A guest essay by The Lady Mystic
(Originally published on July 4, 2014) –
I am an American Woman … and I am free.
I own a home because I live in a country where I have property rights, and can have as much stuff as my check book and credit score enable me to have.
I dress in the manner I choose because I live in a country that does not dictate I must cover my legs, arms or face or suffer consequences … or death. But if I choose to dress in this manner, I am equally as free to do so.
I work for a woman who owns her own business, and makes more money than most men I know, because I live in a country where opportunities ABOUND for anyone who will take advantage of them, regardless of their gender.
I live in a country where I am an Ordained Minister, ordained by another female Minister. And while there are a few men in this country who may have a problem with that, I live in a country where my God does not.
I am in a relationship with a man who I am not married to, yet I live in a country where I can engage in sex with him without worrying that the local sheriff or religious “leader” will arrest me or brand me a “harlot” or “adulteress.”
I also live in a country where if I want to ditch my man, and find a woman with whom to have a relationship with I can. And I live in a country where slowly but surely, the beauty of that relationship is as accepted as the one I would have with any man.
I live in a country where it is not unusual or out of the ordinary for me to have an education, use my mind, excel in my chosen field, or be whatever I desire to be. And in this country, if no one encourages me toward those endeavors, then I am free to encourage and motivate myself.
In this country, I am not forced to have unprotected sex unless I choose that route. The choices for me to control the reproductive cycles of my body are endless and as close as my neighborhood pharmacy or doctor.
I also live in a country where forced sex is not condoned by law, and I can seek justice and redress in a court of law against anyone who violates that most sacred space in me.
And in this country, I am not forced to have a baby I do not want to have, and am free to debate the moral and ethical issues of this with legislators, neighbors, doctors, clergy or strangers.
I live in a country that produced the amazing mother and grandmothers who raised me, who taught me how to cook, sew, clean and maintain a home; not because those things were “expected” of me as a girl, but so I could survive, and live a happy and productive life. (By the way, my brother was also taught these things.)
In this country, my father taught his “little girl” to fend for herself by showing her how to change a tire, unclog a drain, use duct tape, recognize dangerous situations, and how to use a .32 Smith and Wesson properly so I shot the bad guy and not myself. (And yes, my brother was also taught these things because they served him as well as they served me.)
I live in a country that is not perfect, founded by men who had revolutionary ideas about freedom and liberty, and did what no one thought they could; they defeated a world power in order to have the opportunity to live in freedom and liberty.
But I also live in a country founded by men with flaws; men who had life-affirming ideas about personal liberties, but whose social consciousness had not risen to the height where they could extend those liberties to all peoples. Yet, I recognize that my country, more than any country during the same time frame, has fought, and struggled, and at times ripped itself apart, in order to extend that same liberty to everyone … and continues to do so.
In my country there is equality of opportunity; and while some may disagree with that statement, I live in a country where I am free to say that, and you are free to prove me wrong.
Yet, I live in a country where many of my Sisters say they are not free, feel they are not “equal” to their male counterparts, feel they are “trodden” upon, or that they have no power or influence.
In this country, the most beautiful symbol of her majesty and nobleness is the Statue of Liberty … a Woman, the Sacred and Divine Feminine. Not a man, not a warrior … a Woman.
I am, and all women who live in all countries, ARE the embodiment of Liberty and Freedom. We are the bearers of Life, the vessel through which all human Life must travel. We embrace this freedom not as something to be ashamed or disgraced by, but as the most Holy of Holies. We are Life.
Through us is the wisdom of Life, the illumination of Life, the forward motion of Life. We can stand in the midst of great vastness, and stand confidently and proudly. We birth children, ideas, wisdom, beauty and humanity. We stand in this space with total control and freedom over our bodies, our minds, our hearts … and our destinies
Yes, in this country many a man has tried through force and law to “put us in our place,” defeat us, regulate us, control us, or humiliate us. Yet, like that great Lady in the harbor, we have never stopped shining, never stopped keeping a watch out for humankind, and – while temporary stifled – have NEVER LOST OUR POWER.
So, on this Independence Day, I am in gratitude for the women of this country who met oppression, domination, and inequality head on. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale, Betty Friedan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart – and multiple thousands of other women whose names have escaped the notoriety of history – those women who faced discrimination, and laws or social structures that limited their opportunities, I honor today.
These pioneers lived in a world with little opportunities for women, in order to create the country I live in today, a place where the opportunities for me are LIMITLESS.
Today, I declare MY Independence, in a country where it is only MYSELF that holds me back or keeps me down.
Today, I declare there is no “war” against me, save the one I battle against myself.
Today, I declare there is no “discrimination” against me, save the discrimination I bring to myself because I discriminate against others.
Today, I declare ownership of my own body, and I alone decide who touches it. I, and I alone, have responsibility over my body.
Today, I deny the cultural norms that dictate I must have a particular body size or shape in order to be desirable, and declare that I have the “perfect” body type, as do my Sisters, as do all Women.
Today, I declare that I am smart, intellectual and capable, and it is not necessary for me to hide my intelligence, for it threatens no one and only serves to empower the world.
Today, I make the commitment to know my own mind, my own heart, my own desires, as well as my own challenges, and embrace all of these as the greater nature of who I am.
Today, I acknowledge Prince Charming never existed … and only I can save myself.
Today, I honor my Sisters … the young Women, the mature Mothers, and the Grandmother Crones from whom all Life flows through. I support them in their journey, and am grateful for the full measure of Beauty and Wisdom that is inherent in all of them. May we work together for each other’s good, and not create division among us.
Today, I honor the men in my Life, for without them Life would be less than.
Today, I honor Life and all that she is.
Today … I am an American Woman. And I AM FREE.
© Robbie Dancing Sun Cat Hunt