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On Faith, Feminism and Privilege

July 11, 2018, 4:32 AM

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By : Nikki Savage

 

I’ve only recently come to think of myself as a feminist.  For the longest time, I tried to separate myself from my femininity.  I felt it was being a girl that made me weak.  As I said in previous posts, even the Bible seemed to tell me so.   I tried to work on my masculine traits to make me stronger.  I tried to be one of the guys.

 

When I became a mother, things shifted for me.  Maybe holding space within my body for another human made me appreciate the strength of the feminine.  Having to be soft and allow the process take over my life taught me the strength of acceptance.  Acceptance is feminine.

 

I do believe we are a in time where we are seeing the effects of not allowing softness, not in our men and not in our women.  Repressing this natural expression has created a culture of intolerance and inequality. And within the feminist movement itself, the intolerance and inequality is present.

 

As I am growing into my femininity, I am finding new levels.  Levels where I am the one holding privilege because of my race.  It was a hard pill to swallow after working on getting right with me as a woman only to find a new level of wrong I’ve been a part of.  But it is true.  I have been both denied and granted access to paths of success and privilege solely based on my appearance.

 

In my spirituality, I have been guilty of saying we are all one.  And on a certain level I know this to be true.  When we get above ego, we are part of a collective soul.  I believe that.  But we do not live in a world that supports this.  And until we do, saying we are all “one” and “I don’t see anyone as different”, denies the experience of anyone who has not been given the same freedoms and undermines the voices of those oppressed by the systems in place.

 

Being this is a spiritual community, I feel compelled to speak on this both as a way of inviting the dialogue on feminism and also white privilege in the context of spirituality.  I invite the conversation, including being called out on any of my posts.  This may be an uncomfortable topic for some.  But I’m realizing, especially as our faith communities are more and more often being used to justify things that are immoral, that it is necessary.  It isn’t new.  This is very old.   And in the beginning I felt a little triggered by this. But I sat with what made me uncomfortable and started the process of unpacking it all.  It feels bad when you realize your part in a system of oppression, regardless of intention or personal experience.  But I feel I disempower myself when I am not honest about the ways I’ve been wrong in my thinking.  I disrespect my faith when I use it to shield me under the universal umbrella or use it to bypass the reality of the world we live in.  And so I keep at this work because I need to.

 

This is how I feel about this work.  It is personal and deep work.  And if I truly want to help get to a place of “oneness”, I have to recognize why we aren’t one.  Again, the divides aren’t new.  But they are constantly being exploited in new ways.  And I am waking up to it.  And having this space in a spiritual community I would feel remiss if I didn’t make room for this conversation.  How does this show up in your spiritual circles?  Please feel free to share here.

 

This is how I feel about this work.  It is personal and deep work.  And if I truly want to help get to a place of “oneness”, I have to recognize why we aren’t one.  Again, the divides aren’t new.  But they are constantly being exploited in new ways.  And I am waking up to it.  And having this space in a spiritual community I would feel remiss if I didn’t make room for this conversation.  How does this show up in your spiritual circles?  Please feel free to share here.

 

 

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