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Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in 2016 Elections, Education, Passages, Society, Women | 23 comments

Speak Up: Defy Those Who Attempt to Silence A Woman by Attack, Denigration:


Dear Brave Souls:
If you want to try to silence a woman,
attack by s&s, screed and screech:
You are not ready yet,
You’re stupid,
You are not good enough,
You’re an idiot,
Who do you think you are?
Shut up. I said, Shut up!
Tell her you’ll help her, but then don’t
Tell her you’ll respect her, but then don’t…

For every woman, and every man who has ever had those who try to silence them when they speak, not just verifiable truths, but/and when they speak the undeniable, irrevocable Truths of the Soul…

Meaning this: merciful care of the World Soul and the Souls in that world, is our work on Earth many of us are called to in our own ways.

Repair of the World Soul [called in Hebrew, tikkun olam] is our work, OUR work, by which a nation is judged as to whether it has a Soul … or whether it has lost its Soul somewhere along the way and can no longer find it without help …

help from the people … the people who speak,
the people who will not cease speaking up …
and speaking out … and speaking for.

Let us continue then and let it be said now,
gently, in our own ways,
and yet relentlessly in our own ways …
let it be said, and let us not back away . . .

When someone says, “We’re saying the same thing.”
Say, “We are not saying the same thing.”

When someone says, “Don’t question, just have faith.”
Say, “I am questioning, vato, and
I have supreme faith in what I think.”

When someone says, “Don’t defy my authority.”
Say, “There is a higher authority that I follow.”

When someone says, “Your ideas are seductive.”
Say, “No, my ideas are not seductive,
they are substantial.”

When someone says, “Your ideas are dangerous.”
Say, “Yes, my ideas are dangerous, and why are you
so afraid hombre o mujer? ”

When it is said, “It’s just not done.”
Say, “It will be done.”

When it is said, “It is immature.”
Say, “All life begins small and
must be allowed to grow.”

When it is said, “It’s not thought out.”
Say, “It is well thought out.”

When they say, “You’re over-reacting.”
Say, “You’re under-reacting, vato.”

When they say, “You’re being emotional.”
Say, “Of course I have well placed emotions,
and by the way, what happened to yours?”

When they say, “You’re not making any sense.”
Say, “I don’t make sense, I am the sense.”

When they say, “I can’t understand you
when you’re crying.”
Say, “Make no mistake, I can weep and be fierce
at the same time.”

When they say, “I cant understand you
when you’re being so angry.”
Say. “You couldn’t hear me when I was being nice,
or sweet or silent, either.”

When someone says, “You’re missing the point.”
Say, “I’m not missing the point, but you seem
to be missing my point —
What are you so afraid of?”

When someone says, “You are breaking the rules.”
Say, “Yes, I am breaking the rules.”

When someone says, “That’s not practical.”
Say, “It’s practically a done deal, thank you very much.”

When it is said, “No one will do it,
believe you, or follow it.”

Say, “I will do it, I will believe in it, and in time,
the world may well follow it.”

When it is said, “No one wants to listen to that.”
Say, “I know you have a hard time listening to that.”

When it is said, “It’s a closed system,
you cant change it.”
Say, “I’m going to knock twice
and if there is no answer,
then I am going to blow the doors off that system
and it will change.”

When it is said, “They’ll ignore you.”
Say, “They won’t ignore me
and the hundreds of thousands who stand with me.”

When they say, “It’s already been done.”
Say, “It’s not been done well enough.”

When they say, “It’s not yet time.”
Say, “It’s way past time.”
When they say, “It’s not the right day,
right month, right year.”
Tell them, “The right year was last year,
and the right month was last month,
and the right day was yesterday,
and you’re running behind schedule, vato,
and what in the name of God and all that is holy
are you going to do about it?”

When they say, “Who do you think you are?” —
tell them who you are,
and don’t hold back.

When they say, “I put up with it,
you’ll have to put up with it too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”

When they say, “I’ve suffered a long time
and you’ll have to suffer too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”

When they say, “You’re an incorrigible,
hard to get along with,
unreasonable woman … ”
Say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes …

and I have worse news for you yet —

We are teaching our daughters,
and our mothers,
and our sisters …
we are teaching our sons,
and our fathers,
and our brothers–

to be

This blessing poem I wrote as a chant, a lyric form from my ethnic tradition. It is made to be spoken aloud, so not just its meanings, but its heartbeat, can be discerned; enjoined. Colloquially, in the family, we’d call it a song or hymn rather than a poem, in this case, a “song for straight vision and strength.” The word vato, is a slang Spanish word, an informal way of addressing a man, such as in the street … e.g., “Man, don’t you realize?” Vato is also a reference to a ‘street-wise’ person.

Over time, this prayer-poem has been put forth at the United Nations, and presented during a tribal women’s coalition in South Africa, as well as carried into session at the parliament in the Netherlands, and given before U.S. Congressional hearings on welfare reform in the 1990s. Its original name is “How To Silence A Woman, Retrieving Her Voice,” ©1980, 2008, C.P. Estés, All Rights Reserved. This letter to you, by same name, as previous, ©2016.

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