“Just” a Mother

Drawing by Henry Gray

“It is not female biology that has betrayed the female, as Elizabeth Cady Stanton observed more than one hundred years ago, it is the myths and stories that have been told about her, what has come to be believed about her – even by the female herself.

In the Christian West, it is common for a woman to be described or to describe herself as “just a mother”. It is common for “barefoot and pregnant” to connote powerlessness. Simone de Beauvoir suggested that it was as mother that woman was most fearsome, so it was as mother that she was enslaved.

Yet there are cultures in the human community where a birthing mother is described as a “great warrior” – going to the gates of life and death, to heave and push a soul into the world.”

~Glenys Livingstone, PhD

Magna Mater, Great Mother Cybele
Lounging on her Lion

Crone Wisdom

“Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humour though, will only get better.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
And your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore,
that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritise the uniqueness that make you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.”

~Donna Ashworth

Be A Lady

“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.”

~Camille Rainville,
Writings of a Furious Woman Blog

☾☽

Painting: Goddess Kali Maa
by Nancy Lankston

Change Ourselves, Change the World

“The world which men have made isn’t working. Something needs to change. To change the world, we women need first to change ourselves – and then we need to change the stories we tell about who we are. The stories we’ve been living by for the past few centuries – the stories of male superiority, of progress and growth and domination – don’t serve women and they certainly don’t serve the planet.
Stories matter, you see.”

~Sharon Blackie 
🌙

Photo by Benjamin Lossius

Rise and Roar

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