On Power and Sovereignty

To have a mind of one’s own is the great endeavor and great mystery of our time. An endeavor, I would suggest, that we have not yet commenced, and thus remains unsolved. I would go even further to suggest that we have not even broken ground, have not had the great inaugural event of woman autonomous, that would bring us into our rightful interiority—the only region wherein true sovereignty can be carved out, recovered, hallowed. We, as women, have built identities atop a consciousness, a land that is not our own. A land of impacted ideas, beliefs, systems, and institutions which we have appropriated into. To be woman is to be defined by accommodation, the unconscious and acquiescent adherence to non-native habitats, or the unconscious swing of the pendulum of backlash that is the predictable result of any animal living in a state of perpetual adjustment, lost in translation. 

The original language of woman has been abandoned. She is seen, known, felt, and experienced even to herself through the earpiece of the thrice-removed inner voice of the translator. There is no original text to return to, and few, if any, who can decipher the meaning of her, on her terms. 

The internal screech-level injunction to know thyself is translated to, “live in perpetual response and eventual reaction to the external world, devoid of any self that would interfere with the procedure of the day—to accommodate the narrative of other.” The narrative being either concordant or discordant with man. In subjugation to or opposition of. But never bearing the mark of the wholly self-owned, the paradoxical state of radically unique (as in to the root) capacity for communion. It is neither merging nor giving over, nor holding out with demand that another give in, but the capacity to stretch across the chasm of one’s existence to hold the two poles of the human self: the autonomy and reciprocity that would move us into the chain of human existence and out of mere chains. 

It is only when both poles are connected that electricity can flow, and it is only when this flow exists—this flow being the conscious human identity that we can project ourselves into the world and not live as mere projection screens onto which life and the identities and projections play out upon us. In our quest, as women, to live the non-objectified life, we have done everything but the one thing that would make us non-objectifiable: the activation of an identity that plays out only the landscape of life rather than merely being played upon. In fact, woman has been complicit in the collective agreement that her value is based on her capacity to exist as object, that her work in this life is the perpetual management of the forces of nature that would exist within her, of her innate power, lest they erupt and disrupt to show for everyone concerned. A whole host of ready-made costumes exist for the stage actor that is woman—whether she is the submissive, fragile, long-suffering victim or the torch-in-hand, crusading heroine; if she is the eagle-eyed feminist meter maid pumping out tickets to the patriarchy, or the character donning the boons of the culture; the rise to the top despite all odds.

But make no mistake, the effort of woman to disable her volition is a life’s work that, were her efforts employed instead into the cultivation and making conscious of this volition, not only her world but the world would be healed. And not merely healed, but realized. For it is her absence, her void, her vacancy that is the cause of the horrors we witness. That she who would so passionately defend her status as victim has this much power. Abandoned, unutilized, unconscious—it comes at her as fate or force. Taken on, received as her vocation, it becomes the literal salvation of the world. 

It is from this realization that I speak. It is from this understanding that nothing less than woman’s awakening is required for the level of consciousness necessary for our salvation as a humanity. For the electricity to flow that would illuminate reality in such a way as to chase out the darkness of ignorance, we would need a world of autonomous, connectable women. And to date, we have the exact opposite: dependence and blaming; oppositional and demanding women. Feminism can be summed up as, “I can’t because of you therefore you need to change.”

True power would say, “I can, irrespective of conditions and this changes everything in its sway.” 

The challenge is that we are all in such a collective trance that there are few who would be capable of breaking it—that the conception of woman as dependent, broken, inferior, immutably incapable of being held to a standard, at the mercy of man. It is so written into the fabric of social agreement that any challenge to this conception is attacked upon entry. The immune response of woman to her own power, her own autonomy, her own responsibility and consequence is so great that while we portend to buckle beneath the pressure, our capacity for immune response is rapid, effective, and deadly. It is as if we have an autoimmune disorder that, upon the rising of power, attacks and immediately transforms to: freeze, withdrawal, and prey, or unhinged, vengeful, entitled victim. The middle world wherein consciousness would mediate, balance, and harmonize has not been developed. 

And, to date, no one will call the game. The defense system of woman and the control over scarce resources is so great that no one has risked giving up the feminine form of murder-character assassination or the embargo on the scarce resource of Eros that is a much-needed creative fuel and is the power of the feminine plane. Just as the underworld syndicate may run an entire system from the economy to criminal justice, such is the case with the unconscious syndicate of woman. No one stands up to the totalitarian tyranny of her victimhood. 

It’s not unlike any mafia. At its core there is the promise of protection and surplus, both for those who would be “made” and those who would be extorted. What we have called “sisterhood” has become an extortion ring we rely on that would “protect” us from being contributing, creative members of global society. For you cannot truly contribute until you are creative, you cannot be creative until you have tapped into creative power, and you cannot tap into creative power until you have tapped into your erotic nature. But, as dealers who have made the realm of the Erotic transactional, we live by a code: “Don’t get high on your own supply.” We have sold off our greatest resource, squandered it, and allowed it to be “cut” with commerce, with greed.

But make no mistake the primal ground of the Erotic, the power source of the feminine plane. It is none other than the creative force itself; it is why the masculine would so desire its appropriation. For when one is in possession of erotic power, one is granted seemingly otherworldly, extraordinary power. Genius can only subsist off of the primal ground of being—resources that are plentiful in woman with her creative capacity. Have you not noticed that libidinal nature and prowess travel ever in tandem with genius? The greats—writers, innovators, musicians, philosophers, moguls, and creatives—must ingest the elixir of greatness: Eros.

To be absent of Eros is to be, at best, mediocre. And to be sentenced to mediocrity is a fate that most have adapted to with the various feelings that accommodate the mediocre and domesticated life: the underlying meaningless, the perpetual background of anxiety, the exhaustion of continual duty-driven performance. The now-and-again eruptions, personal in the form of crises—spiritual, midlife, or existential, and cultural—as protest and revolution aimed only to blow off the buildup of steam and return us to a refractory period, now free from the offending desire that, were we to truly examine, would be our calling. 

There are those though who, for whatever reason, cannot withstand this lifeless sentence, who cannot undergo the progressive stages of starvation that society—a society run by the female cartel—would deem civilized. The list of methods from achieving status, power, fame, and money, to supplying the demand for “badness” and transgression that arose in a market with a surplus of effete, supplicant, impotent men, was a risk these people were willing to take for they feared the life-sapping force of mediocrity more than the potential consequences. In fact, horrific consequences would be better than Pleasantville greatness, being slowly stabbed to death with a thousand butter knives of politically correct kindness.

We, as women, point to those extremists as the reason for our embargo. We do not look at our restriction of resources as the cause for the extremes. We do not look at minds unable to discover solutions for the problems that ail us. Our minds are weak from not being fed, and so, we continue to be the problem and not the solution. We sit as the critic, with warehouses of rotting food. 

And rot it does. As the Gospel of Thomas says, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” In the absence of power, because nature abhors a vacuum, flows delusion. The self-loathing, deprivation, anxiety, desperation, and blame that have come to define woman is in no way woman herself; it is the result of unexpressed creativity and power. 

But as I said, the woman’s mantra has come to be, “But I can’t.” I can’t because of a “them.” And to her, I would say it is time to wake from the trance of powerlessness that would have you believe that anyone other than you could throw the switch. This singular spell has done more to feed what we would call “evil”—the forces of separation and competition—than any other belief. Progressing up a ladder that is both broken and not yours is not progress but regress. When women took the shortcut, when we sold out our deep storehouses of wisdom for the quick-fix comforts of conforming to masculine values of careers and material wealth, when we opted into their smaller finite world rather than drawing them into the deeper vision (understanding, meaning, and most importantly, the value system of ours), when we bartered souls for material gain, we not only sold ourselves out but we sold men out and the hope that they would ever be given eyes to see the sacred world of soul that is our jurisdiction. If we are angry that men are entitled, dismissive, deaf, we can ask ourselves: Who did we think would train them how to see and hear?

I have heard plenty about the burden of woman, that it is not our responsibility, that we are saddled with emotional exhaustion. I would say you are exhausted from becoming something you are not, from selling yourself and your power to the not-even-highest bidder and then still suffering the lack of respect that only the expression of your true, radiant, and glorious power would engender. 

No one goes back to the origin because it is far more painful. Follow slavery back, it is both convenient and deserved to point to whites as the oppressor. Whites for their own moral accounting must examine what genuine reparations would look like. But while this may or may not repair the conditions of a familial history of slavery, we cannot get to the source of the pain until we turn and look at the origin, until we look in the eye the African who sold the African. The heart that would break in this moment is the heart that can heal. The heart that can say, “It is me; it is us.”

The same is true of woman. The story we do not tell is that of woman producing a child not as the result of a genuine sovereign desire but as a bartering chip, a means of remaining in the dependency position, to be cared for and fed for what she produces and tends to. To go back to the mother who was unwilling to walk away from the cocreated system of dependency where she sells her body and what it can produce for food and shelter, employing the legal system to hold men accountable for the relationship.

If it were in fact a sovereign, volitional desire, if we genuinely wanted children, we would free men of any and all responsibility and have them. We would then respect and honor their desire to participate or not participate, to contribute or not contribute financially. Where there are codes and laws for such things, there are implicit and quite often unexamined presumptions. 

Here, you might look at an entire system of the implicit master/slave relationship upheld by women. The notion that a man is in any way responsible for you, for your care, feeding, well-being, protection beyond the universal human ethics and morality placed within each of our human hearts. Where the perception is that you are “owed” X by a man who goes beyond what you would be owed by a woman, you are holding the structures of implicit dependency in place and rendering yourself incompetent. 

There will be the argument that women get pregnant even when they are on birth control. This is true. This is a potential consequence of the body you were born into. And adulthood and sovereignty demands examining consequences with a sober mind, rather than attempting to enforce behaviors onto others through guilt or coercion. If you are not pregnant and want to remain so, you can consider sterilization. If you are, you can consider adoption, amongst other considerations. I am not suggesting any of these, only that radical considerations must be made if a woman is to break free from the mental slavery she places herself in. There are always options for one who wants to be free—which includes being free of resentment and vengeance. You only resent that which you view as responsible for you. And only you have the power to determine that only you are responsible for your own happiness. 

It just so happens that when you free yourself , you free everyone around you. The men that women would hate, were we to release them of their responsibility for our well-being, might take on a dimension of simply human that we were blind to. The same way we perceived ourselves powerless to act, they might be powerless to not act, and the volition that we attributed to them, the way we took it personally, might be disturbingly impersonal.

We do ourselves no favor when we overattribute conscious volition to the patriarchy or man. In fact, we do ourselves a great disservice because precisely where we feel powerless is where we are invited to grow and develop. 

Woman’s origin story, though, heals as well. It is the original wound we adhere Band-Aids to, but it keeps festering. The Equal Rights Amendments, the lists of demands for an equality where we want to pick and choose exactly which parts of equality we want, yes to equal pay, no to an equal military draft. Yes to opportunity, no to consequences. The demand that the world rotate around a wound we refuse to heal compounded by the differences between us as woman: race, religion, ability, sexuality, birth sex. And that there be accommodation always for the wound, that it be permitted free reign in the world arena, so much so that the symptoms of crazy, hysterical, indecisive, erratic, and tight, become synonymous with the condition of woman. That we erect entire psychological theologies making sacred and untouchable the wholly treatable (not to mention often-preventable) condition of PTSD, depression, hypervigilance, and hyperarousal, enshrining ourselves in medical martyrdom against the enemy male condition we would call narcissism, aggression, and sociopathology. If we are honest, we have made masculinity a pathology for its unwillingness to accommodate our demands: demands issued from bodies we refuse to inhabit and make conscious, that require special care for the fragility of bodies not tended to by their own consciousness. When this occurs, the demand is for ever-increasing conditions of external safety rather than the internal resilience that would deny it. 

From the days of Betty Friedan, the simple condition of “absent” and the accompanying symptoms of which she beautifully articulated as the problem, we cannot name as XYZ. The only issue is that she did name the problem from a masculine diagnostic and corresponding prescription. As did nearly every feminist thereafter, placing us that much further away from the cause and putting us smack dab in the middle of a false-premise solution. The solution became to become fluent in a broken system that developed in her absence, rather than to dig deep, uncover the source of her ejection, discover the means to remain with herself. She shifted her focus from dependency on a man to dependency on masculine systems. In essence, she enlarged her prison. 

But now, still absent, without the self that would fortify her and the ensuing development of the structures—societal and cultural—that would, like the simple introduction of Vitamin C to a scurvy patient, heal a system that is but only missing an element, she now had to not only exist as a non-self but a non-self with additional economic burden and non-native masculine metrics of success. The entire world now tipped on its axis, leaning toward an imbalanced and thus unhealthy notion of the aim.

The values, the humanity, the deeper qualities of the sacred and the mystical that sounds so lightweight, like a distraction form the important work of materiality, were thrown overboard as the masculine, leaning toward the rational, the scientific, the production-oriented world was now not only not being counterbalanced but was being competed with by women who were at a terrible disadvantage. Deeply sacred feminine powers were being wrongfully employed on casting couches and boardrooms. What a woman could emanate—a contagious quality of beatific and erotic radiance—was driven underground so that she could don the costume of serious which is the material version of gravitas that is encoded already in her DNA. 

We know the experience of a woman inhabiting her skin—radiant, entering a room, commanding attention—not from her baubles or dress, but from her essence. This invaluable treasure we drove underground to be managed like a snarling, hungry animal in the basement so that we could appear monotone, measured, rational. We missed the point entirely in this extension of accommodation, only now, not accommodating the masculine spouse but masculine industry—that flatline lack of affect is how the world appears in the absence of what we are here to bring. Where we were no longer being beaten into submission; we beat ourselves into submission. When our femininity arose, we either rerouted it into commerce to get a leg up, or we starved it. When our ancestral powers arose, rife with the bounty that woman is—the fullness, the desire, the appetites, the love—we decreased our caloric intake; we forced it into gyms and yoga classes; we indoctrinated it ever more into masculine ideologies of spirit and intellectualism to condition ourselves into a renunciation of a self that we did not have. In other words, the issue that man has faced in the absence of woman—that of a surplus of self-focus, entitlement, seeking; an issue that was antithetical in nature to our own black hole issue—we adopted that, and used our extraordinary powers to attend to an issue that was not our own. We became better men than men. We adopted the values of competition and combat, powered by our feminine resource until men became the enemy (with our natural desire driven underground in an unseemly form of shadow desperation) and women became lean fighting machines. There is no man more tyrannical or domineering than Rose McGowan. 

No one stopped to say, “Is this a world I want to inhabit, where the pendulum has now swung from scared, accommodating, impotent women, to scared accommodating, impotent men?” We won. We proved we could beat men at their own game. The issue is that we did it by codifying the notion that we are incapable of facing our consequences. We employed the preexisting cultural notion of our frailty to destroy the competition. We fought dirty and are now left with a legacy of having to live down to the “incapacity” we won on—our broken-winged incapacity to speak, to sense and avoid compromising situations. But more importantly, the elephant in the room: to not abuse our feminine wiles in the arena and then abuse our disempowerment status to get us out of the bind we got ourselves into. We became defined by our duplicity—and strongarmed a world into having to go along with it. We sealed our status as victim in order to get a short-term gain, only now we have to live into the long-term results. We got a “win” in a war we should not be in by calling on the notion that men have an advantage and are inherently more powerful and thus owe women a “handicap” in the game. We found a loophole, but at our own peril.

When we are presumed to be poor sportswomen, when we are presumed to be incapable of the markers of power—equal risk and responsibility—when we are faced with resentful and fear-based compliance, no one wanting to get close to us, no genuine desire for connection, and when we are further isolated and tightlipped from being right rather than happy, we can look to this much-celebrated event as the source. And this will happen. We proved to be more rapacious in our drive than any man ever was. We abandoned everything that makes us great as women in service to the golden calf of materiality. 

We did it by disowning our transgressions. I often say, what would you have to believe and concretize about women, as women, for what passes as a women’s movement to happen? What would you have to turn a blind eye to? What could you take advantage of, knowing inside what you were doing? 

In the case of takedowns, you would have to turn a blind eye to the blind eye turned in order to deny the mutual culpability of both parties. You would, most importantly, have to—and this is key—deny the invisible force of feminine power that was operational in every one of those transactions. The feminine power that would liberate us, that operates like gravity rather than force, moving everything in its field. Because men do not have it, they do not acknowledge it. And that is where we went terribly wrong. We got a short-term result by playing on their ignorance at the expense of all of us. 

Imagine if those women were willing to forgo the short-term gain and bring feminine power out from hiding. To own the intentions to seduce for personal gain, the incredible level of strategy and background intention, the capacity amongst women to collude on a story true or not, the accuracy of her aim, the relentlessness of her drive. 

See, the issue is that she is absolutely a formidable opponent that, were she to reveal her power, would command respect, would engender the genuine bow at the awesome nature of her power and capacity. Were she to have brought it out of the shadow into the light rather than rely on the under-the-table dealings of shadows, the liberation that women’s lib would aim to be, the liberation of her power from the shadows, would have occurred. 

For those with eyes to see beyond the collective trance maintained by personal gain, those women have the capacity for genius. They did not need to fight dirty. In the long game, the revealing of the genius of woman and what that would inspire would have alone healed the ailments that plague us. The masculine that could dismiss would have been properly positioned. There would be no dismissing this awesome power. The eternal feminine expenditure on concealing power and intent would no longer rob her of life force and she could get on with the real work of creating the world we want to live in. She could have made her own existence one she wanted to incarnate for where she was expressed in her calling and vocation rather than performing in a circus with monkeys that are not hers. 

She could have lived into the great Marianne Williamson admission that she is powerful beyond measure, so powerful that she did not need to rely on half measures and cheap antics. 

Any woman who has admitted her true power (and there are but a few and even fewer who are willing to admit it) knows that no woman is ever under the sway of anything that she does not want to get something from. In other words, the sway is a greed that would have her bypass her own ever-powerful, ever-accurate intuition. Her greed is her kryptonite. 

And if she were to take an even greater risk, she would admit that with every consequence she has ever incurred, she set the ball rolling. This admission spoken from power is a woman’s salvation. The hypnotized masses will suggest that it is blaming the victim but if you accept your power, you do not see yourself as a victim. Your consciousness is not organized around supporting that identity but rather your identity as a person of great power. Power lives at the source where causes and conditions originate. And a woman of power wants to learn to turn the knobs and levers of causes and conditions to bring about the results that are her calling. 

This is what could have been unleashed in the world: the witnessing of woman in undeniable power, unimaginable vision, incomprehensible potential. If all that had been employed under the radar for survival were brought to the surface and employed for humanity, the impossible would be made possible as the invisible became visible. 

But alas, we stand in the rubble of toppled systems with ego satisfaction and no actual movement in the movement. A group of huddled, self-justifying, colluding women collectively culpable such that, should anyone try to break free from the gang and admit her power, she faces the takedown as well. There is dirt on her and the collective collusion will have no magician revealing the illusions that keep the show going. Women, if anything, can galvanize. It’s unfortunate that our troops are marching for the puppet government of our unconscious conditioning rather than our making the unconscious conscious. How quickly the syndicate turns on their own when their ring is threatened, when one from the feminine threatens to reveal the sham, threatens to reveal the inestimable capacity of woman.

Again, we can look to the once-darling of the movement, Marianne Williamson, a former ringleader who inadvertently broke code. Overnight, she was cast into the “them” category, no longer protected, open to the antibody attacks. Her response to being on this side of things: “I did not know they could be so mean.” But true character is like being pregnant—sooner or later, you show. And nowhere is this more evident than in the character of the women’s movement, with-us-or-against-us, colluding-or-canceled, self-preservation at the core. The ego being the stand-in for the healthy self that we are charged to cultivate. 

We’ve proven well our capacity to destroy, with still not a single example of our true gift to create: to create a beautiful world, healthy other, intimacy, and connection. This because, until you cultivate a self, you cannot create. You remain spiritually prepubescent. Keep in mind the physical analog that anorexic women do not menstruate, cannot create life. The abstract of this is true as well: Erotically anorexic women cannot create, either. 

The other issue is that we have demonstrated that we can be passengers, that we can carjack the masculine vehicle, but not that we know how to drive our own vehicle. Not that we know how to operate our own interiority. 

We are not only no further than we were prior to feminism, we are no further with greater non-native burdens, exhaustion, self-loathing, and antipathy from men and suspicion amongst other women. What is not fed grows lean and teeth-bearing. The state of feminine consciousness that Velcros itself to the negative, ever scanning for potential threats and from her hallucinatory state of hunger, sees them into existence. The result is not of an immutably transgressive and violent masculine, but a hunger-induced panic and the steadying hand of the gender, whose biology is shaped by her creative force, where her abundance of “tend and befriend” hormones that would be the connective tissue of the world are virtually nonexistent. We have made our bodies inhospitable environments for love to flow through. The love, the eros, the desire that would heal us, instead burns our lips. Dry and parched, the water associated with woman beads over our interior arid soil. We “fume” because we are drought-ridden; our emotions are dry tinder. 

That love that woman seeks, she is that. That black hole she so desperately yearns to fill, that yearning and desire that she desperately tries to ignore, that is her calling home to herself. It requires the sunlight of attention that she has ever aimed outward or inward at the manifestations of the lack of real attention, the endless sea of problems. But that yearning she tries to fill with everything but her interior listening, attendance, genuine care—that is where she is to be seated. We have so deeply mis-programmed ourselves. We do the random outward-focused bidding of the yearning—the shopping, the man, the career—rather than driving down into the center of it and reaching the bedrock of our nondependent value. 

Because in the absence of “you,” you will take everything personally. You will be a receptacle to projections, you will draw in everything that wants to be disowned. The thrill, beauty, and healing of reception, the capacity to receive, to hear, and to accurately perceive the world, has been hijacked by hypersensitivity—auditory hallucinations that communicate always in the form of criticism: first of self and then, when that mouse can no longer move, of other. 

We could be as Mother Teresa who understood well this aspect of woman. When asked how she prayed, she said, “I listen.” When asked what God says, she said, “He listens too and if you do not understand this, I cannot explain.” This reception, this listening, is no small thing—it is to be in communion with God. And yet, when we abandoned our gifts and capacities for masculine agency, we could not stop the reception, only now it occurred in the abandoned, dilapidated, infested structure of consciousness. 

Let’s get to the wound that had us abandon the building in the first place.

A few years back there was a story of a woman who quite literally made her child ill. So lacking in self-possession (the thing that would fill that hole within), she was insatiable in her need. Ungratifiable. Her purpose had been driven into the depths because it would require the admission of power. The calling for a world that needed her gifts was distorted into a need to be needed—just not by anything that would challenge her. Something so infinitely broken that she could eternally fulfill that need within her to tend to and feel needed and provide a sense of love, albeit distorted. She needed something more broken than her so that she would not be challenged to grow.

She used her powers to take this susceptible and impressionable child and convince her that she was frail, broken, ill. She employed the goodwill nature of the medical community to set about uncovering the source of these mysterious aliments and seeking out treatments that in turn created real issues. One issue exacerbated another issue until the young girl was wheelchair-bound, unable to speak, unable to digest food. The power of the mind used against itself in a massive display of its power. 

A love that will not evolve must necessarily take hostages because it will not develop the natural magnetism and attraction that love is. Those qualities in women that we pity—do not be mistaken—are cunning means of concealing an unwillingness to evolve into a force that would command love rather than a child who would demand love. The “self”-sacrifice, the shame, the fragility, the tendency to get rolled over or taken advantage of, the acquiescence and accommodation—these are traps and lures to draw you into her lair so that she does not need to develop the resilience through desire and Eros to enter the world herself and do her own bidding. 

Woman is the mother manufacturing ailments—physical, emotional, mental, spiritual—that would keep us from realizing our capacity and forcing the women around us to rise to a relationship based not on need, but on desire. If woman is perfectly capable, then love between women is based not on the passive, default form of one-downmanship as a means of connection, but on self-realization. And change is threatening to any status quo. For all her discomfort, woman is quite comfortable in her reign, even if she is sitting in a broken seat. The original wound is that it was a woman—and not a man—who sold you the story that you were incapable so that she would have someone to keep her company while she refused to enter the world. 

The realm of capacity is threatening. It is uncertain. It is unpredictable. There are ever-increasing political social codes cloaked in compassion and loving kindness holding the structures on which her unwillingness to commence the harrowing journey of the soul, into her potential genius, resilience, and self-possession, would rely. She is fat, eating a doughnut, complaining about fat-shaming while she suffers diabetes and gags everyone around her with propriety. Or she is skinny, starving herself, bones popping out of her skin, manic and anxious and silencing everyone in their envy and object attraction. But she is significant. She is shortcut significant, but the ego cares not how it gets its hit. And it does not matter if it is with disgust or manufactured allure; it gets the attention she will not give herself. 

She is attention deficit, attention starved, but the quality of attention she would need is an inside job that she has spent a lifetime outsourcing, paying in her inheritance exorbitant rates with no return. 

This form of significance, though, is tyrannical because it is unearned. The earning of actual significance through merit would deflate the ego that would house it. You would be yoked by a master into the submission required for true greatness. The artist, for example, may look externally rebellious or impulsive, but the leashing of attention required for that level of focus does not allow for the self-consciousness that would feed the self. It exists to feed the art, the contribution. 

Reverend Joanne Coleman then asks, “What if you suddenly discovered that after a life of being wheelchair bound, having built a life to accommodate your incapacity, ramps and lower cupboards, assistants and special care—what if you discovered that you could stand? You could walk. You were in fact strong.”

If the woman who rendered her daughter incapable is the legacy of woman, Coleman’s voice is the potential of woman. The question is, would you stand? In the face of all the accommodation you would lose, would you forego the privilege of your disability? And not what passes as standing—throwing a tantrum or bringing others down to your level—but actually standing, even lifting others up. It has been said that it is never those who are transforming themselves who will put you down; it is those who have the time to point fingers because they are not engaged in their own work. The whistleblower that woman has become is a signifier that she has far too much disordered attention available. Imagine if every woman were to stand and say: “I am fully capable, accountable, responsible. I need no special accommodation. No one is responsible for my misery or state of mind.” Imagine if she were to do the most radical act a woman can do, to remove herself from the arena simply by saying that there is no “them” who is responsible for her experience. A world of women, at once standing.

Other Blog Posts