Saturday, September 19, 2020

Shero: A New Definition

Today I wake up with doubt about a woman I held great respect for. As I have lived and grown it has come before when someone I believed in, was not who I thought that they were. A consequence of a narcissistic society that allows false and harmful information to be propagated with no course correction. All of us left in doubt as to who can be trusted. Who can we know for sure holds our best interest? Was justice Ginsburg a woman of moral integrity or a secret enabler of corruption? Was justice Ginsburg the shero I believed her to be or only another pawn used by patriarchy to encourage woman to play by men's rules? 

Were her efforts heroic or will we look back in 40 years and be resentful of such woman that pushed us to be like men? Forced us by way of example to fit into men’s systems, laws and rules that never included us to begin with? I am assured she lies somewhere in the middle. A human can not be summarized by only one story. There are many sides to a person’s life and I wonder what the other side of the story is for justice Ginsburg given the timing and nature of her passing right before the election. 

Her life today is to be celebrated. What a feat for anyone. If you ever watched the movie “on the basis of sex,” you know what an inspiring story of not only a Harvard lawyer graduate but of a mother who did it with a toddler and the beautiful love she shared with her husband. The sacrifices she made cannot and should not be ignored. 

However, I sit in question of the responses from women and feminist pages today in remorse. Seeing the dialogue. The comments. The conspiracies that range in variety and an almost blind eye to what they are communicating. Is it possible that this was a cover up or a staged event just in time for an election or indeed a natural cause of death? She died on a significant holiday for Jews called Rosh Hashanah. The timing of her death right before the election leaves me with questions. Was she only one of ‘them’ after all?

I don't require answers to these questions now as I know they will reveal themselves in time, but this is my take away today from these events. Her way is not my way. What she did, I do not need to do. Do I admire what she did? Sure, of course. Women did what they needed to do to survive in a man's world. Played his game, got their level of education, climbed their ladders, learned their rules, made a few new ones and left women of the world with what exactly? Is her model, her way of living, her accomplishments what all little girls should strive for? If you ask many feminists, they will insist that we must get our needs met.

Is that true? Haven't women been fighting tooth and nail for many years for basic human rights of bodily autonomy only to have that now challenged again by the trump, republican administration? Do they have even the right to make a law about a woman’s body and if so don’t women break their laws anyways to get their needs met? Does this force them into an unsafe situation, of course. But what do men really know about this and why did women give them permission to tell us if it was OK or not in the first place? We give them permission by fighting against it, agree to it, validate it by participating in just the attempt to ‘resolve’ these unjust laws.

My point is this:

This photo was shared on a feminist page reminding 17,000 women what little girls should aspire to be. To be a feminist, a woman should aspire to a man’s rank in his institutions? Is this worth our daughters efforts, time, and energy? To fit into a man's box, his definitions and guidelines? To do things the way he designed and continue to exist and fight within patriarchy for handouts? Crumbs? Favors? Like the millions of ancestresses that came before us have for the last 7000 years attempting to reclaim equity? Think they tried hard? Worked hard? And how far are we really from where the women’s movement began?

To be better than men so we can outdo them and win at all costs? Why do women play this game?

Sacrificing our time with our children and our beloved, less love making, to make men’s laws more just is our purpose? Did she serve women and girls or give us a false target to aim for? Because the truth is, after all those years of 'service' women are not much better off, still no era or even close to being paid equally, and are not in charge to make the needed changes our world needs.

After joining many women's group, feminist organizations and aligning with female political agendas I felt defeated. Only more of the same and the quick attempt to put women who disagree with their ideas back into their place, not let them take up space as they claim. I found more masculine operating principles and new ways we can 'fit in' to the current system, as it is. How many times I heard, "because this is the way it is," "This is how we do things," "This is a woman's way forward," I couldn’t hide my cringe any longer. Is it? I beg to disagree.

I beg to argue that women like justice Ginsburg, did a great disservice to women and girls, despite my love for her, because she did not show us anything new or create anything new for women. She learned to fit in well. She did it their way and was not even hired after graduation. Instead of starting her own practice with her coveted Harvard degree, find other woman to work with in the same position, pioneer her own practice to fight injustices against women, she worked for the man, waited patiently for him to offer her an opening into their world. She could have used that intellect and wisdom, tenacity, hard work, for herself, for her daughter and the girls of the world. But instead she made deals with the devil, fought her whole life in a white males world....for what? To be remembered a shero by patriarchy for her service to it? What is her true legacy I wonder today.

I know her presence empowered women to get out of complacency and care about important societal issues, to feel empowered to boldly move into government, policy and law making and for some that was needed. I've considered law school since I was 12. But the truth is I loved being a mother which came first. I loved the time in between things, the rest, the self-love that one finds in peace. I could never put that second best to trying to get just right and maybe come away with a few small victories. I trust women could make a bigger difference being woman than trying to outdo men or meet them on their level. Maybe this is why there is such a push for it from even the most admired feminists. To take us out of our element, our true nature, to be on a ‘level’ playing field with men. Maybe this push is why women haven’t achieved more for ourselves, our children and Gaia. Maybe this push is more patriarchy in a pretty dress and makeup. And maybe it is in our best interest to at least question these motives instead of doing the way it has always been done.

I trust that if women created their own rules and found a sisterhood to support them, we would all be better off. The rules and laws of men, the patriarchal system we inherited is not our responsibility to uphold or fix. Men got it very wrong, some of it on purpose to hold us down, to destroy the environment. Why would we participate in it that all? Why wouldn't we take back our power from trying to get it right for them and claim our own sanctuaries to exist within? What would it be like if little girls looked up to wild women that blazed their own trails, that never could be tamed by the same principles that tamed justice Ginsburg but women in their female, wise woman power? A woman that does it her own way and shows new possibilities that does not include selling ourselves out by way of giving our power to old structures.

This is more than possible, it is happening right underneath the surface of these old dreams. A bubbling up of a new beginning where women and children are centered and peace is protected by women’s designs, plans, and way of living. That is the needed balance. That is the way forward.

Thank you justice Ginsburg for allowing your life to serve as a catalyst for this understanding within me. I honor your life and your presence in mine.