For a long time I felt disconnected from other women. Maybe it was because my mother was so emotionally distant because of her mental illness, the effects of the electro-shock therapy performed on her, the meds she was on, the divisive manipulations of my father upon our family, and the physical and psychological abuse she endured at the hands of my father.
It also didn’t help that I worked from a young age and had many more responsibilities than other girls my age. I found it difficult to relate to the silliness of most of them. This was probably exacerbated by the fact that I had been molested by my father from an early age, and was raped when older. As a consequence I felt different from other girls, and this difference was like an almost impermeable wall.
The aptly dubbed “women’s movement” or “feminist movement” gave voice to many of my own and other like-minded women’s thoughts and feelings. Then I entered military service and joined other women in a long line of sisterhood of warriors.
It was in these two places that I began to feel connected with the women I met, and with all women globally, and to feel a sense of kindred spirit with them … a sisterhood, and a kind of love that is not bounded by time and place, or religion, or race, or politics, or economics, or sexual orientation, or gender identity, or any of the artificial things people choose to divide themselves by.
It was the beginning of loving my own womanhood (or femininity), of seeing it as a strength and not a weakness, a gift and not a curse.
So when I recently heard a woman talk of some women treating other women they date in a crass way during sexual encounters and then discussing this treatment openly in public as though these sexual conquests were not living, breathing, feeling, human beings I felt disgusted to the core of my being. These braggarts are women who, by nature of their lifestyle, claim to love women (or so it seems to me). Yet this is how they treat them? I might expect this behavior from some men. When women behave this way toward other women it feels worse to me. Just as I find it more difficult to understand how women can traffic other women as slaves, particularly as sex slaves. To me it feels more heinous than when men do it. (Not that I’m condoning anyone doing it.)
Obviously people occasionally miscommunicate with each other, but why can’t all our intentions be to respect and honor each other? Why can’t we choose to mentor and cooperate with each other instead of compete with, and back-stab, and trash talk each other? We should be working together for the good of all. We should be voting together to ensure the rights of the least woman among us are protected, and her health is cared for, and her education is assured so she can fend for herself and provide her children with even better opportunities than she has. We should demand justice for rape and abuse victims, and hold men accountable for the children they father. We should demand an end to rape and abuse of women, children, and men.
And never, NEVER, should we leave another sister behind.