International Women’s Day: In the pledge for parity, we’re fighting a war we cannot win

International Women’s Day: In the pledge for parity, we’re fighting a war we cannot win

International Women’s Day: In the pledge for parity, we’re fighting a war we cannot win

Imagine International Women’s Day as a celebration of the true value and strength of what a woman can know and live, where she is in rhythm with the wisdom of her body and therefore all of life.

Visiting the official 2016 IWD website, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on a recruitment site for women to join the armed forces! One is reminded of the perennial struggle one must be in by virtue of being a woman and of the militant stance needed in order to be recognised and respected in a male-dominated society.

It begs the question – what type of equality are we wanting?

Every man and woman has the basic human right to be treated equally, and evidently throughout history, abuse has occurred in opposition to this right to both genders.

Do we need to be ‘pledging for parity’ (sameness, being on par) – yes.

Do we need to do it by pushing our bodies at the expense of our true nature, that is, to honour our natural rhythms and cycles, and the ever deepening call to live with care and deep nurturing – no.

It begs the question – have we achieved equality in detriment to our health and well-being?

Suppress a woman’s relationship with her body and its wisdom, and you suppress the woman herself – and both genders are guilty here. Rekindle that relationship, and she knows herself from the inside out. She knows the source of power that comes from within, and her steadiness is graceful and absolute. To be steady in this way is not something we can ever get from outside of us.

The relationship with our bodies is the most natural relationship we can have. It is not only vital to knowing ourselves, it is innate. Override this relationship and the struggle for identification by an outward marker begins – and our self-worth and true value become eroded ... we’ve told ourselves as women that this is what we need to do to survive and by example we pass this picture on to our daughters and sons, and on it goes.

Gender oppression will only change when women realise this and take the steps back to rebuilding the relationship with their own bodies. Until then, we will be fighting a war we cannot win and do not even need to engage in. As Media Educator Rebecca Asquith has put it:

“We can’t deal with the issue of gender oppression in the world (outside of us) without first addressing the gender oppression that we are struggling with internally. We are equal but not the same as men. When we try to play the 'same game' we are in immediate disconnection from our own bodies and we override its messages.”

Our bodies are telling us this, and they are speaking loudly.

We have fought for equal rights and opportunities but in doing so, and against our true nature, we have disconnected from our greatest source of value and strength, which can only be found in our bodies. And yes, there has been much achieved that is hugely important. Equal voting rights, developing equal opportunities in the workforce and equal pay are crucial markers in overcoming gender oppression.

But we’ve been missing something key.

Fighting ‘hard’ as a woman simply doesn’t flow in harmony with the woman herself – whether she wishes to admit this or not. By the very virtue of being in a woman’s body, she is designed to be womanly, and it is in this female expression that she finds her strength, her true sense of value and her power.

But the reality is, for the vast majority of women, self-worth is still a blind spot. We can be a top-earner in a Fortune 500 company sitting on the board of directors and still have unease about who we actually are as a woman in our own skin.

What this conflict reflects back to us is of another war that’s taking place, a war that is prevalent in every country, town and village the world over. It’s the war within, the struggle between the woman I am and the woman I strive to be seen as.

Without us addressing the issues we have as women that stem from lack of self-worth, the equality achieved to date becomes a mere token gesture that doesn’t address the real oppression at play. What we’ve been missing along the way is the enormous need to claim our inner sense of value and worth.

Why are we so uncomfortable in our own skin?

The latest edition of the online Women in Livingness magazine, features no less than 174 pages on the subject of self-worth. Editor-In-Chief and International complementary health practitioner Natalie Benhayon writes that, “Lack of self-worth is having a detrimental effect on almost every woman, of every age, of every nationality, religion or culture.”

Trying so hard to be something we are not, we swim upstream hurting ourselves constantly along the way, for that end-point out of reach. The results of this aren’t hard to see:

  • Rising rates of eating disorders; in Australia alone these have more than doubled over the past decade.[i]
  • Body dissatisfaction is rife, with 70% of adolescent girls being unhappy with their bodies.[ii]
  • Ever increasing rates of plastic and cosmetic surgery, of women as young as 16 seeking to go under the surgeon’s knife to have their bodies altered in the desperate longing to fit into that air-brushed picture of what they think they have to be
  • Breast cancer rates at the highest they’ve ever been – with 1.7 million cases globally per annum, as at 2012 [iii]

In the fight for equality some things have been hard won, but our bodies are the ones showing the consequences of this hard win.

The image of a woman ready to fight is a picture we’ve been sold, but it’s also one that we’ve created. And that’s not about laying blame, but about taking a moment of honesty and a consideration as to why. All along within our bodies is the key to an equality that surpasses all we have known in the contemporary world. It’s an equality akin to true brotherhood that we all know deep down and hold in our hearts so dear, even if it’s been dismissed as unattainable and out of reach.

But out of reach it is not, and true equalness between men and women, women and other women, men and other men is found in unlocking our inner most essence. It is the same divine beauty and grace within every single one of us. In that knowing we are the same. A woman who lives in rhythm with the wisdom of her body knows this. In the fight for parity we keep ourselves distracted from the true power of what we hold – within us and for all.

Once we, as women, have connected with the essence of who we truly are, men will sense that quality of our higher impulse and be inspired to follow; in that impulse is our leadership for all.

"Women have got to change the paradigm that says,"we can, we can, we can do anything" into – "let’s honour, let’s honour, let’s honour our bodies deeply.”"

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 524
  • [i]

    National Eating Disorders Collaboration. GLOBOCAN 2012. Retrieved from http://www.nedc.com.au/files/pdfs/Appendix%20Eating%20Disorders%20A%20Current%20Affair.pdf

  • [ii]

    National Eating Disorders Collaboration. GLOBOCAN 2012. Retrieved from http://www.nedc.com.au/files/pdfs/Appendix%20Eating%20Disorders%20A%20Current%20Affair.pdf

  • [iii]

    World Cancer Research Fund International. GLOBOCAN 2012. Retrieved from http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/breast-cancer-statistics

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