Sunday, 11 June 2017

Women and Spirituality

International Women's Day 2017:  Despite the Equality Rights Laws, women are in an unfair position, as they still earn far less than men for exactly the same work

Have you ever wondered why places of spirituality are filled with women, yet so few men? Often 80 per cent of the attenders are women, and women are involved with tasks requiring commitment, skills and time
Are women more able to appreciate aspects of spirituality: communion with the divine in meditation; appreciate the concept of service and caring; understand the importance of community and learning about others; and take part in something bigger than the self?


In contrast, our spiritual leaders are usually men, and are the highest paid, whilst women support them in this privilege. Men know little about the needs of women, whether it be pre-menstrual tension or post partum depression.
Every religion began with someone hearing the voice of a deity. Can women not hear this voice? I suggest they can - and have always been able to - so why do women put so much faith in men? We can think for ourselves! We are not objects or commodities. 

The patriarchal religions have oppressed women for generations, for millennia, so why do so many women still reach out to these ancient ideologies that have decried, disempowered and oppressed them? Is it because women are seekers, have a sense of the divine, want to associate and help others, and be involved with something greater than the mundane?

Sigmund Freud asked the controversial question "what do women want?" This has been asked many times since by those who have not listened for a reply. Women are generally fair minded and all they want are simple qualities that should be given without question, such as equality for example. 

It is in mens' favour to give women equal rights. All men have mothers, and many have sisters and daughters. Surely they want the best for their loved ones! 
If women earn equally to men, it will benefit men as well as women. Women want justice, and truth, peace of mind, and they want health and wellbeing as much as men do, perhaps more as a carer for the younger generation, and sometimes the older generation, for neighbours, work colleagues and others in their milieu. Of course, truly spiritual men support women in their fight for justice. 

It is a time to break taboos! 
Women in the western world need to take the lead. Menstruation is no longer taboo, we see adverts on TV and in magazines everyday. We can talk about women's health and such matters within the reproductive system which was considered in the past something to be embarrassed about. There are still women who are very insecure about their body. They give birth fully clothed so that the doctor will not see their 'private' parts. Patriarchal religions have inflicted all kinds of shame and guilt on women related to their reproductive ability. The parts of a woman's body that are covered by a bikini are often on display in a way that titilates and demeans them, rather than honours and revers the parts of a woman that perform the miracle of childbirth and child rearing. 

I want to reclaim the high level spirituality of women, and especially the spirituality of their body, which is both holy and precious. I want for women across the world to be free of judgement, and to fight if necessary to protect the most private places within their body from being disrespected. I am reclaiming the word 'vagina' so that we can speak about this with pride and sensitivity. International Women's Day is important for many reasons, not just for equal rates of pay, but for the many oppressed women across the world, whether it might be female genital mutilation, lack of education, inability to drive or have their face seen in public, to wear clothes of their choice,  marry who they want, have fulfilling work, avoid stalking, threats, enslavery or acid attack. I send out healing most especially for those who are victim of rape, and the possible resultant infection or pregnancy that can occur as a result of rape, and the dreadful victimisation of unmarried mothers, often the result of war crimes. My heart especially goes out to those girls who were abducted and imprisoned as sex slaves, who bore children, often alone, and to rear them without company or support for years of their young life. There are so many injustices, and religion must address the equality of the sexes and not be the causation of overlooking it. 
Article: Wendy Stokes. Wendy is speaking at A Day with Spirit, Friends Meeting House event, Hemnall Street, Epping on Saturday 11th March 2017 from 2.30pm - 3.30pm 




1 comment:

  1. Beautifully expressed, Wendy, and I am totally with you on all aspects of what you wrote. Women are no longer the "slaves, chattle, second class citizens" of the world! Of the Male Patriarchial World, I should say! No matter how much fuss and insults men put up with, losing the right to belittle and bully and dominate women, slowly but SURELY we will become not just equal but truly better in every way! Our needs as women to nurture and love means we will not start wars, rape or destroy lives with the push of a button and I think it is about time we also stated this! When women go for politics, do not be like men (Margaret Thatcher and now Teresa May!) be like WOMEN and use your God given gift of Feminine Intuition, compassion and love and watch this world turn around! Protect children first and then play Monopoly! Thank you Wendy and Happy International Women's Day from one spiritual woman to another. Peace, Love, Freedom, Shawn Cohen

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