The stories in the media have had me thinking a lot about the current state of gender, power distribution, and oppression in the world. The name Harvey Weinstein has haunted me. I was standing in line in the grocery store and was startled by the eerie and unpleasant black and white grimace; it was Weinstein. He was staring at me, from the cover of Time Magazine.
I felt a slight shiver down my back looking into his eyes. I thought of the “me too’s” springing up on my Facebook newsfeed. I thought of the President of the United States calling his female opponent a “nasty woman”, I thought of domestic abuse, the men-only boardrooms, the cat-calling, the unwanted grabbing, even the small condescending comments that caused me to withdraw sharply and silence myself.
There is something sweet and substantial to say about the revival of honesty. The rawness and realness that has been playing out, in not only gendered oppression, but racial and religious oppression plaguing our world. The truth is, this has been happening for a very long time. We are waking up. We see the predators on the covers of globally circulating magazine like a “have you seen this man?” poster.
The neo-nazis, the homophobics, the racists, the abusers, and the hate, have come out of the shadows to be seen. We may not like what we see, but we aren’t turning away. Acknowledging the problem is one thing, but having the courage to own our power and speak up is another. The women who risked their career, image, and credibility to stand up and speak the truth are examples of remarkable courage and strength.
The players who kneel during the anthem to speak up for those who are silenced, the students who report rape despite fear of a lengthy publicized court process, or the immigrants that fight back against discriminatory travel bans. Speaking up in an active way is vulnerability that breeds power. Standing in silence or curling up in the face of injustice is what allows predators to prey in open space for decades.
Female power is a force. Female power is strong, compassionate, resilient, loving, and creative. Women are a force of nature, an earthy grounded wisdom, a firey passion, a flowing river of emotion, a breath of fresh air. I believe that the greatest obstacle preventing women from stepping into their goddess throne is fear; fear of being heard, fear of being seen, and fear of not being good enough.
A multigenerational pattern of silencing and sweeping away has created a sense of self-doubt in women. Are we good enough? Do we belong in the boardroom? Could I get this role without him? Is what I have to say worth saying? I’m here to tell you that you are good enough. To realize our power we have to harness and step into it, because no man can do it for us.
I love and respect the women in my life with my whole heart. My energy feels incredibly in line with female power. I connect deeply with women and feel the courage and strength in the girls, sisters, moms, grandmas, and daughters of the world. The moment gender melts into a greater oneness is when we will flourish and stretch to the sun with brilliance. When the individual becomes the collective. When one loud voice becomes a deafening chorus. This is when we heal as people, but first we all must join in.
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Deconstructed Nature Portraits, Vicki Rawlins
Chicago-based artist Vicki Rawlins constructs whimsical portraits of enigmatic, legendary women using flowers, greenery, sand and other organic objects. These unconventional works of art are captivating not only for their creativity but also for their ephemeral journey to creation and destruction. Rawlins has prints available of her works at http://sistergolden.com.