In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to introduce you to Alice Paul.
Alice was a Quaker suffragist and a leader in the fight to secure US women the vote. While protesting women’s inability to vote, Alice was arrested a total of seven times and imprisoned three times. She was force fed for days while in prison. But Alice continued to champion non-violent civil disobedience. The 19th amendment was finally passed in 1919, and ratified in 1920, securing US women the right to vote.
Alice is the author of the Equal Rights Amendment, written in 1923 but still not ratified. She died in 1977 at the age of 92, but she continues to inspire many women in their fight for equality today.
Want to know more about Alice Paul and the decades long struggle by women to earn the right to vote? Check out the movie Iron Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank.
“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.” ~Alice Paul
“Before the shrinking of the Feminine was the Goddess—and all that is split in our own lives was in harmony in Hers. She was profoundly in Her body. Her body itself was sacred. In the Old Religion, body and spirit were one. She was seen as substantial, as essentially embodied. Her thighs, Her Belly, Her breasts were generous, Her physical strength apparent. We miss the beauty of such an image, we who have been taught to measure ourselves endlessly. Too fat, too thin, too flat, too wrinkled. Our bodies are never good, and in themselves. We must deny our naturalness to see beauty.
What we learn to reject was once holy. What we learn to hide behind closed doors was once celebrated in the open. Blood was sacred to the Goddess—menstrual blood. Some of Her images were painted red between the legs. What some of us and many of our mothers learned to see as ‘the curse’ was once seen as the Blessing, women’s particular creative magic. The blood that flows of itself and not from a wounding was thought to be the very source of life. One early creation tale stated than when the Mother created man and woman, She made them from a mixture of Her menstrual blood and clay. Moreover, every woman carried some of the Goddess’s sacred substance and participated in Her ability to create life.”
~Kathie Carlson, In Her Image: The Unhealed Daughter’s Search for Her Mother
“i found god in myself and i loved her i loved her fiercely” ~Ntozake Shange
“The dakini is a messenger of emptiness and also appears in dreams to guide the meditator, and she might appear in real life as a woman with certain wisdom qualities. The dakini is a force of truth: wherever we cling, she cuts; whatever we think we can hide, she reveals.” ~Sapchu Rinpoche
“Another important aspect of the dakini’s feminine energy is how they cut through notions of pure and impure, clean and unclean, what you should do and shouldn’t do. They break open the shell of those conventional structures into an embrace of life in which all experience is seen as sacred.” ~Lama Tsultrim Allione
god is a mother and with that sentence the world stops the world always stops when woman and divine commingle as if the feminine dilutes the miraculous when in reality it embodies it when jesus turns water to wine they clap but when women turn breasts to milk they cringe a broken man’s body is celebrated each sunday while a broken woman’s body is just hidden away and it’s no wonder that mother is a word used by men to demonize those who don’t claim the name and weaponized to shame those who step out of line because their ideal woman plays the role of nurturer and silencer in pews built and led by them but when god becomes mother she is neither quiet or compliant she leads confidently she questions authority she commands respect which might be the problem for mother god did not gather us up carelessly but took her time with it she fed us milk birthed our souls and broke her body and the permanence can be uncomfortable and to disentangle god from motherhood Is impossible but to disentangle god from womanhood is sinful because seeing god as mother is one step closer to seeing god in me and it’s in that i am truly born again
~Kaitlin Hardy Shetler
Image: A new mother nurses her baby unknown photographer
we need a god who bleeds now a god whose wounds are not some small male vengeance some pitiful concession to humility a desert swept with dryin marrow in honor of the lord we need a god who bleeds spreads her lunar vulva & showers us in shades of scarlet thick & warm like the breath of her our mothers tearing to let us in this place breaks open like our mothers bleeding the planet is heaving mourning our ignorance the moon tugs the seas to hold her/to hold her embrace swelling hills/i am not wounded i am bleeding to life we need a god who bleeds now whose wounds are not the end of anything