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April 2, 2021

Pussy. Power, and the Magnificence of Women!

 

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P is for Power

There is a fairy tale called Bluebeard. About a young woman who is betrothed to a man with said name. He lives in a large castle with many rooms, all hidden behind locked doors. One day he is to take his leave for some time and thus gives his wife a great many keys in a bracelet of iron, giving the instruction that she is free to try each key on every single door whilst he is away. That is, all except one. A small key, almost hidden amongst such a heavy jangle of various sized and shaped keys.

Once he is gone the woman finds herself playfully exploring room after room, delighting in all the treasures discovered behind each locked door. She feels empowered, curious, and liberated by such a trusting gift that her husband has given her.

Until one day she finds that she has opened them all, has used each key for its very purpose. All, that is, except one. The little key. The innocent. The one she has been forbidden to give her attention to.

As in all tales of caution and morality, the heroine makes a choice that will change her forever. Will either descend her into loss and madness, or grow deep within the kernels of wisdom only true experience can behold. And so, it came to pass, that she found herself in front of this last door. The one at the very end of a long corridor, ominous and yet ordinary. Putting the key in the lock, and with one last breath and moment of hesitation, she turns the key.

It takes her a few moments to take in what she sees before her. The room is littered with blood. Blood and limbs. Limbs of all of Bluebeard’s previous wives. Cut and quartered, the sight brutal and violent. The frightened woman drops the keys, startled by what she is witnessing, and then as fast as she can, retrieving the heavy set of keys, she leaves, closes and locks the door, her heart beating strong in her tiny chest.

But her hands are bloodied now, the keys coated in all of these women’s blood. Try as she might she cannot wash the blood off. It continues to pour and drip, and she can hear the sound of her husband’s horse arriving back to his castle. Bursting through the doors his voice booms out her name, calling to her. She has nowhere to hide. Asking for his keys he sees the blood and knows immediately of what she has done. He drags her by the hair and with such horror she knows they are headed towards that room. Just as they arrive, and as he finds the key to its lock, her brothers rush in and rescue her.

The moral my loves?

A woman should obey her husband. Should albeit her wild curiosity. Should be demurely faithful and never betray him. To do so, to go against his word, will mean a bloody and violent death for her.

Hmmmmmmm!!!!

When did we lose our power as women? How did men become so scared of us, when, and why? What did we do to make them so afraid of us that the only way to take back power, to grab at it, to force us to our knees, both literally and metaphorically, was to degrade, desecrate and kill us, to dismember and destroy us, with such innate cruelty and, let’s face it, insanity?

When did it become acceptable to humiliate us? To force upon us against our will?

Abuse to women is everywhere. In the media. In the mighty great and powerful boardrooms of men. In the clubs and on the buses (true story, last week a ‘man’ thought making the V sign with his fingers against his mouth flicking his tongue in and out at me as said bus went past, would mean what exactly?! That I would desire him? That I’d run after the bus and drop my knickers and beg him to lick me?? Dick.) This abuse is in the porn industry. In books and films. In pubs. In the park. On the streets. Next door’s bedrooms. Our own kitchens.

It’s easy to pick on a woman isn’t it?! The fairer sex. The weaker one. The one with the pussy. I’ve always been amused by the insult ‘Don’t be a pussy!’ I mean pussies are fucking tough. They can be fucked open to God, and can birth a child for god’s sake!

To be a woman is both a profound blessing and hard work. A constant navigation is required. An awareness anytime we leave the house. A knowing that to wear certain items of clothing, for our own pleasure, is to possibly be cause to incite violence towards us. To ask for it.

We get our social media content deleted and blocked for exposing our nipples. Yet men do so all the time.

You know, as much as any other truly diehard James Bond fan, I very much look forward to being able to attend the cinema to watch the last of Mister Craig’s outings as Bond. Can I wear my ‘Pussy Galore’ T-Shirt? An ode and nod to a fine Bond girl?! Or will doing so invite the lewd and crude to earthworm their sluggish and lame glances and comments my way. Ok, so I know that the Bond women do not stand strong on feminism’s list of pride, but there have been some kickass ladies over the years. I guess I’m guilty of the aesthetic enjoyment and tease of the femme fatale as any man. Sue me!

Women’s sexuality is powerful. That’s an obvious thing to write and I apologise for doing so. But it’s the root of it all I feel.

Once upon a time, a woman was revered for her sexuality. She was the temple prostitute, the oldest form of work of them all. She would be prayed to, in devotion to, brought puja and offerings to. Money would be given to her as she danced, money that would be part of the upkeep of these deeply sacred and holy places, as well as in support of the community. She would be the one who would be responsible for the luck and health, prosperity and peacefulness of the village.

A few years ago I was part of a wonderful weekend, led by the performance artist, Nicola Hunter, called ‘Raising the Skirt’. For three days a group of us glorious women became intimate with our own pussies, drawing them, making plaster casts of them, honouring them with herbs in a yoni bathing, let them speak and tell their stories, and many other incredibly rich, deep and potent rituals. This felt ancestral as well as tribal. Something known yet lost to us women over the patriarchal linear rush of speeding time. We were photographed raising our skirts, roaring loudly and proudly, strong warriors with bare chests and a fierce cry to the gods. We were gods for those moments. Goddesses.

What became of the goddesses? Kali Ma. Medusa. Parvati. Venus. Artemis and Demeter. Ishtar and Hecate. Hera and Aphrodite. The Great Mothers. The ones responsible for life, nature, creativity, sexuality, night, war, love, death and destruction.

Have they been replaced by our modern day ‘goddesses’? The Kardashians, and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex??!!

No wonder we’re fucked!!!

And don’t get me started on the ‘Virgin’ Mary! Bloody Mary!! (A cocktail I will be supping with my beloved this weekend in homage to Jesus!)

We have lost the respect. We only have to look at our relationship to older women and ageing in our society. Mocked for getting old, the male gaze no longer gazing upon us. No one speaking of menopause apart from the tired trope of the dried up hag, with her greying hair and saggy tits. We hide our older women, no longer listen to anything they say (though to be frank they were silenced long before silent movies came along!). We have forgotten. We have forgotten.

You know it’s a funny thing getting older. I’m nudging towards 50 and I love the age that I am. Yes my breasts have lost some of their perk, I have lines and wrinkles, and I watch the skin on the back of my hands show the turning years. A few years ago I felt the pang of this transition place. The feel of crone’s breathe on my neck calling me closer. I felt the grief of never having had my own children. And I felt the loss of youth, in particular of the translucency of skin that younger women take for granted. I felt like an old bent-forwards hag myself, yearning my gaze at twenty somethings skin, peering closer, all awe and wonder wanting to reach out to touch it and whisper to them to notice this, this gift from the gods. Because one day they’ll notice it’s gone!

Now though I feel different. I realise that we make a bargain as we age as a woman. We trade the superficial beauty of youth, and how mighty fine that truly is, for something else. We trade it for substance.

Substance.

Earthy and rooted. Solid and strong. Full bellied and with such deep-wombed wisdom.

And this my darlings, this, is everything, everything.

And yet it is not revered in our society.

We have lost respect for the beauty of a young woman, and the wisdom of the crone. We have separated from the power of the matriarch. And we have denoted and reviled the power of woman herself. A blasphemous blade that has given rise to women being seen as objects for men’s lust and self-hatred. A hatred for women. The absurdity of such is beyond belief.

Consent is consent is consent. No ifs nor buts about it.

A woman’s body belongs to her. No ifs nor buts about it.

Her no is her no. No ifs nor buts about it.

Violation is violation. Is rape and is abuse. No ifs nor buts about it!

Start to educate the young. Teach boys. Teenagers. Roll your eyes at the rap and hip hop artists and give it all a context. What does it mean to have a mother, a grandmother, a sister? What does sex mean? What does no mean? Who do these breasts that you drool over belong to? Do you have permission, or not?

I could add in my stories but they echo as ‘me too’ across the world. It isn’t over. It might never be. But I’ll leave you with this.

They tried to burn us, not understanding that we are fire, that each and every month fire burns inside our womb, destroying that which is not for life, that death is as intimate to us as the day turning to night. That there comes a time when this fire will burn us to a crisp, to ashes, to dust, and to the bones of crone. Where we rise as the phoenix, resilient and wise as fuck!

They tried to cut us, not understanding that our tears are the oceans. That our tears make us soft and flexible and that’s where our depth lies. That with all the loss and pain and grief lies the deepest gift, the most profound treasure. That of our joy, our wisdom, our swollen bellied knowing that bears it all. That it’s with the waters breaking that every single life bears to take a breath in to this world!

They tried to bury us, not understanding that we are the seeds, a Mexican proverb for sure. And that we are the earth and that mamma earth is the fine moss that coats our arms and legs and upper lip. That it’s the wild thicketed forest that leads to the most holiest grail of them all, our cunts. That the earth is fragile yes, but as fierce as hell, strong, unforgiving, powerful, great, awe-some, foreboding, destruction and creation both. The earth has our breasts as hills and mountains, our vulvas as valleys and wefts of the tree trunk bark opening its legs to the sap that is life. We’re not afraid of destruction. We are it.

They tried to strangle us not understanding that our voice beats through our wildness, our dance, our gaze, our gorgeous hipped gasps and moon moans, through our love-making, and  our children’s birth cries and the intimate heart longings that we whisper between us in red tented circles since the beginning of time. We will never be silenced. Never.

They tried to destroy us not understanding that we can never be destroyed for we are the ultimate mother, the one that birthed you, that suckled you, that gave you life and that nourished and nurtured you, that taught you that mystery exists and that mystery is woman herself, is womankind.

Our pussies and our roars have driven away armies from foreign shores and scared the boys that think they can take was is not theirs.

We are women. We are powerful. We are respect. We are you. We are life. We are everything.

To all my sisters everywhere. I love you.

Aho X

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