Editor’s note: I’m honored and grateful you wrote this. PS: I just doublechecked about your DM about the dresser, I don’t see anything!? ~ Waylon
Measuring Truth: Not Men.
I am not a professional journalist. As a matter of fact, as a self-proclaimed empiricist, this is my first writing with any intention. I need to be heard and this is the conscious grassroots community, right? Do you want the depth of a PBS investigative journalist, with the freedom to speak the full truth?
I am an angry woman.
I am an angry, white, middle class, woman.
Sit with that a moment.
Is this dangerous in territory, in times like these?
I am angry with you, Elephant Journal. Before I tell you why, I’d like to tell you about myself. Life of the invalid, am I right?
I am a free woman.
The complexity of what that means, in this society, I do not take lightly. Being free, to me, means that I have come to terms with my pain. The pain men have caused me and the pain I have caused men. There is nothing particularly special about me. I am a 33-year-old, sole provider, to a nine-year-old daughter. I work my 9-5 and will soon be a wingin’ it homeschooling mama. *Nervous Laugh*.
Like many others, quarantine was a time of deep reflection for me. The majority of the last 10 years I’ve spent disassociated…just going through the motions. As I’ve slowly began to open my heart, I’ve also began coming to terms with one of my deepest feminine traumas. Would my pregnancy have happened, in this “post,” #Metoo world? How is it possible to have wasted the last ten years of my life longing for a better reality?
I now find myself longing for a better society.
Talk about complex trauma and hyper-sensitivity. Let’s throw my patriarchal family into the mix. Slighted and hurt by the system, in their own ways by gender, generation, government, and class. To top it off, my experience of being the sole protector of a daughter, while living in systematic oppression. It feels shameful to claim systematic oppression, but you tell me. I have experienced:
~ Severe housing right violations.
~ Multiple instances and levels of rural police misconduct.
~ Employment stereotyping and wage gaps
~ Verbal assault
~ Emotional abuse
What’s worse? I know many women who have gone through much worse than I. I can relate to Light Watkins‘ sentiment when he says even he is unable to grasp the extent to which the system has conditioned us to overlook our own oppression.
Why is sexism more difficult to talk about than racism? Is it? We are so deeply ingrained in this system, we don’t even hear our own voice fully. Many men are afraid of having to account for their past; and for those of us women who have something to say, perhaps we are confusing entitlement with assertion? That is a conversation that needs to be had, in many different ways, until the collective balance of power has shifted. My grandmother, mother, myself, and my daughter are all fighting different wars. It is as if Mother Earth can’t even make sense of herself anymore. So when I ask who am I, to ask you, for accountability? My answer is, I am a mother with everything to gain.
Now that I’ve made it too you. Will you hear our plea?
My general understanding of Elephant Journal is that its focus is on self-betterment. A community of those seeking to hold each other to a high level of integrity. Isn’t that what journalism should be as well? A commitment to stay open. “The largest online indie mindful community in the world.” ~Waylon Lewis. What a mighty task you’ve taken on. What a mighty task you must step into now.
The way I see it, if I am living my truth, I only have two choices. I can try to find my voice here within this community, or I can unfollow Elephant Journal. In some ways it is parallel to the debate within my heart, as to vote or fuck the system up. Will my transparency be of benefit?
Please let me affirm: I am not deep in the feminist movement. As I assume this is the assumption. This is not man-bashing. I can overlook Mac Miller’s degrading words in his story telling, in search for the light of his soul. And yes, as a white woman, I want to dim my truth and use Kendrick Lamar’s storytelling, as my example instead. This, however, is not the way to the beloved community that Martin Luther King Jr. and others dreamed of. We must be willing to speak about the measure of our truth; not just about the measure of a man. I am not merely an angry woman on my soapbox. I’m not proud of many things. I want to be better, but I have yet to find anyone to account to. So I hold onto my core values of hope and action.
I understand no one wants to lose momentum in the Black Lives Matter Movement. What if diversifying the conversation about the extent of the systemic issues is another layer that adds to the momentum, that makes a bigger change? At what point do I have permission to be angry about the inequality of women? I promise you, there are lots of untold stories. Brazil received four times more enslaved people from Africa than the United States. It was also the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery. To this day the divide between color is as taboo a conversation in Brazil, as sexism is in the United States. Could the feminine voice be the missing energy need to unite our country? Mother Earth is calling for compassion and empathy.
I do not have an attachment to any political party. Ugh…politics…I know. Stay with me. The speech Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave in response to the perpetuated abuse she experienced was a moment I will never forget. The understanding of her words, the wisdom of what she chose to leave unsaid, and most importantly the discernment of her heart; was as meaningful to my life’s purpose, as MLK’s speech at the March on Washington.
As I began my normal Saturday Morning making breakfast and cleaning up, by happenstance I joined Elephant Journal’s 11:11 Instagram live, featuring Waylon Lewis and Light Watkins. The conscious conversation between two men initially elated me. At points, I expected reactions from one man or the other, regarding what I perceived as offenses. These are the types of conversations we need to be having. Yes! I was and am grateful to the universe for leading me to a focused discussion about the amount of time and level of transparency it will take for the system to move in a better direction.
But: I was quickly triggered. The incident with AOC was briefly mentioned. Not in a genuine or informative way, in my view, but as a side note. Enough to say, we are self-aware men and this is enough.
Instead of a focus on the harm done to AOC, woman, and girls around the world; you talked about Yoho’s masculinity. How could these men who devote their lives to their spiritual work be this far off? I felt a little hopeless. I will not explain how social norms have allowed this entitlement of power. Do I go as far to say that if you’re a man pretending you’re not sexist, you can’t begin your anti-sexist education? I do recognize Elephant Journal is taking steps to educate on feminism and mindful masculinity. However, instinct tells me the leadership of this site is still scared. What are you afraid of? Losing your power? Losing your platform? Losing your credibility? Not knowing what questions to ask? Not having the answers? What will it take to inspire honest conversation about the full measure systematic oppression?
I will end in asking for a commitment from Elephant Journal. A commitment that this platform will not be used to narrow the conversation of equal rights for all.
I would also like to note that before submitting this post, I felt conflicted about not only speaking to such a powerful source of light, but also conflicted about sharing my truth so publicly. I watched an ‘Instagram’ story in which Waylon found a free dresser in an ally in Colorado and said to DM for location. I messaged my intent, in hopes to spark a conversation and was not able to get in touch, leaving a post on Elephant Journal to be my direct outlet to the source.
May it be of benefit!