It is both an act of rebellion and an act of bravery to move against our (racist, misogynist, all the -ists) patriarchal culture. It is an act of daring to show the world who we truly are, to break the rules of compliance and complicity, to speak and shout and scream out against injustice.
Our culture wants us quiet, or rather, silent. Our culture wants us to look the way. Our culture wants us to follow the rules (you know, the ones that are ever changing and are different rules than the men need to follow). To be nice girls. To be polite.
Our culture wants us pitted against other women. Our culture wants us isolated, lonely.
Our culture wants us constantly striving. For better. For more. To never be satisfied with who we are or what we have. And in this striving we are to stomp on any other woman who gets in our way.
Our culture wants us buying into the stories of how we are too much and not enough. It wants us nearly immobilized by our shame.
Fuck our culture.
This is a culture that allows us to be raped, beaten and murdered. For the perpetrators to either not be punished at all, or get such lenient sentences that it’s laughable. And at the same time, we –the actual victims– are blamed. You know all the stories, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, well with what she was wearing what did she expect, she should have taken self-defense classes, she should have never talked to/dated/married him in the first place. Maybe you have even told some of these stories yourself.
Because we think if we hold up the lies of our culture, that somehow we will be safe.
But see, that right there, that is another lie our culture tells us.
We are not safe. We haven’t been for millennium.
Knowing this, it takes a great strength, it takes all our power, it requires every ounce of daring we have, to stand up against our culture.
To dare to speak out.
To dare to speak up.
To dare to speak at all.
It takes a great strength, it takes all our power, it requires every ounce of daring we have, to declare that we are perfectly fine as we are, that we do not need fixing, thank you very much, and by the way, neither do our sisters.
To dare letting go of the stories of how we are too much.
To dare letting go of the stories of how we are not enough.
To dare feeling comfortable in our own skin.
It takes a great strength, it takes all our power, it requires every ounce of daring we have, to find and connect to and embrace our sisters, both by blood and by community.
To dare to show ourselves to the world so our sisters can find us.
To dare being honest and vulnerable.
To dare to acknowledge when we make mistakes, when we unintentionally harm others and to make the repairs necessary and do different the next time.
And here’s a thing: We have daring in our very being as women.
We dare to get up each day and try again, no matter how many times we have been shoved down.
We dare to fight for our children, their rights and well-being.
We dare to do things differently from our mother’s generation.
We dare to find ways to connect to our Whole Self, and embrace her as she is.
We dare to say fuck you to a culture that says we don’t matter.
We dare to claim our worth.
We dare to claim our value.
We dare to claim our bodies.
We dare to claim our experience.
We dare to claim our existence.
And it’s not easy. It’s messy and hard and frustrating and sometimes lonely. Particularly when we are in that in-between space of shifting from Leashed Woman to Unleashed Woman.
Daring to become the Unleashed Woman within requires fortitude, bravery, resilience. It requires us to be deeply connected to our own individual strength and power and the strength and power of the collective. It requires us to be able to sit in the discomfort of being rebellious, being a rule breaker.
I invite you to embrace your own daring, in all the big and small ways. To step into the discomfort of doing and being different. To join us in burning all this shit down and building up new.
Will you accept the invitation?
(Below is a 20-minute video of me talking even more about this idea of reclaiming our daring. I hope you enjoy it.)
(Did you enjoy this? Then I invite you to subscribe to my weekly love letter right over here.)
(Interested in deeply connecting to your own daring, your own Unleashed Woman who lives within you with a community of other women? Then I invite you to join us for my next six-month circle, Exploring our Light::(Re)Connecting to our Strength, Power, and Daring, that begins November 1. You can learn more and register right over here. )
This is the third in a four-part series of essays and videos. Want to see the rest? You can find them here:
Reclaiming our daring (this post)