Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Creating through anger, hurts and pain.

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When I began the #ShePersisted series, it was in response to a feeling of discomfort within me that was triggered by the statements Senator Mitch McConnell made to Senator Elizabeth Warren.

I began the series with the thought of touching and exploring whatever was triggered within me to give it expression so that I could understand its essence, and move through it.

Last night, while having dinner with the remarkable Kerry Parson’s of the Academy of Rising Women, she commented on the pain and suffering she felt in the series.

I was surprised. I hadn’t thought of it as being filled with pain and suffering. In retrospect, she’s right.

The #ShePersisted series is my personal expression of years and years of sometimes stealthy, often overt, societal feedback that says:  Being a woman isn’t good enough. You have to be more like a man.

It is my personal expression of countless encounters of struggling to carve my place in the world where my place is defined by masculine concepts of success. Of having men use my femininity as a means to get what they want, as an object of their desire, as a toy for their enjoyment, as a sexual tool to sell products and ideas that objectify and subjugate women.

Now, I am not saying men are bad. Or men are wrong. This is about a more pervasive sense that men = power and power is what runs our world and in that power dynamic, testosterone is king. Women don’t belong or fit in, unless they act like a man. Unless they embrace masculine traits. Unless they tone down the estrogen that is inherent in their nature and up their testosterone levels. Or, as that distasteful (to me) Ovarian Cancer campaign called it, you gotta get some lady balls.

As I contemplate the drive behind my expression of the #ShePersisted series, I recognize it comes from a deep place of anger, hurt, discomfort. It is that place within me that has at times bought into the myths of, I need a man to feel complete, women are the weaker sex, you can’t get ahead unless you act like a man.

The power of creating the #ShePersisted series for me is that it is my feminine expression of anger, hurt, discomfort. It is created through my feminine lens of what it means to express those feelings without targetting, blaming, shaming or calling out an individual or group of individuals in a way that diminishes the essence of our shared humanity.

And that is the feminine.

To create in a way that opens up space for awareness to rise up through our hearts into grace.

For me, creating from the heart of what troubles me with the intention of rising into my full feminine potential, awakens the possibility of expressing that which has been inexpressible. It awakens my nature to give voice to that which I’ve never known how to express because of my fear of what others will say about what I’m doing/saying/creating.

My vision is to create space for others to move into the conversation. It is to explore what it means to be a woman. What it means to express the feminine essence of our nature without giving up or losing our voices, our bodies, our dreams.

And reciprocally, to invite men into the conversation so that the feminine is not feared. It is revered. It is not condemned. It is celebrated. It is not corrupted. It is made sacred.

And to create that space, I must move through the anger, hurts and pain to find that space where love for all humanity remains my constant companion on the journey.

Namaste.

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

5 thoughts on “Creating through anger, hurts and pain.

  1. Pingback: Creating through anger, hurts and pain – StreetPsych

  2. A couple of years ago, here in Calgary, I got to meet Gloria Steinem (and I got a hug!) … at a media scrum; I was the only male writer in attendance. One of the young women (most of them were) reporters asked Gloria her definition of feminism. To which Gloria dismissively said, ‘go home and look it up sweetie!’ All but that person laughed. I don’t think it’s about men’s roles, women’s roles or overcoming anything – it’s about ‘who are we, and do we stand up?’. Being forthright, or allowing ourselves to be marginalized isn’t and ought not to be though of a gender-related but about ‘worth’ and our own self-concept and confidence. My take. I’ve always known you are charming and attractive – and don’t mind saying, and I don’t think you’ll be offended, that I observe you use your ‘talents’ to be persuasive. Are you better at it than me? Yes. Are you better at it than most women? Yes. Why, is it because you are woman, or because you are using gender-politics or because you are just ‘Louise with a backbone’? My answer, all of the above. Doesn’t make you superior or me (or any male) less-so. It’s a confidence game … in every sense of the term. Cheers, Mark

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    • I agree with you on the necessity for each of us to stand up Mark. However, I believe it is bigger than the individual. It is a collective action that needs to take place — and women need to rise up through their collective voices speaking out for, peace, for collaboration, for a new way of being in this world that doesn’t destroy but rather, creates, celebrates and continues life in a caring, loving and peaceful way.

      As long as women’s contributions to society are labelled, ‘women’s work’, their contributions to the workplace are valued at $.75 to the male $1.00, as long as women continue to undergo genital mutilation in some cultures, as long as women don’t have the right to go to school, own property, are sold as sex slaves and a host of other inequities that continue to make it harder for women to be heard, seen, and known as human beings of worth, and as long as war continues to be our answer for peace,

      It isn’t about superiority, to me. It is about the power game and women’s voices rising up to change the world in different ways than anyone ever imagined.

      I appreciate your perspective Mark. It is inherently different than mine because my experience comes through the lens of being a woman in this world, and yours comes through being a man. And those experiences are very different.

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  3. Wow, beautiful post. You’re right – men and power can go hand in hand sometimes, especially in certain professions and positions. I feel like, as you say, people tend to fear feminism or cast it in a negative light. Something needs to change. There is nothing wrong with the feminine. Thank you for bringing attention to this.

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  4. Fantastic post. It is a dilemma for many woman, being able to shine as a woman as herself, in what is essentially still a man’s world in so many ways.

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