One of my favorite inventions is the phrase #womenoppressingthemselves. Broadly applicable, from hookup culture, to workout gear that says “I Can and I WILL”, to Instagram posts of ostensibly a sunset but consistently your ass in a thong, examples of women oppressing themselves abound.
Unfortunately, the most obnoxious demographic in the United States — affluent, attractive straight white women in their 20’s — don’t necessarily have an older generation of steadier hands to mentor them. Being ladylike per se has failed older straight women, as it must. I certainly can’t, and so definitely won’t, recreate the brilliant feminist critiques of culturally-defined womanhood here. We all know that the flame of older women’s spirits is dampened by decades of hetero-normatively resisted expansion. And we all know, or we should strongly suspect, that the, er, dare I say “culture” of affluent, attractive, straight white women in their 20’s is a scourge, second only to the Coronavirus.
I encountered a meme on Facebook and it went like this:
Do your squats.
Eat your vegetables.
Wear red lipstick.
Don’t let boys be mean to you.
This is an atrocity. What happened to the American blacks is now happening to American women, where an aggressively stupid set of cultural signifiers has attached itself to them and become them, and they become it, and they can’t identify with anything except through the lens of this (in the case of straight white women) perky, twerky, quirky, outwardly glossy but inwardly shipwrecked lens.
Women, myself included, are here on earth with a specific mission, and that is to hold a place of deep connection. Connection for, with, and on behalf of the earth, plants, animals, and most definitely men. And that knack, that feeling-for-the-truthness, begins with inner connectedness. This inner connectedness cannot come about in reaction against men’s tyranny, generally characterized by surface level attempts to function more like men and then to fracture off against that and to be nothing like men. That’s two degrees of babies thrown out with bathwater, resulting in no baby and very little bathwater. Inner connectedness cannot be performed; performance of it is unnecessary because, when Presence is present, it cannot be hidden.
How do I know we’ve come to earth with this specific mission? Because we incarnated here in female bodies, with female chemistry, female risks, and most of all, female power. You can’t get out from under that, and it’s not something to get out from under. It’s wonderful, and profound. It represents a magnificent responsibility, much of which is denied, disowned, and generally minimized by our patriarchal culture at large. You can’t fight disconnection with disconnection. You can, however, derail an inquiry into your own sacred feminine contribution through reflexive blame of men. Men certainly can be found guilty of crimes against humanity and the planet on every level, collectively, but this is the lowest of low hanging fruit. No shit, Sherlock.
A guy I knew once wisely quipped, “Men have to run the world because women run everything else.” Women run everything else. This is true, from the highest egalitarian liberal utopia to the lowest societal barbarism. To put it in crudest possible terms, hetero relationships aren’t “50/50” because women control 100% of the pussy — 100% of men’s access to legacy, and 100% of their privilege to touch that sexual live wire that is God, within themselves. (Yes, they can masturbate to porn, and no, that doesn’t meaningfully replace anything for them, and they know it.)
What I’m talking about here is, point blank, spirit and spirituality, incarnated. Womankind as a divine mechanism which brings about the connectedness and healing of, first, ourselves; second, those men we gift ourselves to in various ways (because we are a gift, and men know this, and we know that men know this, and men know that we know that they know this); and third, the planet. Animals and plants are enormously beneficial balancers of energy, collectively and individually. Men are enormously beneficial drivers of energy, collectively and individually.
What are we?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? We can be balancers. We can be drivers. We’re very good at a lot of things, when we’re not distracted by having allowed ourselves to become a seething mass of obsequious, performative resentment, just waiting for a trigger. Ideally, we’re connectors of energy. We’re the fuses that close important, life-giving circuits. And we blow, just like overloaded fuses. It’s important for us to “shop” for situations in which our ability to connect energy is accepted with gratitude and reverence. We’re probably not going to find that situation if we haven’t figured out the basics of our own connectedness. And if we haven’t figured out the basics of our own connectedness, it’s likely that we’ll flounce and simper and micro-aggress our way into bad situation after bad situation. And then we’ll flounce and simper and micro-aggress our way back out, eventually, heavy hearted and choked with confused rage.
Women, second only to animals on this planet, don’t always find themselves in let’s say a First World situation. This is not a blog about how to center yourself, emotionally, right before the village buries you up to your neck in sand and stones you to death for being raped. Obviously those of us with female First World Problems have the luxury to deal in certain perspectives beyond that of survival and beauty tips for when he throws acid in your face.
We get to be women! We have the privilege and honor of being women. Unfortunately, and perhaps hampered by our collective female pain body (read Ekhart Tolle for more on that), we seem to have gotten stuck on our journey. Does it make any sense to you that, as a gender, we would go from being burned at the stake for knowing about herbs, to gobbling Quaaludes and chain-smoking away our way through a safe but entirely paternal life, to mass media distribution of our asses in a thong and shrieking either “toxic masculinity!” and/or, confusingly, “little dick energy!” at men like it’s a thing to say — and then stop there?? Why would would we do that? Please, affluent white straight chicks in their 20’s, tell me — why would we do that?
Well, I know why. Poor guidance. An army of understandably angry, disenfranchised single mothers have raised an army of emotionally castrated males that, now, the emotionally virilized females of their generation have had to deal with, much to everyone’s frustration. A castrated man is just about as useful as a holiday decoration — the family likes to see it once a year. And emotionally virilized females are the blown circuits — taking on more amplitude than they’re designed to handle, perforce. Doing her job and his too, energetically. She turns to manipulation, women’s oldest trick — he turns to disconnection, men’s oldest refuge. Manipulation and disconnection negatively interact, mutually reinforcing each other.
Doing our own job of embodying connectedness is full time and life long, and it’s a job that does not suffer the useless male.
So how does one approach connectedness? Through personal authenticity. There’s no other doorway, so don’t bother. And, for women, that means recognizing and healing those psychic wounds we have specific to our femaleness, among other things. We recognize our areas of mental reactivity and embrace those areas with extra love. It’s okay to admit that we exist in a state, largely, of reacting to men, our entire lives. Men exist in a state of reacting to us, their entire lives. That’s just kind of the deal.
But for women, there’s an extra layer of responsibility, here. We’re the ones in charge of energy, remember? Men run the world because women run everything else. That “everything else” is energy, and we’re witches. You can be a bad witch or a good witch or a mediocre witch, but you don’t get to not be a witch. You’re part of the great bloody menstrual cycle of life, the waxing and waning of the moon, the tides that give life and the tides that terminate. The stupidest thing you could do with that birthright, that enormous powerful gift of your witchery, is to act like a man, think like a man, argue like a man, compartmentalize like a man.
The grounded, connected woman has a comfortable space to be, 24/7/365. And by “comfortable”, I mean on good terms with even her own discomfort. There is no emotion she experiences to which she can’t also give Presence. Presence which does not manipulate, posture, vilify, valorize, or seek to change. Or even worse, God forbid, seek to fix. Newsflash to all women: stop fixing. Stop fixing you, stop fixing him.
The grounded, connected woman IS a comfortable space to be. Her ability to occupy that space is a sure thing; the extension of that privilege to anyone else is not. She’s not “tough enough to take it”, nor does she seek to be; she’s a fuse, she connects circuits, she’s not interested in getting blown out by high voltage. And all the voltage in the world don’t mean shit if she’s not willing to be there and close the circuit.
So, #womenoppressingthemselves, those are my thoughts, and I have one more. Stop eating meat and consuming eggs and dairy. Stop right now. These are forms of female animals being victimized specifically in their biological femaleness, and your energetic responsibility absolutely includes them.