Dear Sisters of the #Solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag,
When I wake up to how I have been silenced – again – I tend to get a bit touchy when others start trying to do the same thing to me. It’s the same if we’ve been abused – in whatever form that abuse takes – remembering that abuse affects us all. There are abusers in every human culture – it’s an equal opportunity problem. In my own experience, there comes a point where some forms of abuse become completely intolerable and I run the danger of behaving very badly. I’m at that point now. I’ve had enough of it. From the looks of it, so have you. I ‘get’ how you must be feeling because my own seem similar. The only difference between us is that I may have more experience in dealing with such feelings than you have. Here’s why.
Spending seventeen years in psychotherapy, three months in a psychiatric unit and nearly five years in prison has a way of leaving me rather ‘sensitive’ to being told who I am. I am a white woman, I am feminist and I tell you this, YOU WILL NOT DEFINE THE COLOURS OF MY SOLIDARITY.
You will not tell me who I am or what I am when you know nothing of me. I don’t know where you got your definition of solidarity from but it looks nothing like the one I have lived. I may not have lived my solidarity out where you could see it but it will be recorded in what I did in prison. When my Sisters of Colour needed help, I gave it. If there were problems of bigotry and prejudice – when I was there and could act – I did something about it, even if all that was left was to be a solace and friend in hard times. On those occasions where I appeared to do nothing, that’s because I was respecting my Sisters’ boundaries. I know it’s true because I lived it. It’s what Sisters of Colours do in those situations: I DON’T CARE WHAT FUCKING COLOUR WE ARE – I CARE ABOUT HOW WE BEHAVE TO EACH OTHER!
*takes deep breath and counts to ten*
If I’m treading on sensitive ground for you and it hurts a bit, then I apologise for that in advance but take a look at where you are on mine. I’m not hurling all my ancestors at you either (yet) – I’m simply talking to you as one human being to another. I am on the edge of an Abyss with you and I’d rather you didn’t fall in, unless you insist. In fact, I’m hoping I can help you climb out but you’re going to have to take that projection you seem to have about white women off me first please.
There is a Spirit Rule in Albion (this is where my ancestors square up to your ancestors) that when we point a finger of blame at others, three fingers point back at us. This is a useful tool to have in our awareness because it makes us careful about that we accuse others of being. There is ALWAYS a truth in a psychological projection – otherwise it doesn’t work. To break a projection, however, needs a human being – I’m volunteering in this instance because I won’t stand by and let you make the mistakes we made if talking back to you will stop it. The human race can’t afford such acting out anymore and this kind of unconscious mob-think needs to stop.
No, white women aren’t perfect. We’re not supposed to be. With all due respect, you’re not perfect either. White women have their place in this Medicine Wheel, whether other Sisters of Colours like it or not. This means that my Voice as an Elder has an equal right to be heard as that of Youth! I wish no harm to your fury and rage – that is to be honoured, respected and heard. What I am asking is that you adjust your target. I am not your enemy. Whilst you shoot your bullets at me, your true foe steals your goodness from you. No-one is supposed to be perfect and anyone who claims they are is a problem. That applies across all cultures. Healthy people understand respect, whatever shape, colour, spirit or culture their Spirit inhabits. That’s how I know that Solidarity is not just the property of white women. Solidarity belongs to the Medicine Wheel – She is all-colours.
You complain that I know nothing of your non-White experiences but fail to explain how I might correct the problem. How I’m supposed to learn how to do that? Live your life for you? This is not a reasonable demand and I reject it. Only you can live your lives and, from what I can see, you are our future. You are young. You have yet to learn than life has limitations; one of them being that we only get to live the life we are given. As a shaman, I believe that we earn bonus points for good behaviour in the Spirit World. The only bonus points we get from bad behaviour come when we learn the lesson and grow up into adults. Growing up is simply part of human experience. So you didn’t get what you wanted from white women and you never will. What you want is not possible in my reality. What I can tell you is that the neo-feminism you describe – which most certainly does exist and is only useful for tab papers in prison – does not apply to us all. I tend to the opinion that if we can’t explain ourselves in simple language, we still don’t know our subject well enough. I believe the women you describe speak only of theory. The feminism I know is the one I have lived as impeccably as it is possible for one individual woman to be, whatever colour she might be.
This is what I have learned that might help each and every one of you make up your own remarkable minds. The future is always bigger than the past. What my own generation had to learn seems to be instinctive in you. When I explored feminism I learned from all Sisters who used the same resonance of meaning. When I read outside my colour and culture, I found there were some things I couldn’t hear. Each time I listened, I learned more. I know there are words, spoken and written, that can only be understood within your own experience. The same is true for all of us – no-one gets to live our lives but us. Some experiences cannot even be spoken of. This is true for all of us. We are the sum – or gestalt – of our heritage, relationships and experience. In encounters like the hashtag, we offer certain fragments of ourselves. What aspects of your own self did you consign to the solidarity of white women alone? I saw bitterness, abuse, hurt, betrayal, abuse and envy in many of the tweets. This is good because it is the beginning of wisdom. I also saw erupting fury, biting wit and outrageous passion too. This is wonderful for this is creativity in action. Both Shadow and Light erupt into being and we acquire the ability to make new choices. Somehow, old chains cannot restrain the Spirit of Women anymore.
This choice of hashtag is both an error and a catalyst for learning, in my opinion. There are clearly some major issues to be re-understood between us but you may not use your collective power to abuse my white sisters solely on the grounds of bigotry. My true white feminist sisters refuse bigotry as stoutly as I do. We need you to make room in your imagination for women such as me, so we can actually function on our own terms in your experience. We always start with respect for difference, so it’s time everyone else checked their own privileges too. How free am I to walk in your reality on my own terms, provided I walk with respect?
This is not about who you are. Who you are is a mystery on the point of unfurling. This is simply about your behaviour. We women have a massive problem in the world coming at us from every direction. Now is not the time for competition about who is valuable and who is not. Now is the time for discovering each other again and what new information your erupting generation is bringing to Women’s evolution. We can’t learn that if you’re busy dismembering colours from our Medicine Shield.
I’m not telling you to listen to me. The leaders for this next step in our evolution are to be found with Red Women – these are the prophecies belonging to the Medicine Shield and this is the Wisdom I am guided to heed as Truth. There are hidden secrets in all Colours of Shield Woman’s Wisdom; Black, Red, Yellow and White women and it is our Solidarity that holds us together. It is our humanity that holds us apart so we can see ourselves more clearly. Each one of us is unique. We all hold Wisdom, whoever we are but we can only access that wisdom through our individuality and the care we take of our target when we join an erupting crowd.
All these lessons I teach I learned the hard way. It might look easy but don’t be fooled – the Wisdom of the Medicine Shield is hard earned. People who have honestly come by such wisdom shine with their own authenticity. We know what it is to be both harmed and harmful. What we learn is simple: to treat others the way we would wish to be treated, until such time as one, or other, of us realises the person we are dealing with refuses to learn. It is at this point we find out about the stuff we are truly made of – do we struggle to escape or do we succumb to sleep and numb ourselves off?
My Sisters, the face you were showing to white women with your hashtag is a very powerful one for waking people up. Applied in more imaginative and thoughtful ways, but with full awareness of your responsibilities to our future, the powers you wield could benefit humanity enormously but to do this competently requires that you learn from your mistakes.
I return your soul fragments to you. They don’t belong to me and are not mine to keep. They are your true source of deep wisdom but be careful because some have sharp edges. I do not need yours – I have my own which seems to be growing well given the experiences I now find myself in.
As a parting, and only for those who would choose it; I have placed a Blessing Gift of Love for you in my Otherworld. Just say the word ‘Yes’ to receive it. How it works, I don’t know but I hope it gives us what we all are in most need of, in all individual realities: Love.
In Sisterhood and White Solidarity