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

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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 
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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

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Image: Edward Kimmel, Wikimedia Commons

The Problem with Patriarchy

Why do I rail on and on about the patriarchy on social media? Because it is essentially a state of great imbalance in our world. We must honor and respect BOTH the male and female, both the yin and yang energies to be in a healthy, balanced state. A man named Robert Bly explained it well:

‘I Came Out of the Mother Naked’

“In every past society known, a matriarchy has preceded the present patriarchy. Just as every adult was once inside the mother, every society was once inside the Great Mother…what we call masculine consciousness is a very recent creation. Men prefer to remember back only to that point in culture when they took over….archeologists have found hundreds of statues in caves and settlement ruins…going back many centuries, and they have never found a statue of the Great Father—the statues found, all over the world, are statues of the Mother.

If it is true that mother consciousness preceded father consciousness, then two further things follow:

women at some time must have had immense power, running all areas of life: law, agriculture, division of wealth, social custom and especially religion.

there must have been a war … Beowolf I think describes the destruction of Great Mother culture in Northern Europe; it is a historical poem, and perhaps three thousand years of fighting are summed up in it.

We have then inside us two worlds of consciousness: one world associated with the dark, and one world with the light. The dark half corresponds to the consciousness developed in the matriarchies, the white to the consciousness developed in the patriarchies that followed. Mother consciousness was in the world first, and embodied itself century after century in its favorite images: the night, the sea, animals with curving horns and cleft hooves, the moon, bundles of grain. Four favorite creatures of the Mother were the turtle, the owl, the dove, and the oyster —all womb-shaped, night, or ancient round sea creatures. Matriarchy thinking is intuitive and moves by associative leaps.

Bachofen discovered that it favored the left side (the feeling side) of the body. When the Nicene Creed says Christ sits on the right hand of God, you know you are in a patriarchy.

The right hand became favored over the left, mountaintops over valleys, one and three over two and four, the square over the circle. It creates straight roads. Matriarchies are interested primarily in what is inside walls, but the patriarchies become aware of the space between walls; empires grow from patriarchies. The patriarchies plot out the ground in huge squares. In thinking, Socrates sounds the note: avoid myths – which are always stories of the Mother anyway – and think logically, in a straight line.

Father consciousness tries to control the mammal nature through rules, morality, commandments….The Chinese describe it as the south side of the mountain (on which the light always falls), the rational, the hard.

In mother consciousness there is affection for nature, compassion, love of water, grief and care for the dead, love of whatever is hidden, intuition, ecstasy. The Chinese describe it as the north side of the mountain (always in shadow), the valley of the world.

Before the white people came, Drinks Water, an old Dakota holy man, dreamed that the Indians would be defeated, and warned that when that happened, they would have to live in square houses. Black Elk mentions this in 1931. He was then living in a square house, and said, “It is a bad way to live, for there can be no power in a square. You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round…the wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours…Our teepees were round and always set in a circle.”

Men’s fear of women seems to be a fundamental emotion on this planet. It is rarely talked about, and in the U.S. it is getting worse. It is possible that when a culture refuses to visualize the dangerous mothers, men then become vaguely afraid of all women, and finally of the entire feminine side of the their own personalities. That is a disaster.”

Robert Bly, 1973

ALPHA WOMAN


I am woman
I am wolf
I am alpha in my pack

I am woman
I am wolf
I am alpha in my pack

And you and you and you are alpha
You are alpha too
And you and you and you are alpha
You are alpha too

We are women
We are wolves
We are alpha in our pack

We are raven
We are jaguar
We are fox
And Wallaby

We are lion
We are bear
We are horse
And butterfly

And isn’t it amazing
How alpha women work
No guns or bombs or terror
In our play and in our day
To heal the world
To touch the soul
How alpha women work

I am woman
I am wolf
I am alpha in my pack

I am strong and fierce and loyal
And I take care of my young
I am strong and fierce and loyal
And I take care of my pack

And if you try to hurt my pack
Or hurt my young, I bite
And if you try to hurt my back
Or tie my tongue, I bite

I am woman I am wolf
I am alpha in my pack

We are women
We are wolves
We are alphas in one pack.

Author Unknown

Her Longing

Lilith
John Collier 1887

She wants to meet the serpent
Have a chat with Eve in the garden
Before she was banished
For the sin
Of wise curiosity.

She longs to sit with Medusa,
Gazing into her eyes
While M recounts 
The whole sordid tale
From her point of view.

She craves dinner with Lilith
And all her beasts
On a beach overlooking a sea of red.
They will talk until the full moon rises
Then dance with Cybele until dawn

She wishes to hear stories of HER
The Great Goddess
Stories that lie long buried
Beneath a pile of myths and legends
Told for millennia in a male voice.

She longs to learn more, so much more
About Her lineage
Her story
Her wisdom
From the she’s who came before.

And so she sits quietly waiting.
She senses every story of Her Is still here,
Hidden in ripples on still water
In bird song at dawn
And the flicker of flame in the night.

So she sits
She listens
She waits
Holding her longing
Close.

~Nancy Lankston