The country road, dappled with splotches of sunlight that read ‘promise’,stretched out ahead. The strong energy of relief is buoyed by the excitement of anticipation.
With the last dump run complete, I am heading to the most beUtiful house I have ever rented and an owner/landlord that truly cares about the investment and abode and recognizes that he is providing a service and I am paying his bills.
The neighbors on either side have brought me dahlias and fresh rosemary respectively. The woman who lives in the downstairs part of the house has greeted my cats with joy and given me the rundown on other neighborhood cats.
It leaves me free to live my life and do my work . God is good...all the time.
Ah...work. Writing and teaching. October. Domestic Violence month and Breast Cancer awareness month. Isn’t it curious that both women’s issues have been clumped together in one month?
We’ve come a long way in the treatment of breast cancer. Early detection and more effective treatments have diminished it’s destructive power.
Not so with Domestic Violence. Early detection doesn’t exist and effective treatments are whimsical and random. Why?
I think it’s because breast cancer is about women’s increasingly positive attitudes and experiences with their own bodies and domestic violence reflects a rather more slow to change relationship with men and each other.
Breast cancer developed the three day walk. The best DV has come up with so far is a dance together session.
You will not hear women say of other women about breast cancer, ‘Are you sure?’ or ‘You made your bed now lie in it’ or find them suppressing information that would lead to entitled empowerment.
But sadly, as I learned again these last couple of years, women are still discounting women who reveal they are being abused, support the abusers and mimic, condone or instigate the behavior themselves.
Why? We’re still screwed up about men. Too many women have not come into their own as equals and lead strongly codependent lives with hurtful narcissistic men. Too many women still take up men’s ways with their fear of disapproval from men and primitive tantrums expressing their anger. Mean Girls.
Breast cancer is about increasing healthy cells. DV is about emotions and socialization of power and the politics of gender.
You will notice I’m different than many women and darn proud of it. I worked hard to embrace and become pleased with my own womanhood. Thank you Mills College for Women. Thank you dozens of women who have encouraged me to be brave and bold and speak clearly about my own truth and the possibility that I am equal to all men. Thank you to my little brother and the dozen or so male friends who have delighted in my leadership, intellect, estrogen driven compassion, brain that has jumping hemispheres creativity and inability to be silenced mouth about the need for gender equality.
To those of you who are traditional Christians I remind you scripture properly quoted indicates not blind submission . The man is instructed to love you like Jesus. If he does that it is safe for you to follow his suggestions. If he doesn’t, you cannot blindly follow.
I would have been safe and free and doing my work three years ago if not for woman on woman crime. But ohmygosh the power within me from rising up and saying ‘You can’t do that to me!!
This month women do your self exam. And then do a little evaluation of your deference level, how healed you are if you have been abused and how you feel about being a woman, and how much you accommodate men. In inequitable ways.
And never, ever, ever tell another woman ‘I don’t believe you’ . Because nobody says to anyone anymore ,’ It’s just a little lump. Why don’t you wait and see if it grows?’