Tag Archives: #HeForShe

Mother’s Day Musings

On this Mother’s Day, which is every day, in my opinion, let me just say this to all women, ladies, girls, etc: without you, we men are nothing. 

There is a breed of man who would like to believe that he doesn’t need women, that women exist for whatever purpose he gives them, that he is entitled to treat them however he thinks is appropriate to however he’s feeling in any given moment. Let’s be clear about something right now, this is not a man. This is a boy whose education in life was stunted, interrupted or irresponsibly passed on by the wrong role models. 

There is also a breed of man who sees women as everything they are, which is everything. This breed of man understands the power women have over life, love and the world we live in. He understands that the repression of women could only stem from man’s history of being threatened by the inherent abilities to love, nurture, birth and raise more men AND women, and these abilities have threatened man’s quest for power. The men in my life are not threatened by “strong” women, and by the way, that expression is no longer needed in our culture and vernacular. If we don’t feel the need to qualify men in order to understand them better, than why the fuck do we do it to women?

This breed of man is who I am, who the men in my life are, and who I will make sure the boys in my life become as I contribute to their higher learning. It is who we are, and I’m proud to know mothers AND fathers who, every day, sit down and take their time to parent responsibly by explaining to their sons AND daughters just how wrong our cultures’ gender roles and examples are. By teaching them what is appropriate and inappropriate. By teaching them that when someone says, “Stop”, you stop. By teaching them that if someone treats you inappropriately, in any way, that you need to stand up for yourself. By teaching them that they are allowed to experience, feel, process and live whatever they choose to, and are allowed to excuse themselves from not experiencing what they choose not to.

To ALL the women, not just the mothers, may I say, on behalf of all the men who have their heads screwed on properly, that we are aware of the double standard you live with in certain situations, and we have your back if you’d like us to. #HeForShe

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A Pill to Swallow

10827994_10153292025159258_1015895408197009231_oA few months ago I organized a yoga benefit to raise money for Women Aware, a Montreal-based non-profit organization that provides assistance and “long-term support to those living with the dynamics of domestic violence.” At around the same time I became part of the #HeForShe international campaign put together by UNWomen. This campaign is a call that “brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all,” essentially serving as a call to all men to raise their voices and awareness to fight the inequalities and suffrage women are exposed to simply because they’re women. I got involved with them for the same reason that I organized the fundraiser: I was traumatized at an early age when the concept of rape was explained to me and since then I have felt a visceral alliance with anyone dealing with the fallout of violence against women.

My career started out almost seven years ago as a yoga teacher, but little did I know that in finding my voice to teach I would find my voice to start speaking up for those whose voices have been muted by abuse, inequality and sheer terrorism. By now, most of you know that I’m not a mild-mannered, meek teacher. I have an opinion, especially when it comes to injustice, and I’m not afraid to voice that opinion, especially when I come across intolerance of any kind. I have been told that I can be aggressive in my expression, that I’m not adopting the right “yoga” attitude of non-judgement and compassion. Hear me now, because I won’t ever be repeating myself: I understand that every single one of us has the potential, if influenced by certain variables, to do or be anything or anyone, and I use the “There but for the grace of God go I” expression daily. I also feel tremendous compassion and empathy for those who have perpetuated the cycles of chaos and violence that they have found themselves a part of. With that said, I also believe that we have to stop tip-toeing around in this moment of political correctness so that we can expose the root causes of how we’ve arrived at this moment in time with such a heavy cloud of ignorance, darkness and intolerance weighing us down. And so sometimes I’m going to communicate in ways that you may not want to hear your yoga teacher or spiritual guide communicating in. To those I may be offending, please accept my apologies now and understand that all my actions in my career and on my path of dharma stem from the desire for peace, compassion, unity and spiritual understanding. Also understand that this is the way I’m doing it. My way. If it doesn’t resonate with you, there are hundreds of thousands of other teachers for you out there, and I encourage you to seek them out.

10413309_10153081125548426_3971799968709502221_n I, as I progress in my studies and work with helping others heal from their emotional and physical wounds, am constantly helping women heal from sexual assaults. This is an epidemic, take my word for it. And it’s unacceptable. It keeps coming up, over and over again, in the work that I’m doing. The pain and trauma that is being afflicted on women in the name of power, of control, of taking what someone else thinks they’re entitled to, is reprehensible. And I will continue to raise awareness with MY voice to make sure that we don’t get complacent or ever think that violence in any form is a necessary evil that we have to learn to live with. Bullshit. I’m calling bullshit, and I will continue to call it with every person I encounter who has been hurt at the hand of someone else. I will write (as I did with this blog post months ago for International Women’s Day), I will speak, I will teach and I will continue to learn so I know what I’m talking about and fighting peacefully in the name of.

Understand this: violence against women is not going to be tolerated. I will make sure that women’s voices get heard, even if it means me raising mine to amplify theirs. This path I’m on with yoga means nothing if all I’m doing is instructing people to fold forwards or balance on their tip-toes. My path is one of awakening, for myself and others, so that we can address what needs to be addressed without fear of rubbing people the wrong way. Sometimes we need a little shaking to wake up and see clearly what we have been allowing to occur right on our doorsteps.

To support Women Aware, please visit their website that is hyperlinked above.

 

 

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