“Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves.
Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.
Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs. Skip dessert. You need to lose weight. Fit into that dress. Go on a diet. Watch what you eat. Eat celery. Chew gum. Drink lots of water. You have to fit into those jeans. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look emaciated. You look sick. Eat a burger. Men like women with some meat on their bones. Be small. Be light. Be little. Be petite. Be feminine. Be a size zero. Be a double zero. Be nothing. Be less than nothing.
Be a lady they said. Remove your body hair. Shave your legs. Shave your armpits. Shave your bikini line. Wax your face. Wax your arms. Wax your eyebrows. Get rid of your mustache. Bleach this. Bleach that. Lighten your skin. Tan your skin. Eradicate your scars. Cover your stretch marks. Tighten your abs. Plump your lips. Botox your wrinkles. Lift your face. Tuck your tummy. Thin your thighs. Tone your calves. Perk up your boobs. Look natural. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be confident. You’re trying too hard. You look overdone. Men don’t like girls who try too hard.
Be a lady they said. Wear makeup. Prime your face. Conceal your blemishes. Contour your nose. Highlight your cheekbones. Line your lids. Fill in your brows. Lengthen your lashes. Color your lips. Powder, blush, bronze, highlight. Your hair is too short. Your hair is too long. Your ends are split. Highlight your hair. Your roots are showing. Dye your hair. Not blue, that looks unnatural. You’re going grey. You look so old. Look young. Look youthful. Look ageless. Don’t get old. Women don’t get old. Old is ugly. Men don’t like ugly.
Be a lady they said. Save yourself. Be pure. Be virginal. Don’t talk about sex. Don’t flirt. Don’t be a skank. Don’t be a whore. Don’t sleep around. Don’t lose your dignity. Don’t have sex with too many men. Don’t give yourself away. Men don’t like sluts. Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so up tight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls.
Be a lady they said. Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife some day. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will some day. You’ll change your mind.
Be a lady they said. Don’t get raped. Protect yourself. Don’t drink too much. Don’t walk alone. Don’t go out too late. Don’t dress like that. Don’t show too much. Don’t get drunk. Don’t leave your drink. Have a buddy. Walk where it is well lit. Stay in the safe neighborhoods. Tell someone where you’re going. Bring pepper spray. Buy a rape whistle. Hold your keys like a weapon. Take a self-defense course. Check your trunk. Lock your doors. Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes. Don’t look easy. Don’t attract attention. Don’t work late. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no.
Just “be a lady” they said.”
Writings of a Furious Woman Blog
Painting: Goddess Kali Maa
by Nancy Lankston
“If women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women.”
Image: Egyptian Goddess Nut,
raising the Sun. Louvre Museum
I realized that in spite of the very helpful healing work I had done in the past, that as a woman, the modern Western and even ancient spiritual techniques that served me before fell short of fully addressing my physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual nature as a woman. And how could they, for they were created by (and generally made for) men?
For example, while the Vedic and Buddhist meditation techniques I learned helped me observe my pain from a place of detachment, they guided me away from delving into my pain—to feel and own it. The Goddesses, however, showed me that as a woman, it was vital for me to fully feel my pain before I could heal it. Another revelation was when I realized that instead of just talking about my feelings to process them, that unleashing them through physical movement, sound, or sacred ceremony profoundly elevated my experience of release.
And so it wasn’t until I re-discovered the buried ancient mysteries and wisdom teachings of the Goddesses that I was able to truly heal and flourish on every level as a woman. At first, embracing the Goddesses of the underworld led me to uncover the deep-seated lack of self-love, self-worth, and self-value that was mirrored back to me in my outer patterns.”
-Syma Kharal, Goddess Reclaimed:
13 Initiations to Unleash Your Sacred Feminine Power
image: Mother Goddess
by Nancy Lankston
Isn’t it odd that once upon a time in Europe a woman could be killed for making potions from the plants around her.
Isn’t it insane that once upon a time wise women were burnt or drowned for helping birth babies, knowing their herbs, gathering in groups of more than two, being outside alone, being strong, being beautiful, being ugly, being different, being sexual, being non sexual or touching a nettle, smelling a rose or drinking wild teas.
Isn’t it madness that a woman who knew her body, her mind and her heart was cast aside as evil, as a sinner and her life taken away.
Women! Do not let the ancestral memory of this that is held in your make up, in your bones and blood hold you back. Rise dear sweet sisters, rise so that our daughters and daughters daughters don’t have to wonder when we lost our tongues and denied our hearts.
Grow a new tongue, invite the wolf in, awaken the witch and dance under the moon. Embrace your heart, your womb, your gut and your wisdom.
Roar dear sister, break the silence and take back your power so the young ones won’t have to.
~ Brigit Anna McNeill
Image: Edward Kimmel, Wikimedia Commons
New Moon in Libra, champion of justice, balance and equal relationships. But imbalance and chaos rule right now in the outer world. The crazy roller coaster of events and emotions continues day after day.
The Goddess of Justice reminds us that true justice and equality are rarely easy to achieve. People who have amassed power and riches from playing by the rules of the current system will fight to keep the system as is — even as the unfairness and inequities of the system are being exposed to everyone. As Machiavelli noted centuries ago, “power corrupts.”
But the Goddess of Justice also reminds us that true power is not about status or position or money. True power flows from within. True power is grounded in knowing and trusting in one’s self and one’s gifts. And standing in a place of true inner power, one person can change the world. Remember Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Lasting change grows out of people standing in their power and their knowing.
Get off the roller coaster of news and rumors for awhile. Focus on you. What does your heart need right now?
Allow yourself to feel everything that this time is bringing up in you; fear, rage, confusion, despair, hope, love. Those feelings are markers pointing you towards what matters most to you – and what parts of you need extra care and healing right now.
You can cultivate your internal power and knowing by listening deeply to yourself and all your fears and desires. Inner balance, peace, wisdom and power lie just beyond all those difficult feelings you’ve been trying to avoid.
Your Soul is always there, beneath the outer noise. Listen.
We are the blood
of the witches
you thought were dead.
We carry witchcraft in our bones
whilst magic still sings
inside our heads.
When the witch hunters
imprisoned our ancestors
when they tried to burn the magic away.
Someone should have
that magic cannot be tamed.
Because you cannot burn away
what has always
~Nikita Gill, “Wild Embers”