feminism

A Woman’s Place

May, 2018

Judging Women Ourselves & Others

One of the things that stand out for me in the everyday world is how women judge themselves, and other women, so harshly.

It happens between friends when one is unintentionally hurt by the words of others. In a friendship, for the most part, although there are exceptions, no one ever wants to hurt the other, but it happens. You apologize and, with hope, move forward.   

Stop a moment and think about how much and how often we judge others; those we know, and more often, those we do not know.  This is especially prevalent in women; women judging ourselves and women cruelly judging other women.  We do it; we ALL do it, even those who believe we are enlightenedand feminist in our thinking, whether we wish to admit it to ourselves or not.

I am of the opinion that this is the way this patriarchal culture, this male-dominated society, has trained us to be so.  I am not going to go into the many wrongs done to women and to people of color by a white-male privileged society, not here anyway and not yet (fair warning).  This is more to the way women are trained from birth to judge and to distrust other women.

It would appear that the most important thing any female can do in this culture is to find a man, keep him, marry him and raise a family.  We are told this continually, we see it daily in movies, on TV, in books (for those fortunate enough to love to read).  This is the life we are trained for.  Little girls get toy vacuums, little plastic kitchens, tea sets; we are the ones who are taught to set the table, clean the house, do the chores, and maybe get taught how to cook, at least the basics.  As we grow older, we shave the unwanted hair on our bodies, make ourselves up like kewpie dolls, all in the name of getting a man”.  

(Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash)

As we look around at the men available to us, the women who should be our friends, our allies, somehow become our enemies, our rivals, in the getting of a man.  So, we look at them.  What do they have that I dont have?  What color is their hair?  Are they fat?  Are they thin?  Who looks at them and who looks at me?  We slowly begin to judge ourselves how do we stack up compared to them.  Media and culture being what it is, we NEVER come out on top.  There is something wrong with us, because we are TOLD something is wrong with us.   We begin to judge the other women.  If we are not perfect, then neither are they.  This does not make us sympathetic to them because we can relate; this makes us judge them even more harshly.  It becomes shes ugly”, shes so fat, shes easy, whatever the hell that might be.  The names being “fatso”, “slut”, “whore”, bitch”.  How often do the mean girlsstop and think about how they may feel if these words were hurled at them in hatred?  Unfortunately, words like this are said by even those who are not considered the mean girls and it continues into adulthood. When women, themselves, judge each other, see each other as “enemies”, how hard does patriarchy need to work to put us down? Not very hard as we put ourselves down.

This, I believe, is one of the biggest problems faced by feminism, and, really, it does not matter if you are a radical feminist, or a liberal feminist or anything in between because we are all affected. Seriously, how do you get a woman raised to believe they are second-best, inferior, not-good-enough, to get rid of the judging, get rid of the distrust and band together, stand together to fight the status quo?  

I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I believe it starts by teaching little girls they are valuable, they are worthy, they are important.  We teach them that the Divine once was, and still is, a woman.  We continue this dialogue that has already begun, with each and every woman we meet in real life and online.  We create sacred circles of women to stand together and be strong and TEACH each younger generation of women what is right and what has been wrong for so, so long in the treatment of women and it has to change and it has to begin, and continue, with women.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

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Book Review: Minerva’s Owls by Mary Petiet

October, 2017

“All of the Darkness, while we are created by Light.

“Minerva’s Owls” tells the story of where we came from and how we got to where we are now; of how we came from the Goddess, the world-wide worship of the Mother and matriarchal, women-affirming societies to a war-like God and technology driven societies.

It tells the story of how the balance of the world, and our own individual balance was disrupted, while the Feminine was buried within, and by the Masculine. It is why the balance is disrupted still.

Using her personal experience with yoga and what it has taught her, along with individual chapters on each chakra, Ms. Petiet explains the early matriarchal cultures and how they were taken over and destroyed, changing the world, as the masculine supplanted the feminine, which is where we are, still, to this day.

As she describes both feminine and masculine archetypes, she touches on Native American Spirituality and Eastern thought to explain that not only do we all need, and seek, connection, but why it is necessary.

Ms. Petiet has given us a guide on what we must be done to return our planet and ourselves to a balance of both energies, something that is needed for our survival.

We must return to the Wisdom, return to the Feminine, return to the Source.

If you have an interest in how we have gotten from there to here; if you have a desire to find a way back to personal balance and a deeper consciousness; if you have a wish to help the planet move forward in an evolved, more connected way, then by all means pick up “Minerva’s Owls”. You will be glad you did.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

A Woman’s Place…

October, 2017

In present day, there are now many different paths to feminism and there are those who believe that certain things, such as women working in the sex trade, pornography, etc. are being empowered by such work.

I would put myself out there to say that I disagree, and that I know many other women who identify as feminists who are right there with me, to say nothing of the many women who have worked as prostitutes and in pornographic movies who have gone on to write about their experiences and how it was so NOT empowering, but humiliating, demeaning and degrading to them, not only as women, but as human beings.

Recently, while scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I came across this photo:

With its’ bright colors, it immediately brought to mind that this was geared for younger girls. I posted it on the feminist page that I own/admin on Facebook. While most of the comments seemed to echo my own personal opinion, there were a couple that mentioned “taking back the word”, that it was “empowering” to wear something like this, or that the site selling these specifically mention being for “mature” adults.

Now, etymologically speaking, the origin of whore is not what is has come to mean. The following come from the site “word-ancestry.livejournal.com

“Today’s word can be traced all the way back to the prehistoric Indo-European root ka- ‘like, desire.‘ Interestingly, this word seems to have split into several different meanings. For the first, the word evolved into a younger Indo-European root karo which in turn led to Latin carus ‘dear‘ and Old Irish cara ‘friend.’ From this we get English caress, charity, and cherish, all of which have (or can be have) very wholesome and endearing definitions. The second path created another later Indo-European root, kamo, which eventually became Sanskrit kamah ‘love’ that we are all familiar with from the Kamasutra. Finally, at least for this discussion, the third route is the one in which today’s word developed. From prehistoric Indo-European ka came proto-Germanic khoraz/horaz, the feminine form of which was khoron/horon. Eventually this became Middle Dutch hoere, Old High German huora, Old Norse hora, Gothic hors, and Old English hore. As a side note, except for the Old English word which meant ‘whore, prostitute, harlot,’ the other cognates had the definition of an adulteress. Old English hore was in use prior to 1100 C.E. and continued on into Middle English. It was not until 1535 that there is record of the spelling changing to whore, and as of yet there is not much evidence as to why the change occurred.”

As can be seen, the root of the word originally meant “desire”, “dear” or “friend”, and the other root would mean an adultress, which is not necessarily what is meant by “whore” in today’s vernacular. Much like the word “virgin”, which originally meant a “free woman”, and not a woman sexually untouched, the word “whore” has come to mean something quite different. The original meanings of both words can no longer be reclaimed from patriarchy, so entrenched have their current meanings become in our society and culture, making the “taking back the word” argument, a moot point.

In looking through the site that sells these chokers, which I will not name, I have found them also to be made with the words “baby”, “baby girl”, “slut”, “daddy’s girl”, “yes, daddy”, as well a some with small pacifiers, dildos and vaginas, along with various Playboy bunnies, etc. The majority of them are made in bright pastel colors designed to attract younger girls.

Young women and girls need to be taught their worth, their value. Items such as this devalue and demean them, keep them tied to patriarchy’s idea of the only thing a woman can be……whore, slut. Words such as this are meant to bring women down, not raise them up.

It is up to older women to teach the younger what their value is, not only to the world, but to themselves. They have power, they have divinity through the Goddess, they are their own Sovereign beings, and this is what should come through in how they carry and project themselves to the world, not proclaiming themselves to be “whores” in the current sense of the word. As women reclaim their own sexuality, they should not lose their self-worth or their self-respect.

*Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are of the author only and do not represent the views or opinions of PaganPagesOrg as a whole.

 

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

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A Woman’s Place…

September, 2017

(Menstrual Night. Original art by Emily Balivet, may be found on her etsy site EmilyBalivet.)


Welcome to “A Woman’s Place……”, Pagan Pages’ new feminist column.

As some may have noticed, with the election to the US presidency of a man who is a racist, misogynist, homophobic, narcissistic bully, incidents of racism, anti-semitism, homophopia and misogyny are rising at a massive rate, all of which are distressing and disturbing. This column will address each of these issues, as feminism, for many of us, goes beyond just equal rights for women, but equal rights and social justice for all.

Recently, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came upon this article – America 2017: Georgia Woman Fired for Menstruating on the Job

With this, we harken back to biblical times, when women were unclean and had to be kept separate from the rest of their tribe.

With this, we harken back to the days when women would hide their moon-time supplies in a closet so that the children, and yes, their husbands would not see them and remind them that our bodies do something *dirty* every month.

With this, we, each of us, remember that day when we were still young (or older, it doesn’t matter) that we were caught unprepared and were laughed at, or worse yet, called disgusting names such as “pig” and hear “ugh, what the hell is that?” What woman has not been there at some point in her life.

It is a simple fact that all women get their periods, and that most of us, at one time or another, will have an accident.

This does not mean, as this article states that, (she failed to)…..”practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty”. This comment by her employer intimates that because this woman had her period, she was not clean (read: unclean).

The slippery slope that women have been on these past few years has just gotten more slippery. We are close to losing bodily autonomy. We can now lose our jobs for healthy bodily functions. There is at least one state out there that has voted for us to not have jobs or homes if we take birth control or have had an abortion. See: Missouri Votes to Let Employers Fire People Who Use Birth Control

Women need to fight back, just as this GA woman who was fired from her job is fighting back. She is not fighting back just for herself, she is fighting back for all of us. We should all stand with her because if we do not, who will stand up for us when the time comes? It will come, this is the direction we are being led by the patriarchal culture that we live in.

Yes, I know, there are women who see this and say, “well, she is dirty if she cannot keep that from happening”. I have seen the comments. Many feminists think of women such as this as traitors, and male-identified. This may be so, maybe not, I have no idea. What I do know is that as women, we need to stand together and support and encourage each other, not judge each other and drag each other down.

As women, have you heard of The Red Tent Movement? It is for reasons such as this, that this movement exists. Women need to connect to other women. We need to remember that our bodies, our blood is sacred. It is powerful; it is magickal. Our blood is keyed to the phases of the moon – how cool is that? Women need to educate themselves, start to see and believe in the sacredness of who they are, find the Goddess within and without. See: Red Tent Temple Movement 

So, please be aware, look around and wake up to the things that are happening around you, especially now while we are in the power of a man and the majority of a political party that would seem to hate women, and want them to be put back in the place they once occupied.

Have you watched or read The Handmaid’s Tale? Our bodies are being policed more and more, and this is no longer fiction.

Oh, the name of this column, “A Woman’s Place……”? In case you didn’t know where that place was, I will give you a hint — it’s everywhere.

*Disclaimer: The opinions reflected here belong to the author and in no way reflect the opinion of Pagan Pages or any of their other columnists.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through Imagine A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

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Warrior Women

August, 2016

Temple Grandin

temple

 

Imagine being smart. Really smart. HaHa. Just kidding. You are smart.
Imagine being super intelligent, a brainiac extraordinaire.
Imagine being autistic.
Imagine being Temple Grandin.
Ms Grandin is a fascinating woman. She has accomplished a great deal, on many levels, and possesses a stunning command of two areas dear to her heart: autism and animal science. Two utterly disparate subjects, you’d think. But, no. Temple Grandin not only colours outside the lines, but, moves them around, if necessary.
Mary Temple Grandin was born on August 29, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of two years, Grandin’s parents were told she was autistic and recommended she be institutionalized. Her mother refused.
Instead, Mrs Grandin arranged for her daughter to engage in long-term speech therapy and hired a caregiver who played with her, talked to her and kept her from retreating into herself. Mrs Grandin also read to her daughter, sometimes for hours at a time. Finally, at the age of four years, Temple Grandin began to speak. There is no doubt in my mind that her mother’s devotion had a hand in this.
Ms Grandin was an outsider throughout her elementary and high school years. Children can be very cruel, and because she was “different,” they teased her. How difficult that must have been! But, despite her social anxiety, lack of social skills and bullying by her peers, Temple Grandin, with great determination, made it through elementary, middle and high schools. She then went on to earn a psychology degree, a master’s and a doctorate, both in animal science. All I can say is, Wow! Very impressive, indeed.
She began working as a consultant to large slaughterhouses, her goal being the improvement of the animals’ quality of life. Her observations of cattle on their way to the processing plants and their subsequent fear, motivated Ms Grandin to redesign the walkways and chutes via which the animals travel in their final moments. It is very interesting to note that she is able to see the world through the animals’ eyes and has stated that many of their fears mirror her own.
Ms Grandin has said she has no interested in emotional issues, nor being part of a relationship. And yet, she knows how animals feel. Mostly because they react the same way she does to the same outside stimuli. This is quite intriguing to me. She finds normal-level noises to be overwhelmingly loud and coping with changes in her daily routine are almost impossible. She does not like to be in social situations and likens it to being “an anthropologist on Mars.” (Dr Oliver Sacks used this description as the title of his 1995 book.)
Temple Grandin has allowed us to have a closer look at the world of an adult autistic person. Her frankness, her understanding of animals, her willingness to write about her life and her readiness to open herself to us, is counterintuitive to the essence of her instincts. She is truly a brave, brave woman.
“You can design a mind to be more social [or] more interested in things. And if we didn’t have people more interested in things, we wouldn’t even have a phone to talk on.” ~Temple Grandin

I strongly urge you to watch this video of Temple Grandin giving a TED talk.

https://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds?language=en