The good news this International Women’s Day has to do with resistance.
This year’s unprecedented Women’s March on Washington brought women and our allies out into the American public square demanding our rights, in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time.
Of course, never in my memory has the top American official, our President, been a man who is a gloating and unapologetic sexual predator of women; a man who treats his wife like a porn star bimbo and believes that serious women who dare to aspire to power are “nasty.”
By acquiescing in a warped political process that propelled this man into power, Americans have become bystanders to his nasty, discriminatory behavior towards women. “Make America Great Again” seems to mean “put women back in their place again”—in the home, making babies and waiting to serve their all-powerful men.
Well, no. Just NO.
Our foremothers did not fight so long and so hard for women’s equality just to see the current generation swallow our bile and tears and accept the rolling back of our rights as free and equal human beings.
Everywhere you look you can see women standing strong against this new tide of injustice.
The powerful women of Standing Rock are now flooding into Washington DC, along with thousands of other Native people and allies, for this weekend’s Native Rights marches. The Native people of America, and indeed the world, are leading the way on insisting that humans stop destroying our Mother Earth, and become her loving stewards.
Although there are so many important issues to focus on this International Women’s Day, for me all of them can be summed up fairly simply: either you love and support life, or you hate and destroy life.
I CHOOSE LIFE.
That means I choose to stand up for children, our precious new generations, who have the right to quality education, good nutritious food, a loving family and community, and a healthy environment.
I stand for the right of every human being to play a meaningful role in their community, and to be rewarded and respected for their contributions. Of course, this means that women should have control over their bodies in every situation, just as men do.
I stand for the rights of animals, who should not be made to suffer…who should not be driven to extinction…because of the thoughtless greed of human beings. I stand for the protection of our environment, for the rights of Mother Nature, without whom none of us could live for even a moment.
This International Women’s Day, I give thanks and honor to every woman who has stood up for Life, sometimes in the face of fierce persecution, sometimes even giving her own life for the cause—like the environmental activist Berta Caceres, who we lost in 2016 because she refused to back down when the loggers and drillers advanced towards her community.
Yes, it can be dangerous to stand up and resist the forces of destruction, to say NO to those who would silence us and reinstate the supremacy of the patriarchy, now rearing up in its most potently savage form: racist, misogynist, elitist, imperialist, extractivist, militarist, corporatist, extremist…these are the times we are living in, and they demand an equally potent resistance movement.
Marching, calling, sending post cards, organizing in our communities, networking with kindred spirits across the globe…all this is necessary, and more.
All our activism must be rooted in a deep sense of purpose, a commitment that must run like sap up our core: the commitment to STAND FOR LIFE.
Every great successful movement of the past has been fueled by the moral imperative to do what is right, to live in alignment with our most deeply held values. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” was a revolutionary statement in its time, which was shifted by the courageous work of 19th and 20th century activists to include women, people of color and non-landowners under the banner of equality.
We are living in another revolutionary moment. It is a transition time, when if we fail to recognize the intrinsic value of our most precious resources—clean Earth, Water, Air and the life they support—we will soon find our entire civilization swept away by the storms, floods and droughts of Earth recalibrating herself in a massive reset leading into a new epoch.
This International Women’s Day, I vow to stand, as a woman and a human being, for the health and wellbeing of Mother Earth and all her children, human and non-human alike.
Looking for a good place to start? Register for the Pachamama Alliance Game Changer Intensive course, starting a new series in March 2017. It’s free, and it’s a powerful way to connect with kindred spirits who also want to STAND FOR LIFE.