Monday, July 7, 2014

A Girl's Voice: a BRIDGE to Women by Trista Hendren


There is a wound in the world that is specific to women and girls. Many of us take a lifetime to figure out what it is. In my case, giving birth to a daughter was a bridge to my own healing and prompted me to find a new path for both of us.

I did not realize how deeply my upbringing in the Church had tainted and still suppressed my core being until I read Patricia Lynn Reilly’s book, A God Who Looks Like Me.

Everyone is born of a woman, but somehow the patriarchal creation myth reversed this. Women are secondary, if not cursed, via this tradition.

The textbooks that our children read are still almost entirely male-dominated filled with male-accomplishments. Our spiritual communities are still mostly male-led and refer to God as “He.”

Religious thought seeps in early and is very damaging to girls. If God is a man, and “He” is everything that is good and superior, it is easy to conclude that we as women are, in fact, beneath men. Whether you practice a religion or not, this still has a profound effect on our collective thinking.

Despite 15 years as a feminist, it never dawned on me to question my family and religious upbringing. We were, by all accounts, “normal”. Compared to many other people, I really didn’t have much to complain about. So while I learned about and rallied against the systematic oppression of women, I did not correlate my family and faith to the roots of my own.

I now believe that it is these much engrained patriarchal systems that continue to keep women as a whole down. This is a very hard thing to face. It is painful to think that your own family was complicit in holding you back.

I thought I was ‘over’ my conditioning to be quiet, submissive and subservient. Giving birth to my own daughter made me realize that was not the case. I have raised my daughter the opposite way of my patriarchal upbringing. It is often she who reminds me of my true essence. In her, I get a glimpse of what was squelched during my own childhood.

Excerpt from the Bridges edition of Aluna Temple Magazine.  Read the rest here.

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

1 comment:

  1. Just ordered this book from paperbackswap.com.

    When I think of my life, almost 50, and how I have been robbed of connecting with my body in a very feminine way: understanding and living in the flow of my cycle, opting for ecstatic birthing, etc. it makes me sad. I had lots of this connection, thanks to my herbalist training with RoseMary Gladstar and Susun Weed. I was so moon connected but did not put it together with the ebb and flow of my blood cycle and feminine energy around where I was in my cycle. I would love to go back to 13 with this knowledge and live a feminine centered life. My wish for all women is that they discover this before they are 50 and share it with every young girl in their lives. If all girls grew up, enamored with their womanhood and feminine divine ability to create, WOW! Blessing for the work you do Trista and all the female's who post on your site.

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