The War vs. The Revolution: Why Women Are Turning Inward
By Monique Ruffin on April 01, 2012
While the GOP is declaring a war on women, women are waging a quiet inward revolution all across America. It’s as if they are coming out of a deep sleep, awakening to a new truth about being mothers, wives, and workers.
Over the past decade, I have met women from every part of this country who are beginning to question, and even reject, the American dream. Their attempts to succeed in our overly accomplishment-focused culture have left them isolated and exhausted. Overworked, stressed, and disconnected, many women are asking, “Is this what life has to offer?” Each of these women, including me, are looking for our own definition of who we are, throwing off religious, political, and cultural ideas that have led us to the land of emptiness.
Deep feelings of shame and confusion about my sensual and sexual nature have led me to this movement, and I’m grateful for the chance to meet hundreds of women who are seeking to understand and accept themselves. New leaders are emerging. Alisa Vitti is teaching us about the connection between our food consumption, biology, and daily lifestyle. Books like The Female Brain by Dr. Louann Brizendine are offering us an understanding of our brain chemistry, anatomical facts that influence every aspect of our lives. New thought leaders like Katherine Woodward Thomas and Hakashamut Kenya Stevens are offering practical and spiritual tools for connecting with our inner heart—the part of us that is nurturing, receptive, chaotic, and creative.
Hundreds of thousands of us are recalibrating our thinking to embody a greater feminine worldview, and we are doing so united in the idea that women are different and equal. We’re learning to tap into our creativity and the deep-seated emotions that we’ve denied. We’re being called to nurture and love ourselves. And most importantly, we’re discovering empathy for ourselves, for one another, for men, and for our world. We’re learning that we’ve got it all wrong. Husbands, children, and success mean nothing if our own essential nature is being ignored or denied. Ultimately, this is an attempt to create greater harmony between the sexes.
This brings me to our current political debate on women’s reproductive rights. This dialog proves that our male-dominated culture has absolutely no understanding or appreciation of women’s needs and the concerns we are faced with daily. Included in this ignorance is the perception that we are not capable or qualified to make decisions for ourselves.
Currently several state legislatures are considering laws that further limit a woman’s power over her body. In Arizona, women may soon need to show their employer a non-contraceptive purpose for birth control pills in order for the pills to be covered by medical insurance. In my view, such laws simply further our dis-empowerment, and serve as a clear statement of our society’s utter failure to support our own definition of who we are.
The political firestorm around women’s reproductive rights is being referred to as the “War on Women,” language that establishes a battle for supremacy. The women I have met while learning about feminine power are tired of fighting and working to fit into this misogynistic culture. Women are ready to present themselves not as property, children, or men in skirts, but as feminine, intelligent, powerful, and capable. We’re eager to offer what our culture and politics so desperately need and to bring nurturing, relatedness, meaning, and empathy to our way of life. Each of these qualities opens hearts and reveals our common ground.
What if this so-called War on Women is recast—not as a war at all, but a call to bring us into an experience of self-acceptance and celebration? When women are willing to shamelessly be themselves, both genders might find a peace we’d never expected to discover.
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