TOGETHER WE CAN
Hey sisters, now is there room for me? Can I finally talk some truth to you?
Now that we’ve cried together, marched together, are planning to resist together, you have a few minutes for me to finally speak up? I’m so proud to join you in this struggle and I admire and believe in it and in you. But I’ve been waiting in a long line, and I’d assumed you would take stock to understand why people feel marginalized and excluded and I’m noticing that’s not happening. So let me take a moment to just say my thing.
First of all, you’ve been living post-truth for a very long time. Those of us who suffer from policies backed by the fantasy-based ideas about the world have to smile and nod when we hear the-ridiculous-accepted-as-truth since forever could have told you that a long time ago.
Second, no I am not going to break down “Truth” and “Foreign Policy” and “How to create world peace” for you in 5 steps or less because guess what — NO.
I have had a few formative traumas thanks to oppressive regimes and so I don’t feel like sacrificing my life for you by breaking it down for you on-line today. In the future maybe yes, and especially if I see that you continue to stand next to me for a while.
Also, I have too much to learn from people who have been walking this for a much longer time than me, so I need to listen and be lead by women and communities of color until I get my own community together, feel that we are safe, deal with our own internal -isms and then give you your needed action items.
The work should be focused and fast right now I agree, but some of it also needs to be deep and authentic. As an example, when you throw in an image of a person wearing hijab to be inclusive, it is a beautiful testament to your open heart, and REALLY bless your soul that you can do that despite all the horror that has happened since 9-11, and it absolutely is the right thing to do and it works. And also, I want to check in to make sure you know this right? Islam is not the same as the Middle East, and the hijab is not the same as Islam. I hear the intention and it is so beautiful, so continue it and I don’t want to discourage you, but:
When are we women going to really, really talk to each other about how to get free?
I mean really. Not just simply excusing one misogyny in favor of another. Because I am seeing that the real feminine struggles, the struggles for collaboration, unity, dialogue, peace, and earth are the most dangerous. They are also the most unrecognized and anonymous. So what are we going to do about it in a real way?
So please do go ahead and do 5 quick actions a day – you must.
Then get deep – listen to women who are already fighting about the feminine experience of endurance, fierce love, and long-term battles where you are never ever recognized and a lot of the times you lose. Practicing the quiet forms of revolution where no one ever knows or cares that you’ve done it by practicing a bit of shameless humility. The truth is subtle, beautiful, sensitive but strong, and you should easily notice it if you spend some time talking to actual human beings. And sometimes it is hidden because when the struggle is intense sometimes success is staying alive (try reading Rumi with a struggle lens, listen to indigenous music, or notice you are only allowed to care about certain things and others, such as Africa, don’t even register on your FB feed (eg. Gambia this week).
Then, watch this: Cultural Humility.
+ photos courtesy of Malena Mayorga