Monday, August 15, 2016

MISOGYNY IS HARD TO SPELL BUT EASY TO PRACTICE


It is hard not to be aware of the current atmosphere of misogyny that seems to be on the rise. Or perhaps it has always been here all along but it has never felt so blatant. It is an attitude that seems to be reflected everywhere you look. It is in the papers, MTV, on the news and on the internet.  It has become hard not to notice the normalization of misogyny. 

This attitude of hostility toward women is not a new issue.  Unfortunately, women for centuries have been the target of misogynistic behavior.  The primary reason for this repression of women, was that women’s power, and primarily their sexual power, was feared by men. Those who made the laws felt that a woman's sexuality, her body too easily influenced a man's good judgement. Some felt that women's innate power to create life had become too important and so they created new stories and new laws that curbed a woman's influence and power.

So the pervading  male dominated culture created  prohibited women from owning property, getting an education,  providing for themselves, having a voice in politics and owning their own bodies. Women were essentially the property of men and had no legal recourse for the most part.  They felt they had to control a woman’s sexual appetite and her appetite for life in general or it would go out of control. Women were considered sub-human in some cultures, and not able to make rational decisions or to think without being overly emotional.  Even though you can see that there were times when the feminine thrived throughout history, they did not last. Eventually man’s desire for power and the acquisition of property won out and the rights of women diminished.

The Current Climate

What I see today is something  similar to those times when the feminine was denigrated and dis-honored. When the desire for power over others and greed took precedence over the more humanitarian values of the feminine.The overt expression of hostility and anger toward women is more visible today than ever before.

 Although we have made some headway in the rights of women over the past several decades, it is still apparent that we are experiencing a huge backlash toward women and losing many of those hard won rights. The general attitude being one of  acceptance of the denigration of women. The message being that women are sexual objects to be displayed, bought and sold for the entertainment and profit of some men and some women. It seems that whenever a society begins to fear women's power they use their own sexuality as a weapon against them. I ask you, is this because the more hostility and aggression is expressed the more it is allowed? Has violence against women become the norm? Is it because women and girls have always seemed easy prey, victims and powerless? Perhaps, it is due to the fact that these attitudes have been deeply buried for too long and that the power of women is still feared.

What is most disturbing is that there does not seem to be any apparent easy answer to this overwhelming problem.  Law enforcement cannot prevent these things alone. Regardless of how many pimps are caught, or traffickers put behind bars, there are others ready to take their place. The fact is, that until there is a shift in the collective thinking regarding the value of women and girls, nothing will really change.

THE NEW PARADIGM

Changing our existing paradigm is not an easy thing to do, but it can be done with the conscious intention of each and every one of us who feel moved to make a difference. From that space you can take right action by asking within and finding out what the next step is for you. 

Below are a few suggestions that you can do if you wish to be part of the change.
  1. Believe in the power of your thought and intention. When enough people envision a new future that is based on egalitarian and humanitarian values then change can occur. This is a fact that has been proven over and over again, 
  2.  Become more informed about the Herstory of our world and begin to share what you learn with other women and girls and educate yourself.
  3.  If you have a son teach him to honor respect women, to accept the feminine within himself, and to see girls as whole people not just sex objects, 
  4. If you have a daughter support her in understanding where her true power comes from and to know that being a powerful woman is not just based on being sexy and looking pretty. Help her to discover who she is apart from the media and to love and accept herself.
  5.  Speak out against the violence you read about toward women. Your voice is important and needs to be heard. Don't be complacent and think your voice doesn't matter. It is the only thing that does. 
  6. Take action as needed. If you see something that doesn't feel right, do something about it.
  7.  Support organizations and projects that help women and girls who have been trafficked, who need the chance to go to school or to start a business. Below are a few great organizations that work with human trafficking issues and education for women and girls.
        Each of us can effect change if we choose to believe in our own individual and collective power. Change happens over time and it is always because of a group of committed and dedicated people who aligned with each other and who stood up for something they believe in, not matter what it took to make it happen. I invite you to meet this challenge if you feel moved and to do so today!



        

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Living in a Rape Culture

As some of you may know, most of what I write about has to do with the culture in which we all live in today and how it specifically affects girls and women. Being a woman myself I have   had many life experiences to validate much of what I write about. But as a writer I get the privilage of being able to share my thoughts, feelings and of course the facts of whatever it is that I am interested writing about. So  when I came across an article and video that talked about living in a rape culture, I knew I wanted to write about what this meant to me and what it means for all of us.  So I decided to share with you some of the things I found out about this topic. The first step in changing anything is to raise the awareness of the problem or the situation and then from that place we can discover solutions.


So what is a rape culture? 

It seems that it is a term that was coined from the days when being a Feminist wasn't a dirty word. It actually defines the current world we live in fairly accurately in my opinion, as it relates to being a woman in today's world.  

The definition of a "rape culture" is,


A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.

In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.


Rape culture is rape being used as a weapon, a tool of war and genocide and oppression. Rape culture is rape being used as a corrective to "cure" queer women. Rape culture is a militarized culture and "the natural product of all wars, everywhere, at all times, in all forms."

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.http://upsettingrapeculture.tumblr.com/

How it Began

You may think that this is something that is a problem of the past few decades or maybe that it started in the good ol days of the Twentieth Centruy, but it did not. This way of thinking about women and the feminine began thousands of years ago, even before the Judeo Christian religions were born. The sturggle for power and dominance over the feminine, the Goddess, nature and women started when men began to feel that they wanted to be more powerful than women. They wanted to feel that their role was just as important as giving birth was. For you see in these cultures, it was the women who could give life, who inherited property and passed it down to their female children. It was a culture where everyone had the same rights, each having their roles to play and everyone was essential to the survival of the tirbe. The feminine, the Goddess and  women were revered, respected and honored,

 But these were agraian based cultures that had no weapons to speak of, that did not make war on others for the most part. They lived in peace and harmony with nature and with all their neighbors. But their came a time when the Nomadic hoardes from the East came over the Russian Stepps to "turn the world on it's head"  and conqueor those peaceful agraian based cultures.  (Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler)

There are always mulitple reasons why anything happens and it took thousands of years to shift from goddess based cultures to change to a male dominated and warring based cultures. As you can see the beginnings of a "rape culture" had it's roots from this shift from cultures where the feminine, the Goddess was honored to honoring a male God of war... and where power over others, the acquisiton of property became the way of life. Pilaging and rape had always been part of this new way of seeing the world.  Women and children were the property of men and therefore men could do whatever they wanted to them. Of course male children had more rights and were treated better but they were still the property of men. 

When men discovered that it was their seed that was needed for life to be created  they fostered the belief that a woman was really only an incubator for the child and that it was man that created life not woman. The belief that raping a woman or girl was the right of her father or husband was accepted and condoned because they were his property, not people of their own right. It has always been a dance of power over others and with that came fighting over property, whatever that might be. Basically, when power over others  not the power from within, became the model for living life. Having property and acquiring things including women and children began to take root as a new way of seeing the world. 

What You Can Do

Today, women and children are no longer considered a man's property but women are still objectifed as sex objects to be used for the pleasure and entertainment of men. We have created a society where rape is an accepted way of life and where women have to learn to live on the defensive it they wish to feel safe.  

The only way in which we can change living in a "rape culture" to living in a culture where the feminine is respected and end the violence against women is by:
  1. Pulling the issue out of the shadows so that a meaningful conversation can be curated. We then can leverage the opportunity to build capacity, educate stakeholders and the general public, and demand an end to sexual violence.
  2. Naming the real problems; a culture that condones violent masculinity and victim blaming
  3. Educating yourself and others on the facts of non-consentual sex, and violence against women.
  4. Getting media literate. Media, like everything else we consume, is a product some imagined, someone created and implemented it.
  5. Speaking out when you hear, see or experience attitudes or behavoirs that condone rape and the objectification of women.
  6. Globalize your awareness of the rape culture beyond the U.S.
  7. Taking a stand for the kind of world you want to live in and taking action when you feel inspired to do so.
  8. Supporting local efforts to stop the violence and lobby your community.

Rape and other forms of violence are never consentual acts, no matter what excuses the perpetrator may make. I recently came across a video which I have shared here, it is funny and sad all at the same time. The fact that it had to be made at all is the sad part, the funny well you can see that for yourself.
.

Tea and Consent

  


"It is not enough to bring individual perpetrators of rape and sexual violence to justice. Since the problem lies in a culture that is entertained by degrading acts and images of women, the solution is to look at the individual acts as a symptom of rape culture and solve it holistically. We all have a part to play in allowing rape culture to exist—so, we can all do something to eradicate it." ~ Walter Moseley

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

EMBRACE YOUR INNER GIRL



A few months ago, I went to a local production of Eve Ensler's, I Am An Emotional Creator, the Secret Life of Girls. I went with my God daughter and her parents. I had already heard  Eve speak on this topic on Ted Talks, Embrace Your Inner Girl, (see video above). She spoke about the essentials on the status of women who have been traumatize for being a woman or female throughout the world. She spoke of her book "I Am an Emotional Creature, the Secret Life of Girls," which speaks of how our "inner girl cell" that both men and women have inside of us, has been oppressed, killed by living in a male dominated world  for thousands of years. And, as a result we have created a world in which being born a girl is one of the worst things that you could be.

Of course I already knew these facts and have been aware of the status of girls and women in this culture for decades. I have done many hours of research on this very issue. My own “mission” is to enlighten women on not only this very topic, but also the lie of “original sin” that women have carried as a burden for over 10,000 years. This lie has been drummed into our cells and handed down from grandmother to mother and mother to daughter generation after generation. My work is to enlighten women about this lie and to support them in letting go of these lies at a cellular level. And to re-write this very old story so that it reflects the Truth about being a girl. Women must acknowledge what is so for themselves in their lives, then in the lives of their daughters, friends and community. We must be willing to heal, clear and make the changes for ourselves, and to support all of the girls and women in our lives to do the same. When you decide to tell the truth to yourself about what it means to oppress your own girl self, your powerful woman self, then you become the one who steps forward and become the example for others who like you have not been able to take a stand for the feminine or for being whole and healthy women/people. You become a light for all of womanhood to see and applaud.

Men too have been affected by this view that has been held in place about women and girls. Men have been taught to not be like “girls” above all else. In the military the lowest thing a man can be called is a “girl. Being a man means not to be a girl, not to show your emotions, not to feel, not to show compassion, not have a heart, and most of all not to take anything personally. These qualities are not just feminine qualities they are human qualities that are here for all of us to develop and embrace. And without them we lose our sense of humanity.

When we rape the planet of her minerals and destroy her ecosystems without feeling any emotion, or pollute the air with our chemicals and show little or no remorse, or when we feel no connection to our planet or to the violence we see on T.V., we see the results of how the oppression of women and girls and the feminine determines the fate of our world for this is the cause of our time.

So I asked myself, why is it that being a woman is so powerful that the men in power have needed to keep them in their place for over 10,000 years? Was it because this power of the feminine was so enormous that men feared it might oppress them? Or perhaps they became jealous of this power and because they could not give birth to life decided to turn the tables and take the power away from women. There are many theories on why the world is as it is.

"We sell girls and women, rape them, use them as ashtrays, abuse them, keep them illiterate, enslave them and kill them as embryos. We are so accustomed to robbing girls of being the subject of their lives, that we have objectified them into being commodities. The selling of girls is rampant throughout the world and in many parts of the world they are considered to be of less value than goats and cows.” ~ Eve Ensler

I believe along with Eve, that the state and condition of girls, and the girl within me and you, will determine whether the species survives. For you see women and girls aren’t the problem they are the solution.

The time for a new way of being in the world as a woman has come. It is a time when we are no longer willing to stand by and say or do nothing; we are now ready to show up in our full, powerful and truly amazing Girl-Self. The strong, passionate, creative and energetic feminine is on the rise and she is calling all of us to stand up and lead the way. This new feminine energy teaches women how to thrive with their sexual power which is their ability to create life, and to be whole an integrated women. Women who are proud to be a woman and who no longer fear their own sexual power, their authentic feminine power.  It also supports men in being whole and allowed to develop healthy expressions of their feelings and to be more integrated. To honor the feminine, their girl self, and by doing so they honor women and nature and all of life.


  This active, passionate, firece feminine is what Eve Ensler spoke of when she shared the stories of a few young women who met with courage the oppression they saw in their lives and did something about it. When you are willing to take on your girl self, to live her and to let her show up fully in her power, to set her free no matter what your circumstances might be, whether you be a man or a woman, then you can begin to shift the old paradigm and create a new one that embraces this new strong feminine energy in all of us.






Friday, June 10, 2016

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN EMPOWERED GIRL OR WOMAN










The dictionary definition says the word empowerment means: 

1). To give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means: 2). to enable or permit. En or In means power. To give power, authority to someone or something.


But for me, this word conveys more than this simple definition It says  to feel powerful from within. to feel strong, confident, wholly powerful. It truly describes the feminine way of  power.

The Culture We Live In

In the world we live in today, women and girls are being sexualized and objectified as sex objects at earlier and earlier ages. 

 Girls begin to mimick the Brittny Spears's, Hannah Montana's of the T.V. and music world. as early as age 3. They don't really know what they are doing but nevertheless they are doing it. Shaking their little booties and bumping and grinding. 

 As they grow and begin to mature into young girls they are exposed to yet more sex on MTV, in ads, in magazines, on the internet and in movies. As they enter into their teen years sex is no longer the mystery it once was. Girls who have been exposed to sex since they were 4, are at age 14 having oral sex with girls and boys, desring sexual intercourse, dressing to feel sexy and hot to boys. 

 The only images that the majority of girls have ever seen are of women that portray themselves as sex kittens, hot  bad ass girls, sexual playthings for men, or sex objects. As a result the message they have internalized is that to be cool or hot which translates into powerful in girl world, equals being pretty, thin, sexually appealing to boys and to be popular. Some of this you might be thinking is normal for a teen at that time in their life. But 20 years ago it wasn't the norm, in fact what changed the playing field was the new technological age and the onslaught of music videos. 

The women's liberation movement that introduced in the 60's the word "empowerment" to women, is practically all but non-exsistant today. So the question I am exploring here is, 


"What does an empowered girl or woman look and feel like?"




What is Feminine Power?

Our essential feminine power comes from our core, our sexual centre, our yoni or vulva. For men it resides in the hara or dantien, the solar plexis. The most potent force that women have is our shakti. Our primal life force, sexual creative energy. The energy that gives birth, destroys, is chaotic and firece. This force resides in all of us, but for women it is what in many ways defines us.

It is this primal energy from our sex centre, the second chakra, (that point just above the pelvic bone) that enables us to create life, to be wild and free as well as docile, harmonious and calm.

  "Our sexual energy is our true feminine power as it is here that the creation of life begins and the mystery of our body is held."

Our sexual energy is alluring, enticing, it fascinates, radiates and attracts both men and women. When a woman is fully embodying her sexual essence, she is her most empowered self. She walks with the grace of one who is confident, centred, serene, present, sensual and fully in her body. She is not afraid of her sexual energy or of the power this energy has over other people. She does not apologize for being a sexual being nor does she flaunt her sexuality. She understands her power comes from within herself and is able to use it wisely, with compassion and integrity.

Since she no longer needs to manipulate or control with her sexual energy or survive on it, she can be authentically herself, her full embodied goddess self. She is proud of her womanliness, her yoni her breasts her hips her belly and all of her curves. She revels in her body and loves all of it no matter what shape it is. She begins to THRIVE in her sexual essence and power.

It is from this place that she creates and offers her gifts, and it is from this place that she partners with man. A woman who is fully living in her feminine power is naturally radiant, receptive, yet strong from within herself. This woman lives in you and me and I invite you to discover her.



How Can You Become a More Empowered Girl or Woman?

The first thing that you can do, is learn how to appreciate yourself the way you are. This may sound like a tall order, but it isn't. Afterall, you came into this world with a body of a goddess. Yes, you came into this world with the body of a Goddess. I say goddess because each of us is an aspect of the Divine Feminine, and as such we were born as individual expressions of the Goddess, The Creatrix of life, Gaia, the Mother, Maiden and Wise Woman.

To begin to appreicate your goddess nature and your who you are as a girl or woman you can:

  • Begin to explore how you have viewed what it means to be a powerful women. An empowered woman for yourself. Look at magazine images, and take the time to define where you are and where you wish to go. Write in your journal your impressions of how some of the women in your favorite shows are portrayed.
  •  Create a picture board of yourself as a little girl, teen, young woman, who you are now and of different images of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine that you resonate with in each stage of your life. Put words to it, add texture or paint it, gloss it, let your artistic nature flow.
  • Take time to read more about your Herstory. What is the origin  of the story of the Goddess and Divine Feminine  Your heritage as a woman or girl.
  • Learn about which aspects of the goddess that you would most like to be like. There are over 5,000 names of the Goddess from around the world. 
  • Once you have that aspect, create an altar that has images, statues, anything that represents that aspect for you. Use your altar daily and sit in front of it. Call that aspect into yourself. (An example is Diana the Huntress, get pictures of her, find out all you can about her and begin to own her qualities as yours.)  You can dance her in, sing her in, create a poem or just chant her name and qualities and own them as yours.
  • Get together with friends and create a support group for yourselves that meet in person or by phone as often as you like to explore what being an empowered girl is andhow you have begun to emody those qualities. Tell each other what you like about each other, what strengths you see in them. Or if you are an adult woman, create a Yoni Speak Group which is a group of 4 or more women who support each other in becomeing reconnected to the voice within their most sacred part of their body, their yoni, Share stories,speak from that place when you get together and hold space for your women friends.
  •  Make a mask of what an empowered woman would look like for you. Create sacred space and invite a friend or do this in your group. Have a friend make a mold of your face and you do one of hers. Then sit in silence for a short time and ask yourself what would an empowered image of you look likie. Let this answer come not from your head but from your womb and heart. Then go all out and decorate the mask any way you feel inspired to do so. 
These are just a few ways that you can begin to embody what an empowered girl or woman feels like. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you try any of these suggestions and what the results were.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Evolution of Sex



As human beings evolve from being homo-sapiens to homo-
spiritus,
 then it would naturally follow that something as important and significant as sex, and the way we choose to perceive and use it would evolve as well.

For thousands of years in our Western Christian Culture sex has been thought of as only a means for procreation of the species and what a husband and wife do in the privacy of their bedroom.

The earliest misinterpretation of the sex act comes from the story of Adam and Eve. Here we are told that it was because Eve bit the apple of knowledge, which is the knowledge of her sexuality, her humanness and then seduced Adam to do the same that sex and womankind were doomed. With this story, they made sex shameful. Now this is just one interpretation of that act, and there are countless others that you may wish to explore for yourself.

Christian doctrine began to teach in the 3rd and 4th Centuries that sex was the root of all evil and that it was because of man’s awakening to his sexuality by woman, that humankind was dammed for all eternity. Woman became the symbol of the seductress that was sexually insatiable and who's sexuality would distract men away from the high path of living a chaste life devoted to God. Sex and women were given a bad rap and were banned by Christendom, and other religions, except for the act of procreation in the marriage bed. This doctrine today is still followed by many fundamentalist religions and in fact, has been the underlying premise for all of our sexual behavior. This is the origin of why our culture often uses  words like sex is dirty, forbidden, shameful etc.







The Roaring 20's and the Decades After


In the Roaring 20's sex was liberated maybe for the first time in hundreds of years. Especially for women. This was a decade where many young women came out of the closet to find out what sex was all about and to get some. The youth went crazy and sex, partying and having fun was the way to go. On the whole most of the culture was still steeped in its Puritanical roots but for a brief time in our history sex was something to enjoy.

During the 30's and 40's women were often portrayed as independent working women or 

sophisticated women of the world, implying that sex in or out of the marriage bed was OK.
  The medium of film and the creation of movie stars began to influence generations of men and women on sex and morality.

During WWII as women began to do men's jobs, their was a sense once again of life is short so why not enjoy yourself. Many people had premarital sex but most ran off and got married to have it. In the 50's repression was the theme, family values and good girls vs bad. It was

 a man's world and women stayed at home. Sex was never talked about anywhere, and if you were a girl and had sex before you were married, you were a "bad girl". The morality of the 50's said that sex was forbidden unless you were married, and it was never portrayed as something you did for fun or pleasure.




The Sexual Revolution


Now it may seem to you that what we think about sex has not evolved much in the past hundred years, even with the sexual revolution of the 60’s, but it has. The women’s Liberation Movement in the 60’s and 70’s, along with the advent of the flower children, brought sex out of the closet. It was because women were finally given permission to enjoy sex that sex actually evolved beyond its former limitations and was allowed to be talked about. This set our sexuality free and introduced the idea that having sex was an act of supreme pleasure and fun. In many areas of the country the shackles of sexual repression were loosened and in some, such as my very own home town, San Francisco there was wild abandon and everyone began to have more sex with more partners. We all got drunk on this new sexual freedom. Our viewpoint of sex had finally shifted from one of just being an act of procreation to one of recreation.

The U.S. is really a teenage culture when it comes to how sex is viewed. This was demonstrated to me many years ago when I began to give pleasure parties for women. When I was demonstrating sex toys to women at these parties, it would always amaze me how the women would behave. They acted as if they were teenagers, giggling and laughing, as if they were doing something so very naughty. Their level of immaturity was astounding to me and proved that we, as a nation, had only evolved just past sixteen when it comes to sex talk.

The Present

The evolution of how we as a society think about sex is also reflected in our media. Today, and for the past few decades it seems that we have gone in the opposite direction of sexual regression tosexual obsession. Everywhere you turn you see billboards, videos, magazines and listen to music that is selling SEX.  Does the MTV, movies and the availability of porn on the Internet tell us that we have evolved into a more progressive and open society around sex? Does sexual obsession and over exposure to sex in the media really tell us that we have as a nation evolved our views about sex? I think not. Porn is now a 90 billion dollar industry selling anything that will get a man off quickly. 

The porn industry keeps pushing all the boundaries and has created a culture where sex in any form is OK. Violence and aggression toward women is becoming eroticized and more and more young men are becoming addicted to the dopamine rush and hook that watching porn provides. What use to be something that we used to titillate, provide a little juice to spice up one's sex life has now become a serious threat 
 to men and some women ability to have real sexual intimacy with a partner. The easy availability of porn has created a new environment  offering variety and quick satisfaction. 

Hooking-up like the 70's one night stands, tell us that sex is once again something to do for sexual gratification, fun and pleasure. The climate has shifted from seeing sex as something we do with the one we love to something we do to get off.

"The consistent exploitation of women's sexuality as a commodity has actually regressed our sexual IQ."



The Future of Sex


 There is still hope for our society and for the future of sex. The future belongs to the youth of our society and only if we can create new ways to educate, and talk frankly about sex,  will we be able to counter act the effects porn has had on them and the culture at large.

Sacred sexuality also provides another way to uplift how our society sees sex. Even though it is not yet in the mainstream it has nevertheless taken root through the Neo-Tantric movement. For over 30 years the revival of Tantra and Sacred Sexuality in the West has been slowly gaining momentum. It may in fact be our only saving grace. For it has been through this movement that our views on sex have truly evolved. The way in which sexual energy is defined and used in Neo-Tantra have taught us the importance of understanding how to use our sexual energy to not only increase our ability for sexual pleasure but for our spiritual evolution as well.


We may be able to say in the not to distant future, that as a nation we have finally
  matured and have come to see sex no longer as a commodity but as our vital life force energy, the energy that is creation itself and an expression of our divinity. The evolution of sex is an on-going process that reflects the consciousness of the culture we live in.

The second sexual revolution will not be about sexual freedom but about restoring the sanctity of sex, sexual intimacy and relationships. It can also provide us with a new meaning of what it means to be a sexually whole and empowered person






If you have any thoughts you would like to contribute I would love to hear them.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Navagating Being a Girl In Today's World



Imagine a world where it was safe to be a woman, safe to be a girl and grow up with positive images of girls and women. Images that show women as smart, strong, confident, loving themselves just the way they are, in all body types, all ages and free from any constraints regarding their sexuality.

To live in a world where being female was not something that needed to be defended, protected, hidden or exploited, but rather honored, respected, loved and supported. What would it feel like to live in a world where feminine values were an integral part of the culture?


I am asking these questions because I have been doing research recently on the subject of “girl world” or what it means to be a girl growing up in the 21st Century, and I have to say I am horrified. Now I know this is a rather strong word to be using but it nevertheless is true. Having a God daughter who just turned 15 I decided to do some serious reading regarding the current sexualization of girls and children by the media and the marketing mongols. What I discovered was that it is really difficult to survive 'girl world' today. Boys are challenged as well in different ways, but I am just speaking about girls for the moment.


In today's world girls have to navigate through the trenches of "mean girl mentality" and blatant sexual harassment in their high school halls. In the book Queen Bees and Wanna Bees by Rosiland Wiseman, the author speaks about the existing pack mentality that is rampart in middle schools and high schools today for both boys and girls. It addresses the hierarchical positions of power in the girl cliques that exist and how each girl rivals each other for the Alpha Girl or Queen Bee's attention. Each girl has a part to play that is often not authentic but necessary for survival in girl world. Maybe it is because I don't have a daughter of my own, but I was seriously shocked to hear about the conduct girls are exhibiting amongst themselves. I know girl cliques have been a standard in schools for years, but I don’t remember them ever being so nasty.


The questions I asked myself were how did this happen, and why? When did girls become so nasty and mean to each other? When did power over others become so rampit in high school or even middle school?  The answer is because we live in a world that fosters masculine values over feminine ones and teaches our children that power is everything. The concept of power over rather than cultivating power from within is valued and praised.


From a Tantric perspective the feminine is valued and appreciated. The woman is usually seen as being strong and proud of her sexual power. Power from within is not a new concept and I first heard this term fromStarhawk in her book Truth or Dare. It means to feel ones power from within oneself rather than to take control over another. Cultivating power from within takes courage and builds character and I consider this to be the only true power we can have.


All of the things I believed the Women’s Liberation Movement fought to change o many years ago regarding the stereotypes of women, are in full swing in ‘girl world’. And did you know that the ideal girl/young woman that girls often try to emulate is Barbie? I kid you not. Yes, Mattel’s multimillion dollar doll that I played with when I was just a girl is bigger than ever and more influential than ever. Fashion models notwithstanding the images that the media and companies like Disney are still feeding the youth of America are very stereotypical. The only difference is that now Barbie has a brief case or drives a race car.



“Marketer's, illustrators, authors, songwriters, TV producers, movie screen writers, journalists, buyers for mall stores, and more are currently competing with you for the right to teach your little girl what it means to be a girl.” ( Packaging Girlhood, Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes).

Girls are told that they must strive to become more like a doll than themselves. Is it just me or is there something really off with that philosophy. Girls ages 3-18 are bombarded with what it means to have girl power according to fashion designers and marketers, essentially boiling it down to learning how to dress sexy or like a princess and shop, shop, shop. Girls are being bombarded with commercials that tell them if they just buy this pair of shoes they will be popular or hot. They are still learning that being sexy is the only thing that matters for a girl, and that what is important is how they look. Sexual empowerment equals looking sexy.

In a previous blog, The Sisterhood of Women, I speak of the possibility of women learning how to truly be what I call a 'temple sister'. In this model, (and you can find out more about this at The School of Womyn's Mysteries), women and girls learn how to support each other, communicate with each other in authentic ways and to value each other equally even when in a relationship with a man. 


Teaching and modeling for them how to honor and value each other is essential if they are to have meaningful and healthy relationships with women as they grow up. The model of cooperation and collaboration rather than competition and separation are new the new themes emerging in the world of women today.

Sex, boys, being popular and part of the in crowd have always been apart of "girl world." What has not is the rampart overt sexualization of women and girls through the media, music and advertising.


Some Things You Can do as a Parent

If you have a daughter or are a big sister to a young girl who is currently being affected by this or is a tween or teenager these are a few suggestions that you can do to help support you and her.
  • I encourage you to speak with other parents and to seek out programs that can support your daughter and you through this.
  • Become more educated and aware of the problem by reading books on the subject. Some of the books that I have found really helpful, besides the ones already mentioned are: The Lolita Effect, The Power of Beauty, The Beauty Myth and The Secret Lives of Girls. (all of these books can be found on Amazon or at your local library).
  • Find ways to share what your wisdom with your daughter in ways that she can relate too and also understand that she probably already has a good idea of what is going on.
  • There are also programs available to young girls called Maiden Spirit which will raise her consciousness, give her support, and help her to maintain being her own person.
  • Join with other parents who feel like you do, take your power back from the media and speak to the principal and or head of your school district. Invite them to discuss the situation and brain storm on ways to shift it.


Your comments are appreciated and I am happy to respond when I can.
Invite in a program to your daughter's school that can help raise the awareness of both boys and girls like the one Rosiland Wisemen offers.

Friday, March 25, 2016

REDEFINING YOUR EROTIC SENSE OF SELF



How do women define what makes them look and feel sexy?

This is a question I have asked myself for quite some time. I even offer a workshop for women exploring this very issue. Women have been told for hundreds if not thousands of years what they have to look like in order to be a “sexy” woman. Each culture has it's own definition of beauty and what a sexually attractive woman is, and these attitudes are reflected in the way women are told to dress, behave and act. Today we have Madison Ave., fashion magazines, movies and music lyrics that tell us how you can be a “sexier” you. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us how we should look, act, think, feel and what we should wear in order to be a sex goddess, have a fulfilling sex life, have the man of our dreams and so on.

With all of our advancement in the workplace, in some political arenas and in with some of our male/female relationships, women are still living within the framework of the old paradigm that was created some 5,000 years ago. Although the standards of what men in general define as “sexy” may have changed, the attitudes have not. You may find that you are still defining yourself according to these standards that most of us had no part in creating. And if you are a "woman of a certain age", then this question of how you define what a sexy woman is will begin to mean something entirely different.

Have you ever taken a moment to just reflect on what makes you feel and look sexy? What types of clothing make you feel that you have a sexy body, or that you are a sexually powerful woman? If you were to take a look at your wardrobe, what would you find that truly reflects how you define what being and looking like a sexy woman is? You may think that the choices you have made are your own, but are they really? Where do we get these ideas of what sexy looks like, or what a sexy body is supposed to be?

Not too difficult a question really, for as I already mentioned, these ideas that we often think are our own are only a reflection of what our society, culture dictates to us and in it has been men for the most part who have dictated these things to us. For thousands of years since the inception of patriarchy men have set down the standards of beauty and sexuality for women, and women have essentially been trying to live out those ideals.

In a recent book I read by Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth, I learned quite a bit about how Madison Ave. works to train the minds of women to buy whatever they wish to sell. Now women work in this industry too, so it is not just men who tell us what to buy. What disturbed me the most was reading that women actually believe in what they are being told to buy without much question and this is primarily due to the fact that a great many women have very low self-esteem and do not trust their own judgment. So what does this all mean and how can we be the change that we ourselves desire to have?

 In a  recent workshop I took a  room full of women were allowed to ask a panel of 6 men questions. One of  the questions was, what defined a sexy woman for them. The answers were somewhat unexpected. Almost all of the men said, confidence, sexually self-assured, independent and open-hearted is what they felt primarily made a woman sexy. Being physically attractive and chemistry was also mentioned but not as the primary things they looked for.
Below are a few questions you can ask yourself as well as a few things you can do that may help you
to redefine your erotic sense of self.



10 Tips to Redefining Your Erotic Sense of Self


1) What makes you feel sexy and attractive?

2) What are the qualities that you consider to make a woman sexy?

3) How do you define what being sexy is for yourself?

4)  What types of things make you feel juicy and alive?

5) What types of clothing express your sexuality? What types of clothing make you sensual or beautiful?

6) What is beautiful to you and what makes you feel beautiful?

7) What types of things make you feel sensual.  Then do them. Be willing to try new things out and be playful.

8) As an exercise, take time to look at other women when you are out and about. Notice what you like about the way they dress, or the energy they are emitting.What about them is attractive, appealing or beautiful? Don't compare yourself just notice what you like and see if you would like to try on those qualities.

9) Feeling sexy comes from the inside first. When you feel confident about yourself and your sexual expression, your sexual allure will shine through.

10). Be willing to open your heart and let the love that you are radiate out to everyone. Nothing is more sexy than the smile of a radiant woman.

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you must train yourself to see beauty in yourself and to begin to really question what the media or the collective consensus is telling you.


In my workshop Unveiling the Sacred Erotic Feminine, women are given an opportunity to come into the workshop dressed as the way they feel about their erotic selves. One woman dresses in black veils, another wears long flowing robes, one is flamboyant and one comes as a nun. What these women showed us in this exercise was how they felt about their sexual and erotic nature. You too can do something similar by playing with your clothes and trying on different costumes that portray how you feel about your sexual self. Doing this exercise will help you discover how you really feel about your sexuality and from there you can begin to explore your authentic sexual expression.
In order for women to break free of the old paradigm we must make our own choices without the influence of the media and the dictates of a male dominated world.

We live in the age of where creating our reality begins and ends with us. So it is important for you to question everything, to ask yourself how you feel about what is being told to you from the powers that be and to accept nothing unless you feel it is a true expression of who you are.


All women have the opportunity to shift from the old way we have been programmed to a new way of being for ourselves. The time has come for you and me to find out what it means for us to be in our Authentic Sexual Power and then to choose for ourselves how to express that.

If you would like to hear more about how you can reconnect and embody more of your authentic sexual power go to: The School of Womyn's Mysteries.