After three years of lockdowns, a year of war and revolution that is inching ever closer, of insurrections and unrest, of watching governments from Iran to the United States enact tighter and tighter controls over women’s lives, racism and right wing fascism on the rise, it feels like we’re going backwards instead of forwards.
It feels… exhausting.
But this year is not like the others. We have had our eyes opened to the faulty power of governments, to the self-centeredness of billionaires, to the tangible harm that climate change is causing. We have seen, and we have learned.
And one of the the most important things we’ve learned is that spending our time trying to convince those in power to change has been getting us nowhere.
So we’re changing the fight.
The questions we’re asking this year are not about challenging patriarchal stereotypes of women’s gender roles, and the ways our cultures demand we keep changing things because we’re never enough (pretty, thin, smart, etc), which have historically been effective ways to keep us distracted by the impossible task of becoming “enough”… and that leaves us vulnerable to violence and oppression.
We’re changing the questions. Instead of asking if we’re pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, thin enough, likeable enough, we’re asking: Why are we even still talking about this?
Let’s take control of the conversation, and change the fight so we can address the things that really matter.
Let’s progress beyond old ideas, and even arguments and debates that simply don’t work for us anymore. Let’s stop this conversation once and for all, stop relying on governments and billionaires to change, and start paying attention to what we can do, what we can change for ourselves.
Women spend 50% of our time and energy strategizing how to stay safe. Imagine if we could free up that time and energy, so we could invest 100% of ourselves in pursuing our dreams, building healthy communities, finding sustainable solutions for climate change, supporting our sisters across the world through activism and action. What would our lives look like if we could really give them 100%?
I think we could take over the world.
Are you with me?
Susie Kahlich is the founder of Pretty Deadly Self Defense, a self defense program for women focused on body literacy over bodily harm. She’s also the CEO of SINGE, a multi-media company serving transient and migrant communities.