The Continuing War Against Women

There is no denying it any longer.

 

Women are under siege.

 

Not only are we being murdered daily by the men in our lives, not only are we and our children living in situations of domestic violence, not only are our rapists not being held accountable, not only are we not believed when we have the courage to report their crimes, not only do we have to spend every moment we are alone – on the street or walking a trail or returning to our cars in parking lots or meeting someone for the first time on a date or just being in our own homes – fearful that someone will harm us, but now our government is showing us time and time again that we do not matter. That we do not have the right to body autonomy, that we do not have the right to make equal pay for equal work, that we do not have the right to birth control, that we do not have the right to affordable child care, that we do not have the right to safety in pregnancy and child birth, that we do not have the right to access health care without our womanhood being considered a pre-exisiting condition… and on, and on, and on.

 

We are angry, oh yes. And we are done. We are going to fight with all of our righteous rage because our lives *literally* depend on it.

 

If you are a man who is an ally, instead of taking that anger personally, instead of of arguing “Not all men…”, instead of trying to prove how “woke” you are, instead of explaining to us how we can best help ourselves by not raising our voices and not making a scene… how about you stop and LISTEN, and not talk over us. How about you stop and LEARN what it is that we need and why. How about you stop and HELP us by walking beside us, by following our lead, by using your privilege to support us in our time of need.

 

If you are a white woman, listen to the voices of our sisters of color… listen to their concerns, to their needs, to their realities. Seek out ways to support the work they are already doing and have been doing for decades. They have been in the trenches. They are savvy in the ways of resistance. Let them teach us so that we can use what privilege we have to support their struggles as well – as we should have been doing all along.

 

Our feminism MUST be intersectional or it is shit.

 

This goes for trans women, this goes for lesbian women, and queer women, and those who are gender fluid. This goes for trans men whose rights to body autonomy are also affected by our struggles. This goes for disabled women, and those with mental illness, and those struggling with addiction.

 

The patriarchy is coming for all of us.

 

The capitalist warmongers and our sell-out politicians who are owned by special interest lobbies and obscenely wealthy corporations don’t care about women or children or the innocents whose lives are lost in their wars. They don’t care whose safety is compromised by their corporate interests. They are happy to trade the future of this planet and all who dwell upon it in order to secure their bottom line. They are happy to prop up an unjust justice system that incarcerates-for-profit. They are happy to commodify women’s bodies, to force us to give birth to future grunt workers and soldiers in their endless wars. They aim to keep generations trapped in cycles of poverty by denying sex education in the schools, by denying access to birth control, by denying a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy – no matter the circumstances of conception, or ability to support the child, or risk to a woman’s health and well-being.

 

They don’t want us to have health care. They don’t want us to have a safety net. They don’t want us to be well-educated. They want us to be poor, and desperate, and controlled, and without hope. They want us to be distractible, to lack the ability to engage in critical thinking. They redirect, they vilify true journalism, they engage in sound-bite politics, and count on our purposefully-cultivated short attention spans. They overwhelm us with outrageous acts that render us numb. They test our resolve. They engage in bread and circuses to keep us complacent. They seek to divide us and set us against each other… we are either Team Red or Team Blue… citizens or illegals… Christians or Godless… urban or rural… costal elites or midwestern real-Americans… the hard working middle class or the lazy Welfare Queens… sluts who were asking for it or good girls with morals.

 

This is all bullshit. Don’t fall for it any longer.

 

We need to fight together, for all of our sakes. The corporatocracy will not stop here, make no mistake. Little by little all of our rights are being eroded… and soon, your whiteness, your maleness, your cis-het-Christianity, will no longer protect you. When the sea levels rise, when the pollinators are all dead, when the waters are poisoned, when the crumbling infrastructure heaves its last sigh… all of us will suffer.

 

How we treat the Earth has a corollary in how we treat women. Are we co-equal partners in our society, or are women resources to be owned, managed, exploited, and profited from?

 

Women’s freedom, autonomy, safety, health, and well-being is centered in our ability to control our fertility. We are not owned by the government. We are not required to follow the religious proscriptions of others. We will not become chattel of the state. We will not return to back-alley abortions or the full-blown theocratic horror of The Handmaid’s Tale. Women are not a special-interest group… we are half the population.

 

And we are under siege.

About the Author

Jhenah Telyndru has always felt called to dance with joy in that liminal space which straddles the realms of history and myth, of individuality and collectivity, of the seen and the unseen. A creative mystic who loves science and values fact, Jhenah embraces the conscious co-creation of the future, while immersing herself in an impassioned study of the past. The path between, she believes, is where the mysteries are revealed and where true magic happens. Jhenah holds an MA in Celtic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, as well as a BA in archaeology. She is the founder of the Sisterhood of Avalon and serves as Academic Dean and lead instructor of the Avalonian Thealogical Seminary. Jhenah teaches four day retreat experiences around North America and the UK, and facilitates pilgrimages to sacred sites in the British Isles and Ireland through Mythic Seeker Tours. She is a frequent presenter and guest speaker at academic conferences, religious symposia, Women’s Spirituality gatherings, and Pagan festivals. A priestess in the Avalonian Tradition, Jhenah has been dedicated to the work of Avalon for over 25 years, and has been active in the Goddess Spirituality movement since 1986. In addition to her formal studies, Jhenah has delved into hermetic science, qabalistic philosophy, transpersonal astrology, archetypal tarot, and depth psychology in an ongoing quest to further her understanding of the Universe as it manifests within and without. She facilitates rites of passage, builds labyrinths, weaves community, makes music, is in service as a healer, and honors the sacred landscape both around and within us.

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