My Body, a Text. My Self, a Spinning Warrior. My Mind, my Time and my Patience exposed.
For the last several months, I have been foraging a new lonely path of Feminism that Fights Patriarchy Up Front and Bold in the World that Hates Us.
Another part of me, the Pretend Part(s) Learned and Taught by Patriarchal “Mothers” is that which has kept me alive so far —
At Ecstatic Dance practice Sundays at a local yoga studio, we weave our intentions in a mingling of spirits on a path towards healing and joy.
Men come and some of them sit and watch. This happened this last Sunday, a day I was particularly charged with Goddess Energy and Light.
I felt his eyes on me, as I danced non-sexually, but with a Wild Womon Spirit Our Ancestors only unleashed in the Deep Woods of Shadows and only with other females. He looked at me, like an oddity, like a foreign spirit that he wished to possess and understand. My energy was contained enough that I could observe the upbringing in me that taught me to LIKE and WELCOME men’s attention when dancing — part of the strength I feel is b/c men are lurking there, envious and longing for the power they see — but feminist consciousness has pierced through to my heart, and men want to control and dominate it and if they can’t, then they want to kill it.
There is a man who frequents the Madison Infoshop who upon arrival to my shift that same Sunday, had placed a laptop in the center of the table with my voice singing and images of me carefully edited and strung together — blaring as I walked in and nobody was there. It was creepy. He finally came into the shop and while we were there, he read his email and discovered my letter to the Madison Infoshop list serve regarding my recent agitations with male behaviors and the discomfort I feel at being the only woman who regularly attends our “inclusive” community meetings. He asked me if I wanted to talk about it, I abruptly said “no”, and then I could feel him getting confused, frustrated and angry (with me) and deep in my bones I felt this fear of being hurt violently by this man and I had to fight to not flee — to talk myself into the fact that he has never hurt a woman and that that just wouldn’t happen in our awesome community and that everything was just fine. That it is on me. That all I need to do is draw boundaries with him. I told him I was creeped out by the video of me blaring out. I told myself that was enough to keep him from harming me. Later on, I told another male member of the infoshop, and he told me I have to tell him with a firm voice “no” and “then he will respect your boundaries.”
“If he hurts you, it will be your fault” — that’s the underlying message I am getting from the infoshop community so far — by their silence and by their advice to me. We are taught to always defend the man in question. To make excuses for him — to say how he is “socially awkward” or “going through a hard time” so we should feel sorry for him and try to support him and “include” him somehow. What about the woman’s needs? What about her observations and fears, however imperfectly she may express them — aren’t they valid and worthy of attention too?
I hope these musings are helpful to women out there who are also terrified of male violence, but pretend it is just fine because if you say anything — you make yourself more vulnerable to their anger and their violence.
And I am a Womon with much lightness of being who just wants to dance and journey with good companions and fun times as we save, cherish and enjoy this fleshy existence on this wet, Green Earth.
Of course that is “attractive” to Men. But what I am discovering is that it is not Love — it is their mixture of jealousy, hatred and desire to control that creates that “attraction.”
This leaves me feeling so alone and uncherished, to which the men in my life tell me to humble myself when I feel uncherished and to look on the bright side — at least I am getting all that male attention!
But I want the attention of women and I want for us to unite in our fight to be ourselves, free of men’s violence against us and free to express the wondrous beings that we are.
But women, including myself (if a man showed me the right kind of attention that didn’t feel threatening or creepy, I would JUMP at the chance to try it again and to give them a chance — Ahhhhhhhh!), are male-focused, male-led and male-ruled.
Going back to Ecstatic Dance practice this last Sunday, when I felt that guy’s eyes on me, I was happy to feel my power – it felt like he was appreciating and in awe of my beauty — something I have felt too when watching people dance — this is what has kept me from being a Lesbian Separatist — this feeling that men are human beings and that we can appreciate each other in a reciprocal relational way — rather than a parasitic way.
But I also just noticed my own attention and where it went during the dance — how I enjoyed having his eyes on me — and how that took my focus away from just being and towards being and expressing TO and that I wish more women would watch me dance and want to be and also connect — note-to-self, time to organize women-only ecstatic dance practice in my community.
Patriarchy works by keeping my attention away from myself and other women, and in a room full of people, majority women, to feel men’s eyes on me and to move my body in ways I wouldn’t — if those men were not there.
My attention is always going towards those poor males who are not able to articulate their emotions or be as socially finessed and graceful — my attention goes to the very men that scare me the most with their obsession. I am done. That’s why I am writing this here — a new place, a new beginning for me. I hope womyn will come here and read. I will try to enter the blogosphere more often, but I am used to facebook, so this is a new territory for me, and hopefully it will come with increased consciousness and increased connection with my feminist sisters. Blessed Be.