In Praise of Girls and Women: International Women’s Day 2017

This entry was posted in Activism, Feminism, International Women's Day 2017, One Billion Rising, Women's March on Washington 2017 on by .

 

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Is there anything a group of girls and women cannot accomplish once they’ve decided to take on a cause?  The answer is a resounding “NO!”  Girls and women have always taken on the role of society’s connective tissue, reaching well beyond their comfort zones to challenge the status quo.  No where is our vital commitment to fearless involvement more apparent than in the tapping community.  Tapping is all about increased agency, and agency, that ability to identify a problem and cultivate the energy to transform it into an opportunity for positive change, has become the most obvious characteristic of girls and women during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  We are the force to be reckoned with at the forefront of Radical Love.  Anyone who doubts this should simply follow up a little of the research assembled in this blog regarding the scope of women’s and girls’ remarkable agency over the last hundred years.

Harmonizing Voices

What is perhaps the most wonderful characteristic of girls’ and women’s agency is its diversity.  Ever since the second wave of feminism expanded human consciousness in the sixties and seventies and beyond, girls and women have been involved in championing human rights, environmental protection, social justice, and peace initiatives.  More than anything else, our collective agency provides context for those who have not yet worked through their fear and self doubt issues.  Familiarizing ourselves with the evidence of women and girls working together helps each of us to know a little more about the girls and women we stand with when we stand shoulder to shoulder on the front lines of change.

For example, on the national and international scenes, we can learn from Amy Goodman’s cogent and comprehensive Democracy Now news and analysis broadcasts (www.democracynow.org), Ava du Vernay’s documentary 13th and its sweeping perspective on the 13th amendment (http://www.avaduvernay.com/13th/), and Vandana Shiva’s special brand of ecofeminism and her global seed-sovereignty movement to save the diversity of food on our planet (http://vandanashiva.com/?attachment_id=66).  Here in Vermont, on the regional and local fronts, we are schooled about Black Lives Matter issues by girls and women, organizers of the growing movement taking on the manifestations of racism in one of the whitest states in the Union (http://blacklivesmattervermont.com/).  When we look down at our plates at mealtimes, we see we are literally fed by the tireless agency of girls and women farmers and food co-operative organizers and supporters (http://www.wcax.com/story/30870981/women-farmers-on-the-rise-in-vt).

Remembering our Grand Mothers; Encouraging our Sisters and Daughters

At the Women’s March on Washington in January of this year, Gloria Steinem, one of second wave feminism’s Grand Mothers, spoke with reverence of the perspective a long life bestows.  Her rallying cry, “Don’t wait for permission!” has been echoing around kitchen tables, on college campuses, and in corporate boardrooms ever since.  See Steinem and others in support of Girl and Woman Power speak at this inspirational march in support of girls and women’s safety, health choices, political rights and responsibilities, and intelligent contributions to all the arts and sciences at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgQp_NAcc4s .

When I began my journey into consciousness with the second wave feminists more than fifty years ago, Angela Davis was teaching us all what courage was by publicly speaking truth to political power, even in the most volatile of situations; today, Michelle Alexander builds on Angela Davis’s tireless agency in support of prison reform as she exposes the racism inherent in the US system of mass incarceration employed since the 1990s in her vitally important book The New Jim Crow.  In 1970 Germaine Greer demanded we see into the white male privilege that has skewed  our modern institutions, including college courses in English Literature that suggest all essayists, novelists and poets of note are male and white; now Jessa Crispin stands on Greer’s shoulders as she urges women to pull their energies out of the corporate work place to fashion interrelationships for sustainability and social justice in her most recent book Why I am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto . Back in the early days of second-wave feminism,  Alice Walker and Toni Morrison intrepidly raised their artist’s voices to tell the essential stories that were missing from our collective understanding of women-of-colour oppression in our systemically racist country; now Malala Yousafzai in I Am Malala expands our understanding of oppression by fearlessly sharing how agency flowers in girls and women who fight for the right to be educated despite the patriarchal cultures and political systems that would keep them isolated, uninformed, and terrorized.  Tireless writer and peace activist Maxine Hong Kingston wrote during those fomenting second-wave years about emigrating from China to California, sharing in The Woman Warrior what it was like for her Chinese family members to live among the “ghosts” and feel so completely “the other”;  today, Zheng Churan writes an open letter to Donald Trump from China saying, “Feminists are Watching,” as she observes Chinese power holders take their permission for  oppression from the US crackdowns aimed at curtailing girls’ and women’s rights and responsibilities all over America.

Studying only a few of the tightly woven interrelationships among girls and women of earlier times and girls and women now, we understand that we never stand alone; we never act alone.  However small or large our challenges and victories, we are always in the midst of what the remarkable drummer and author of When the Drummers were Women Layne Redmond called a “Mob of Angels.”  Never doubt this phrase:  I am me and I am we.  Tapping as we say it brings the magnitude of our powerful agency home in the form of clean, confident, assertive energies.

Today, Tomorrow, and the Next Day

Never has Charles Dickens’ classic phrase been more accurate to describe our cultural shifts and changes; to paraphrase the great social-justice writer:  “These are indeed the best of times  and the worst of times.”  We are living through the best of times when we participate in the building of partnerships and coalitions to face down the ignorance that spreads sexism, racism, xenophobia, and anti-science information in order to prop up a teetering extraction economy and its commodification of people, animals, trees, water, seeds – indeed everything our beautiful, sacred, Mother Earth grows and weaves into the Wholeness humans call Life.   Regardless of this relentless commodification of Life, we, the girls and women of every nation, stand together in an unbroken circle that wraps itself around the globe, many, many times.  Think of that image:  our tiny planet set in the vast universes held in Space, ever following its elliptical pattern, and ever glowing with the increasing agency of girls and women everywhere.

In February, Amy Goodman interviewed Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues and  One Billion Rising in the US, together with Congolese activist Christine Schuler Deschryver.  The interview ranged widely but focused on how girls and women working together can help to end violence against girls and women all over the world (see their interview with Amy Goodman at:  https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/14/the_predatory_mindset_of_donald_trump).  Embedded in their interview is a reference to the vital cross pollination that is happening as girls and women from across the globe communicate over vast distances to support human and environmental justice.  When Ensler visited the Congo before she conceived of One Billion Rising, she witnessed Congolese women dancing, chanting, and drumming on the front lines of protest.  She brought the idea of dancing our protests to her commitment to end violence against women and One Billion Rising was born.  To see but one manifestation of this annual February 14th  miraculous, infectious global dancing, empowering, celebratory event, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEsKjqGBdk8 .  As well, keep track of this movement and work with other girls and women to call a “Mob of Angels” to dance on February 14th next year!

Let me repeat:  These are the best of times because girls and women are standing together, dancing together, singing together, drumming together, and weeping together.  As never before we are raising our voices together to speak out against all forms of injustice.  Mother Earth counts on our standing together, just as we count on standing together on our Mother Earth.

Never Forget

Girls and women are called to express at least half of  the world’s juiciness, its conscience, its grace, and its intelligence.  Women and girls are called to express at least half of the world’s powerful healing forces.  Girls and women are called to express at least half of the world’s beauty and determination to be the unique expressions of joy we are meant to be.

On this International Women’s Day, express to the girls and women in your life your deep appreciation for their splendid courage in the face of patriarchal ignorance.  And stand tall and except their appreciation of you.  Never doubt that we are worthy of the call to actively bless the world with at least half its requirements for Radical Love.  And when old wounds make us doubt our magnificent agency, we have Tapping to shift these old patterns and strengthen our individual part of the collective global circle of positive change.

Until next time,

Jane

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Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Accredited Practitioner, jane@winterblooms.net, 802-533-9277

Jane is a Learning Coach specializing in neutralizing cultural age, gender, and race constructs to support learners of every age.  To engage her coaching services, please contact Jane by phone (802) 533-9277 or email, jane@winterblooms.net.  Be sure to put Coaching Query in the subject line.

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