Women’s LiberationMay 23, 2008
Quite a while ago and older lesbian sister said that she was not a feminist and it got me thinking. She said that ‘Feminism’ was a word that she viewed with suspicion, that it felt to her as though the word ‘feminist’ was coming from the universities, that grassroots wimmin were women’s liberationists, that ‘feminism’ and ‘feminist’ were words that did not gel with her when she first encountered them.
Back in the 1970’s there was this incredible, world-altering, mind-altering phenomenon. It was called the Women’s Liberation Movement. The women who participated in this movement were not feminists, they were women’s libbers. They were radical women, they were angry women. They were pissed off, dykey, frigid, man-hating, hairy, militant and they were loud. They were low-class wimmin, they were Black, Native and migrant wimmin, they were wimmin with disabilities, they were wimmin that men have tried to erase from HIStory. But I remember them and I honour them. They are the women whose footsteps I follow. They are the women whom I owe for my own existence.
So this was meant to be a post about why I am no longer calling myself a Feminist and how I am now a Women’s Libber. It is my thoughts on Debs’ post combined with my feelings after listening to SheCodes, Attorneymom, Professor Tracy and Tami on The Queen’s Council Podcast. I think Heart had a hand in it. Oh, and I suppose I should also credit the many, many Athena’s who have linked to my Joss Whedon posts too.
I’m not sure why the rational essay I was writing in my head turned into this. But it did so… read on if you dare.
And now, as I come to remembering mySelf and the Goddess. As the full moon rises anew, drawing the night sky, the stars and the dark mother calls. I know who I am.
I have never wanted to be Zeus or Dionysus. I do not follow the destructive path of Yahweh or Jesus. I hate the trinityfathersonholyspirit forged on the broken, twisted memory of the Triple Goddess: Crone, Mother, Maiden. I know who I am. I remember.
I know who she is. That Dark Mother. She is me, she is all women. Re-membering. Knowing. Be-ing. Be-coming. And her name was never ‘Feminist’.
This candyfloss feminism. White, narrow, male-stream, patriarchy-pleasing, dance to Dionysus’s beguiling music, bow to the thunder of Zeus almighty. I know who she is too. Athena. Athena. Woman without self. Woman dis-membered. Woman without memory.
I know her anger. She who. Loves her God the Father. Whether his name is Jesus, Daddy, Husband. Whether his name is Joss Whedon, Che Guevara, Zeus Almighty, Henry Jenkins. I know her hate. It is connected to my own. That mirror that shows up herself and her sisters. We will never be measure to man. Woman. Hate. Woman. Athena, I love you still. Though I bleed from the wounds you are forced to inflict on me. Athena. You are not The Dark Mother.
Shall I name, She whose eyes pierce through solid darkness? She who clears the mind of fog and confusion. She who walks in Darkness. The skin of her, wearing the night sky, woman and earth. Earth and sky. I can believe.
That woman. Her name. Is Afrekete, Kali, Hecate. Her name is Metis, Spider-Woman, Mother Eingana.
My name is feminist no longer. I walk as a woman, just a woman, hand in hand with the Dark Mother. We walk together, as women, towards liberation.
I do not seek equality with those who wouldst rape. I do not seek equality to those who would plunder for the sake of pleasure, laugh at destruction. I do not seek equality with those that would murder, buy women as sex, wank to women’s dis-memberment, take pleasure from the destruction of Our Dark Mother.
I do not seek equality with killers, with those who hate my kind, my grandmother’s skin, my mother’s rage. If I name myself, if I am named, feminist, I am not whole. I must deny. That Dark part of me. I must deny/hide/pretendpretend… She does not exist. I do not exist.
But I am woman. I am whole AS I AM. I am equal TO MYSELF. I am hand in hand with Darkness. Manifesting goddess. Hecate of the Underworld, Kali of Chaos, Spider-Woman, who weaves the Earth, Afrekete, the Unruly, Eingana, the Serpent mother, life and death. Who are you Athena? Why do you seek equality with those who hate you? Why do you seek equality with him that harms? When you are Goddess, when Our Dark Mother calls, why do you seek comfort from Dionysus? How do you answer Zeus Almighty, when he calls?
And in your ignorance, you turn away from She, who knows that there is elementary power in a closed fist and Elemental Power in and open palm. And in your ignorance you seek what you cannot afford to gain. There is no beauty in the places that you seek fulfillment. He. Man. He does not love you the way that She can.
Feminist can be your name Athena. I want another name. I want a name that bleeds her guts for women. I want a name that bares her teeth for women. I want a name that does my rage justice. I want a name that re-members our ancient mother.