Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day

Happy Women's Day!

Last night I watched a movie "5 in the Afternoon" about girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban, one in particular who would like to become first woman President of her country.

Throughout the film we are treated to girls' voices reading from religious texts, about how men should not look at women, that girls and women should not lift their veils or allow a man's lust to be provoked by seeing them, and how a woman dancing is sinful. If a man sees a woman's face uncovered, he hides against a wall and asks God to forgive his sin.

The power of the gaze has never been so conflicted.

There is no happy ending to this movie; the father won't let the girl study, let alone work, and he sees blasphemy everywhere in the 'new' Afghanistan. It's not very hopeful.

I do see hope for women gathering, uniting, and educating themselves when I hear of organizations like Peace X Peace, or 60milliongirls or Oprah's new school in Africa.

Much more can be done to get out from under the bushel with our light. Today in the Globe & Mail, a national newspaper, an anglican bishop says Christianity needs to rethink how it looks at sexuality and admits that 2000 years of male influence has skewered things. Now that is news!

We must keep faith in our own power, keep faith in our own bodies, in making our own decisions based on our own knowing. Every woman who believes in herself and speaks her truth adds to the force of the truth being known.

What is the truth? Our fierce, strong beauty and independent thinking, our sensuality and resilience, our belief in each other and in ourselves will carry us through.

Compassion, strength, intelligence, power, caring: these are all feminine virtues.

They can be masculine virtues too - if humans choose so.

Celebrate your wisdom: do something to soothe and uplift yourself and your world today.

in peace,


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