We want to be happy for women’s political leadership…we really, really do. But when one sees a rise in women who attract their supporters through metaphors that liken women to the second largest land carnivore in the U.S. or to swine in lipstick, then female power is reduced to marketing gimmicks and simplistic clichés. What we are witnessing, in the United States anyway, is a proliferation of cute and sassy female politicians (or their daughters) that on the surface, to the very naive, appear to be the stars of a women’s-power movement show. But on a deeper level, to thoughtful and determined female organizers, this actually feels like an attempt to reduce women to empty-headed objects whose understanding of power politics and international affairs can only ever be skin deep.
And so, it is time to shift our energy, disappointment and shock from female grizzlies and sorceresses to the very real women around the world who are quietly working to create change and disrupt entrenched system in their communities, villages, and countries. The next series of blog articles will introduce the real women behind In Women’s Hands.
We are educators, journalists, writers, trainers, acrobats, researchers, artists, and singers. We come from Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the U.S. We are committed to the idea that nonviolent action is the smartest and most effective way to fight injustice and repression – that violence is a way of conforming to the status quo, and it simply proliferates and supports the very war and corporate machines many movements are fighting against. And we believe that women are, have, could and should lead the way in nonviolent campaigns and movements.
We’ll each start coming out of the woodwork one by one, telling you who we are and what we do. And we will slowly begin to introduce some real ‘stars of the show,’ women from Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Colombia, the Maldives, Palestine who are leading the way in nonviolent conflicts for rights, against corruption, against occupation, for democratic elections, for indigenous women’s participation.
First up, a fabulous Mexican lady who could spin circles around any grizzly bear.