I have spoken to several men who were brave enough to be candid with me about the women’s March a few weeks ago …it seems they were having a hard time understanding the intent. They understand women are fed up, but the prevailing question in my conversations was “What do you want?
A friend from the South said, “All the news reports are saying something about women’s solidarity…against what? What are you standing against? It is just not clear.” And another friend from the Midwest said, “I know it is about a bunch of pissed off ladies, who have good reason, but other than that, I do not know.”
I believe this is an all too often conundrum for men in terms of understanding female expression. Certainly they are supportive because they love us, but it seems some have no idea what this is all about.
What is it about?
And I have to be honest… as a person who has spent an entire professional life honing messages for campaigns and product announcements; I had a bit of frustration regarding the communication strategy. I just wondered if we were missing an opportunity. There are many problems so let’s get focused and communicate clearly our goals and message so something can actually change.
Is it about equal pay? Is it about healthcare? Is it about sexual harassment? Racial or LGBTQ injustice? Is it about climate change? Is it about immigration policy?
And then it struck me like a ton of bricks…”Oh this is how the feminine actually works…” There is no single clear message and there is no leader… we are all the leaders and there are many things to be done.
It reminds me of this quote by Nicholas of Cusa, German mystic of the Catholic Church:
“God is an infinite circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”
The feminine way…
The feminine way of being is decentralized, it is non-hierarchical and non-linear. There is no apparent plan, no center and no definitive pathway forward. It is a powerful self-organizing and interconnected movement that is seemingly chaotic, but what needs to happen, happens.
This movement reminds of my cousin’s funeral. There were three women there to set up the reception for hundreds. There were many things to do and a short time to do it. My uncle shows up to help and says, “What is the plan?” I said there is no plan we are just doing things that need doing…” He was a CFO of a mining company and was visibly annoyed with me. I did not know how to explain, but I had stuff to do so I kind of left him standing there. After the reception he came up to me and said, “I cannot quite understand how all of that got done, but it worked out.”
This self-organizing capacity of the woman-system made me think of Chaos Theory:
“At the centre of Chaos Theory is the fascinating idea that order and chaos are not always diametrically opposed. Chaotic systems are an intimate mix of the two: from the outside they display unpredictable and chaotic behaviour, but expose the inner workings and you discover a perfectly deterministic set of equations ticking like clockwork.” ~Jonathan Borwein, PhD and Michael Rose, PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle (http://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-chaos-theory-10620)
I do know there are concrete plans and actions, which are moving forward, but my observation is about the whole system. It seems there is an underlying awareness that our wisdom and ways are desperately needed and we are showing up from a multitude of issue perspectives.
But something in me still struggles with the question about the message, is there a common denominator that will help us unify our voice so we can be clearly heard? It seems to me the one thing that binds all of these causes is the idea of “no more.” What has been (this patriarchal model), is definitely not working…it is harming life and women are saying “stop.”
But equally important is that we are saying we will work where we are inspired and where we are needed, whether it is on the national stage, in our families or communities. We will use our skills, capacities, connections, money and voices to change what we see needs changing. We will write, we will petition, we will donate, we will sort out and organize. And we will place our bodies and hearts against whatever is harming our beloved earth, animals, water, air and other human beings.
IMAGE: Enraptured by an intoxicating combination of early morning sunlight and birdsong, the seed pot burst open by Allison Davis.