The outrage following the overturn of ROE V WADE was felt and expressed all over the world.
I’ve watched “Stay Sweet – Pray – Obey” on Netflix recently. It is about a small community of a branch of Polygamists Mormons group. Members of the group are brainwashed to believe that the only way to God is by having multitudes of wives and children. When the old Prophet died, despite being a self-claimed immortal, a new “Prophet” who stepped in and decided preteen girls made adequate wives and mothers.
These young girls depicted in the film, whether they were 12 or 18 years old, were taught nothing about sex. Their path to “womanhood” is a horrifying, soul-destroying, and all-around traumatic event.
Those who were born into this group and, later, settled down, don’t know to employ the knowledge to set themselves on the road to betterment. They are groomed. They think it is the right thing to do.
For decades, no one dared challenge the “Prophet”. The very few who did were excommunicated, and families are torn apart. They lost their jobs, and their place in the community was cast away while labeled as Sinners. The girls have no none to turn to the police, or teachers, as every adult is part of the cult-like existence, manning their growing village.
As time progressed, some of these women ran away and told their stories.
On rare occasions, these Prophets or Gurus are found guilty of rape/pedophilia and rightly sent to jail. Their followers come and visit, take notes of received guidance, to bring back to their fellow Mormons/followers Most people leave the community at this point but, unfortunately, there are always a few loyal disciples to support their mentor, no matter what happens. Leaving would be facing their inner turmoil and trauma responses. It would be too much.
Those sharing their journey are scarred for life, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. , Few escapees found inner peace and happiness and their process of recovery is difficult at best and lasts a lifetime.
Those men act as Gurus, Prophets, Healers, and are all over the world. They shamelessly use the names of God and Jesus to validate and perform horrendous acts on children and women. And the sad reality is children don’t often have anyone to turn to. The Justice System doesn’t protect children or other victims of abuse. Lawyers, judges, police, and politicians all have their own agenda: winning, control, prestige, and money, money and more money. Of course, they are some wonderful and caring individuals in these sectors, unfortunately, they are part of systems that are fraught to the core. The caring individuals, very often, get pushed aside and often time silenced.
In many countries, women are slaves to their fathers, brothers, and later to their husbands. In Egypt for instance, 99.30% of women experience sexual assault and harassment. It is a “normal” part of life. Women are discouraged from reporting This type of behavior as it is a cultural norm. If a woman chooses to marry, she must forget her own ambitions to study and work. Both men and women don’t get educated about their own bodies and don’t really know what to do on their wedding night. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is performed on young girls to keep them on the straight and narrow.
In Kabul, in the 1970s, women went to university, and they enjoyed the freedom of expression and of being themselves until the Taliban forced them back into the confines of home. To an elusive life, never unchaperoned outdoors and covered head to toe. And the men are free to behave as tyrants over their possessions.
The Catholic view of sex as a sin, had a great influence over the centuries, in the West, and it is still very strong. In the 60s and the 70s, with the rise of Feminism, Human Rights, and Protection movements came sexual freedom. This generation decided to talk about sex and to express their sexuality fully! Finally, with the contraceptive pill, women could also enjoy sex before having They could plan their lives as they saw fit. WOMEN had more options and could live independently from men
Despite the benefit of not living in the Middle East, Western women face their own stifling challenges: we have been taught to hate menstruating. During the “time of the month”, we might be snickered at for being tired or grumpy. : “Women are sometimes punished for staying at home to raise the kids up, labeled lazy, and, we are accused of abandoning our children if we go back to work, no matter the reason. Women still get paid much less than men and sexual harassment is, still rampant. If victims report rape or assault, some are still blamed and shamed.
There is no clearer sign of how much women are being disrespected and seen as brainless creatures, not capable of making any decisions about their own lives and their own bodies, than the recent overturn of ROE V WADE, in the USA, quickly followed by Tory MPs, UK, declaring how great this was and how England should follow the USA’s example. On the 13th of August, a conservative US representative for the state of Ohio deleted a previously posted tweet accusing a 10-year-old girl of lying about being raped. She became pregnant as a result and sought an abortion in Indiana. He later retracted his claim when the suspect was arrested and accused.
So, what can we do, us, women (everyone who identifies as women included, of course!) We need to look after ourselves by putting ourselves first: Happy mama, happy children. Happy wife/partner, happy life! It is easier said than done, obviously, in this society build on discrimination and sexism. It starts from within, by turning toward our inner battles and turmoil with compassion for how tough it is to be a woman in this world! Self -Compassion for whatever we went through, and how we managed to survive being used and abused. It is also essential we support each other, that we stand together for our protection and for our rights, as well as for our children’s safety, happiness, and well-being. And there is such a thing as Fierce Compassion, it is all about letting our inner Fierce Mama Bear out and roar in the face of injustices and protecting our cubs. We can also call this inner part our Inner Warrior Goddess!
I see you, I hear you,