My views on how women feel about themselves were recently criticized and judged by a person I know. This person felt that I focus on what’s wrong, and not what’s right in the world for women, even though there are plenty of indications that things are very out of balance in our culture.
I tend to disagree with that. What I am focused on are solutions to glaring inequities that stem first from conditioning, and can be resolved by deep internal work that any woman can engage in. With that perspective, I like to share what I see going on not to wave a flag of how vicitmized women are, but rather as a means to help explain why you may feel that your best efforts aren’t good enough.
How many of us have sacrificed our own desires to provide something for others? How many women just shrug and say, “Oh well” when that job they wanted is given to someone less qualified, but childless? How many of us feel outrage at violence in the world, but never discuss the violence directed towards women in their primary relationship? We are very quiet about all this, and tend to get our panties in a wad about some flippin’ man we’re after, or if our bodies are perfect enough.
Who cares! Really, being on the forefront of outrage is not what I’m suggesting. Being a woman in charge of her destiny is. How can you do that if you are ignoring the very things that contribute to your sense of self being “beneath” or “less than” that permeate culture? How can you wake up to your desires without some deliberate awareness of what is presently happening?
I may be wrong, but being informed does not imply being a negatively focused human being. It is only negative when you aren’t seeing how you may be personally buying into anything other than your rights to be viewed as human and valuable. When you are clear that you intend to be treated equally, instead of as an object on display or the person who cleans up all the shit that others leave behind.
I’ve attached a recent memo from Women’s ENews… and encourage you to read it, and consider it without identifying with it in a negative way. Just let yourself feel what it would be like for everyone when we operate in a society that values everyone and their contributions.
THE MEMO: A Status Report on U.S. Women
Women’s eNews will expand on the following statistics to produce The Memo
- Wages: The gender gap in wages has been frozen since 2002 at the level of women earning 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Some women’s groups estimate that official gap is actually much wider. Sexual harassment, meanwhile, is unchecked and the cracks in the corporate glass ceiling are still leaving hundreds of women wounded.
- Barriers to Employment: The United States is one of two countries where women’s labor force participation is actually dropping. Many pregnant women report being fired. Parents of only 1 in 7 eligible children receive child-care assistance. Women are overrepresented in the ranks of those leaving paid employment to care for others.
U.S. Employers Pushing Women Out of Work Force
- Poverty: The percentage of single mothers neither working nor drawing cash assistance surged to more than 30 percent in 2005 from under 20 percent before the welfare overhaul in 1996.
- Reproductive Health: Birth control costs skyrocket, abstinence-only education projects continue to fail, sexually transmitted diseases soar and abortions become more difficult to obtain for many. Meanwhile, the United States is ranked 41st among 171 countries in maternal death rates.
- Violence: Homicide is a leading cause of traumatic death among new and expectant mothers. One federal study estimated 20 percent of female college students are sexually assaulted during their undergraduate years.
- Homophobia: Lesbians continue to live without the legal protections that full civil rights could provide, such as access to the benefits of marriage. Lesbians’ Legal Victory Wed to New Ballot Fight
So, you may not like what you read, but investigate it. What can you do about it, not with actions but with your energy? What are you aware of that stings a bit, or makes you feel angry? Does any of this actually touch your life, or one of your friends, family or associates?
Awareness does not mean that you become negatively focused, it just means that you have greater desire being born out of what you are witnessing… it’s a good thing, and provides you with great power to create more of what you want, instead of dipping more into any negative boxes.
Retreat is agreeing with me… ; )