This weekend, I was leading a retreat in Palava ...
... and had the honor of meeting 8 strong, intelligent and very
independent women. They we are all very different from one another,
what I saw in them is that they were not afraid to be feminists.
Here, culturally, depending on your age, it is considered a bad thing to
be a feminist. If the idea of feminism is only representing the white
middle class, upper class woman, then I too am not in accord/aligned
with feminism. I don’t actually want to discuss feminism. I want to
discuss how we as a culture shame women. It really breaks my heart
that so many women do it to one another. Instead of celebrating
each other, we put each other down. Instead of creating a space for
difference, we shame the difference.
I GOTTA SAY, THAT I WAS NOT RAISED IN SUCH A GENDERED SOCIETY.
I ALWAYS FELT FULLY CONFIDENT AS A GIRL. I DIDN’T FEEL LESS
CAPABLE AS A WOMAN.
I for sure felt sexually objectified especially here in Europe. My male
peers in my early twenties, in Czechland, had a very specific idea
about what women can do, shouldn’t do, can look like, say, and all the
things under the sky...I was shocked really. Because I was free. I felt
equal to them(the guys). They didn’t see me equally. Not only that, the
women also fell into the pattern of speaking of other women poorly.
All of this is an enormous
can of worms to open.
I often feel like it is taboo to speak about the controversial real issues
in our society...that too is shamed.
Of course I am curious, one of the first things that people say is ‘well
who do you hang out with? My people don’t speak like this, behave
like this, are not like this’ Therefore absolving themselves of any
responsibility or accountability. If we allow people to shame others,
because they are different, then we are supporting that view. It
doesn’t magically disappear.
Attitudes change, because those attitudes are confronted, and worked
on. They don’t just vanish. How can we be more mindful, kind and
caring when we are speaking about people who are different?
Yogis, are taught that we are all one. This is one of the main
philosophical principals of Yoga. We are ONE. This does not mean we
are all the same. So how do we allow for all these differences to exist,
If we are all part of the same value system then we can more easily
apply this worldview. We don’t all value the same things. So learning
to be mindful when we speak doesn’t come naturally to some.
One of the reasons why I believe in reducing SHAMING or eliminating it,
is because it works on dismantling hierarchy, it can also chip away at
patriarchy, racism, agism, ablism, and the EGO. It shifts the power. It
takes a lot of practice, and it really needs to be a collective en mass
movement, so that the next generation is different.