Have we forgotten something?
In our struggle for equality with men.
Have we missed a crucial part of the picture
... a whole flip side of the coin?
Western "civilization" is a man’s world.
Women have struggled and in many areas succeeded in developing their masculine skills in order to successfully, survive, compete and excel in this masculine oriented culture. All credit to us.
But does it make us happy? Do we offer our greatest gifts? Does it serve the bigger picture?
And where is the world, the way of living, that is designed to support the feminine, that is home, nurturing, supportive, safe, natural for women? That acknowledges our unique (and very different from the masculine) qualities.
What of our cycles? The stages of a woman's life, maiden, mother, crone. During our fertile years, what of the monthly ebb and flow of our womb’s life nurturing lining. How could we imagine that we can stay full and nourished in a world that ignores these vital changes in a women's body and feeling nature. Our conditioning has been so compelling that we manage to believe that we have to squeeze our flowing, rhythmic nature into a narrow uniformity of weeks and weekends.
No wonder there is such an abnormally high ratio of disease in our feminine organs. Did you know that 12 hysterectomies are performed every 10 minutes in the USA? That hysterectomy is the second most common major operation performed in the United States (and many other countries) today, second only to .. you guessed it ... cesarian section!
Where is our women’s culture?
Are we missing a huge and vital portion ?
Are we missing the fact that we have lost all sight, all knowledge and even the sense that there should exist a women’s world to complement this man’s world?
If we have, then where it was lost/forgotten historically?
Did it start in the slow, subtle transference of allegiance from mother goddess to the one (masculine) God? .... alluded to (among other places) in Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent" , described in Susan Weed's article - The Goddess is Alive
Was it confirmed in the burning of the witches - the complete eradication of huge bodies of knowledge about birth, herbs and healing?
Was it compounded in the break up of the extended family during the industrial revolution?
Many traditional cultures retain their women's culture. But we are much smarter, more civilized, more modern then they. Aren't we?
What did you learn from your mother , your grandmother, your aunties and cousin's, your female lineage?
What women's culture is not (although it could be)
Alone keeping house
Mothering in isolation
What might it be, then?
I’m not advocating that we turn the clock back and deny all the successes of the (civilized) masculine world (!@$)
But women urgently need to find a way home, a way to nurture our essential selves to revitalize and regenerate, to relax, to feel known and understood, recognized and deeply honored, to regain our self worth, our sense of beauty and dignity no matter what age or shape our body’s form might be, to share and to hear and to learn from women’s story, her-story, myths and mysteries, to sing and to weave, to create and to give birth, to laugh and to dance, to grieve and to celebrate, to delight in our bodies sensual feeling nature, to recognize that here are a myriad of facets to the diamond of women’s culture and these jewels can only be gained in the company of other women.
What can we do?
Rome wasn’t built in a day
We can start by taking time out on a regular basis to connect deeply with other women.
I don’t mean a coffee and a chat about the kids or even a d&m with a girlfriend about our problems or our love life, although those are good things to do. I mean a space and time set aside (and with intention made sacred) for women to gather and nurture one another with touch, acknowledgment and loving reflection. A time for body oriented expression, dancing, massage, sensuality, rage and delight. A place where it is OK to be exactly who we are.
I have had the privilege of being part of such a group that has met weekly for the past four years. It is the well that I drink from that nourishes and revitalizes me and gives me the strength to carry on. I have felt sick when I arrived and left feeling well. It is the place that I can come happy or sad, ebullient or broken-hearted and I will be seen and loved and leave refreshed. It is place where every facet of my woman-self is welcome. It is my place, my women's culture.
I will write more about this and other things and if this blog could support women to start to reconnect with one another and themselves in this or any other way then I would be a very happy camper. That is my intention and my heartfelt wish. So may it be.