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Finding Your Place in the Women’s March Movement: Three Is the Magic Number

Posted on:  Jan 18, 2019 @ 19:12 Posted in:  Goddess

Three is a magic number.

There have been three Women’s Marches.

Before each of these marches, there were outer events that had profound impacts on our collective awareness.

Each of these three outer events show us guideposts that help answer a crucial question: how do we become active participants in the Women’s March movement?

With these 3 guideposts, find your place in the Women’s March movement, as we ride this Women’s Wave together into a new culture of love, justice and equality

The first event was the election of Donald Trump in November 2016.

Trump was the misogynist, racist, hate-mongering straw that broke the camel’s back. He clearly showed us the rotten core of our modern society, and the abuses of power and privilege of white men like him.

What had been hidden was now visible. With this visibility comes choice: do you succumb or do you resist?

A group of women activists in the US chose resistance. From the organizing efforts of these women, the Women’s March was born on January 22, 2017, the day after the inauguration of President Trump.

This is the first guidepost in becoming an active participant in the Women’s March movement.

What do you do in the face of the election of a man like Donald Trump, and all that he stands for?  Are you ready to say yes to resistance?  Are you ready to use your voice and your actions in support of change?

Yes is a potent magical word. When you say yes, you invite change into your life.

So it was with the first Women’s March. With this yes of collective resistance, the March became a movement.

The second event was the birth of the #metoo movement.

It was Tarana Burke, an American social activist, who came up with the metoo phrase in 2006. Then on October 15, 2017, the actress Alyssa Milano shared the metoo hashtag to encourage victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment to share their stories. Within 24 hours, the hashtag had been used by more than 4.7 million people.  And it just got bigger and bigger from there.

What came pouring out was the raw, ugly truths that women have long known: We live in a rape culture. Sexual violence stalks women and children from every walk of life. We are everywhere among you. Our metoo numbers, myself included, are countless.

The #metoo movement became an integral part of the January 2018 Women’s March. We now marched, with our allies by our side, not just as a protest against Trump but for women’s truth, safety and dignity.

This is the second guidepost in becoming an active participant in the Women’s March movement.

For those of you, like me, who have suffered sexual violence, I’m here to tell you that your #metoo stories have power. Claim them. Honor them. Share them, in whatever way feels safe and right for you.

For the men in our midst, we ask you to be our sacred witnesses — to let our stories move your heart, change your ways, and call you to our sides as allies in the dismantling of rape culture.

For everybody that has suffered from the hatred and abuses of racism, homophobia, and transphobia, your stories of wounding are essential to the Women’s March movement, and its fight for justice and equality for everyone.

All of our wounding stories have transformative magic. They heal us in the telling, and others in the receiving. They point the finger where it belongs, at the perpetrator. Their truth telling can set us free and remake our world for the better.

The third event was the birth of the #toomuchwoman movement.

It began in Toronto, with a delicious, passionate speech by Gina Hatzis called: I’m a Dangerous Woman. A video of this speech, along with the toomuchwoman hashtag, went viral in September 2018, reaching 16 million people, and a new, worldwide movement was born.

The #toomuchwoman movement calls women to shed our fears and the ways we make ourselves small and safe, and to fully inhabit our glorious, too much, undimmed beauty and power.

This same #toomuchwoman message is loud and clear in the vision statement for the

2019 Women’s March: We are strategic, we are focused, and we are a threat to your grip on power. We are taking back what you have stolen. The Women’s Wave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us.

This is your third guidepost in becoming an active participant in the Women’s March movement.

This toomuch message expands beyond women, across all genders, to include every single one of us. It reminds you that you are beautiful and powerful beyond your wildest imagination. It tells you to reject the abusive, controlling messages of this culture that have made you small and afraid.

It calls you to bring all of your big, beautiful, too much self to the Women’s March movement, and to offer your very best gifts in the making of a better, more loving and tolerant world.

Let’s put these 3 guideposts together, and see how they answer the question: how do you become an active participant in the Women’s March movement?

By joining the 2019 Women’s March, you’ve already arrived at the first guidepost, some part of you has said yes to resistance, and has chosen to stand in solidarity with millions of others in sister marches across the US and around the world.

This is the first step in becoming an active participant in the Women’s March movement.

The second and third guideposts come next.  With them, you have everything you need to play your own, special part in the Women’s March movement.

In your one hand, from the second guidepost, you hold your stories of wounding, be they #metoo stories or other stories of how you’ve been hurt by this culture.

In your other hand, from the third guidepost, are the power and gifts of your big, beautiful, too much self.

Now here is the most important part.  If you’re like most of us, you’ve been trained to think that you are one thing or the other — either wounded and small, like the second guidepost, or big and beautiful, like the third guidepost. But this kind of thinking is a lie that keeps you from the powerful truth that you are all these things at once.

It’s here, in this complex weaving of your true self and story, that you’ll discover the very things you need to heal your life, and to play your own, special part in the Women’s March movement.

You start with yourself, your stories, your gifts, your heart, and then follow from there.

When we do this together, each sharing our wounded stories and special gifts, and widening our hearts to be sacred witnesses for others, we will be an unstoppable force of cultural change.

May these three guideposts help you deeply, truly show up and become an active, positive part of the Women’s March movement. And may we ride this Women’s Wave together, sweeping the world forward with us into a new culture of love, justice and equality for all.

Photo Credit: Jessica Podraza on Unsplash

Source: Karen Clark Speech, 2019 Women’s March, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

What’s In a Name: Good Girl – Feminist – Witch – Woman

Posted on:  Jan 7, 2019 @ 16:15 Posted in:  Goddess

Words are a fundamental part of our humanity. The physiology of our brains is designed to make sense of ourselves and our world through language. We name things with words, and then load value and meaning onto these names. Every aspect of our shared society, interpersonal relationships and inner self-talk are dictated by these word-names.

How we name ourselves and each other matters deeply. These names can either trap and diminish us, or heal and free us to become more fully, deeply our Selves.

There’s immense power in names. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the names people give to us, and the ones we give to ourselves. This naming can either narrow or expand who we are, and how we engage others and our greater environment.

Oppressors, those who conquer, dominate and control others, have used this power in names throughout history. Take away the names people give to themselves —  taint and distort them, make these names a weapon — replace them with other, socially acceptable, domesticating names — and you’ve set up a system of control that becomes a normal, entrenched part of our social fabric. And not just names are taken away, but also language, story, dance, art, and other forms of culture, self-identity and expression.

All marginalized groups — on the outside of the white, male, heteronormative, Judeo-Christian ethos that dominates our Western society — have been impacted by this system of control through names.

My Story of Names

I’m a white woman of British descent, born into a working class family of moderate means, and raised in a middle-of-the-road city in the eastern part of Canada.  My upbringing was mainstream, banal and seemingly innocuous. And this is my story of names.

If I had the conscious awareness to name myself in my youth, I would have called myself a good girl.

I was a domesticated creature — nice, sweet, pretty, and well behaved.  I did what I was supposed to do: work hard at school, follow the rules, hang out with other nice girls, date boys that my parents approved of, and keep a smile on my face, even when boys and men said and did not nice things to me.

No one in particular, and everything around me, gave me this name and the very narrow band of personhood that went with it.

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Tale of the Lost Daughter: Rules of Success

Posted on:  Oct 4, 2016 @ 7:00 Posted in:  From the Tale

Photo Credit: Drew Coffman on Unsplash

The Wounded Beloved: Exploring Your Inner Gendered Tear

Posted on:  Sep 30, 2016 @ 7:00 Posted in:  Goddess, Pathwork

Listen to the podcast.

I’ll be totally honest with you; I was a reluctant recruit to the notions that men too are wounded by our patriarchal world and the negation of the feminine aspects of our human nature, and that they need women’s empathy and support in their healing.

Then one day, my best female friend challenged me. I’d been sharing with her my exploration of the Goddess, the sacred feminine and magic, and my recent healing work with my mother and feminine nature. She stopped me midstream and asked, “What about men and their wounding, Karen? How are you going to help them heal?”

My response was something along the lines of, “Not my problem. Let them figure it out on their own.”

Let’s reach for a shared reality in which gender is a liquid quality that doesn't limit us but morphs according to our individual configuration of our sacred feminine and masculine natures.

Not long afterwards, the Goddess came to me in a dream and gave me my marching orders, “I want my Beloved back.” And from there, many dreams and healing moments later, I realized that the tear in the outside culture between men and women was inside of me. And that I could only mend this tear, inner and outer, by extending the same loving concern and compassion for the wounding and pain of men as I did for myself and for my women kin.

Man or woman, gay, trans or straight, victim or privileged, we’re all born into a misogynist world that force feeds and constrains us within narrow, damaging male and female stereotypes and roles. For some the harm is direct and brutal, for others it’s more subtle and subtext, and none of us can escape the ever-present cultural negation of women’s ways, values and spirituality, and the mirror distortion and limitation of men and masculinity.

Your Gendered Tear

In this exercise, I invite you to explore the gendered tear inside of you, but gently so.

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HeForShe and SheForHe: Healing Our World Together

Posted on:  Sep 25, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess, Pathwork

Listen to the podcast.

This week marks the two year anniversary of the UN’s HeForShe Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality. HeForShe invites men to join and support women in the fight for women’s equality and strives to reframe feminism from its man-hating stigma to a movement that seeks to benefit men and women alike by embracing the feminine side of our humanity.

My soul responds to this initiative and its mandate with a big yes! In the many seasons of my life — from my academic studies of feminism, gender issues and Goddess theology, my work as a gender equity consultant, my perilous healing journey with my own woman’s story in a misogynist world, my travels with the Goddess into the mysteries of the sacred feminine, and my Path of She writings — I’ve been on the trail of the lost powers and ways of the feminine elements of our humanity.

Together we can reweave our world into one that is inclusive and respectful, where we can live and express our whole humanity from the bigness and beauty of our feminine and masculine natures.

In my journey, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: what ails humanity, men and women alike, is the degradation and repression of the feminine half our nature that holds not only our nurturing and emotive capacities, but also our anchor in Mother/matter: our bodies, the natural world and the mysteries of the Divine feminine.

HeForShe may not speak of our disconnect from Goddess, the Earth and our bodies, but it acknowledges that men and women share the wound of patriarchy and asks men to reach across the gender gap in solidarity with their women kin.

I would add that we women have to reach back, SheForHe, so we can heal our world together.

Walking in the Other’s Shoes

The saying goes that we can’t understand another person until we walk a mile in his/her shoes. This most definitely holds true in the case of men and women. Only by actively increasing our awareness of the other gender can we begin to understand the world through their eyes and experiences.

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