects you personally; you just don’t want to see it or admit it.  It affects ALL of us personally, and this is when life jumps up and bites you in the nose.  To all of these women, Maya Angelou says it best:

“I am a feminist.  I’ve been female for a long time now.

I’d be stupid to not be on my own side.”

Got that?  “I’d be stupid not  to be on my own side”.  Makes such perfect sense.  Women need to be on the side of women, all women everywhere.  It’s called Sisterhood, it’s called Solidarity, it’s called Justice, it’s called standing up and being counted.  Again, Maya Angelou:

“Each time a woman stands up, without knowing it

possibly, without claiming it,

she stands up for all women”

The time to stand up is now; it has to be.  Don’t be someone that lets someone else stand up for her.  Be the one who stands up for someone else, and in doing that, you are standing up for yourself, our daughters, our granddaughters.  One of the ways to stand up is to get out and vote, vote for those who support women, vote for women who stand for women.

In the words of the Rev. Karen Tate, “find your sacred roar”, use it, speak up, stand up.  We are women, hear us roar right now!!

Blessings!

 

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