We Are In The Process Of Becoming (International Women’s Day) …

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
— Augustine of Hippo from Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy

May you know the presence
of those who have passed
through the desert before you.
May they point the way
toward freedom
and sustain you
with their stories.
In the wilderness,
may there be wellsprings.
May there be wings.
— Jan L. Richardson from In the Sanctuary of Women

Chutzpah and Humility

In Healing the Heart of Democracy I talk about five habits of the heart. But when I give talks about it, I say, “If five is too many for you to hold onto, you really only need two. You need chutzpah and humility.”

You need the chutzpah to know that you have a voice worth speaking, and things worth saying. And you need the humility to know that it’s vital to listen, because you may not have it right at all, or only a very partial grasp on the truth. So I think it’s in holding these paradoxes that we start to sort things out.

There’s so much of this life that we’re all trying to live that’s just not about either/or, even though we’ve been trained to think in “binary code.” … I mean that in the … metaphorical sense of that term. [Life is] both/and – I breathe in and I breathe out. It would be really dangerous for me to say, “I think I’m basically a breathing-out kind of guy, so that’s what I’m going to devote my life to.”

I am an individual with a voice. I am also embedded in a community on which I’m highly dependent, from which I came, and to which I will return. And I include the community of the natural world in that. And I need both the chutzpah and the humility to be there fully, to be there now, and to be there in a life-giving way.
— Parker Palmer excerpt from “The Inner Life of Rebellion” with Parker Palmer, Courtney Martin, and Krista Tippett

We Are In The Process Of Becoming

The system of patriarchy is a historic construct; it has a beginning; it will have an end. Its time seems to have nearly run its course— it no longer serves the needs of men or women and in its inextricable linkage to militarism, hierarchy, and racism it threatens the very existence of life on earth.

What will come after, what kind of structure will be the foundation for alternate forms of social organization we cannot yet know. We are living in an age of unprecedented transformation. We are in the process of becoming. But we already know that woman’s mind, at last unfettered after so many millennia, will have its share in providing vision, ordering, solutions. Women at long last are demanding, as men did in the Renaissance, the right to explain, the right to define. Women, in thinking themselves out of patriarchy add transforming insights to the process of redefinition.

As long as both men and women regard the subordination of half the human race to the other as “natural,” it is impossible to envision a society in which differences do not connote either dominance or subordination. The feminist critique of the patriarchal edifice of knowledge is laying the groundwork for a correct analysis of reality, one which at the very least can distinguish the whole from a part. Women’s History, the essential tool in creating feminist consciousness in women, is providing the body of experience against which new theory can be tested and the ground on which women of vision can stand.

A feminist world-view will enable women and men to free their minds from patriarchal thought and practice and at last to build a world free of dominance and hierarchy, a world that is truly human.
— Gerda Lerner from The Creation of Patriarchy

See Also: