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Warrior Women and Internalized Oppression

When I think of creating another world, I think about my sisters that I collaborate with in social justice every day. The women on the frontlines used both as weapons of war and declaring war. Women Warriors are everyday women, women like me and you. The problem is that as change makers, we often , are too from the very community that we are fighting for and with. We experience first hand the injustice , the poverty, the abuse and the neglect of our people. The challenge is that there is no one taking care of us, no one taking care of the activist, the organizers that do it day in and day out. If we the front liners, the warriors don’t take a good look at ourselves and see how we have internalized the very oppression that we are fighting then we will replicate this same world all over again.

Warrior Women, we are dying, we are social activist on the front lines transforming the world with a bag pack full of fear , guilt, shame, loneliness, resentment and anger that is killing us. We often feel powerless in the mist of war and we have mastered so many ways of dealing and surviving that we go home to do the very things that we are supporting our communities’ not to do. So, how many of us drink, self mutilate, eat, sleep , don’t eat, don’t sleep, have unsafe sex, are in abusive relationships, are the abusers, violent, or get violated. What and how do we heal from what we see or hear, or what we live through as we do the work?

We are dying from various dis-eases such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety disorders, drug use, illness, abusive relationships, self mutilation, disordered eating, smoking, STD’s/ hiv/AIDS, alcoholism, cancer, obesity.

For the past ten years I have provided trainings and organized healing circles for women activists and organizers , locally, nationally and internationally. Every first Saturday of the month I Organize a healing circle , in the South Bronx for 25 women. We walk through hard issues like power & oppression and Internalized oppression. and use our spirituality to support each other in breaking the pattern of individualism, isolation, guilt and self-blame and dis-ease.

Pulse Wire can take this to yet another level, I see a space called the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Altar”, a place where we bridge spirituality, culture and social justice. A virtual online altar , a place of power created by women all over the world, that has affirmations, candles, rituals, healing stories. Where on those days we feel like giving up we go to this place and share, ask for empathy and support, pray, sing , celebrate, cry and laugh through video together. A place we can hold each other accountable for our ways of being, the dreams we want to make come true, and the sisterhood we want to build in the process.


aimeeknight's picture

Your essays are always so

Your essays are always so poetic and you make a great point. Sometimes we are, our own worst enemy. I like "Warrior Women" Great work!

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

tainadelsol's picture

you are a warrior women..

imagine, that you live in a body that protects you whether you like it or not whether you are in danger or not. your worst inside is really your best friend and she has protected yout his far and still with all your stories, everything you have lived adn learned and saw you are a warrior women. What would it look like if we just took the time to look within and heal?

In Bold Rebirth

Kathleen Abood's picture

Healing from Within

You have uncovered an important aspect in our struggle for women's empowerment. Certainly, we are often our own greatest obstacle to personal success. I agree that our new online forum through World Pulse will help to bridge the gaps within our own community.

Kathleen Abood

tainadelsol's picture

we are already successful

so here's the thing we are already successful, so imagine if we could just take the time needed to let go how powerful we would really be?

love dee

In Bold Rebirth

JessiSchimmel's picture

Very important

I agree with Kathleen that you've pinpointed a very important aspect of any advocacy effort. Keeping the advocates in a good place personally is critical to success. Advocates tend to be people who want to give and give and give of themselves.

Two interesting books that (at least sort of) relate: Emergency Sex, by Cain, Postlewait and Thomson; and Sweet Relief, by Abrahamson. Check them out!


Marti's picture

Hi, You have brought up a

You have brought up a good point- as caretakers, leaders, change agents, we must be sure to take care of ourselves and provide the important on-going support necessary to continue good works.

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