“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher
“Clearly older women and especially older women who have led an active life or elder women who successfully maneuver through their own family life have so much to teach us about sharing, patience, and wisdom.” – Alice Walker
“You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.” – Erica Jong
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” – Rebecca West
Somehow what I wrote in the last post just didn’t seem like it covered all the ideas that have been rattling around in my head for the last few months. So many things are happening to lots of different groups of people and they all look like different issues, but in my opinion, they are the same issue. We need to learn to value others so much that it won’t matter what color, sexual orientation, gender, or level of prosperity they might have or be. However, it’s hard to value others if we don’t value ourselves.
As I’ve written many times in this blog, valuing myself has been a big theme in my life and one of my main cheerleaders was my father. I couldn’t articulate until I was much older that he had lots of great feminine qualities that I wanted to emulate. Because he was a man, I got the idea that all men would be like my dad. But as I grew older and bumped up against barriers that were constructed to keep out anyone who wasn’t a white male, I started to rethink who I was and what it was that made me valuable. And the answer is: Because I’m here! This has been a lifelong process, you understand, to know that I’m valuable just because I exist. This and all the ideas I’m expressing today have taken me a long time to be able to articulate.
This is what I now know. We are each a piece of God. As I’ve studied the religions of the world, I’ve come to think that there is something within women that understands that fact. Way back in human history, men knew it too, because they worshiped the Goddess. But then things changed and men took charge. Women adapted. They kept their strength to themselves and learned to make a place for themselves within the male dominated societies. On the outside it looked like men were in charge, but there were often great women behind the great men. And almost every woman who became ruler of a country, did not have a husband, which allowed them to rule the way they thought best.
But I don’t want to go into the entire history of moving from female based cultures to male based cultures and back again. There are lots of fantastic books about that subject. No, what I want to do is express what I think is happening now. I think we’re moving from a completely male dominated world, to one of cooperation between the sexes. And one where every single person is value and honored. The evidence I provide for this is just what’s happening in the news almost every day.
In this country, the male dominated congress is in deadlock. There are white men who are going ballistic because they see their domination crumbling. They’ve been in control for so long. They liked it and they don’t want to lose the upper hand. Each time there is a new shooting, or new restrictive legislation introduced, or progressive legislation that’s voted down, there are people who wake up and say, “Wait a minute. That’s not right.” And the more people who say that and band together with other’s who are awakening, the pendulum swings ever so slightly in the direction of more equality all around.
One of the things I was going to mention in this post was the fact that women need to stand with and for other women. I’ve always thought that was important but this morning as I was thinking about that I was challenged to back that up with action. I’ve received a number of invitations from my new Representative Martha McSally to follow her Facebook page. I’ve refused to follow her because she’s from a much more conservative party than I am. I was angry that she won the election, and that she won it by a minuscule amount of votes. But if I’m going to stand up for having more women in leadership roles in this country, then I need to support Martha McSally. I’ve just taken the time to like her page. Now I’ll be able to tell her how I feel about the important issues that we face in this country. I don’t know if she’ll pay attention to anything I write to her, but she’ll never even consider them if she doesn’t know what I think. As Malala Yousafzai says, “Sometimes we wait for others and think that Martin Luther should raise among us, Nelson Mandela should raise up among us and speak up for us, but we never realize they are normal humans like us – and if we step forward we can also bring change just like them.” So, I’m taking one step forward and telling my Representatives what I want this country to look like.
I’m given hope that maybe Ms. McSally will pay attention, because I saw a news segment not long ago about the gatherings the women in Congress hold regularly to create a bridge between the parties to get things done. They may not always agree on an issue, but they look for ways to work together. I like that!
There is so much more to say about how to help this country grow into one where every single person, no matter who they are, can be honored and valued but I’ll leave that for future posts.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment.Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015