Tag we are one

Respect

I could be your Sister,

I could be your Cousin,

I could be your Daughter,

I could be your Mother,

I could be your Aunt,

I could be your Grandmother,

I could be your wife/girlfriend/significant other,

I could be your friend,

I could be the girl next door,

I could be your boss,

I could be the homeless Woman,

Or

I could be the girl on the street looking for a better way.

I could be all these things

For as a Woman

I represent all of these.

I ask you, “when you see a woman,

         What is the first thing you think?”

Most people notice the attraction factor which judges

Their perception as they see the Woman as an object.

“She’s high maintenance”

“She’s hard to handle”

“Hit her and quit her”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Yet it is subject to likes, wants, and desires.

True beauty goes beyond the outside shell.

True beauty comes from within.

The shell of the human body is like a car

And what really matters is under the hood.

The parts you do not see,

Unless you take the time to lift the hood

And see the mechanisms of power.

If I was not seen as

an object,

a prized possession,

A trophy,

something to own,

And instead seen as a human being,

Complete with experiences, feelings, and emotions.

Then you may start to see me as a Woman

And someone you can relate to.

We judge appearances, looks, hairstyles, fashion, and sexuality

And continually look for acceptance and reward

From others.

Diminishing our true selves just to fit in.

Our desire to compete and want what others want

Leads to mindless consumption and the desire

To be someone else takes us far from

Our natural state of self-enlightenment.

This leads us to worship those who we see as “better”

Then ourselves and not to delve deeply into who we really are.

You choose to see me based on your

Attitudes, values, and experiences,

But imagine seeing ME.

Not my face, or my body

But seeing me as someone you care about.

Would you treat your grandmother, mother, sister, niece, or Aunt

The way you are about to treat me?

Ask yourself what is the difference?

Why does one woman deserve your love and affection and yet someone you have never met deserves your judgement and disdain.

We are all related.

We are all one.

We are all the same.

We are unique cells in a multi-organed vessel

         Called Mother Earth.

We need to find the love.

We need to find the peace.

We need to evolve and end the cycles of hate and war as war does not bring peace.

I want to be respected

As do most Women.

Those that do not want respect have been

Taught they do not deserve it.

They have submitted to their objectivity and cannot see

         Their value and worth.

They do not have self-love and have not been taught to forgive

         Themselves for the shame they feel for this submission

         And repeat the cycle continually.

They have boundary issues and do not know what respect feels like. 

Acceptance of self is of utmost importance,

Yet in this competition fueled, external reward filled,

         Addiction-loving world

Seeks acceptance form everywhere but self and within.

Respecting yourself and knowing what you need

         Starts deep within and requires listening to your

         Inner voice.

Not the voice of others trying to program you with their own

 conditioning and programming.

Your opinion is the only one that should matter to you.

Would you call your mother those names?

Would you point out all your grandmother’s faults to her?

Would you rape your sister?

Why would you do it to another woman?

See the sameness in them.

Respect the Feminine.

Women give life, they give comfort, they have wisdom/

Women have compassion and see the cycle that needs to

         Be broken.

All Women have a right to be respected

         In the way you respect your family members.

If we saw everyone as connected and family

We may be more willing to overlook what we do not understand

         And make more of an effort to learn.

@renegadelightworker

-Dawn McIlmoyle

Gender Based Violence Disruptor

When in conversations about gender-based violence (GBV) we automatically conjure up images of physical brutality.  Violence is often thought of as overt. An assault to your physical being.  With this kind of violence there is usually some sort of proof.  A broken bone, bruises, a black eye, or even scars.  There is physical damage from this type of violence. Damage you can watch heal with your own very eyes.  When the wounds are healed and you can no longer see the bruises or when the cast is gone and you can use your arm again, those around you will think you are okay now.  They fail to see the psychological damage that is done to the person’s psyche.  The wound that takes longer to heal.  The injury to their Soul that leaves them wondering what is wrong with them. 

As a female non-Indigenous settler growing up on Anishinaabe territory of the Mississauga’s in Ontario I have experienced many different aspects of gender-based violence. From a patriarchal father who thought boys were of more value, sexual abuse in sea cadets, military sexual trauma, sexual assault, abusive marriages, domestic violence, and plain assault.  I have been demeaned and revictimized for standing up and speaking out for myself and others.  When speaking out about abuse in the Canadian Armed Forces I was told I was “a black mark on Canadian history” and “the worst thing to happen to the CAF” by older men who thought that Women had no business serving their Country and were there for their pleasure. I was chastised and belittled by my local police department when trying to keep safe from my abusive ex-husband who already had 15 charges. I had many judgements imposed upon me for being a single mother without a consistent support system.

The psychological trauma I have faced throughout my life for being a Woman has been more detrimental than any assault to my physical being.  I have been objectified and put in a box with a label like a present just for being a Woman. I have been used, abused, and thrown away like a disposable paper plate but I do not go away.  I am judged by my looks, what I wear and how I act consistently. I am objectified for wearing things that make me feel good but make other people feel uncomfortable. 

The whole problem started with the conditioning by my parents of “what a good girl” consisted of and what they knew about gender conformity.  I never felt like “just a girl” and they could never explain it to me.  My brother was eleven months younger than me and I could never comprehend why he got to do some things, but I could not because “I was a girl.” I never understood why I could not play football because “I was a girl” and encouraged to become a cheerleader. I could not understand why my other girlfriends thought this was ok.  I have done and accomplished much in my life.  Graduated high school, served my Country, raised 2 sons basically alone, owned a home for 16 years, got a Nursing degree while working full time and raising those 2 sons, and I left 3 abusive marriages. However, in my Dad’s eyes I will never be as amazing as my Brother. In my family my brother could do no wrong and I could do no right.  This left me with a constant desire to prove myself to my Father to my own detriment so now my desire is to prove to myself that I can persevere and continue this quest called life. 

When I think of gender-based violence I do not think about the military sexual trauma or the domestic abuse, the demeaning, or the belittling for being a woman, I think about the barriers and limitations that were put on a young girl that kept her from discovering who she truly was because she was too busy fighting the stigmas attached to gender conformity.  I think about how it feels to think “maybe if I was a man, they would help me, listen to me or believe me” I think about the young girl who is constantly underestimated, misunderstood, and called things like overdramatic and crazy just because of her gender. 

I think about how males and females are equal, complements of each other. I think about how the job should be based on ability to perform and qualifications to do so, and long for the days when gender is not a barrier. I long for the days when women find their voices and the words “because you are a girl” are never spoken again.  I choose to believe that one day we will all see each other as family and encouragement and acceptance of all will be the way.  Women’s voice will be heard. The masculine and the feminine will unite and gender-based violence will become a thing of the past, like cannibalism.

-Renegade Lightworker

All views and opinions are mine and mine alone and it is my hope you view them with an open mind and an open heart.