MEAN GIRLS + WITCH HUNTS

 PHOTO:  Judy Chicago’s IMMOLATION IV

PHOTO: Judy Chicago’s IMMOLATION IV

How many times have you been hurt by another woman?  Threatened?  Put down?  Bullied?  Cast out?  Injured?  Heart broken?  Traded in?  Sold out?  Made to feel smaller, insecure, to feel somehow wrong? 

There is so much sadness in women attacking or insulting other women.  We become betrayed by our sisters and then in turn, begin to betray ourselves.  My dear friend Sarah calls these situations the "modern witch hunts" … where women are attacked and weakened (often at the hands of other women) ... and I had yet to experience my very own until yesterday.

I had never been mocked or belittled by another women.  Ganged up on or talked down to.  But yesterday, three women rallied against me on a digital platform, and when it happened, it felt so bad and sad in my bones.  I said something silly and sarcastic, from a lighthearted place, and the responses I received made me realize that one, the world needs to LIGHTEN UP, and two, that women attacking other women is a cultural wound that has gone too long without healing.

The physical reaction to being bullied was very visceral.  My heart simultaneously sank and raced.  My energy body was on high alert.  My mind couldn't understand and my adrenalized brain tried to think of how to defend myself.  What to say and how to say it in a compassionate way.  In the end, I held my ground by taking the higher ground, choosing not to engage with women who would not see ME, or my interpretation of events, regardless of my intentions or explanations.  I retreated with that sick feeling in my stomach of wrong-doing, wondering how women could treat other women this way.

And I realized, because, for some reason, certain women are perceived as threats.  A woman with power, authenticity, self-connection, confidence and intelligence is a threat.  A woman walking in her TRUTH is a threat.

Why?  Because she is real and she is POWERFUL.  She stands up for herself and what she believes in.  She speaks out against injustices.  She is passionate and passion translates to beauty, regardless of how she looks.  She lives from the place in her heart that tells her to follow her truth, even if it makes others uncomfortable.  She laughs when it might be perceived as inappropriate to laugh because she sees the bigger picture in a way most fail to.  

And in that way, she either threatens other women (and their version of reality or themselves), or she threatens the "system" … and that threat has the power to shake people (both men and women) to the bones.  That's a huge reason why women were written out of history with the advent of monotheism (another story all together, but one worth investigating if that comment piqued your interest). 

Our innate wisdom as women, our ability to create life, our ability to love, nurture and heal one another and the world didn't fit in with the agenda of the new era of patriarchy.  Women were wildly connected to nature and to themselves, and the women who were powerful healers and lovers and mothers and sisters were too wild and powerful for patriarchy to survive, so they literally had to kill the women who wouldn't be tamed.  And so, women started trading in other women, contributing to the witch hunts, out of fear and competition.  But we don't have to do that anymore.  We can all be wild and authentic and fearless, and uplift others while we uplift ourselves.  We have the ability to live wildly untamed and passionate lives that make the world a better place without threatening or competing with one another.

Society was and is threatened by wild women, and for good reason.  An untamed woman doesn't live in fear and when a woman stands fearlessly in her truth, she is unstoppable, and the unstoppable woman is a threat to the authority of injustice.  She can change social structures.  She can look wrong doers in the eye and demand justice … and receive it. 

Look at Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian feminist and peace activist, responsible for leading a women's peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War.  She brought women together, peacefully, uniting them against the injustices they faced, stared a corrupt, murderous dictator in the eye and demanded justice ... and she got it.  

She got it because she stood in her truth and she got it because she had a nation of women at her back, supporting her … and she got it because they all knew that they were her.  They were all each other.  And in order to win their war, they had to be united, peaceful and steadfast in their strength.

Instead of feeling threatened by other women and tearing each other down, we need to be asking ourselves how we can support each other and hold each other up, peacefully, lovingly, willfully.  We are all in this thing TOGETHER, we live on the same planet and in the same communities.  Individually and collectively we have the power to SAVE and CHANGE lives!  We have the ability to tell a sister what she needs to hear in times of distress, to hold her when she needs to break and to LOVER HER when it's her time to shine and share her special gifts that will heal the world.

My gifts are different than yours.  I can't heal myself alone let alone heal the planet alone.  The planet needs your power, your truth, your gifts and the COLLECTIVE power of women exalting one another, raising each other up, LOVING EACH OTHER, TRUSTING EACH OTHER not fearing or threatening each other. 

I realized that this "hunt" happened to me in order to see how mean women can be (to one another and to ourselves).  I've never been bullied or shamed by another woman, and it made me realize, that in order to do our jobs at this time in history, to heal each other and the planet ... we have to help each other heal from this sense of fear and threat from other women.

Please. Let's bring an end to these "hunts" … we are all women, we are all one, we are all human beings, we all have a beating heart … we are all connected ... WE ARE SISTERS.  And whenever we harm another, we are really just reflecting that harm back onto our ourselves and our future generations.

So PLEASE.  Let's change this.  Let's shift this.  Open your heart and let the wild back in.  Let the light and truth and justice and peace fill you.  Let's rise WILDLY TOGETHER and empower each other and not leave one sister behind.  Because when one of us rises, we all rise.  When one of us heals, we all heal.  When one forgives we can all forgive.  When one of us shifts from fear to love, it gives the rest of us permission to shift from fear to love.  Let's choose AN UNTAMED LIFE OF LOVE free of competition or threats.  

Ashly Wolf

Ashly is the creator of FemmeRising.com which seeks to uplift, inspire and educate women about their body, their sensuality, their femininity, their connection to spirit and to help them reclaim their powerful role as women within society. Ashly is also the founder of HealthySexyHungry.com, where she coaches women on radical self love and guides them towards living a life filled with confidence and desire.