Thursday, June 5, 2014

Not All Women

I understand that many women live with pain and fear every day.  I understand and acknowledge their need and their right to share their stories and bring awareness of the inequity of their suffering to our greater society.  I have compassion for them.  But the only statement I am willing to let someone else make about me as a woman, is a statement that applies to all humans, for example, “All humans have the right to live without fear or abuse”.  (I would actually prefer that the statement refer to all persons, human and other, but that is another subject).

Many of the statements made recently about “all women”, do not apply to me.  I do not live in fear " because I am a woman". I have not suffered abuse " because I am a woman".  I am not a victim " because I am a woman".  No man in my life has caused me pain " because I am a woman". 

In fact, I know more than one wonderful man who has suffered pain and abuse and who has lived with more fear than I have ever known (and for the record at least one of them suffered at the hands of a woman).

I am very fortunate and yes, even privileged.  I am grateful for the blessing of a life that holds little to fear and certainly not abuse.  My life is not all ease and leisure but, that has nothing at all to do with my gender.  No one gets to speak for me.  And it makes me angry that anyone would presume to, especially when those statements are untrue.  I do not seek to silence those who need to tell their stories.  I simply ask that they do not presume to tell mine.  

I would suggest that we stop taking sides against each other.  I do not think it serves us as a species to perpetuate the attitudes that divide us, that cause us to see one another as the enemy.  Haven’t we learned yet that hate begets hate?  Regardless of what makes us different, hating those who are different from us, blaming any group of "others" for our own suffering, is a path that leads to horrors that we need not repeat. (Do we really want the KKK or the Nazis to be models for our social discourse?)

I was asked to voice my feelings on this subject by someone who feels he cannot enter the conversation because he is male.  It makes me angry to see another person silenced.  Stories are powerful magick. Keep telling your stories, keep talking to each other, but make room for “Yes, All People”.

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