Women, Don’t Stop Telling Your Stories…Please

If there is anything that gets my passion up as a woman it is hearing other women de-value their own words, and in doing so, denying their own life and experiences. It disturbs me to the core that some women feel that what they say is not important. The world NEEDS the voice of women. I don’t care if you write, create, and/or blog every day about what you see outside your kitchen window. YOUR view, YOUR subjective experience change this world. So write! Create. Tell your vision.

“If You Must…”

If you must speak, and of course you do, my sister-
what teachings lay upon you?

Have you learned, my sweet sister,
how your voice caresses the soul of another?

Believe me, it’s true.

Did they teach you, my loving sister,
to hear your own succulent, rich rhythm?

The uttered syllables and breath-ful
pauses as unique to you as the swirls upon
your digits.

Do you hear me, my sister?

Did someone teach you, my bright sister,
to listen and to hear the warm brushes of
your spent words falling upon treasured ears?

If not, let me tell you, my sister,
the peace-ful measures I have heard –
Your eloquence a gift from the heavens,
the ones we defend until we kill.

Did someone teach you, my sister, that your
voice loosed upon the world unfolds
with a strength unknown to any fist?

Have you learned, my sister, that you must speak in
order to do more than survive?
The planets aligned upon your formation,
and await the ascension of your harmonious voice now, my sister.

My sister, my sister
What love, what visions
may pour forth
when the folds of your throat
unclench.
The cords you set to vibrating
with your beautiful soul, my sister.

If you must speak, my sister,
and of course you do,
let the question transform…

It is not “If”, my sister, it is
“You must”.

You must, my sister, you must
free your voice upon this world.

Do you hear me, my sister?

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39 thoughts on “Women, Don’t Stop Telling Your Stories…Please

  1. No one should speak purely because they exist in a particular position.

    Males should not speak purely because the are male;
    females should not speak purely because they are female;
    heterosexuals should not speak purely because they are heterosexual;
    homosexuals should not speak purely because they are homosexual;
    disabled people should not speak purely because they are disabled;
    able-bodied people should not speak purely because they are able-bodied.

    The list, of course, goes on.

    It isn’t entirely clear from this post whether or not whether the female voice should speak purely because it is female or because that particular female voice has something worthwhile to say, some wisdom to impart.

    People, all people, should speak from a position because they have something worthwhile to say, some bit of knowledge, no matter how small, to impart to others. To do anything else risks the hyper-segregation and demand for diversity that currently rocks the United States, that the only way to have some sort of value is to be different from other people who are speaking in the same arena.

    The voice of Woman is one that truly is much more silent than it should be, a voice that has been conditioned not just to silence but to subservience across history. This needs to change and there can be no denying that, however it needs to be said that speaking for the sake of speaking will not help this too silent voice sing. Females need to talk, they need their voice to be heard, but they need not be told that their voice is important just because it is female. If this can be done we will see more and more females talk, more and more females break away from this historical conditioning, and more and more females grow to be women.

    Your poem can be a fantastic call to just that. If your rationale lines up with my comment, then I think that your poem not just can be but is a fantastic call to just that.

    • Thanks for your great comments. My point is that I am tired of hearing women (or anyone) wondering if what they say is unimportant, that they should choose silence instead. The answer is quite simply “No”. Not every word must be incredibly potent- by learning to use one’s voice and (by extension of course, one’s mind and thoughts), one can find a new way of being. Seeing women self-restrict their own voice is heartbreaking. Of course, this extends to men, heterosexuals, homosexuals, children, whoeever. I am well aware of the limitations placed upon almost all individuals in one way or another, and we all suffer when silence is imposed on another

      • This is quite true.

        Learning to speak is, again, simply just that and only truly worthwhile in that one is (hopefully) learning to communicate effectively. Bertrand Russell said that education could fix the world’s problems and he was right. In education, real education, is effective communication.

        Culture and commercialism has really shut down the mind of the Western World.

        You may be interested in my unpublished poem ‘Sins of the Strangers.’ It’s the second poem in the Lesson Learned and comments on what I think is the most central aspect of the problem with females being forcibly taught survivalism over living: their parents.

      • You are very welcome. ^^

        Believe it or not, that poem (along with the rest of my work) isn’t publishable.

        I didn’t say it before but it does bear saying. I appreciate that you clarified your point of view earlier. In respect to strong female voices, I’d like to point you in the direction of Rachel Maddow. Rachel is a brilliant thinker and it shows in her work.

      • ‘Sins of the Strangers’ was amongst ten to twelve pieces I submitted to Writer’s Relief.

        Writer’s Relief is a service that writers of various genres can use to make looking for potential publication outlets easier (magazines, journals, collection submissions, et cetera). They’ve been in business since the mid-90’s and are made up of people from within the publishing industry and, according to them, which I have no reason to doubt, detailed publication listings. Basically, if there is a market out there for your work they will help you to find it. If they have potential leads they can help you submit, but you ultimate do that part of the work.

        It’s a really, really fantastic idea and service.

        I was rejected and received a fairly generic letter, the first part saying:

        “Thank you for sending your work for our review process. Unfortunately, we are not able to invite you to join us at this time.

        Our decision does not necessarily reflect on the quality of your writing. It is sometimes based solely on our workload or market conditions. As these conditions change, we will keep you informed. We continue to monitor the most current and best creative writers’ markets.”

        I know that the quality of my work is not an issue (it’s the only thing that I can say without sounding arrogant). Ultimately, it’s an issue of content and structure. In an age where too free free verse dominates and the distinction between poetry and poetic expression is too blurred, it’s all I can expect.

        Hopefully that doesn’t sound too bitter or arrogant. ^^

      • Thank you so very much for this information. That was so kind and supportive for you to send. You did not sound bitter and arrogant at all- only realistic. Lovely work, by the way 🙂

      • WOW, this made me cry….how long have we been expected to keep quiet, to not upset the apple cart, to go with the flow, to not make waves and all at a horrible, personal expense??? I used to feel being around women too much held me back in some way because I had so many experiences with some who were so competitive and bitchy and selfish and yet here I am, relying on the very ones who’ve given me hope and strength at a time when I couldn’t find it within myself, WOMEN who share my experiences of heartache and pain, giving and being let down and yet willing to share their strengths to help ME and many others persevere in times of great hopelessness. I have been blind and so very, very wrong…it is indeed back to the “Mother”, the one who is the giver of life and the selfless giver of love. I thank you for your eloquence and articulate thoughts…I have been led back home to a place of comfort and healing and I am grateful!

      • What an absolutely amazing reply. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write this. You are so very right- our silence comes at a great personal expense. We must tell our stories, because then we realize we are not alone, and as you point out- we are given the strengths of others. We are such a blessing to one another, but we must be willing to share of ourselves and our stories. I am so glad my words impacted you in this way 🙂

  2. Thank you for these lovely thoughts. They came at a perfect time, for me. It amazes me how easily I can be hushed by a stray word or thoughtless comment at the wrong time. Your words are an antidote to that.

  3. A reminder that what having that conversation with yourself (you know, should I write this? Will anyone be interested?), the answer is YES. Because YOU are interested in what YOU write. People who want to read it will stick around, and those that don’t want to read it won’t. No worries. Thanks for that.

  4. This rings so true! I often say we (women) need wells like we used to have in ancient times- a place to gather and tell our stories.I wish there were more ways to reach out- more outward signs- maybe WP is one.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement. I think in this egoic conditioned society there is a lot of competition and comparison. I know for me I am often discouraged when I compare my expression with others. It stops me from creating when I look outside of myself for validation, I become frozen, paralyzed and the words stop flowing in that fear that my perspective is somehow not valid, maybe because others don’t share the same experiences or views, or because it’s not written in enough flowery language or cleverness. Self consciousness kills self expression. Your words ignited something in me, a desire to find my Voice.

  6. Kimberly thanks for this inspiration. I recently started writing again, going into my story. You’re absolutely right, women need to tell their stories. We live in such silence and restraint, and so much of it is self-imposed from years of practice and modelling…it’s tiring… beautiful art and writing you have.

  7. Many times, we do not speak because we know we will not be heard, and that we will suffer consequences for trying. It is helpful to keep in mind that our experiences are the keys to unlock the prisons of others.

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