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vulnerable foundations

We spend so much of our lives pointing fingers. At women, in particular.

Look at her, she's not doing that right.

Look at her kid, he doesn't seem happy.

I wonder if their marriage will collapse?

Why is she wearing that?

My personal theory about why? It has to do with how society conditions us to perceive women. Women are the heart of a village, a group, a country, a planet. Women provide the sticky feelings, the soul, the tears, the questions, and even the answers. We want to be able to feel, not just do. The issue with hearts? They get broken easily. They're a tough muscle, but they bruise and stop and hurt. They are the center, the underneath, the soundtrack, the drum beat. But they are soft too. Women are easy targets, aren't they. She asked for it, that's why she was attacked. She's too emotional, she's too volatile, she's too outspoken, she's too quiet, she's... problematic. Don't be such a pussy, we hear men say. Women are weak, women make things too soft and they expose too much.

Now, add motherhood to that, which is pretty damn vulnerable? That's a recipe for attack, for comparison, for judgement, for blame. The world suddenly says how dare you show us your sacrifice, we don't need to see it. Motherhood is fallible and exhausting and confusing most of the time. But allowing that into the narrative is a recipe for disaster.

Meanwhile, what happens when we need something done, when we need love and understanding? We reach for women. We need women to help, to mother, to soothe, to explain, to stitch together. We are desperate for soothing, we are desperate to make sense of a world on fire. We need reminders of love and acceptance and care. We need to know that the women in our lives are ready for battle, but also ready for patience and quiet. We need to know that we are not only taking care of each other but more importantly, ourselves. Because really, what's the earth, what's nature, without women, without mothers? A place where our voices echo in barren fields, unheard, unseen, not holding space for each other.

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