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Being a Leader of Women

I have been working on “gender.” I am a heterosexual female partnered with a man and am raising a three-year-old daughter. I am around a lot of people who identify as Transgender and genderqueer. The Trans liberation movement is quite visible in many parts of my life. I’ve had to figure out how to talk to my daughter about all that she is encountering around gender. I have been working hard in my Co-Counseling sessions to become clearer about my own thinking, my restimulations, and how I want to lead both inside and outside of RC on ending sexism and male domination.

I decided to share some of my thinking in my RC women’s support group, to practice saying what I think. After reading a recent post on “gender” by Diane Balser (the International Liberation Reference Person for Women), I decided to lead on the sentence “Being female is a fact.”

I reminded the women that discharge is the tool for working on feelings and that holding any idea or perspective up to discharge is reliable and “safe.” If something is right and true, it will not get broken or taken away from us by discharge. Discharging will loosen any rigidity and give us access to more thinking. After a mini-session on this I said, “Being female is a fact. Let’s discharge on that,” and sent people off for another mini-session.

Later I asked if any of the women had wished they were not a girl when they were young. Several women raised their hands, and I counseled two of them. Doing that helped me to grow as a counseling leader and a leader of women. It made me want to ask the question of every female I know.

During a second meeting, I talked about the RC practice of acting on our thinking rather than our feelings. Because the words “feelings” and “thinking” mean different things to different people, I tried to explain it. I think some folks who had been confused and restimulated about the practice understood it in a clearer way.

Then I asked the women to apply the concept to “being female is a fact.” I reminded them that one can be female in an infinite number of ways but that biology is still a fact. After mini-sessions I did some demonstrations.

A thirty-something Queer woman who identifies strongly as female got to work hard on how people are not “allowed” to say that phrase (“being female is a fact”) in the circles she runs in [is part of]. She could also work on early difficult things with her mom.

Another woman who identifies strongly as an ally of Trans-identified people and has been publicly outspoken on the topic worked on “you are not supposed to say that being female is a fact,” and on questioning her usual perspective. Then she had a big session about how much she hated being female in her family and hated her mom, which was connected to how her mom was hated in the family, as the female. She saw the connection between working on the early hurts and her perspectives on gender and was totally non-defensive and open to working. She also had great attention for me to work in a mini-session on my thoughts and restimulations.

All this was exciting and such a relief. I had been scared that putting out the idea “being female is a fact” would turn people against me. But it was evident that working on it was useful to everyone. Thank you, Diane, for the inspiration and support. I am gaining a ton of confidence in my own thinking and leadership.

Anonymous

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


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