Feminism – is it dead?
Okay, I confess, sometimes that word has pushed my buttons too, but I have to admit I am a feminist – because what is a feminist?
Someone who wants equality for women! For everyone!
And as my friend, Karen Tate, says: AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?
I wrote an article recently that wasn’t accepted very well, because it talked of the Goddess, Feminism and even brought up politics – I was told it wasn’t for that audience. But it made me think, why are we so afraid of the word feminist? Even Jean Shinoda Bolen, a favored Women of Wisdom presenter, doesn’t shy away from that term. She stands strong in the premise of what it truly will bring to our society and has been working tirelessly towards bringing awareness of the plight of women and children. She has worked the last ten years for a 5th United Nations conference for women and it looks like it actually could happen in 2015 – only 20 years after the fourth conference in Beijing. And it could be in San Francisco who approved sponsoring the conference, although it’ll be up to the UN to decide where it would be, but wouldn’t it be fantastic to have it near us?
Karen Tate, radio host of Voices of the Sacred Feminine , claims the Goddess would be a Democrat, which the famous Wiccan leader, Starhawk, agrees. I asked her why not create a new party that carries our values – and she said we don’t have time, as we risk loosing our rights if we don’t act now. She’s been tracking the Republican bills that they have been pushing through – over 900 in the past year from different states that are against women’s rights to their own bodies. Even contraception is being threatened, and we’re potentially loosing reproductive rights, and Medicare is at risk.
Now i will admit, I don’t follow what is happening as closely as I’d like to, as I’m busy, just like everyone else. We’re so overwhelmed these days – but maybe we should take time to know what’s going on outside of the hype the media gives us, and find sources and people who are trustworthy. We’re so inundated with so much news, that trying to discern what is the real truth is difficult. So how do we find the sources that we can trust?
I wonder if we’re living in false security here in the Northwest, as we have it pretty easy, working and hanging out with like minded people that we get complacent about these things. Karen wonders why we aren’t marching in the street about these issues!
I feel, like many others, we’re going through a major transition and that transformation is happening – even though it feels like chaos all around us. The old ways are falling apart, we’re witnessing institutions faltering – the financial world, political world is being exposed of the falsities there. So what’s a new way? We need feminists (i.e. women leaders who aren’t afraid to speak their truth) to come forward to bring new fresh ideas. New processes that are not the old linear way we’re used to. Processes that are fluid, dynamic and will bring the changes that we need. I’m not talking of the old feminism that we think of when we hear that word – as that had roots of the old linear model. Maybe that’s why there’s a reaction to the term even from women as we remember the anger that was expressed in that movement. And we need to honor those women who did that hard work in the 60’s and 70’s as they paved the way.
For today, I’m talking of a new feminism that honors women, children and values their voices and contributions. Women can lead in this discovery of new models that we can govern our society by. I don’t profess to know what the new model is – that’s an exploration that needs to evolve naturally and it will take time and many people contributing to the process.
So meanwhile what do we do – we look inward first, finding out our truth within ourselves, and begin to speak up from the place of truth with our hearts and souls. And that’s where transformation begins. We have to keep reminding ourselves what’s important to us, what drives our passion, what is our calling, and not get caught up in what’s happening externally in the world around us, as that can take us away from discovering our purpose.
Feminism lives on – by evolving and bringing forth the full potential of women, working together with men to resolve our issues, find solutions and create new ways of being with each other.
One model I’ve been working with the past twenty years in my experience leading Women of Wisdom is collaborative leadership. I decided to start a consulting business bringing this model to organizations, which are looking for new ways of being. It calls for a leader in every seat, where problems are resolved through a co-creative circular fashion. All voices are heard, and everyone contributes to the solution instead of the old way of the boss handing down the new policies that will attempt to eliminate problems. I maintain they won’t be resolved until all voices contribute in the process so that there will be acceptance around decisions. When you have buy in by the participants in a conflict, you will be able to move forward productively. So that’s my contribution towards a transition to a new way of being. I invite you to discover yours, as we all have our gifts to share and it’s time that everyone is valued for their gifts, and feels comfortable sharing them.
So let’s reclaim the word feminism in it’s truest definition, which values the equality for all voices and contributions in our society. It’s time, and I can see it in our future world, a world free of oppression and controls – a world that is fluid and dynamic and understands the value of the feminine way of being, which honors feelings, intuition, process and relationships. If we truly understood what feminism meant, we wouldn’t have so much fear around the term. Fear comes from thinking you have to give up your personal power and control. Releasing that fear means trusting you will not loose power, but have more power, which is true power that comes from the universe, the power of the human spirit to express who you are and contributes to the wellbeing of all.