Divine Feminine Fallacy Part III – THOTs on Hoes

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Learning about sex as a girl is usually a curvy path. Some are brought to the realizations by the harshness of abuse, while others are nudged into the sexual world via playground tales and awkward sex-ed classes in junior high.

A woman is taught that her sexuality does not belong to her. It is part of her value, yes, but not if she owns it. Not if she is proud of it outside of cultural allowances.

I was always the “good girl” who was close friends with the Promiscuous Girl, the School Ho throughout my young adult life. I longed for the sexual confidence of these women and I was often annoyed at the boys who would point blank ask me about the sexual lives of my friends. Usually these same boys had similar if not higher numbers of sexual partners, but the double standard played firmly in their favor:

My friends were sluts and they were just, well, boys.

It’s an old story.

But, in looking at the Divine Feminine Fallacy, there was no way I could write about unearthing my true experience as a woman without giving mention to female sexuality and sensuality.

As  much as I sprouted quite libertine airs about female sexuality, I saw that there were solid stumbling blocks to my true acceptance of sexual pleasure and sensual expression as a right.

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It is not easy to be a woman who speaks about female desire openly, but what was my own story besides the “wing-woman” of my sexually adventurous friends?

I started going to burlesque shows in about 2009 and quickly fell in love: the pageantry, the comedic antics, the body sovereignty of each woman who took the stage.

I took a couple of burlesque classes myself, started playing around this different personas and characters in my long mirror in the privacy of my home.

Around this time period, hip hop songs featuring the talents of strippers started to become more popular. Former strippers were landing reality show spots, hanging out with Drake, teaching twerking classes.

Why was I hesitant to celebrate these women and their obvious talents?

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One of my friends was a stripper throughout her twenties. She had the kind of natural charisma CEO wanna-bes pay thousands to acquire. I was always riveted by her stories, her unashamed and unadorned ambition in a world not exactly as glamorous and fun as T-Pain would have us believe.

But, in my mind, there was a bit of a difference between the world of burlesque and stripping, one that, yes, had much to do with the “male gaze” (a term I’m not always sure I really get all the time) but more so with what ideas of society I had ingested about female sexuality.

I was dipping my toes in Respectability Pond.

And this did not solely cover the Strippers vs. Burlesque camp. When I peeled back the layers, I started to see I had some other ideas about female sexuality that were hindering my life.

Because I hardly saw women who looked like me inhabiting their sensuality and sexuality being celebrated, there was part of me that wondered if it was okay to find myself sexy.

Sexiness in the public imagination was starting to look like an onslaught of half open mouths and fiercely penetrating (lol) gazes. All without a pore in sight.

Was this sexy?

What is sexy to me?
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What would feminine sensuality and sexuality look like if it wasn’t used to sell cheeseburgers? If women were taught that sex was beautiful and full of pleasure? If we were taught to see our diverse bodies with pride? If there wasn’t a rape culture and epidemic levels of childhood sexual abuse? If our mothers did not tell us, “Good girls don’t ___________.”

These are the questions I am asking myself.

I know…I ask myself lots of questions.

I seek to be fully free woman.

And part of getting free means revising and sometimes chucking out all the mess that clouds who we truly are.

I cannot leave sexuality out of this conversation for sensual peace is part of the who the divine Feminine is. Ownership and celebration of female sexuality are some of the major hallmarks of goddesses like Osun, Venus, and Freya.

Here’s to a new kind of sex-ed.

Onward,

Hannah

 

Art from top to bottom:

Mickalene Thomas, I thought you said you were leaving, 2006

MICKALENE THOMAS, Portrait of Mama Bush 1, 2010

MICKALENE THOMAS, A Little Taste Outside of Love, 2007

Mickalene Thomas, You’re Gonna Give Me the Love I Need, 2010

 

 

Divine Feminine Fallacy Part II – In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens

“In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.”
-Alice Walker
multi-colored plastic bouquets of flowers all crammed prettily together
Just searching…

 

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
Adyashanti

“Spiritual bypass” is a term often used in circles where people are seeking a higher truth. Be they New Age spiritualists, pagans, mystical Christians or an interesting amalgamation of all these spiritualities or none, the term describes a certain type of seeker who is utilizing spirituality to ignore the real-life issues of their existence.

We’ve all witnessed these people. They’re the chorus of “WE JUST NEED LOOOOVE!!!!” in the face of economic disparity and misogyny and Donald Trump. They are the “friend” who replies to your grief over a recent loss with pleas to “just be positive”.

meme of shaquille oneal heads illustrating chakra colors
Chakras are groovy.

Sometimes we are even “those people”, dishing out feel-good quotes and pat advice like we are human Hallmark cards.

It’s easy to see that this shit does not work in hindsight, but not always simple to catch spiritual bypass as it is occurring in real-time.

One of the stickiest places that we often wish to bypass are the stories that live inside our families of origin–the painful patterns, the hypocrisy, the let’s-just-take-the-Sears-portrait-and-ignore-our-growing-dysfunction-ness, the weirdness, and just the day-to-day realities of familial existence.

As a seeker eager to dive into all things Divine Feminine, I was all about reading about the “Great Mother” archetype and the goddess worshiping cultures of old but I was consistently passing a blind eye to what actually was occurring within my own matrilineal line.

Without even realizing it, I was jumping over my life and seeking external opinions about what the culture had taught me about being a woman.

stained glass window of multicolored egg surrounded by blue tendrils

But, where do we learn most about what it means to be woman than within the lives and stories of our mothers, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers?

It is these women who have taught me what is possible, what to believe about sex, my body, money, men, female friendships, relationships, self-care, food, parenting, femininity/masculinity, expression, success, God and all that I call Life.

They were my first teachers.

No matter what I profess to believe now, it is their opinions that are more often than not running the show. And until I sat down to examine what they taught me, no “Divine Mother” was going to redirect and “fix” my current life.

Of course, these women have taught me all kinds of life-affirming lessons, it is not just a barrage of negativity. And they teach not only with words and deep conversations–but within the tiniest details of how they live.

Lately, I have been sifting through these lessons and asking myself some deep questions:

What were the actual lessons passed down implicitly and explicitly in my mother-line?

What are the lessons I wish to live? What are the beliefs I need to let go of? And what are the beliefs I am actually living each day?

When does “living differently” from these lessons feel like I am abandoning my mother-line?

painting by fernand leger of three grey cubism style women overlapping each other
Fernand Leger, Composition with the three figures, 1932, CMOA.

The work I am completing here is constant and requires a dedication to life-long learning and shedding–these early beliefs are oftentimes not easy to discard.

They are literally in our blood.

But, I’ve started to notice something in my search.

I used to think the sifting through these stories required me to make a particular family member wrong or to assign blame.

Now I see that this search is all about integrity and awareness. It’s about truly realizing what is mine and what is not. It’s about facing reality as it is and not utilizing spirituality as yet another fogged up mirror, a clever way to obscure truth.

I continue this search, this investigation. I see the patterns–both gracious and limiting. I keep asking questions and sticking around for the answers. In doing so, my Divine Feminine life has a more grounded texture to it, for it is now weaved into my actual life.

My eyes open more and more each day.

What do you think you would find in sifting through your mother’s garden? Is it scary to think that you may just locate who you really are?

Onward,

Hannah