2018 has been touted as ‘The Year of The Woman’ following #Metoo movement and many other significant moments during the course of the year. Women are saying “No More”. Adding to this beautiful movement, are the men walking holding women’s hands in solidarity and support. Lady Gaga summed this up eloquently by saying: “Let’s lift our voices. I know we are, but let’s get louder …. And see that there are great men in the world. And ask them to hold our hands. For justice. That our voices be heard. Whatever our story may be. For an equal standing. We will fight for justice for men and women and other sexual identities…..”
As a mother of a magnificent girl-child I have pinned up inspiring stories in our kitchen. Stories of heartache and struggle, abuse and trauma, but rising up like a phoenix, Still I Rise, the words of Maya Angelou float through my head… woman, women, still I rise. Stories from brave women like Caster Semenya who received the Woman of Courage Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation, as she continues to fight against regulations that stigmatise and cause harm to women. Dr Christine Blasey Ford testifying about her sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee, in front of millions of people…despite her voice being drowned out she is a hero for her bravery and speaking out, giving other women courage. Serena Williams, Nadia Murad, Cheryl Zondi, Nice Nailantei Leng’ete. To Miss X, my neighbour, my friend, my colleage, the lady walking across the street…. May your being be touched in some way by the winds of change and the up-rising of No More.
We stand together, this girl-woman child and I, and look at these women’s faces and read their stories and feel a kinship on so many levels. This girl-child and I feel the pride and heart-swell of being part of this tribe called Woman, and the variations of that beautiful word and continuum of femininity.
As a mother of 2 magnificent boy-children I have pinned up inspiring stories in our kitchen. Stories of brave and courageous women. These magnificent boy-men children stand with me, as we read, look and contemplate together, and I feel a kinship with them on so many levels. These boy-men and I feel pride and the heart-swell of the beautiful and awesome masculinity within them and the pride we feel to call these boy-men part of the tribe called Man and the variations of that beautiful word and continuum of masculinity.
And reaching for my hand in front of our pin board I am humbled by the strength and luminosity of these beings in my life and feel overwhelmed with being part of tribe we call Humanity…..a word too small to encompass the many shapes and forms of masculinity and femininity yet at the same time strangely vast enough to fill one with a sense of awe at the enormity of difference and in that our very connection. Like looking up at the Night Sky as a thing, as a whole, twinkling millions and millions of bright stars…