The Political is Personal; The Personal is Political

***The Political is Personal***

 

This cry, from  the mid-1960’s was born of women’s and civil rights fights and protests.  It is from an essay by Carol Hanisch, although there are those who say it is a quote from Gloria Steinem.

I try to not infuse/confuse my classes with politics; however, since what I do deals with women, women’s spirituality and women’s empowerment, now seems to be the time to do so.

Women are, once again, in a fight for their lives with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  Allegations aside, his behavior during his testimony proves that he is unfit for the highest court in the country, although he fits the mold of the one who nominated him.

Some women, once again, are telling the stories of their treatment at the hands of men, why they waited, why they never told, how it has affected their whole lives, how and why they can never leave it behind them.  We have seen and heard the reaction of white men to a woman who has the nerve the accuse one of their own.  Even though these women are speaking out and speaking up, they have been and are triggered.

Some women, once again, have chosen to stay silent about their stories, but they have them.  We all have them.  Their reasoning for remaining silent is theirs, and very individual.  They have that right.  These women, too, are triggered.

Calls to abuse hotlines have skyrocketed over the past couple of weeks.  This is no surprise.

What is still a surprise, to me, is the women who defend Kavanaugh, and those like him. I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’ve seen and heard enough from women who refuse to see what patriarchy has done to women, and to men, as well.  Internalized misogyny is a thing.  Look it up.

The cry was *The Personal is Political*.  I tend to look at it as *The Political is Personal*.  What passes for politics today is extremely personal, at least to me, and most of the women who are my friends and Sisters.  Our experiences, our stories, our lives are out there; the details differ but the experiences are similar.  For women of color, my guess is that it is that much worse.

This is the world which women live in.  For some, every day of their lives is a trigger for a memory which makes them stop, and cry, and want to die.

This is when our self-care becomes a priority.  Do what you need to – speak up or do not speak up.  But then, take care of yourself.  Write down a list of the things that soothe you, that bring you joy and comfort, and when the time comes that you need that comfort, look at that list and take care of yourself, from taking a long, hot bath, to a cup of tea, to a nap, to meditation.  Whatever works for you is what you do.  Feel all the things, all the emotions you must and need to feel, but when all is said and done, take care of yourself because sometimes ourselves is all we have.  Self-care.  Self-nurture.  Self-soothe.  Wrap yourself in love, hugs and acceptance for all that you have experienced and been through because you are strong and you are a survivor.

May the Goddess bless you and all of us.

 

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