Mother’s Day and Gendercide

It is Mother’s Day here in Canada and the United States, a day when many of us connect, at least in spirit, with mothers the world over . . . both human and other-than-human.  The recent kidnapping of 276 school girls in Nigeria last month brings to mind the anguish of their mothers, their other family members, and their communities.  Here in the west it is tempting to detach from the horror of this situation by clinging to ethnocentric beliefs about other cultures; it is equally tempting to detach from this horror by clinging to the faulty New-Age belief that we must only admit to and concentrate on the positive in life.  Tapping teaches us otherwise.

When we are courageous enough to face the truths embedded in our personal issues – relationship challenges, addiction challenges, financial challenges, health challenges and so on – and tap on these along with all their attendant emotional and physical manifestations, we learn very quickly that we can shift our attitudes regarding our limitations and move into a more spacious view of who we are and how we are ready and eager to change.  So it is with world crises such as those we find ourselves in now.  Hiding from the truth of violence against women, war, and climate change only entrenches us more deeply in avoidance behaviours.  Admitting these issues, feeling our personal pain regarding the human and other-than-human suffering in the world, and taking action – with tapping and other forms of agency – helps us to move into the solutions side of life’s innumerable problems.

Gendercide is a relatively new term first brought to public awareness in Mary Anne Warren’s 1985 study of infanticide, maternal mortality, and sex selection throughout the world.  Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, also published in 1985, describes a theocratic culture that is one of the possible consequences of the devaluation of women.  Women in Atwood’s dystopian novel are slotted for male use depending upon their physical attributes.  Her story frighteningly parallels past and current reality for far too many women in every country on Earth.

Tapping as we read about the on-going horrors of violence against women helps us to keep our bearings, to focus on how we can contribute to changing our world for the better for everyone, in our communities at home and in our world communities.  Whether we are girls or women, boys or men, each of us is the raw material of change.  No matter our age or situation, we can learn to advocate for people and for Earth.  We can break out of our western corporate media prison by focusing on our strengths and passions and how we can use these to improve the world for everyone.  Tapping – along with exercise, rest, good food, reliable information, hopeful stories, and community connections, at least for those of us who have these basic needs met on a regular basis – supports the resilience that helps us to face the reality of our personal lives and those of our sisters and brothers throughout the world.

If you doubt this, become acquainted with Dr. Lori Leyden’s work with children and adult survivors of the Rwandan genocide.  Learn about Lori’s work at and

Until next week, Happy Mother’s Day to Earth and Earthlings everywhere . . .