excerpt from music & meditation: on feminism zoom show on 5/16/21
Feminism is important not just as an appeal for women's rights, but an appeal for human rights.
In our patriarchal, capitalist society, unlimited expansion and hoarded resources by a few are prioritized. The needs of human beings are treated as necessary only inasmuch as they serve the primary goal of hoarded resources (capital).
In other words, if it doesn't help capitalists hoard more shit, it isn’t prioritized or rewarded in society.
Many human needs, such as those provided through care-taking, are offloaded onto the backs of women, who receive little to no resources in exchange for their labor.
Think about it.
Women get paid nothing for mothering children, which is a huge service to society (perhaps the biggest).
Caring for the elderly, cleaning, nursing, and teaching - all traditionally women's careers - are paid very little while providing some of the most essential services for fulfilling human need and enriching life.
Women's oppression is expressed very tangibly in society: through no or little compensation for our labor. And the personal ways that women's oppression affects us as individuals are linked to this disenfranchisement.
The relegation of women is in fact a relegation of human need in general. The human need for care. For touch. For tenderness. For space. To be listened to. To be seen. To be nurtured. To be taught. To be all of the tender things that make us human, that make us feel most alive. To be BORN, for fucks sake.
The very tangible social message - which is communicated to us through how resources are allocated - is that these needs don't matter. And this message can't help but touch all of us. And it teaches us a very dangerous lesson. It teaches us not to care for each other. It teaches us not to care for ourselves.
When we aren't properly cared for, misery abounds. Violence in many external forms. Violence in internal forms too. Addiction. Mental and physical health disorders. Suicide.
Feminism is a force of fierce and holistic protectiveness that seeks to bring humanity back to itself.
Feminism is about people who have had their rights stripped by society taking them back. Feminism is about standing and working and fighting in solidarity with all who've had their rights taken away and are taking them back.
Feminism is understanding that EVERYONE has a right to care; both in society and within our own private inner worlds.
It's working socially for the rights to housing, healthcare, dignity, and wellness for all.
It's working internally to reclaim a sense of honoring your needs instead of relegating them to the dark parts of your psyche.
Feminism is for all of us. And to rebuild society into one that works for human beings, it must be from all of us. What is feminism to you?
So I’d like to focus our meditation today on reclaiming our relationship to our needs.
So we’re just gonna slow down, breathe deep, zone in, and ask ourselves, with care, the simple question, “What do you need?”
And we don’t need to worry about using our minds to answer the question. We can just relax into it, let ourselves go, and get reacquainted with caring for ourselves in this simple way, by asking, “What do you need?”