Updated: Feb 2
I recently entered a community that presented itself as a "sacred space" for women, with the promise of intersectional inclusion and a sense of belonging. Yet, my experience there was short-lived and disillusioning. I soon learned that the group was built on a hierarchical system, with bureaucratic rules in place to protect those in power and suppress dissent. When I dared to challenge the status quo and express a differing perspective with truth, dignity, and integrity, I was met with silence and swiftly terminated from the group.
The "superiors" communicated their decision through an email, citing that my dissenting viewpoint had "offended" another superior and violated the group's rule against conflict. The notion that disagreements must be kept private or only shared with those in positions of power is not only oppressive, but it also perpetuates systemic trauma. It denies individuals the right to voice their thoughts and opinions, and reinforces toxic power dynamics that perpetuate the very systems of oppression that this group purports to fight against.
I am not traumatized by this experience, for I have done the inner work to understand that this is a reflection of patriarchal systems and not of my worth as an individual. I am grateful for the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the desires for power and intolerance of difference that still exist among many women today. It is a sad reality that, despite their attempts to wrap their systems in a bow of love and spirituality, they have merely perpetuated the same oppressive structures with a new veneer.
The true lesson I have learned is that too few women are ready to be radically courageous and challenge these oppressive systems. They continue to hide within the same structures that have oppressed them for centuries, choosing to adorn them with pretty bows rather than disrupt and dismantle them. Real change cannot be achieved by simply repackaging the same oppressive systems. It requires a willingness to be radically courageous and to challenge the status quo.
Pink bows don’t change the world ladies, it's just the same old world with a pink bow on it.