My society, the society that I have grown up in and live with is one that has tried its best to tame me. Despite the fact that I have been able to vote, develop a career, travel, control my fertility, become educated and express myself I am not entirely winning here because I’m not entirely tame.
Before I go into what I mean by that I’ll just mention the F word as it is entirely appropriate to do so.
I don’t particularly like to use the word feminist to describe myself even though I clearly am for all that. Also having just watched the film ‘Suffragette’ I remain in awe of what women have achieved in the name of feminism and have the deepest respect for the work that continues to this day so that I might sit here and write to you now.
For me the word ‘feminist’ sits in the same camp as ‘God’ as in the ‘do you believe in God’ question. What I believe and value is bigger than a simple ‘yes I do’ or ‘yes I am’ answer (as I’m sure it is for everyone) because words are not absolutes, they require structure, interpretation, syntax. It is because of that I find it critically important to remember that the written word is a predominantly male construct. The 1998 book ‘The Alphabet Vs The Goddess’ by Leonard Shlain is a great point of reference here.
So, it is against that reality that I sit here with a nagging feeling that there is more to do and further to go. That while words are important to me they are not me and can’t be used to wholly explain my reality and neither can they be used to completely define me.
Words are to be used with the utmost of care.
With that in mind I don’t want to fight to become a more equal member of a society that is rotting. I AM equal. What I fight for is for a return to nature, our nature, a re-wakening of the sensual world. A world where feelings and beings rather than objects are held sacred. Where relationships are nurtured, where we take our place in and amongst nature, where we use our powerful and beautiful minds to guide rather than seek dominion.
I feel that the patriarchal society that I’ve grown up with disempowers and constrains more than just the women whose voices are still young and fighting to be heard. I just listened to New South Wales Young Australian Of the Year Melissa Abu-Gazaleh talk about her ‘Top Bloke’ Foundation. Melissa is a woman who got tired of seeing young men painted as liabilities to the community. The ‘violent male’ stereotype is not helped by how our society discusses family violence, refugees (how much sympathy is there for groups of dissposesed single men) and terrorism. And then there are those of us that fit outside of a binary gender stereotype. Society may well be becoming more tolerant or even accepting of such diversity but ‘they’ are still trying to fit into a system developed without ‘their’ perspective in mind.
So what now, do we just sit around a tree and hug?
Of course not.
We need re-awakening.
We need to accept that we have power.
And I think that re-wilding can help with that.
Last weekend I went to a ‘re-wilding women‘ workshop in Katoomba, it was lovely to see so many women drawn to such a left-field, deep and challenging self-development workshop. I have consciously been on my own re-wilding journey for the last four and a half years (I’ll explain more about the why’s and wherefores another time) and know from personal experience how utterly transformative the process of re-connecting with our raw and primal ‘self’ actually is. I am however wise enough to accept that I’ve still got parts of myself to explore, lessons to learn and paths to walk. That said I’ve come a long way and am eternally grateful for discovering this thing we call re-wilding and Soul Craft.
Are you now thinking ‘OMG she’s probably writing this naked while letting a wild wolf cub suckle from her bosom while reciting witchy spells and cackling?’
Well that would be interesting but…….
Personally I respond better to walking in the woods while tracking and observing animals, a naked swim in a secluded water hole or being up to watch the sunrise over the horizon than howling into the darkness or dancing to a tribal drum. I grow best with quiet and solitude over noise and people but that’s just me. I am an introvert. You, me, them, we are all different. Knowing, appreciating and celebrating that is central to the re-wilding experience.
So, I guess what I’m doing here is inviting you to give the concept of re-wilding a try. To look beyond any stereotypical, language or societal based connotations of what that might be and step into a more sensual world.
Let’s start feeling again.
And maybe, just maybe FEELINGS will become the new normal, the ‘new’ force that shapes society and ultimately the world.
P.S: Here are some of the books that have helped bring me back to my wild self 🙂
Soulcraft Bill Plotkin
Becoming Animal David Abram
The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Feral George Monbiot
Women Who Run With The Wolves Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
The Alphabet Vs The Goddess Leonard Shlain