(This is an edited version of a post that came to me via one of my several feminist listservs. I asked JB if I could post it here on my blog because I think it’s great and worth sharing and she gave me her permission. Many thanks, JB! — Heart)
Freedomist: Freedom from believing man-made lies; freedom from invasion by “popular” music piped into stores; freedom from putting men’s lives, issues and interests ahead of my own; freedom from the current economy to the best of my ability (recycling, budgeting, finding “free” items to use wherever possible); freedom to want a world nothing like the “man’s world” currently dominating; freedom to dream and envision a world of magic and creative evolution in which cruelty and submission has no place.
I work at a women’s shelter, a healing place for moms who come here with their children, or women who arrive alone.
The funding trend is away from direct money for services (to raped and otherwise battered women) and toward “prevention” directed toward “families,” aka men, particularly “men of faith” in faith communities where the God is a Him.
Some of the women employed here have what I call non-profit privilege, in that they come from noblesse oblige family lines which sponsor whole tables at fundraisers designed to separate the guilty rich from a little bit of their money. When the women of non-profit privilege are working nearby, I swim in a vat of incompetence.
Some of the women employed here believe in “well-meaning” men. Men, men, men, always deferring to men. These women practice the art of deference, and hope for men to be our protectors from, well, other men.
And so, I’m glad I have only a daughter, because all of the mothers of sons I know have had their sons turn on them, emotionally if not physically, in puberty or later. I wish there were no predators, because I know the truth of numbers that do not lie. Sheri Tepper writes novels more hopeful for the healing of boys than I would be from my experience; hopeful moms of sons might find her books useful, especially The Gate to Women’s Country.
Reality, not fiction: The daughters across every cultural divide are at risk of rape, maiming and death, emotional assault and religious guilt-tripping (“downfall of man”) from the predatory sons of men. Even the Buddha’s Pali Canon analogized womankind to blight on rice, after Buddhist men with violence tore down the temples to the Goddess in Tibet. No “oneness” for me with that misogyny masquerading as spirituality. Instead: Let Us Be.
Let men take care of the men and the boys, if they will. Womankind has the work of the ages to do, if we are to repair men’s harm to us, and evolve forward in our conscious connections to the earth and the cosmos.
In any event, despite the challenges, at least for today, I’m willing to work at the shelter for the littlest girls, and their sisters.
And for every woman who comes in here without money (because he controlled it), without dignity (because he robbed her of it), without a sense of self (because identity has been pounded out of her by him), at least for today, I was here, another day.
It took me many decades to see clearly enough to put the cause of women first. Now, on a daily basis, I appreciate that it is a war. Every bruise, every broken bone, every torn orifice proves the battleground: womankind.
Andrea Dworkin (much vilified online by those who also hate Mary Daly and Marija Gimbutas) said it best, if I may paraphrase her: Choose. Choose again. You might just choose to read Dworkin’s Scapegoat. Or Letters from a War Zone. Sometimes the most powerful women get tagged as the most strident. Sometimes the best women writers who have the most to say infuriate their (women) readers, because giving up fantasies about men is what millennia of breeding and conditioning has predisposed us never to do.
If you want to know about the war, find your local women’s shelter, call the volunteer coordinator, and tell her you’d like to be on their Sexual Assault Response Team as a supporter for the forensic examinations of “fresh” rape victims. You won’t see many choir boys. Not that anybody deserves to be raped. Just that it is generally a man raping a girl under the age of 18.
Rant over. Do with it what you will.
Blessed be, to see, that you might be free,
JB Sproull Copyright 2007; free use with author attribution granted to free blogs and/or free websites