I’m tired of being an empowered woman.
About a million feminists rolled over in their graves just now, corpses whispering, “You ingrate; this is what we went to battle and died for!”
I can even hear the stirrings of the shroud of my ancestress, Boudica, the Icenian queen and warrior. She would deliver me a swift cuff like a put-out mamma bear and possibly scold: “I did not avenge my publicly raped daughters, nor set my own country aflame so you can whine your privileged life away.”
I have an active imagination. And I am typically quite fiery. But right now, I’m just f*cking tired.
Empowerment feels exhausting right now. My system can’t handle it.
As I type, fingers flying over my silver-sticker-covered Mac, rain pours on the tin roof of my little cottage—weeping copiously from a churning violent sky. I want to lie on the sidewalk, like a child, and let the deluge wash me clean. I want to open my heart, my belly—to release the ache and grief-born howl that dwells in my womb.
The state of the collective calls for anger, and I do not have it. Well, maybe, but…
I would like to live a slow life, a sweet life, a life peppered with dogs and children and writing about topics that move my soul. I would like to make love to He that Matters on an afternoon like this, to wrap my arms and heart around him and hold him until the storm has passed. But that is a fantasy right now, and reality is harsh.
Out in the world, the storm will rage for quite some time as Pandora’s Box is once again opened and in its bottomless mine of misery, we have found yet more persecutions to be levied against women, wombs, our sacred rites, and our holy bodies.
This is bullsh*t.
Tears fall as I type.
Some truly heinous legislature has already been passed—the removal of the constitutional right to safe abortion. I didn’t want an abortion—no one wants an abortion. I didn’t want to write about it then, now—ever.
It’s not like women are out here making notches on our bed posts for how many abortions we can rack up in a lifetime. It’s a sad, unfortunate, and sometimes necessary process.
The scarier thing, however, is that there are states that are banning life-saving medications (not abortion meds) that could potentially cause an accidental miscarriage. I have even read warnings about traveling through these states with said medications. There have also already been reports of women being denied medical treatment because of potential legal ramifications. And there is an older story of a woman being charged with manslaughter over a miscarriage.
I do not want to be one of these people who are out here chanting: “They are coming for us!” But what the f*ck are we supposed to say?
Yes, I am angry, but my anger is a slow, steady burn.
Fire can heal, fire can cook, and fire can kill. It also leaves scars. So while we allow our rage to burn—to clear the debris within our minds and hearts that has inevitably been stirred up over these proceedings—it is important to remember not to burn down the village in our rightful desire to incinerate the corrupt temples.
One of the things that perturbs me is the widening of the gap between the genders right now: women unleashing on men, men failing to support women.
I have borne witness to some truly appalling cock-wielding entitlement, no doubt about it. However, they who writhe with the most vitriol (in my own experience) have been other women. Now this one hurts. A person with biology identical to that of my own thinks that it is perfectly legitimate to assert what is (allegedly) a religious rule over my body.
I was literally called a Satanist for saying: “I had to give up a baby I wanted. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. It broke my heart.” I believe the actual phrase used was: “You are under the influence of Satan.” So much for Christian compassion! Can somebody lend me a sane (actual) Satanist to balance it out?
Seriously though, I don’t want to pick up this fight. I want to crawl into bed. I want to eat ice cream, drink wine, and watch the sky slowly lifted from bruised and violated purple to sun-kissed golden evening. This is all I want.
It’s unlikely I will attend protests. I never have. I won’t rant and rave about voting because frankly, I have lost faith in it, if I ever had any.
No. I will deal with this the way that I deal with everything: I will write.
Already I have put out a couple of pieces for this publication on this topic. Personal pieces, pieces I wonder if I should have shared. This subject matter is raw, painful, and potentially loaded with the possibility of being shamed and judged.
Yet these things must be said.
Our oldest method of healing has always revolved around story sharing. In tribal times, we shared our dreams and nightmares with our community. Wise women would offer interpretations, herbs, and enchantments. That was our medicine.
Our medicine has evolved (even if our right to specific medical procedures is slowly being removed) but no less do we need safe places to share our stories. I host a space such as this and the stories I hear from women—the rage, the grief, the sadness that they may carry for years after losing a child or having an abortion are heartbreaking.
And now we women are to be criminalized on top of our trauma?
Well, f*ck that!
There are ways women can tend to our needs without the pathetic interference of the patriarchy. There are herbs, there are potions, and there are processes that will not only prevent, but release a pregnancy—naturally.
It is time to educate ourselves about our own bodies, rhythms, and cycles. It is time to turn our eyes to the moon and remember our connection with her. It is time to count the days we bleed, to gather our blood, pour it on the earth, offer our bodies, and ask for Her support.
This may not be your way, but it is mine. And I think many of us would benefit from remembering it right now.
Not all of us are warriors. Some of us are lovers, cooks, nurses, and mothers, and some of us are just too battle-worn to pick up a sword anymore. I myself am among the weary, but I will witness, and I will write.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés