Grief Work

If you come as softly
As wind within the trees
You may hear what I hear
See what sorrow sees.
If you come as lightly
As threading dew
I will take you gladly
Nor ask more of you.
You may sit beside me
Silent as a breath
Only those who stay dead
Shall remember death.
And if you come I will be silent
Nor speak harsh words to you.
I will not ask you why, now.
Or how, or what you do.
We shall sit here, softly
Beneath two different years
And the rich earth between us
Shall drink our tears.

~Audre Lorde

I’m with Her… and Her and Her

Women's March on Denver
Women’s March on Denver

Lots of women are online today lecturing the women who marched in one of the Women’s Marches across the country. Apparently, lots of women feel the need to dictate to other women exactly how they should protest… even telling them not to feel happy about a peaceful march, insisting that the peace and joy the marchers experienced was all bogus because the crowd was “too white.”  Lots of women are also lecturing other women about the best way to support minority women. Lots of women are judging and guilting and dismissing other women today…  Is this really helpful?!

Sorry ladies, but you don’t get to define me. You don’t get to dictate what my protests look like. You don’t get to guilt me simply because I’m a middle class white woman. You don’t get to tell me what kind of sign to carry or hat to wear when I protest. You don’t get to dismiss me because I marched with a smile and didn’t scream in rage and burn shit. You don’t get to poo poo my commitment because I don’t protest the way you do.

I will choose when and how I take political action. I will choose when and how I speak out and act. It is MY choice, NOT YOURS!

When one group lectures another about how to behave and how to feel, it sounds suspiciously like old patriarchal Bullshit to me – even when women do it to other women.

EVERY woman needs the space to take political action and express herself in the way that’s most appropriate to her WITHOUT being judged and lectured by other women – and that includes white women from the suburbs!

We won’t fix this mess by telling one group of women to shut up and stuff their feelings, their needs, their wisdom in order to serve another group of women who now take precedence.

We want change, right? Real change? That requires creating a space where ALL women can dialogue with each other and be heard with respect and love. That’s true inclusivity.

“The language by which we have been taught
to dismiss ourselves and our feelings as suspect
is the same language we use to dismiss and suspect each other.”

~Audre Lorde


“My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.
What are the words you do not yet have?
What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day
and attempt to make your own,
until you sicken and die of them,
still in silence?

… And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty
that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth.
And that is not speaking.”

~Audre Lorde
feminist poet