Sister, It’s Time.
The first women’s group I started was under the slide at recess, when I was eight years old.
Okay, we weren’t quite women, but we were future women. It was a a dance club, and we had big dreams of performing for the entire school in the cafeteria.
We had it all planned. I’d request a meeting with the principal, and show him what we’d put together. He’d approve it, of course, once he saw our moves. No worries that there was no stage; we’d put a bunch of lunch tables together and make one. Never mind about the safety hazards.
We never got to the principal’s meeting, but we did put together one fun routine, to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough.”
It’s a complicated time in our culture, everything is shifting (or crumbling.) The rules have changed. The country’s in peril. As I prepare to march at the State’s capitol this weekend, I think about some of the challenges we face and this new wave of feminism that we’re experiencing.
I’m grateful for the fights that have been fought by the generations before me. Without them, I wouldn’t have many of the freedoms I have today. Yet, that those freedoms are in jeopardy scares me and I know we’re not done.
For millions of reasons, we’re not done. And I’ll be marching with thousands of those reasons on Saturday.
What I love about today’s new wave of feminism is that we are not backing down from our right to be sexual, sensual women. To express ourselves and our sexuality in ways that suit us.
We are not backing down from our right to dress in ways that please us and turn us on, and this gives no one permission to touch us, disrespect us or shame us. We are declaring, TIME’S UP.
This new wave of feminism is marching with not only our sisters, but our mothers, our daughters and granddaughters. And if we feel like wearing fishnets while we march, so be it.
We’re not turning our backs on the joys of being woman in order to be allowed in some crumbling “boy’s club.” Those days are over.
Old paradigms like rape culture, slut shaming, and patriarchy in general are all crumbling before our eyes. It’s time for us to rise.
We knew thousands of years ago that we had power. We knew thousands of years ago how to gather, how to create sacred space, how to solve communication problems, how to create compromise and how to make magic. We lost our power for a while, it was necessary. The history and herstory of our society needed to be written this way, and now we are remembering. Now we get to write the story.
We’re remembering our power, we’re remembering our magic, we’re remembering that we are royalty and priestesses and goddesses.
We’re remembering that we need each other. We’re remembering that when we come together, we are even more powerful and more magical, and it’s our turn. The world is in desperate need of healing. And we’ve already begun our work.
After that fourth-grade dance club, I’ve started many more women’s groups over the years. There was the first book club I started, in 1999, when I first moved to Dallas and was hungry for connection, and friendship. There was Spark!, a membership-driven community of women I started with together with my partner, Jackie. That’s where I met one of dearest and nearest sister friends, Angela, also known to many as Violet O’Hara.
From there, Angela and I discovered the sexy, body-positive, women-celebrating art form of burlesque. Enthralled and inspired, then came Les Femmes Aplomb! Then came the Burlesque Experience, when group after group of women showed me the staying power of community, and the deep desire and innate gifts we have to support each other and be supported. There was SacredSexyU. BodyLove Affair.
Through all of these communities, all of these women, hundreds and hundreds of women whose lives have intersected with mine, for a season or a lifetime, I have always known this: I am here to connect women. To themselves, and to each other.
I, myself have been different women through these seasons. I’ve been no where close to “perfect.” Sometimes I burn out. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I pull back, as I fumble through my humanity, practicing (often by falling on my face) self-protection, boundaries, trust, courage, surrender and the delicate art of walking away gracefully.
Now, it’s time for something new. Now the me I am is intersecting once again with this part of my purpose, and I’m calling you. I’m calling you, my sisters from every corner to join me, because our time has come. Come hither.
My siren’s call is not for wimps. This is not a Girl’s Night Out.
This is a warrior tribe of women who are finally willing to make peace with themselves and each other, so that we can heal one another, ourselves and the planet.
There may be some Girl’s Nights Outs, I’m certainly not opposed.
But sisterhood is far more than happy hour and bottomless mimosas.
It’s more like giving birth, or being born.
It’s more like being held from the inside out, it’s more like dancing through pain or crying together through life’s tragedies.
It’s more like being the mirrors we hold up for each other, when we forget who we are, to say this: YOU ARE EVERYTHING. YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT. YOU ARE POWERFUL. And you can have what you desire.
It’s more like staying when you want to run.
It’s more like saying I SEE YOU. I really, really see you. And you will not scare me away.
My call to you is to show up, exactly as you are, and become part of this dream, this SacredSexy Sisterhood. The world needs us. And we need each other. Everything I’ve done, been and experienced has led me to this.