Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creating a female counter-culture

At my bookclub we often sound off about issues.  It never fails, each meeting we either get pumped up about a topic the author brings up or go off on various tangents. The conversations are always interesting and enlightening, and I’ve read some interesting perspectives on the particular topic that came up at the last bookclub several times over the past few months, so I thought I’d bring it up here.
            The topic? PMS. But even more than that, the necessity of calling up the soul, which is so important for a meaningful and creative life.
            So, how did we get on this subject?  In the book (yes, in our bookclub we discuss the same book every month!) the author wrote about the importance for women to ‘converse with the wild feminine’—to take a little break from the world and have some solitude.  The author laughs when she hears the claim that women were considered by some anthropologists to be ‘unclean’ and forced to leave the village once a month. “All women know that even if there were such a forced ritual exile, every single woman would…leave the village hanging her head mournfully….and then break into a jig down the path.”
            Women often feel more intensely around that time, and in fact senses are heightened and tears often come more easily. Yes, we may get edgy and irritated, but this is because we feel so deeply. We aren’t ‘weaker’ because of our emotion, we just don’t see the world like men typically do. Men generally see the world more linearly and women employ more circular logic and rely more on intuition and emotion.
            Sheila Kelley writes “I believe that this ‘emotional irrationality’ is nothing more than the deep connection that women have to the vulnerability of humanity. It’s empathy.  To be blessed with empathy is one of the greatest gifts on Earth.”
            Labels like PMS are often negative and dismissive, but feeling so deeply isn’t a bad thing.  We can create our own female culture and propel it forward through a positive spin on ‘PMS’ and take our emotion and channel it into something good for us and for our souls.  Which brings me back to solitude, to carving out a simple place for yourself to escape for a bit—a little intentional solitude. It doesn’t have to cost anything—just a little time and effort. It’s vital.

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