Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Womyn 2: Prophet of Human Possibilities~

Who said this?

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.”

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back.”

“I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing.”

“Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.”

“Pornography is about dominance. Erotica is about mutuality.”

“Pornography is the instruction. Rape is the practice, battered women are the practice, and battered children are the practice.”

“Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself. “

“Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.

“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.”

She is the Prophet of Human Possibilities...

I could go on and on and on quoting her…

The label feminist gets a bad rap. Some people have a real negative response to the word… or in identifying themselves as FEMINIST. Some people feel that all feminists are lesbians and/or that all feminists hate men. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The woman I have chosen to honor today has spent three decades championing the movement for female equality.

We need a new word for trailblazer, warrior, and pioneer, womanist and FEMINIST. She is the definition of HUMANIST.

She has authored countless books and articles:

Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem
Moving Beyond Words
Marilyn: Norma Jean
The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History
Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions was the first published collection of her essays. She was written on sexual harassment, genital mutilation, and unequal pay for equal work…

Issues she stands firm on:

Female genital mutilation
Same-sex marriage
Reproductive freedom
Abortion rights
Sex education
Domestic violence
Equal pay for women

Gloria Steinem, born March 25, 1934, has been an important figure in the U.S. Woman’s Movement or Feminist Movement.

“Steinem actively campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, in addition to other laws and social reforms that promoted equality between women and men, helping to strike down many long-standing sex discriminatory laws, such as those that gave men superior rights in marriage and denied women equal economic opportunities. She also founded and co-founded many groups, including the Women's Action Alliance, on which she served as chair of the board throughout the 1970s, the NWPC, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Ms. Foundation for Women, Choice USA, and Women's Media Center.”

In a keynote speech she delivered in 2009, titled Connecting Across the Generations:

She focuses on learning from our differences. Acknowledging that there are in fact differences.

We are living in a world—that wants to pretend that sexism, racism, ageism doesn’t exist. Not only does she talk about acknowledging these differences but welcoming them. Seeing these differences as a way to learn… seeing “Difference is a gift.”

“… we are going to be able to learn, because we are not all the same. You can’t learn from people who are exactly the same. Difference is the source of learning. Maybe we should put it on a t-shirt – “Difference is a Gift” so that we understand and don’t fear, so we are able to go up to the person most different from us and ask them the question we most fear asking. So really we can expand and learn.”

Expanding and learning… we spend so much time focusing and debating about how things shouldn’t be different… that we should all be the same… putting us all in these boxes: black, white, Latina, lesbian, hetero, middle-class, lower-class, male and female… she challenges us to learn from our differences. To expand our beliefs… And be the change that we want.

“… to learn from difference, and at the same time, in perfect balance with difference, understand that we are all human in a universal sense. We live in a world of either/or. So it is about shared humanity in perfect balance with difference.”

Shared humanity in perfect balance with difference…

I think that is what her life work has been all about… striving for that perfect human balance… its not about hating men… its more about human kind being balanced… being equal… across the board… striving for that balance on the pay scale… in the workplace, at home… in society across the races and cultures… a HUMAN BALANCE~

In her speech she talks about the Prophets of Human Possibilities…

“And I also must say that I am in favor of changing society to fit people, not changing people to fit society. But the fact is that we all find whatever solution we can. And I think we have prophets of human possibilities among us that have come about because of cruelty and punishment and restriction, who know that our humanity is shared. Who know that the labels are really quite artificial”

She puts all of her hope and faith in those of us who know struggle, pain, discrimination, hate, and abuse… she’s talking about humanity not having a gender. And I think this is something that we need to think about as we live this human experience.

“The truth is that all the so-called feminine values that we crave and that we need to develop, are also present in men. We all have the full circle of human qualities. It may be that men need to become more expressive, more empathetic, more nurturing – that’s their progress. And we need to become more daring – that’s our progress. But we are each trying to complete the full circle of humanity.”

In a world filled with women fighting for scraps… jealous… envious… wanting to get there first… gossip… power struggle… fighting against each other. Instead of learning from one another… instead of working and building together…

“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.”

“This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.”

So today I honor Gloria Steinem for her body of work… for her constant fight toward arriving to a more balanced/full circle of humanity.

“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.”

To learn more about Gloria visit:

Peace, light and LOVE~
Always Alicia

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