"The root of Democracy outside the home is democracy inside the home. The root of violence elsewhere is the normalization in an intimate way in the home."
This quote from Gloria Steinem's talk on BBC's HARDtalk really underlines what I feel here in Egypt. We cannot look outside of ourselves for peace. It needs to begin within ourselves and then in our home and outward into our small communities before we see it in our country inshahallah.
I have begun to see that many problems Muslim men have in relating have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the left-overs of imperialism and the current fascism prevalent in their countries. They are part of a ranked society in which you push your weight around and oppress someone under you the way you have been oppressed yourself. The further from Islam these men are then the deeper they have bought into the belief of, "might makes right". Globally, this shows up as terrorism. Domestically, it turns into spousal abuse and in domineering over women they were meant to love and protect.
It doesn't have to be this way. Women can break that cycle of inequality and violence by speaking out in favor of a more egalitarian world. By this, I don't mean Muslim women only. All women have to balance out the masculine energy with their feminine. Think outside of the mainstream box and make small but significant decisions which positively impact your corner of the world.
Gloria Steinem is a trans-formative spirit in the world. She is a woman who was never complacent with the status quo of patriarchy. In this interview, she plainly states what is happening with the world.
Some of her points I found enlightening:
- We are need not accept the hierarchy of ranking. We are all linked equally and not needing to conquer each other.
- Ideology of conquering, controlling, oppressing and killing don't have to be part of our political lexicon.
- The idea that women around the world are needing American intervention to succeed is false. American women are still not equal though they have come far in the last 50 years.
- Indian women greatly influenced her during the two years she lived in India. The women protesters of India were who Ghandi studied in order to start his movement. He also learned from the British suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst.
- There has not been an American woman as President because authoritative women remind us (and men especially) of when we were ruled over by our moms. She believes Hillary Rodham Clinton could win an election now because, as Secretary of State, she redefined what it means to be a woman in power.
- Reproductive rights protect a woman's right to make choices for her body. It isn't only the right to abort but the right NOT to abort. It's the right to bear children.
She is a leader and a voice I can hear and understand. There aren't many of those! See if she speaks to you too.
If nothing else, take a look to see what it means to be 79 and glorious.
Love and Light!