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This is urgent – our world is changing rapidly.

Since my New York Times bestselling book, Pussy: A Reclamation, came out last September, the world has been changing rapidly. The week after the book was published, Trump was caught on tape with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood, with his “grab her by the p—y” statement.  

Instantly, Pussy went from obscurity, to the front pages of all the newspapers in the world. I was interviewed by one of the most conservative newspapers in the country, The Washington Post, with Pussy headlining – something that would have been unimaginable even six months prior. 

Following those events, we have watched the Old White Patriarchy begin to crumble, like never before. Heads have rolled in Hollywood, in Politics, in News, Fashion, and the Art world. 

Women have come forward, united in victimization, being willing to finally call out the men that have gamed the system for centuries. Finally, even some of the men who have perpetuated the lack of humanity inside of the patriarchal world culture, have started to come forward to take responsibility and stand for and beside women.  

There is a huge outpouring of woman, encouraged and inspired by one another, to throw open the doors of silence and speak out publicly on experiences of abuse and sexual assault.  

One woman’s story of abuse, outed, led to another woman’s story of abuse, outed, and men and the systems that support them have begun to topple. 

And a result, a new kind of sisterhood has emerged. A sisterhood that draws its energy from sharing rather than isolation. Sisterhood that is about vulnerability and transparency, rather than concealed weapons. Sisterhood that declares us united in our victimization, rather than isolated and alone. Women reaching across former divisions to stand together, and stand for one another.  

This new page, turned by Pussy, is so exciting.

Because, as I wrote about earlier this month, Sisterhood is an experience that is so fraught and fractured, inside our world right now. Women are so often told to beware of other women. That she will claw her way over you to get to the top. She will steal your man/woman. Betray you. Take what’s yours. Throw you under the bus.   

In this patriarchal world version of sisterhood, there is not enough for everyone. Since women, everywhere, at every level, are starving, there is no need for table manners, better just grab what you can and run.

Mean girl behavior, which is worse than ever as a result of social media, has been based on jealousy, spite, gossip, rumor-spreading, taunting and ostracizing a vulnerable female target. I am sure we can all still feel the chilling pain of having been on the receiving end of this, at some point in our lives.  

The deep dark core of mean girl behavior is hatred, the antithesis to love. 
Hatred without that is continually fed and fueled by the perpetual self-hatred within.

And so many women have internalized the message of the patriarchal world culture to such a profound degree that, without even being conscious of it, we carry buckets and gallons of self-hatred around with us, continually dousing ourselves over and over and over again with reasons why we are not enough, why we are wrong, why we suck.
We cannot catch a break.

And if we can’t catch a break ourselves, we absolutely cannot afford to give other women a break.

That is why it is so monumental to witness this new era of sisterhood emerging. For example, Alicia Milano took up a twitter rally cry with #metoo, giving voice to the sexual abuse of thousands of women. It turns out that the Me Too movement was originated in 2007 by Tarana Burke, as a way to let women, particularly young women of color, know they were not alone. When Ms. Milano was informed of this, she went on “Good Morning America,” where she publicly credited Ms. Burke for her Me Too campaign.  

We have a new dawn and a new day to begin to reframe not only our relationship to ourselves, but our relationship to our sisters. We have a chance to retool what sisterhood truly means. 

As Audre Lorde so brilliantly said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”. When a woman steps forward to reveal her abuse, she is not taking a step backwards into self-hatred. She is taking a step forward into an almost unimaginable self-love. 

She is trusting herself above ‘the system’ that she was silently and wordlessly sworn to protect. She is risking everything, literally everything – her career, her reputation, her friendships, her social and economic standing, her family – to stand first, foremost and always for her truth. A truth she was taught since birth to ignore, in deference to serving a system that never had her interests in mind but, rather, her destruction. The Handmaid’s Tale is every woman’s tale.  

There is a new opportunity afoot, an opportunity to recreate what sisterhood actually means. For women, the desire to stand for one another and nurture each other is not a weakness, but a strength, and a redemption. It is inside of extreme sisterhood that our real power is rediscovered, as if for the first time.  

It is no wonder that this kind of connection is so feared by the patriarchal world culture. It is through interdependence that our voices are unleashed, our creativity is allowed to flourish.  And this combustion of creativity and wild growth is only possible through the union and inclusion of differences.

There is an opportunity, an urgency, a necessity, now, for women to open our hearts and minds and align our actions to consciously include and stand for every woman.White women, women of color, immigrant women, gay women, straight women, bi women, trans women, poor women, rich women, older women, younger women, shrill women, hurt women, angry women, women who stand in any way outside of society’s definition of what is acceptable.  

It’s time for us to learn how to take our differences and make them strengths. 

Without community, there is no liberation. The patriarchal world culture is not a safe place for anyone – man, woman, or child. It is time for a new crucible, a new container forged for women, by women. Women who are turning away from exclusion, turning away from the patriarchal structures we have been taught to obey, and risk turning on to our shared truths, our shared voices, where extreme sisterhood is a necessity for individual growth and global change.   

The new frontier is extreme sisterhood. Sisterhood where we celebrate and require all of our differences, celebrate and require our full emotional range, from darkness to light. Where we risk turning on to every aspect of who we are, rather than turning off. Interdependent sisterhood is the only path to individual freedom.

Join me, in my vision, in my dream. 
I dream of a world where every woman, everywhere, stands as sister to one another. 
Where women are turned on (rather than turned off) to their brilliance, their beauty, their power. 
Where every time a woman walks down the street, anywhere in the world, she sees a sister when she looks into another woman’s eyes.  

In the comments on today’s post, please share your experience of sisterhood:

•  How did you learn about sisterhood?
•  What are your experiences, both good and bad?
•  How have all these recent revelations in the news impacted you, personally?

For those of you joining me live this weekend at The Experience, I cannot wait to live this Sisterhood out loud, together. And for everyone else in this community, I am so grateful you are here – let’s continue the conversation in the comments

With love, 

Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts

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24 Comments / Leave a Comment

24 comments… add one

  • Rachel December 1, 2017, 11:24 am

    I LOVE hearing stories of women kicking ass. Wonder woman brought me to tears. Like Terminator 2 before it, It was a rare film that empowered me. Watching a woman hero fly through the air was transformative to me. It’s time for more “Hidden Figures” to step into the light! It’s time to make MORE happen. Where are the POC women superheroes? I want to see them kick ass onscreen NOW. I want my sisters to share in the relief/awe/inspiration. I want us to celebrate our victories but always desire more. Our desires happen because we are goddesses!

    As Mama says “Our differences are our strengths” and sisterhood means EVERY woman. We don’t need to pretend our differences are not there. Let’s be real about them: they are fucking BEAUTIFUL!

  • Lisa Blythe November 30, 2017, 8:00 pm

    My first sexual abuse was by a woman. She abused my sister and me. I can not imagine the depths she was in to do what she did to very young girls. I hope to the goddess we were the only ones as no one deserves that special kind of hell. I hope she got help. Her abuse has coloured my life, the way washing a red towel with white sheets will. I will use it for compassion. For love. For strength and sisterhood.

  • Vanessa November 29, 2017, 11:21 am

    There is something emerging, something breaking free, something healing, something powerful, something beautiful, something to be embraced, something to be nurtured, something to finally bring the balance to our world.

    Sisterhood in my family has been shattered in the past, marred by abuse, by insidious competition imposed by our abusers, but we are breaking free and healing, learning to love one another. Two of the five remaining (our eldest has died) are coming to NY from Australia to be part of this journey.

    There has been a stirring in me, a whisper that is now growing into a loud voice, a roar, that is bringing about a metamorphosis of a decade of my work around the world on trust, its betrayal, its brokenness in all spheres of life from politics to business to communities to families. There is a reshaping, a moulding, a transformation that is calling me to focus on restoring trust in women, to help them heal the trust that has been shattered, in their faith, in themselves, in each other, in others in their world. The restoration is beginning. And it is women that need to raise the next generation of trusting and trustworthy leaders. It is a spiritual awakening as much as a mental, emotional and physical one. It is time.

  • madeleine November 29, 2017, 7:52 am

    my experience of sisterhood… i grew up with a twin sister. we are identical. and a younger sister too, and pretty much all girl friends until middle school. it was in college that i started to have close male friends, and also now, they/them friends as well! I have always been drawn to the sisterhood model, and still today everywhere i go, i form some kind of sister group. i guess it’s in my blood. always looking to embrace more woman into my arms and learn their stories. though recently i did come across a woman who has halted my loving arms. i’m not sure yet why i feel hesitant to let her in, but i’m open to finding out. So Much Love Ladies!!!

  • Susan Knight Ober November 29, 2017, 6:03 am

    Amen to the sisterhood of sisters and mankind!! So grateful for it’s uprising. I’m a recovered food addict. Didn’t know what was wrong with new, I couldn’t stop eating. I’d spent about 45 years hiding myself in food, I did not know how to live and deal with all the pain and heartbreak of growing up in a broken home. I had a living problem and a hole in my soul that I tried to fill with food. I’ve worked the 12 step program of alcoholics anonymous, which a believe is a blue print for life (and brings recovery for any addiction). The fellowship and sisterhood (and a few men) that I’ve found has rocked my world, healed my broken soul, brought me to a new place of love and acceptance. I have found a power greater than myself that I can trust to solve my problems, and I can pass it on! I also found a sisterhood of nurses when I worked hospice and sisterhood of artist’s in Maine that I join each Sept. And this rising up brings me to tears. We together are the force of love that can change this grief stricken, broken hearted world. I plan to be at the next gathering. Blessing upon blessings to each of us…xxoo

  • Catherine November 29, 2017, 5:09 am

    I don’t think I have ever experienced sisterhood. Perhaps when I was aged 16 to 18 and had some good girl friends at school? Even when I became a mother,
    the other women were competitive and sneery, and told me my baby wasn’t normal because she was shy with strangers. I’ve always felt pretty alone tbh and got on better with men, who don’t compete with me or feel threatened by me. Of course some of them can be sexist and prejudiced, so I’ve always lived in the in between world, not really identifying with women or men.

  • Artemis November 29, 2017, 1:33 am

    Hopefull one day that sisterhood will be more than a hyped up word. The day I can turn to a sister during good and hard times and all inbetween and not be told to go away coz in their eyes I am too different has yet to happen.

  • Joy Martina November 28, 2017, 8:44 pm

    Reading Pussy abd following your School of Womanly Arts Mastery Course helped me reclaim and unleash a power I had not even realized I‘d diminished, muted and hidden deep inside of me. I am now able to pass on what you taught me and maybe for the first time ever feel completely comfortable in my own skin doing so. I believe part of the magic is that you allowed us to experience the liberation of our Divine powers in our own bodies rather than just talk primly about the process. I shall be forever grateful to you, Regena Thomashauer aka Mama Gena

  • Elsie Hickey-Wilson November 28, 2017, 5:52 pm

    Dear Sister Goddesses,
    When I was a child…1940’s….and a teen 50’s we were carefully instructed to be “little ladies” ….wear gloves, hats, how to walk, cross your legs, we were required to take “Home Economics” ….I wanted to take drafting, but told that was “only for boys” ….grrrrrr. We were advised to take college majors that were for women. If you went to college it was to “catch” a college man! And girls were “friends” but you better watch out, some were bitches/mean girls. I am delighted to report I specialized in breaking all those rules and helped my daughters and granddaughter to be rule breakers. I met my soulmate, married him, he encouraged me to March, to be a member of NOW. Still married! Each of us can show the love of Sisterhood to every woman, young girl we meet. There are cracks in the patriarchal wall! Sisters joining hands have the strength to pull down the walls…..together we have strength! Yes, I did later learn drafting, math, and gobs of other “boy-stuff”. Sister love! Pussey Power, still Marching!

  • Stephani November 28, 2017, 4:17 pm

    So, I want to quote the most profound contemporary author, Provocatuer, & most definitely Goddess: Nikita Gill on this post, with one of her poems that says IT all (the title is called “Witch”, however the true name of the sentiment of the poem & book comes at the end.)
    “Witch”
    “We are the blood
    of the witches
    you thought were dead.
    We carry witchcraft in our Bones
    Whilst the magic still sings
    inside our heads.
    When the witch hunters imprisoned our ancestors
    when they tried to burn the magic away.
    Someone should have
    warned them
    that magic cannot be tamed.
    Because you cannot burn away what has always
    been aflame.”
    ~ Nikita Gill
    “Wild Embers” (her new book.)
    Someone needs to call this Goddess to fall in rank!!
    xo

  • Peggy Reskin November 28, 2017, 3:55 pm

    It is over fifty years since the sexual revolution, and women’s rights and reproductive power were the avenues that brought us to where we are. The world has been waiting for our voice, and we have found it and are unstoppable. For the men -and women- who have not taken the direction of sexual liberation, and not seen the cost to them in maintaining their lack of knowledge and honor towards other human beings, women, but harbor and nurture ignorance and arrogance in their comfort zones, there is a huge awakening to change requiring they break from patriarchy to being a full human being.
    Everything good can come from this, and we who are speaking, writing, investing in this true liberation need to keep going, and how great Mama Gena has set the context for the true power of women: our ability to get together and provoke change. Peggy Reskin, author: Barefoot Frontrunners: Sex, Women & Power

  • Kavida November 28, 2017, 2:23 pm

    I love, support and encourage us all! I will make it my personal goal to tell women they are beautiful smart and worthy on a daily basis.. Thank you Mama for touching and changing my life.. I will return the favor by uplifting other women as you did for me..

  • Charlotte November 28, 2017, 12:44 pm

    As an abuse survivor who has “worked” on how to deal with my abuse for 25 years and continues to do so. Your book was a wonder and revelation to me. I was and find it difficult to relate to women but am getting better after rasing a daughter and having 2 women therapists. Patriarchy and abuse has kept me seperate but your ideas inspire me to keep growing.

  • Karina November 28, 2017, 12:34 pm

    Good Afternoon and hope all is well.
    I must admit after reading the first few sentences I felt the power behind your message. Women need to stand up, stand up for other women and young girls, defined themselves, defend and empower themselves, educate themselves, and support one another. Today we have too many women back stabbing, humiliating, gossiping towards other women. Why?

    Let me open up by saying that I am one of the many women that dislike other women and don’t trust them. I rarely have a close right relationship with women. The only woman I trust is my Mother. Why do I say this? I’ve been one of many that have been betrayed by other females. Since then, I’ve never been supportive another women unless it is my Mother who I adore and love. However, what I’ve learned that only the immature women (regardless of age) will hurt women for her interest or lack thereof. Real women are supportive and respectful towards women and will stand up for each other.

    Thank you for your empowering message.

    • Goddess Stephani November 28, 2017, 4:36 pm

      Yes Goddess I hear you! Here’s the secret: if you are so empowered and centered, like Wonder Woman armour, females out to “burn” you will only bump up against you and spin away- they are only reenacting the ancient DNA of being burned (literally) and have misdirected it towards an easy access- which is usually other women. Trust me though they try to burn everything because they have no idea how to heal such profound wounding!
      I am glad you have posted here even with your leariness of women- shows you are trying to mend yourself! xo
      Sister Goddess Stephani aka Rebel Provocatuer Magnolia

  • Nnyllaes November 28, 2017, 11:56 am

    Firstly, if you re claiming your book to have helped open this “movement”, then use accurate info. Donald Trump wasn’t CAUGHT saying grab them by the pussy the week your book came out. They just waited 10 years to bring it out for when it could be used most by the liberals to damage him. I think your use of the term is demeaning to women , rather than liberating. You are just capitalizing on the sensationalism of the derogatory word.

    • Sister Goddess November 28, 2017, 4:47 pm

      Sister please! Have not a clue?

    • Sister Goddess November 28, 2017, 4:49 pm

      Sister please! Have you not a clue?

  • Patricia November 28, 2017, 11:46 am

    Sisterhood has proved to be complex in my life. I have experienced friendship that provided a secure outlet for my communication of those deep hurts and as humanity is a imperfect work in progress that security has been betrayed. I have also been abused by a husband which after extreme circumstances I left and had to crawl my way to a level of stability without the financial support.
    Both deeply hurtful but somehow the betrayal of the sisterhood friendship was the worse of the two.
    Forgiveness and understanding that none are perfect help release the hurt and heal. “In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to it’s beauty”

  • Nancy O'Donnell November 28, 2017, 11:33 am

    I’m feeling exhilaration and despair as a new women’s movement gains energy. I marched in the 1970s – “out of the houses, out of the jails, up from under, women unite.” Went to consciousness raising meetings and still saw women cancel the meetings if their boyfriends wanted to go out. I was a feminist in every part of my life and then I fell asleep. I married a batterer, had a beautiful baby girl, got divorced, remarried, got dumped, and spent decades with my creative life asleep as relationships was my focus point. Thrilled that more women are waking up, but I’m still wary. How long will it last? Is it just a response to Trump/GOP terror? In the end, it’s been a long time coming. Sisterhood is every bit as powerful today as it ever was. Thank you especially for the Audre Lord quote.

  • susanne November 28, 2017, 11:19 am

    thank you. 🙂 i have never used the word patriarchy as much as i have lately, how i see it permeating the fabric of lives individually and collectively…i am a powerfull woman. and i am so happy to be a woman this lifetime 😉 and love and support me into my fullness which naturally opens my heart for all else on this beautifull Mother. love and blessings and see you soon.
    susanne

  • Laureh November 28, 2017, 10:56 am

    I think it’s WAY too early to claim a “truce” between women of color and those of not color just because Alyssa Milano went on “Good Morning America” to credit the original creator of #MeToo. She could have actually brought her on the show, no? Until white women start hiring and supporting women of color, with their newfound tech diversity cries of funding that get heard above that of women of color, and more; actually creating true friendships and partnerships that yield trust and love, sisterhood will remain a myth. This is the next big conversation to come in our culture, and time to be very, very real about it!

    • Gayle November 28, 2017, 5:41 pm

      Laureh why look for divisiveness? As a woman of “not color” I have considered ALL women sisters, no matter the color. I have never known or experienced any woman who doesn’t want to work for that trust and love of friendship and partnership (of course that doesn’t mean that they’re not out there – just that my circle of influence is small).
      With what we now know about our own CIA and FBI infiltration and sabotage of the women’s movement, Black Panther movement and Peace movement, perhaps that divisiveness has been engineered…

      • Anonymous December 1, 2017, 1:09 am

        Telling a Woman of Color that she is being devisive for speaking to the very real impact of how racism & White supremacy intersects with her experience of patriarchy, is the exact opposite of what sisterhood & intersectional feminism needs to look like. It’s an assertion that one experience (White women) is more valuable than another experience (Women of Color). Or that one can dictate or define the value or relevance of another’s experience.
        It is a lack of willingness to be open to bear witness to how racial oppression impacts the understood & shared experience of patriarchal oppression.
        Empathy & authentic sisterhood is possible. I’ve experienced it with my White girlfriends who listen to, respect, & give space & validation to my experiences as a Woman of Color; that are both different & similar to their experiences as White women.
        Laureh presented an opportunity for validation, support, authentic connection & conversation.
        Dismissing, diminishing, & not valuing her experience is not sisterhood. It was actually case in point & a missed opportunity.

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