I have read so many articles from How Feminism changed the world to Will an Arab awakening empower women? to (Saudi) PRINCE QUESTIONS BAN ON WOMEN DRIVERS to finally Why do Western feminists forget their Mideast Sisters?.

I wanted to start with the Feminist movement and what it did for women in the Western world. Robert Fulford, in his article, How feminism changed the world, posted in National Post on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 stated,”Only feminism can claim to have broadened, permanently, the lives of half the humans in the West. Its success, based on earnest arguments and improvised political strategies, is without parallel in the last century. Nothing since has done so much to expand opportunity. Feminism has altered a whole culture’s ideal version of sexual roles. It has changed the professions, most strikingly medicine and law. It has affected how children are raised, how the law deals with domestic life, how corporations and public institutions are staffed”.

As a women in her 40s I am grateful for all that has transpired for I know without the strength of these women who “fought for me”, my life may be totally different.

Over the course of the years I do find that the women’s movement took on a very “male energy” – women must be tough, work harder, prove themselves, at times be aggressive (versus males who are assertive). Some of my women bosses were down right rude and mean. If feel that women felt that in order to be seen as equal to men they needed to act like men. This energy was consistent with what we have seen over the last 30 years. This is changing.

The world energy is shifting and we are seeing systems breaking down, physical impacts through hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and finally political uprisings – change is needed and wanted. The male dictators of the past – driven by their egos – are no longer wanted or needed. Myself, and many others are seeing major shifts in energy. As we move towards 2012 we are moving to a more balanced energy. Male energy is shifting to one of speaking our truth, setting boundaries, stating our value and worth and most importantly transparency and walking our talk. There is also the feminine energy which is more apparent: respect, compassion, collaboration, caring and people coming together to make a difference. There are more social entrepreneurs than ever before- where you can create a business around an idea that is making a difference.

The uprising in the Mideast is a movement that I hope women benefit from. For too long their basic human rights have been denied. In his article, , Avi Benlolo talks about a great influence on the feminist movement in the West. Mary Wollstonecraft published in 1792 the first feminist declaration of independence, A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She took advantage by seizing the moment and connecting with the cathartic social revolutions already taking place in England (end of monarchy/Industrial Revolution and social and parliamentary reform) , France (French Revolution 1789) and the United States (American Revolution 1775). By publishing the manifesto she gave a voice to women and eventually lead to their full and equal rights.

Avi Benlolo states, “In similar fashion, this is the time for the Wollstonecrafts in the Arab world to raise their voices and demand their freedom…. If the Arab protesters are truly calling for freedom and democracy, it must surely include women.”

We are living in a great time — yes upheaval in the Mideast – that is how change happens and we can begin to create the world we want to see: where are humans are equal and have the right to their basic needs being met. One article that really stuck out for me is a comment by Lesley Shore, Why do Western feminists forget their Mideast sisters? What struck me about this article in response to another article is that the author brought up food for thought. She says, “Why the silence from the feminists about the lives of Middle Eastern women? Because for Western feminists to take a stand regarding the lives of women – for example, the 40 Million, Saudi women who can neither read nor write, let alone drive a car – would be cultural imperialism.” She goes on to tell a story. One student, a teacher who spends her summers building and advising a school in Tanzania, described how the mothers of the community came to her for help in saving their daughters from female circumcision. Another student, an avowed feminist, argues that we women of the West were in no position to judge the practice of a culture different from our own. A third student from China, spoke: “My grandmother had her feet bound. It crippled her. That was a revered cultural tradition but it was not a good thing.”

I love this story. Do we allow our fellow women to suffer because of a cultural or political choices that are accepted however not good for them.

I hope that the Arab women in Diaspora begin to speak out and say ENOUGH. I also encourage all women, to join their voice and say that the cultural practices are not in the best interest and health of these women.

Women of the West we are fortunate and lucky. Let’s return to our intuitive, compassionate and loving ways and come together regardless of socio-economic, political, religious or cultural backgrounds. If we unite we can make a difference.

Have a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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