I also wanted to collect a small buffet of creative work by women who play by their own rules to inspire you all and me. Some things to keep coming back to when it feels difficult to be a Women. Some Women to fire you up and fill you up.
Firstly I found this
, two incredible articles by the Witch of Forest Grove , truly honest and powerful mud and blood witchcraft if ever I saw it. The rest of the site is pretty amazing too!
Next I want to take a moment to return to and venerate Kali, the epitome of the unacceptable nature of women. I want to give a shout out to Ibis music who are creating some incredible soul stirring work on Kali and others. You can listen to the Kali album streaming live on their website here
I only recently discovered Buffy Sainte Marie but she speaks a direct and powerful truth.
Ruthie Foster took one of my favourite Maya Angelou poems and turned in into a divine song - this is for you dear reader, you are a Phenomenal Women, whoever you are.
Lastly another of my favourite poems by Kate Makki and a performance that has stayed with me for years. If I ever feel I am not pretty - I watch this and remind myself why that is a good thing!
I am going through an interesting time right now exploring the "unacceptable nature of women". Over a year ago I attempted to read Emma Restall Orr's book "kissing the hag" on the "unacceptable nature of women" and was disappointed beyond measure. If anything it seemed agree with some of the worst stereotypes about women and did nothing as far as I could see to embrace the unacceptable nature of women - a powerful phrase which the book did not do justice to.
Earlier this year I managed to get a copy of Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, this is a book about the true unacceptable nature of women and it is so deep and so inspiring I can only consume it in small bites so that I can really savour it, really absorb it.
Through the work I have been doing by myself and with my Ladies I have come back again to this concept of embracing the unacceptable. I am still assimilating these lessons and I will no doubt come back to this again and again but the idea I am currently working with is simple...
Women have been allowed power on the condition that they abide by the boy's rules. That we women are not "too emotional" and "don't cry or get upset", that we don't get too obviously old, hairy or plump, that we are not compassionate at the expense of business and a whole host of other things too numerous to mention.
So I am bringing you on my journey into the unacceptable nature of women, my journey where I hope to embrace that nature and perhaps help other women embrace it to. Because I don't think those rules work...no wait...because I don't feel those rules work!
Nothing encapsulates my current train of thinking more than these two videos. Talking about the rage carried by women and the compassionate nature of us all which has been suppressed.
If you don't know about the TED talks then consider these your gateway drugs.
This first one is a talk about the fierce nature of women by Chameli Ardagh and why that nature is breathtaking and amazing and to be used as a powerful force to change the world for the better. The honest discussion of the nature of rage as experienced by Chameli is moving beyond belief.
Eve Ensler captured my heart with the Vagina Monologues many years ago. I recently found this video and I cried with sadness and then I got to the poem at the end and I cried with joy as I realised it was not only ok to do those things, but something to be celebrated because "I am an emotional creature".
Please be aware of a trigger warning - this video contains descriptions of violence against women, and sexual violence against women, but if you can make it to the end you will find the poem that made me cry with joy!
Tune in for part two for a glorious celebration of Women's Creativity.