By Eloise Ember
In its most simple form, the definition of feminism is the call to action that says equal rights be given to people of all genders, equally. It’s such a blown-out description that it’s almost hard to write. But simplicity is truth: I see feminism as the same fighting chance at complete expression, with an expectation that worthiness be given to all of it, and therein lies the tricky part.
It’s no secret that expecting full value to be placed upon the full gamut of personal expression is a tall order from where we currently stand. Nobody should pretend that it requires anything short of a total social overhaul of health and balance. This is because it requires that we look beyond previously accepted social limits. It requires that we see unique strengths where we used to see weakness, and open our minds to possibilities that may have not been previously discussed. It requires cold, hard change, and that’s scary as hell.
The Taoists have used the well-known yin/yang symbol for thousands of years, dialoguing about the ancient energy system of life that says when in balance, “feminine” and “masculine” energies are equal halves of the whole, both fully integrated and dependent on each other. Here, the feminine and masculine principles represent far more than the human man and woman. They represent the source energies of everything that exists. Simply put, the light, the action and movement are masculine, whereas the darkness, the receptive and the nurturing is feminine.
According to these ancient Chinese principles, everything in nature has a unique mix of both of these energies, and a person who is fully balanced and tending to their own nature would find that both masculine and feminine qualities are present, no matter what hangs from between their legs. However, it is further argued that since we are eyeballs deep in times of extreme imbalance, only women even come close to accessing the long forgotten, fully suppressed power of the sacred feminine.
Somewhere along the way, based on some kind of agenda, we began to erroneously see the nurturing and receptive qualities as weak and worth far less than everything else. We oppressed it, burned it, shut it down and got really scared of showing it to the world, let alone seeing it inside ourselves. Those with the agenda at the front lines of the oppression began to win. As women, we eventually gave into the fear, and we even took part in oppressing our deep feminine natures.
Sure, we kept some for our children, and maybe our immediate families. But we kept it behind closed doors, and took it out of business, politics, economics and even many forms of creativity. In the home, necessary and nurturing things like cooking, cleaning, healing and tending to the children didn’t completely stop by any means, but it changed drastically at its core. Many other manifestations of the sacred feminine like intuition, unity and compassion all began to waste away, and the whole world has been suffering ever since.
Taking a look back before any of this mess happened, we would see that people who tended the home and family, or conducted their lives based on intuition rather than knowledge and logic were not always seen as creatures from the bottom part of the barrel. There was a time when woman (and maybe even men) knew exactly what kind of power lay in the embodiment of their dark, receptive, nurturing feminine energy. When this certain power of the feminine is awake and realized, it reveals a solid and fundamental truth about all existence. You simply cannot oppress one half of everything without eventually withering and dying. Especially when that half carries the deepest, most powerful part of creation.
Oppressing the feminine source means taking out the part of creation that carries, holds, nurtures and grows everything into manifestation. Shutting it down means nothing gets made, and suffocating it means almost nothing gets made well. Women, at one point, knew exactly how powerful they were when they were fully in line with the feminine source. Feminine energy, like women, gives direct birth to all of life. This doesn’t only happen in the womb with babies. This happens in every moment of our constant swirl of creation called life.
Every thought and every action is part of this swirl. As women, our birthright included the deep down knowledge of how to grow and take care of humanity and everything else in the world. It included an intuitive knowing about the fabric of life. It wasn’t simply an oppressive accident that ancient communities had some of the people with strong feminine divinity caring for the food, the home, the children and the health of the community (among many other things).
There was a time when women knew what happened when they sent thoughts of love or hate into the food they were cooking. They knew what happened when they spread certain herbs around the home, burned certain incense, or fed certain sick plants. They knew what spirits would ally with them if something needed to change. They knew exactly what kind of community they could build with proper child rearing.
A woman could sway her whole family or community in any way she wanted by doing what she would to food, the home and her community. Be it harmony, be it revenge. Keeping someone faithful. Helping, healing, or hindering. There was a time when woman had control of it all. Cooking and cleaning was not a task for the weak or under-skilled. This was reserved for the people who held everything together. The people who had serious fucking power and knew how to use it. These people were the WOMEN. The oppression began when others got really fucking scared of being on the outside of this power, and so they just started burning people. I mean what other chance did they have? They had no other chance. And they knew it.
Now is the time, ladies. It’s rising. Go into the darkness, into the silence and listen to that voice, because I’m telling you right now, it’s real and it’s right. Whether you cook, whether you heal, whether you are a member of parliament or you code. Whether you build roads or play sports. Whether you paint or have babies. You are needed because you are connected to something so incredibly big it’s mind blowing. You are a powerhouse for change. Let’s figure this out together. The time is now.
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