Friday, August 8, 2014

This excerpt...

" Life in the twenty-first century presents new and unprecedented challenges for women. Major Social changes, including those won by feminism, have given modern women an entree into public life that would have been unthinkable for our female precursors, remembering that american women only received the right to vote in 1920. This inclusion as card-carrying citizens in a masculine world, although a welcome and just development, has created specific issues that our foremothers, whose world was overwhelmingly feminine, did not have to face.

For example, how do we, working in an office, factory or  other institution, accommodate the changes in our bodies and minds that accompany our monthly cycles? How can we ensure that our working conditions will not harm the babies we gestate? Is it possible to work apart from our infants and maintain our breastfeeding relationship? Do we continue paid employment while our children are young, and if so, how can we make the best provision for our children and their real needs for our loving care? How do we keep our public face as we make the transition through menopause, a passage that so often demands we withdraw to complete our inner work?

These examples highlight the conflicts many women face as we balance our presence in the masculine world with our feminine needs and concerns. One response - perhaps the most rewarded in our culture - is to deny our female bodies: to adopt a pseudo-masculine approach that minimizes our bodies' innate feminine functions. Society sanctions this attitude and provides the means for menstrual concealment and suppression, birth interventions that override the body's natural process, seperation of mothers and babies, formula feeding, and the treatment of menopause with hormonal substances, among others.

While each of these may be convenient at the time ( and easier choices, culturally, than choosing menstrual retreat, natural birth, breastfeeding, mother-baby dependency, and unmedicated menopause), there is a downside. Each time we deny our female functions, each time we deviate from our bodies' natural path, we move farther away from our feminine roots. This can create distress within our bodies and can set the scene for further problems, physically and emotionally, for ourselves and for our families."
 Foreward written by Sarah J. Buckley, MD for the book Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent

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