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I Am Truly Central

As the workshop organizer, I got a picture of the male domination and women’s internalized oppression that many of the women had to battle to make it to1 the workshop. Once there, we all dove right in. The workshop radiated love, power, and significance.

We had some of the first RC support groups ever in North America for Hindus, Jains, and Muslims. I am of Hindu heritage. What a contradiction2 to have eleven other Hindu women with me! We worked on the intersection of male domination and Hinduism. We also remembered what is beautiful about Hinduism. Our religion, unlike many, worships female divinity. In my discouragement about the oppression in the religion, I had forgotten to notice what was wonderful about it.

In our cultures, skin color is intimately connected to sexism. My mother is of medium complexion, and when growing up she was teased and mocked unmercifully. Her brothers are dark-skinned, but they never faced mistreatment based on their color.

Two of the languages spoken in the interpreting in front of the workshop were Urdu and Hindi. Neither is my mother tongue, but both are familiar to me. Hearing RC theory in our different languages was powerful.

The combination of all the above led to a huge re-evaluation. I was suddenly overtaken by the knowledge of my significance, and I cried and cried. Never before had I felt this—that I am truly central, that my women are central.

I pictured myself as a baby girl surrounded by this beaming, beautiful group of South, Central, and West Asian women. It was the first time in my thirty-seven years that I experienced feeling completely free of distress. I tasted what it would be like to know my power as a woman—and what it would be like if we all knew, really knew, our power.

There is so much oppression that I could not get to this “place” until I had done years of work, and until I had this room filled with my women, and had a counseling leader who had been fighting for our re-emergence for many years.

Amisha Patel

Chicago, Illinois, USA

(Present Time 171, April 2013)


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00