Sleeping Women Wake

I am so ignorant.

Well, I’m trying to be less so.  Since my diagnosis – I’ve really noticed that I can focus on understanding some of the issues that I truly care about more deeply, and formulate my thoughts in a more organized way.  I’ve wanted to read and understand more so that I can actively be involved; make a difference.

Last night, I watched Rock Center. I “watched” the same way I watch anything in the evening, with my Mac on lap, writing, researching, tabs open galore while I digitally hoard to my hearts content beside the Goodbar while he watches his programs – so really, most of the time I am just a watching accomplice.   Last night however, a story caught my ear that made me realize how ignorant I am on the subject of women’s rights, and how many things go passed un-noticed, right under my nose, and how important it is that I get myself educated.

I think a lot about women.

Who we are, what holds us back, and how we are treated by society.  I think a tremendous amount about how powerful we are, and beautiful, and gifted, and fierce, and loving… oh God, my God, are we loving.

Women are these awesome, magnificent beings layered in this beautifully complex package.  Their presentation is deceiving-  you can never fully really realize the incredible depth, richness, and spirit we posses; and how, at the very essence of our beings- we are love… pure. Love.

Women.

None of us arrived here without being birthed of one.  Inside of them, we live for nine months, our “being” depends on hers.

I’m not purposely excluding Men in this conversation, frankly I wish that I could simply talk about the innate beauty of all of us as human beings, but I have to focus on this conversation as one for Women specifically because there is still a painful and unbelievable divide in how we are treated in the world.

I’m often asked if TRP is a “feminist” project.

The truth is, I think it is; but also so much more… TRP was not founded as a “feminist” project, but more founded on a belief that women have a strong desire to be seen, and that to be witnessed is powerful.  I think innately simmering below the surface is this beauty and radiance that’s been silenced over the years somehow, and TRP is about setting that woman free from her silence, and revealing her.  Women must be revealed, because inside of her is the power to heal … nations. If she is asleep inside, to her own power, than TRP is about helping her wake.

The truth is, that what I am finding as we embark on our third year, is that there is a common theme in the discoveries we are making, and each of the 50+ women who’ve done the project have each eventually come to the point where they are able to reveal a common place that they congregate.  It’s like a waiting place… like a purgatory.  It’s called

unworthiness.

The truth is, that there is a great majority of us who are invisible, and when you can not be seen by others- you can not be found.

I think the the great majority of women are lost in the wilderness of societies constructs, expectations, and illusions of what a woman should be, and what our rightful “place” is.  The culture of invalidation that we all face at one point or another when we realize that our worth is measured in ways that are starkly different from how men are measured. That we not be “allowed” to venture into certain aspects of society, and are still marginalized or shut out from the positions where we can truly call ourselves equals… worthy.

womanrising

We earn less then Men.

Our bodies and our sexuality is still “up for grabs” depending on who is operating our country.

The media continually invalidates, undermines, marginalizes us, and sexualizes us.

We’ve still never had a female president….

I could go on all day.

I was thinking about that word…

equality.

Is it really equality we want, or is it that we just want the right to have the same choices? The same opportunities?  The same privileges?

Is that equality?  Or is it simply

freedom?

The way I look at it, women are still being held captive by that which continues to dominated us, make us inferior, or objectified, or excluded.

It’s funny, you know- this whole big talk about “bullies”  that’s been the big buzz all over the media this year and last. Duh- women know all too well what it’s like to be bullied; we’ve been bullied since the beginning of time. We are bullied by society, employers, the media because we are at the mercy of their power, and we fear the repercussions of using our voice lest we be labeled:

Bitch
Whore
Slut
Cunt

In the past I’ve shied away from “being” a feminist, because it sounds angry, hostile, and vindictive. Hmmm…. I wonder why I made it mean that? Feminism is about believing we have rights.  Believing that we are worthy of the same freedoms as any human being.

21st

Although i’ve got no solutions today, what I do have is a new fire in my belly after what I watched Rock Center last night.

I learned that until last week,  Olympic Ski Jumping was still practicing the exclusion of women.  Big deal right? Then I started looking into all of the groups, team sports, professions, etc that women are still excluded from.

This story was particularly upsetting, because the reasons given for exclusion had to do with “medical” reasons.

In 2005, Gian Franco Kasper, the president of the International Ski Federation, told an NPR reporter that ski jumping “seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.”

…because the “landing” for the jumpers is hard on a woman’s uterus.

Huh?

Last time I checked my Uterus- it can sure take a pounding.

So where does that leave the delicate penis? I mean, that sucker is on the outside of the body and way more vulnerable.

I mean, can you even imagine a woman excluding a male from a physical recreational activity?

“I’m sorry, we just can’t include you in _____________(fill in the blank) because we fear that your penis might get hurt.”

I mean, Jesus. 

The story went on to illustrate that Lindsey Van who has been actively jumping since she was a child, has been fighting this obvious sexism since the Winter Olympics of 1994 , trying to qualify for the Olympics, only to be excluded over and over again, even when the Olympics came to her home town in Salt Lake City Utah.

For the last Winter Olympics, she was allowed, however,  to “test” the jumps for the men to make sure they  were secure.

While I was listening, I threw up in my mouth.

I guess my point to all of this is that I’ve realized with a new found fire in my belly that as women, we have a long row to hoe.

It’s still a really rugged terrain out there in the world, with harsh elements for us to face.  The reality is that  equality and freedom is still a trek, and if we are to  climb this mountain we’ll only get there by doing it by each others side.

We must climb.  We must wake.

We must because you and I have daughters… we are daughters.

We must because you and I have SISTERS… we ARE sisters.

We must because together we have the power and the strength to trek on, and continue this march like all of the ones that came before us, and who are out in the world using their voices on our behalf as I write this. 

I want to make this trek with you, because I love you.  

I love us, 

and I want to do it because we are so damn worthy of being seen, heard, and valued.

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