In light of the recent overturn of Roe v Wade in the US, let’s take a moment to spark a remembrance in each of us that we are powerful, sacred beings.
The reason a patriarchy came into being so many millennia ago is because it feared the sacred power of womanhood.
It is woman who lives with the power to form life within her.
It is woman who has the capacity to choose whether to bring life into form or not.
This has always been the sacred responsibility of the divine feminine. And women, and all people with uteruses, have always held that sacred power in our bodies.
We been gifted with the capacity to manage our reproductive systems.
We carry centuries old wisdom within our cells about how to make appropriate choices around that.
We do not need people who barely understand how menstruation works, to lecture us on the rights of the unborn.
Abortion has been a part of all societies across time for longer than patriarchy has existed.
Women have not misused their power to choose. In fact, they have used it wisely. The fact that in Australia, it is women with children who are more likely to have an abortion than women who do not have children*, tells us all something about how women are navigating their sacred responsibilities and obligations.
Women are not the ones that instigate wars of indiscriminate violence and are responsible for a much smaller proportion of assault and other forms of physical violence committed on a daily basis+.
As a gender, we have demonstrated far greater regard for human life than the patriarchal man.
Ironically, violence against women (violence of any kind) correlates to an increased likelihood in a woman seeking an abortion*. And yet, the call to end violence against women is rarely the first call of the right to life advocates.
Because patriarchy, patriarchal structures, and advocacy steeped in patriarchal thinking, cannot stand the notion that women, and people who do not fit within patriarchy’s obsession with gender binary, might exercise a power independently of men.
Patriarchy is based on control. Without that controlling influence, it ceases to exist.
So we’re currently seeing patriarchy fight for its life under the pretence of fighting for the vulnerable. As if it has ever wrapped itself around children and families and taking care of the needs of the child.
There’s no notion of a wise, self determining womanhood in patriarchy. There’s only dependency and submission.
Stepping toward wise, self determining womanhood is a radical act. It’s an act that stops patriarchy in its tracks. It creates cracks through the very foundations of the system itself.
And that is critical to long term, sustainable change in this world. A world couched in the sacredness of all beings, where nature and womanhood and blackness and homosexuality is honoured. Where toxic masculinity is a thing of the past and men are free to embody a more humane, emotionally mature self. Where transgendered individuals are safe and respected (rather than viewed as a threat). Where we’re curious about the diversity of bodies and brains and how they manifest in the world. Where we celebrate our differences and understand that they strengthen the whole, in ways that monocultures never will.
In moving to that place, we’re going to have to have many difficult conversations. We need to keep working toward embodying our most powerful selves, and we’re going to have be intentional and courageous in the way we show up. I spoke about some of that in this week’s IG video which you can watch here.
Come on over and join the conversation. One of the most important acts of embodiment is speaking. Let us collectively speak our own notions of womanhood into being.
+ In Australia, males commit assault at more than four times the rate of females. Source: ‘Male and Female Assault Offending in Australia’ (2021), Australian Institute of Criminology.
* Source: ‘Understanding Why Women Have Abortions’ Jayne Lucke and Angela Taft, La Trobe University, Australia New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
For statistics about why women have abortions in the USA, check out:
‘Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives’, Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, and Ann M. Moore, Guttmacher Institute
‘Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008‘, Jenna Jerman, Rachel K. Jones and Tsuyoshi Onda, Guttmacher Institute
And Science Direct published a paper in 2017, ‘Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: A Synthesis of Findings from 14 Different Countries’ which you can read here.
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