International Women’s Day is the “official” day set aside to honour women. Each year at this time I find myself reflecting on where we are as women, how far we have come and where we seem to be heading. Some years I find myself filled with despair at the state of things that I see. This year I find myself filled with gratitude for the huge shifts taking place. These are the three trends I find particularly inspiring.
Firstly, we are seeing millions of women speaking out about their mistreatment, abuse and sexual harassment. For example, the Twitter hashtag #MeToo that started as a trickle in 2006 has become a vehicle for millions of women to share their stories. Jacqueline Maley, argues In her article “The male icons keep falling: how #MeToo has turned into 'Oh god, not you too?”, that this is trend is only just starting. And here in Australia when Tracey Spicer sent a tweet asking about sexual harassment in our media and entertainment industries she was overwhelmed by allegations from more than 500 women, and the names of 65 men. (And that number keeps growing with the figure now standing at 1000 women and 100 men).
We are seeing more and more women speaking out and telling the truth of their experiences. The feminine voice that has been silenced for millennia is being heard and our collective pain recognised and acknowledged. The immensity of this collective pain has been further highlighted with the release last week of a landmark report revealing the extent of Australia's family, domestic and sexual violence crisis. We have heard Oprah Winfrey’s powerful call to arms at this year’s Golden Globes where she has reminded us that this is “not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It's one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace”.
Secondly, men are also speaking out about these injustices in support of women asking questions like: “Why is it that men have killed, enslaved, scarred, diminished and silenced women of every age, race and class, on every continent, for so long? And what will it take for men to truly wake up?
Over the last few years there have been more and more men speaking out about violence and abuse of women. Two shining examples of this include: Jeremy Meltzer’s Where is men’s roar? and Jackson Kat’s Violence against women—it's a men's issue.
Another powerful example is a recent article by journalist David Leser entitled “Women, men and the whole damn thing”. This formidable article provides a detailed and uncompromising examination of these issues and is well worth a read. The many courageous questions he puts forward include: “What in the masculine psychology has normalised the profound desecration of the feminine?” and “What is it we have so deeply normalised that we are blind to?
He also reminds us that “ever since the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, women have been sharing their stories, setting up hotlines, helping each other, writing books, songs, plays, films; marching, agitating, dancing for their right not to be abused or silenced.” And this brings me to the third trend I wanted to highlight.
We are witnessing a phenomenal growth in feminine consciousness and this wisdom is being shared, celebrated and practiced. Part of this is the increasing number of women’s circles emerging to provide safe, empowering and inspiring spaces for women. The Sister Circles organised by the Global Sisterhood are one such example and this year they are gathering women from all over the world to join in circle for International Women’s Day. There will be over 1000 Circles in more than 80 countries with the synchronized intention of uniting to celebrate each other and to heal the world. It is worth checking out, even if it is to just watch their video “I am Woman”. You may even be inspired to join a circle yourself and participate in the global event.
And so, in 2018 we have much to celebrate this International Women’s Day:
1. We have millions of women speaking out, speaking the truth of their individual and our collective experience. And “Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after”. – Dr Christiane Northrup.
2. We have good men speaking out in support of women and seeing that the issues that affect and degrade women also degrade the sacredness of the masculine as much as they denigrate and diminish the sacredness of the feminine.
3. Deep feminine wisdom is being reclaimed, celebrated and shared as never before. This reclaimed wisdom invites us to be part of creating a new way of being on our planet. One where we can choose to stop perpetuating the blame and competition, the feelings of unworthiness, of not being good enough and start to live with a true sense of wholeness, harmony and unity.
For “as we recover from patriarchy, it is important not to aspire to its polar opposite – patriarchy to matriarchy. Rather, let’s bring the sacred masculine and sacred feminine energies back into balance.” ~ Rebecca Campbell.
I believe that these immense shifts in consciousness are a call to our higher selves and, an invitation to be strong, open-hearted and living examples of the power, compassion, and courage as women we were each made to embody.
With deep gratitude, Maureen
Coach, facilitator and guide to personal empowerment, yoga enthusiast, intrepid traveller and wisdom seeker ......
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