This Tuesday was International Women’s Day.
And the question is, what did you actually do about it?
Was it a day dedicated to scrolling around Facebook for more empowering posts, depressing statistics, or humorous pop-culture comments about the state of women in our society?
Did you attend one of the events around the country, like the Wikipedia hackathon inviting women to edit posts from gender bias (example: I just passed an article linking to a thought system developed by a certain scholar (linked in text) and his wife (also linked in text… without a name mention).
There were plenty of water cooler conversations, and more specific than that, some around the actual need for this day at all.
“I wish we didn’t need it anymore!”
“Pledge for parity!”
“Rise towards equality!”
And so on.
All such truth. So many important conversations to be had.
But in true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I couldn’t help but wonder…
Why do we decry the need to ever have this day? After all, what is the purpose of International Women’s Day in the first place?
And aye, there’s the rub.
Why Have International Women's Day?
Because with all the talk about rising for equality; and destroying the wage gap; and recrafting legislation that honors our bodies for the magical beings they are – not machines of male pleasure or propogation; for all the intentions of UN Ambassadors and underpaid celebrities and the admin assistant who still has to deal with being called a “secretary”, there’s the truth of where we as women are being failed in society, and it’s not from them.
It’s from us.
Where Society Really Does Fail Women (And The Feminine in Men)
It’s all those times you look at the girl talking louder; arguing stronger; displaying some masculinity among the feminine; and finding a reason to disparage her.
It’s all the times you cast an eye on the woman dressed differently than you would – perhaps there’s an extra flash of skin showing; or maybe she doesn’t take much care in her appearance; and deciding “what was she thinking?”
It’s for every moment we encounter another woman in our working lives and subconsciously question her decisions, to work more or to work less, to have children or not have children, to be in a committed relationship or not, and decide that there is one true way that femininity has to be, and she is not it.
It’s for each time we criticize another woman for not living up to our own idea of what a woman should be: as colleague; as manager; as mother; as wife; as sister; as girlfriend; as lover; as nurturer.
It’s for the men we look at and say, “hmmm, his vagina is talking today,” when he just isn’t up for another drink. It’s for when we talk to our girlfriends about our latest gentlemansuitors and say, “Well, I just wish he were a little more manly, you know?” For every time we ridicule a coworker for going home in time to be with his partner; and every time we accolade a male parent for doing parenting above and beyond the old-school stereotypical 50s dad.
What We're Really Saying When We Say That About Women
If we ask her why she isn’t married, we acknowledge marriage is the only way a woman should be. If we ask her why she has no children; we note that children are her sole purpose. If we wonder why she’s chosen to stay at home, we articulate that she needs to have a job outside the home in order to be worth something. If we are concerned with her behavior in the workplace, we acknowledge there is a way for a woman to behave – ball-busting and aggressive in order to get shit done and take down the patriarchy; or calming and nurturing yet unsuccessful in her career – and that there is only one way.
And how often are those thoughts, those projections, not our true thoughts from within, arising from our souls that resonate with our sisters and have been the recipient of those comments or thought patterns one too many times in the past – but a projection of the thoughts we’ve absorbed from society all this time?
International women’s day, it’s something we still need.
Why Do We Still Need International Women's Day?
Because it’s time for us to get together.
It’s not for the patriarchy to learn, they’ll never get there. It’s not about trying to get the classic masculine-dominant society to where we are. It’s for us to learn, for us to recreate a society built on maternal, feminine principles, and teach that to the others.
It’s for us to learn, as women, as men owning our femininity, and to look at the woman next to us, look at the feminine in the person next to us, and honor them.
To look at the women we are, at the femininity that lives inside us and inside others, and to honor it.
To be who we truly are.
To see our true power and worth, not as we are in relation to those men who surround us, or the cracks in even the most feminist men who sometimes tell us to shut up, but the women we truly are, on our own, whether it’s a Tuesday at 6am and we’re meditating or a Thursday at midnight and we’re dancing.
What Women Have Today
I’m lucky to be born into this time.
Growing up, feminism was a concept (perhaps not heavily honored in my own personal background), but it was still a thought. A concept. Something that was referred to, discussed in school, even if in a negative tone. Growing up in the 90s, in a heaviy religious community, I was certainly informed of my role in the home, but I still took for granted things my great-grandmothers would’ve deemed unimaginable: an education. The opportunity to choose my own suitors for marriage. A vote in the country’s governing system.
And as I think of our grandmothers before us, who didn’t always have that chance, who had to follow the path laid out before her because she’d be crazy to otherwise, and I know I’m fortunate, that I’m more privileged than 99.9% of the women out there, many of whom don’t have any rights over their occupations, their households, their relationships, and even their bodies.
So I wonder what it is our generation has to learn about femininity, and I realize it’s no longer about equality.
The Paradigm Shift
In this new age of feminine consciousness, it’s no longer about making sure we have the same thing as the boys do. He has a big toy, so I want one too! I’m sorry, Doctor Freud, but it’s not penis envy. We don’t want what the boys have.
Our victory doesn't come when the suited-white-men-in-Washington agree to allow us control over our bodies; or when the corporate patriarchies give us the money we ask for for the hours we've worked. It doesn't come when we are finally able to "juggle it all" and have daycares or paid parental leave in this country, or when the rape statistics are reduced from the ridiculous state on college campuses today.
We want those things, and the white male suits have to execute that, sure.
But here's what we can do, here's why International Womens Day is a thing, and will always be a thing.
No, we don't just want what the boys have.
What Women Really Want
We want what the other girls have, that the boys want too.
We want to be that powerful woman, the one you look at in the street, the one who is taking over the boardroom or the bar or the dinner party with the sparkle in her eye, the half laugh and wit, the ability to mesmerise entire groups and create whole empires with the palm of her hand.
We want to be that girl who smashes past the glass ceiling and rises without a scratch; the one who has everyone eating out of the palm of her hand; the one who quietly sits in the corner and turns out work that's better than anyone else's on the team; the lady who cares for her children without a complaint; the woman who manages an entire company yet still kisses a toddler on the nose before they go to sleep. The girl who doesn't mind sacrificing her own personal desires to care for elderly parents; or the independent warrior who is capable of hiking the entire coast of a country on her own.
And as we look at those women, the mothers, sisters, colleagues and best friends of ours, and instead of being proud, and admiring, and wanting to do the same thing – we get scared.
We wonder what she did to get that, and to comfort ourselves, we assume she did something untoward.
We want to be them, and so we denigrate them.
She was sleeping with the boss; she has a lot of family money; she’s a bitch and has no friends; I don’t want to be her, ever. It’s because of how she dresses, and oh my god did you see her shoes?
She really should be at home with her kids, look how crazy they’ve turned out, it’s all because she sacrifices. She’s a great mom, sure, but she doesn’t even work, so how dare she tell me off for how I raise my kids?
She's a ballbuster and has no empathy; she's too sweet and will get cut down in the real world. She's only so independent because she has no heart; and oh did you see how that girl cried in the meeting, I would never do that!
And so we find ways to cut her down, because only one woman is allowed to shine, and we want to be her.
So we use our natural jealousy, that fire that was placed within us as humans in order to keep up the spiritual struggle to be better people, and instead treat it as a way of cutting each other down in order to climb the next rung.
We cut down the tallest poppies in the field, instead of each of us striving to get higher and reach the next ones.
And we compete for the resources, assuming that there’s scarcity – one less man to procreate with; one less husband to care for my offspring; one less hunter to provide the meat I need for my family; one less armed presence to scare the wolves away.
And once we’ve cut her down, there’s less competition, more for ourselves. One less token female in the play, in the boardroom, on the team, in the school, winning the award. Suddenly, our chances are higher. We’re still ultimately primordial and these instincts to back to evolution.
Because we’ve forgotten, we’ve forgotten the main thing and the only thing that will take us higher, as we move into a new time, a time where feminine consciousness is on the rise, where it’s not just about suffragists and birth control anymore but redesigning society and reinventing society’s structures so it’s no longer about equality, but a complete shift from hierarchy altogether.
Because the one way we can do it, is by doing it together.
That's the matriarchal way. Look at the elephants!
That's the way of the feminine, and the way of true feminism.
The Truth About Matriarchy.
The feminine is represented by a circle symbol, the endless flow of life and the cycle that brings us from dust and back to dust again. She is synonymous with the moon, waxing and waning at regular intervals yet teaching us that life is never the same from one moment to the next, but we are still the same beings that were here before and are here now and will be here in the future.
The female understands the miracle of life, the sowing of seeds and the nurturing of fields and the harvesting of the fruits of the womb and the field, and she knows that everything goes in a circle that keeps going around and around.
The circle is also the true state of existence of our universe, a world where things aren’t defined by the hierarchy of lines that imply that one is always receiving while the other gives – rather, it represents a universe where all is contained in one another, where everything is a hologram of all its other pieces, and by viewing things from a circular perspective, we can eliminate our intensely human and sometimes challenging need to receive validation from below and motivation from above.
Instead, we can acknowledge our positions on an endless circular space, where each one looks to the other for inspiration yet not completion, knowing that we all have our own unique tasks to fulfil on this wheel they call life.
So when we partner together with other women, there is no equality, because there needs to be hierarchy to have equality. And the key is not to eliminate equality altogether, but create a non-hierarchical society, where we can each look at the one next to us, learn from them, yet be happy and fulfilled in our own unique roles we have to play, just like actors in any scripted theatrical production.
How Non-Hierarchical Society Might Look
She’s got the analytical skills that will help us have all the research we need in place for the project; the other has just the right visual prowess to help us present it in a way that’s palatable to our audience. This lady knows how to speak eloquently and can help me get my ideas down, while I do the digging through the data to give it the credibility it needs. My neighbor bakes the most delectable homemade treats she loves to share, while I’ve got the best-equipped liquor cabinet in the building, it’s party time at mine! Why be jealous, why fight, when we can all shine?
We’ve spent so many years being defeated by patriarchal sources, being told by society that there’s always a winner and a loser, that we’ve forgotten our roots, where we really come from.
Where all the women banded together to care for the children and strategize the wellbeing of the city and pick medicines while the men had to go out and compete with one another for the biggest bloodied carcass they could bring home; to the point where no one even know whose child was whose.
Moving Forward Into The Feminine
When women group together, extraordinary things can happen.
When we work together in teams, it’s no longer a matter of one plus one equals two. It’s a matter of one plus one equals three.
It’s said in the Talmud that when more than two people get together, the Shechinah – the feminine manifestation of the Divine presence – comes to rest among the duo, effectively creating a third party. Because that’s the power of two souls uniting, and that’s the power of two feminine bodies (male or female in designation, as we refer to feminine energy here), harnessing the powerful energy of doing rather than passive receiving.
I grew up hearing tales of a utopian future where “the woman will be higher than the man”, to quote the Kabbalistic sources as explained in mainstream communities, where the true notion of evolving to Messianic consciousness was often expected to be a passive process, where things miraculously snap into place one day and all the work is done.
Of course, the key is not to wait for the work to be done for you, but be the change you want to see.
And so it is with feminine consciousness.
As women, it’s time to put aside our differences and bond together.
We need an International Womens’ Day not for the men, but for ourselves.
To start believing in ourselves again.
To start believing in each other again.
To know how much power we have and harness it for the good, using our sisters to support us along the way.
To look another woman in the eye and say, I know what you’re going through, not, I do it better and here’s how.
To quiet down the nagging voice inside that says we’re not doing it better than those in comparison, and be grateful and proud of our own and our friend’s achievements.
To celebrate one another, in one large circle.
So there’s no more hierarchy, and no more patriarchy. And therefore, no notion of equality.
Because when there’s no hierarchy, when we live in a circle.
There is peace, there is cohesion, there is cooperation, there is expansion.
There is a general lift in all of society, there is a movement towards the greater good as a whole.
There is feminine consciousness as manifested in society.
And there is no need for pledges, no need for parity. No need for equality.
When we have harmony.