J2P: Women’s Issues and Healing

Suffragette (women's rights movement) Emmeline...

Suffragette (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the arenas in which I have been really disturbed by Trump and the voters of America is the subject of women and women’s rights.

I feel like he’s made it quite clear he thinks it’s perfectly all right for men to grope and molest and sexually harass women any time they want.  And that makes me feel anyone who voted for him was basically saying they favor that.

I know young women today are for some reason turned off to the women’s movement and that bugs me (which I’ve discussed here) but I don’t think they get how bad it was or how recently.

HOW IT WAS

You see I am old enough that when I had my first jobs, there were no sexual harassment laws.  It was perfectly acceptable for a man to follow you into a supply closet or an alcove and grab your butt or your breast.  And they did it often and casually.  In those days if a woman spoke up about it, the man didn’t get fired, SHE did.  It’s because of feminists that we are protected by sexual harassment laws.

I was date raped in college.  In those days you didn’t dare tell anyone because the assumption was that you were a slut, it was somehow your fault and you would be shamed — not him.  It was because of feminists that rape started being handled with sensitivity to victims.

Once, upon leaving a fund raising event at a church, a young drunk guy who happened by ran up to me as I walked alone to my car and grabbed my breast.  I got away from him and flagged down a cop.  When the police came to interview me later, the male cop in the duo thought it was hysterically funny that I thought anything was wrong about being assaulted on the street.

When I was heading off to college all of us girls were being told we could be nurses or teachers and of course we’d only do that for a few years till we got married and had families.  We were among the first women who gained the freedom to work at every kind of job and to choose whether we wanted to marry or not.  We broke down doors and opened career paths women had never been able to choose before.  Feminists did that.

Our mothers were by and large married to men who not only didn’t want them to work but thought of them as lesser beings whose opinions didn’t matter.  Not long before, in my grandmother’s generation, women who brought property to a marriage had no control over it once the knot was tied–my grandfather even had the gall to leave her fortune in a trust when he died so she still had no power over it.

My generation of women were the first whose husbands “let them work” and opened the way for the many modern marriages in which husbands support their wives’ careers and work with them on finding equal footing in the marriage.  Women now can have their own credit cards and property.  Feminists brought these changes about.

Donald Trump’s commentary about women says to me he’d like to see a return to the way things were when I was young.  You know, when it was acceptable to grope women any time any place, when women were assumed to have caused their own rapes, when women weren’t thought to be capable of holding their own in the work force and husbands controlled the money.

When I look at the election votes, to me it seems nearly 60 million Americans are saying they think it would be fine to take us back to that.  I don’t see how anyone could vote for him without on some level consenting to returning women to the dark ages.

WHAT I CAN HEAL

As you can see, I’m pretty pissed off… at Trump, at those who voted for him and at younger generations who think feminism is irrelevant to them.  And that’s alternating with being teary and upset at the idea of going back to being humiliated and objectified as the younger version of me was.  And I know if I’m ticked at other people or sad about other people, there are issues at play that are mine.

There are things to heal in me.  Because everything I see in the world reflects what is in me.  And what’s in me I can choose to explore and heal.

In this situation I find myself asking:

  • How have I let the Divine Feminine in me down?
  • How am I failing to stand strong in my own being?
  • What have I still not healed from past sexual harassment and assault?
  • What’s the real source of fearing/attracting harassment and assault?
  • Is there something I want to have recognized or recognize within myself about my place in the women’s movement?
  • How do I not honor my femininity?

As I explore there may be more.  Sometimes it helps to name it.  Sometimes it can just be healed…

THE HEALING

You know I like to use ho’oponopono, which I’ve discussed in many posts, starting here.  But healing can happen in many ways.  You might do Reiki on yourself, you might see a therapist, you might go to a healer or forge a new path…  It doesn’t really matter which way you choose, just heal.

For me, I see a number of ho’oponopono prayers here:

  • For every way in which I fail to honor the feminine in me, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • If I am suppressing my own strength or power, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • If I still hold on to wounds or resentments about past harassment or assaults, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For anything in me that magnetizes abusers/abuse, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • If I am upset with others because I crave recognition, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For any way in which I fail to honor my femininity, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

No one else has the power to make me angry or hurt me unless I grant that power.  Whatever I see out there arises from what is in me and I can heal myself.

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20 thoughts on “J2P: Women’s Issues and Healing

  1. Thank you for this and yesterday’s post on loving kindness. I am having such a difficult time keeping my mind and heart open and I want you to know your words help. Sending loce .

  2. Thank you for your inspiring post. I struggle too to understand how other women can not for Trump and his winning the campaign is frightening. If he acts according to the opinions he has expressed, we will be returning to the dark ages. We need each other more than ever now. Much love.

  3. Hi Leigh,

    So so sorry about the rape. I think it is natural to get triggered occasionally and still be relatively healed from the trauma. Sometimes we judge ourselves for not healing “perfectly.”

    I remember a much older man sexually harassing me at one of my first jobs. I don’t recall the details, but I told my mom and she said it was just how things are. WTF??

    Your post is very moving so I am reblogging it. Your writing is superb and this essay on feminism is worth spreading around the ‘sphere.

    hugs, Linda

    • Yup, just how things were. And for so many men that’s never changed they’re just better watching where and when so they don’t get fired or arrested. We SO still need feminism
      Thanks so much for the kind words and the reblog!

  4. Leigh this is a heartfelt post.. I am so with you on the treatment of woman, and give thanks for those such as yourself and others in the past who stand up and show courage in changing the system.. To be honest I can not even begin to tell you how I could conceive such a man got to that position of being in the final two.. But he was chosen..

    I admire your approach Leigh.. I hope too that those who voice anger can learn also to HEAL.. and come together in unity.. Using it as an opportunity not to divide but to build bridges.. I hope so..

    In love and Light.
    Sue xxx

  5. This stuff can make me angry too Leigh. I mostly deal with it by staying away from it. I almost stopped reading this part way through, but I let go and read to the end, and feel so tremendously blessed that I don’t live in that world anymore. I love the way you *always* take responsibility for whatever’s “out there” that’s upsetting you.
    Alison

    • Well, I have to admit I’m still yo-yoing back and forth between a combo of despair and anger and then chanting and restoring a space of calm and compassion… And contemplating what I’m not seeing that’s creating the despair and fury…

  6. Thank you for this post, Leigh. I’m trying to formulate a comment that makes sense but my words aren’t flowing and I think it’s because there’s just so much here. Years ago, when I took Women’s Studies in university, I felt like I’d been let in on a huge secret… so many things I had felt (or didn’t know I felt!) were given a voice in those classes. It made me look at the world in a completely different way.

    And yet, these past few months, my inner Divine Feminine appeared to have become silent. I lost all motivation for creating the women’s circles and yoga workshops I’d once been so passionate about. The words ‘divine feminine’ lost meaning. Perhaps it was feeling the weight of everything that was coming up pre-election… and now feeling what it’s culminated in…

    I don’t think the Feminine within ever went silent of course… but I she / took a pause, and I sense she is now gearing up to express stronger than ever. I’m not sure what this will look like but I am feeling something coming alive. She is feeling wise, not in a rush, but knowing that truth must be spoken now.

    Thank you so much Leigh, for being on this path and sharing your words and voice so courageously here. Namaste, Aleya

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