This, is for my women. All of you.
I'll be 40 later this year. Luckily, I was born into an era where if, despite my efforts to be safe (because nothing short of complete abstinence is certain), I was to become pregnant, I had the option to make the difficult choice to have an abortion.
When I was in high school, I was raped by a close friend. I wasn't drunk, on drugs, or otherwise incapacitated. He forced himself on me in the middle of the night during a group camp out, and for nearly 20 years I struggled with calling the crime what it is, because I was so conditioned to second guess my own trustworthiness. I was silenced by shame, and fear of social retaliation. The latter, a strong, if not the strongest, motivator for young people. I never told anyone what happened. He told our friends that I fucked him. I sat in shame and horror for weeks, knowing he hadn't used any sort of protection, and that I wasn't on birth control at the time. I didn't know if he had ejaculated inside me - I understand now that I was so far disassociated from my physical body because of the natural trauma response, that I could have been set on fire and barely noticed. Weeks went by, a month. 2 months. I remained disconnected from my physical body, and convinced that I had somehow asked for this. Thankfully, I was not pregnant. I would not have to choose to have an abortion. But I absolutely would have.
What the oppressor wants (because there are men, and women involved in this oppression) is for us to feel helpless. Fearful. The oppressor rejoices in the fear and paralysis of the object of their oppression, using it as energy and momentum - results received. We have been conditioned and nurtured to want safety and security, and to remove ourselves from situations that feel dangerous. The problem with being taught to remove ourselves from danger, is that it send this subliminal message that we're incapable of handling danger. Incapable, of meeting an aggressor. Incapable, of challenging an oppressor. This is not the narrative we are accepting. I know that this kind of large scale movement against women feels ominous and overwhelming - but I want to remind you of what remains. Inside every woman is the ability to create. Life, art, chaos, peace - music and magic, solace and a direct line to spirit. Every conflict in human history has been brought to its knees not by men, but by the women of the story. Read into them - behind the scrawl of power hungry men authoring the book, is the quiet power of a woman, all strategy and stealth, full of community and compassion for her sisterhood, for humanity. Find those stories, and let them breathe life into you now.
This is not a call out against all men. So many men are beautiful and supportive partners and friends, lovers, fathers, sons, and brothers. Because I know so many of you exist, I employ you to raise your voices. We will be looking closely at how you conduct yourself around this matter, and your support is wanted, appreciated, and seen. We want you as allies. Sisters, if you find yourself sleeping next to a man who would have you bear a child against your will - please come sleep here instead. There is more for you in this world than to live a half life with someone who believes you to be unworthy of sovereignty.
We are literally tied to the ocean, which is tied to the moon...making women the most cosmically attuned beings on the planet. This, is a story worth having. What does all of that esoteric talk even mean? It means there is a largeness inside of you, a drumming resonance that will remind you, if you let it, that there is literally no one - and certainly no man, who can direct what you do with YOUR body. Your. Body. Can they put tape and made up lines around how you get there? Sure. Of course. And you know they'll continue to try. The thing is - we are here, together - and that's something that cannot be deconstructed unless we allow for it. Across the country and the world, I'm watching friends and strangers alike open their hearts and their homes to anyone in need of support. A generation - the coming of age generation, is leaning in. They are listening and screaming and moving in unison towards the story they demand, and they won't be told no for an answer. We are here to be their backbone, their shoulders to stand on, and to raise our voices, together. There is no young vs old, here vs there. There are women's rights, or there is nothing. The threads that weave us together, connecting us over imaginary lines and oceans, won't be broken by legislation or a dead patriarchy. Because it is, in fact, dead. It died the day you realized the container was imaginary, the walls made of water, and the outside was full of sisters. When the day feels like too much, fall into us. We can catch you. Don't give in to internet hysteria and doomscrolling your way to a ball on the floor. Find yourself a circle, weave it intentionally and with great love, and lock arms for all you're worth. They have stirred the depths of the ocean. Let them be afraid of her, respect her, or be swallowed whole. The war on women has not met the likes of us, and they are not prepared for what rises within.
We need you, and we need you at full power. Onward.