Unfolding Our Diverse Petals to Make Art, Love and History

By Molly McConnell, co-founder of Cultivate Balance

“Women have the skills we need to move our culture in a transformative direction.”

— Elizabeth Rabia Roberts

Over the past year, we’ve taken a long, hard look at ourselves, and at the systems and structures that have failed us. These systems were never built to uplift women, transgender, nor people of color, and we can no longer deny or ignore it.

And so, the world is awakening. More than ever before, now is the potent time to unfold feminism.  We must wrap ourselves in its warmth – surrender to its sanctity.  It is time to find security in unity and freedom in fierceness.  Now is the time to face each other by facing ourselves and asking, "What does it mean to stand up for our sisters?"

Let’s begin by making an important clarification: Feminism is not about excluding men – or excluding anyone, for that matter; it is about breaking the cycle of systematic disregard, disrespect and exclusion of women.  We cannot afford to stop there; feminism is more than emphasizing the inclusion of women, but the inclusion of all marginalized groups based on the intersectional qualities of race, class, religion, gender, sexuality etc.  Feminism is about valuing the diversity and complexity that enable us to counter the impeding mono-culture and embrace the range of human existence.  In doing so, we create space to prioritize the cultural vibrance of tradition, innovation and creation.  Our obligation is to make art, love and history – not money, monopoly or misogyny. 

This dangerous shift toward mono-culture cannot last.  It is our duty to rise to the occasion before things get worse.  Now is the precise moment to stand up tall and to demand to be included; to allow ourselves to take up space, to be seen and to be heard.  Now is the time for all of us, because feminism isn’t just about women, it is about everybody.  We must allow ourselves to look at the entire experience of this radiant earth, understanding that things exist in relationship to one another.  All of the pieces require each other.  To love our planet is to love ourselves.  To nurture our communities it to nurture our futures.  Let your activism be an offering to your children and your children’s children.

More than a love of woman, this momentum stems from a love of humanity – the moment when we remember how to find familiarity in the eyes of strangers, seeing glimpses of our sisters, brothers, children and elders in the souls of all.  Feminism is about taking care and communicating clearly.  Feminism is so much more than a movement; it is a way of life.  We are living for our rights to freedom and personal security.  We are valuing the individual’s experience, the emotion, the creativity, the passion, the compassion and the seemingly mundane.  We are becoming whole again.

Feminists are refining the art of balance, demonstrating the importance both of being heard and of listening.  This is a practice that we have been cultivating since the hunter-gatherer days and deepening with the birth of each new generation.  We are the generation now – the most refined, the most ready, the most responsible, to protect and to heal the chaos of this culture.

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