Why Aren’t Women Interested?

This is the thought that struck me between the eyes.

I had just done a book reading of my #1 Amazon Best Selling book, The Rainbow Way… to an audience of one.

I had just led a red tent circle with 14 women… most of whom had travelled 40 minutes or more to be there.

I am about to lead a workshop… a free women’s workshop… and am aware that numbers may well be small.

Where are all the women? If this truly is women’s work… then why are they at One Direction in their tens of thousands… and not here? Why are they reading 50 Shades… and not Moon Time?

 

1-02_08_2012 Unfurling 7

Why aren’t women interested in women’s work… if it’s about women… and if there is no price barrier? Why is if off-putting? Why are creative mothers not interested in learning more about how to support their creative selves? Why women aren’t interested in learning more about how their bodies work if they are struggling with fertility or PMS? Why women don’t feel a need for women’s space? Why many women would rather run a mile than engage in stuff which could directly benefit and support them…

I often apologise to people that my work is niche…

But how can something which is accessible to 50% of the population be “niche”?

But it is. It truly is.

I know that most of the women I know personally, who I meet in the course of our daily lives have zero interest in what I do. They would not come along to a red tent, or read a book on womancraft, even if they were paid.

Partly because of preconceptions about what might be said or done at such a thing. But mainly because they do not feel a need.

My mind boggles at this… how can women NOT feel a need to find a way to live at ease in their bodies, in our patriarchal culture? Are they not chaffed by it every day? Are they not shut down by it in all the ways I was, and am, and do they not long for a little space to breathe freely, to speak freely? A few ideas which, like oxygen, can keep them alive, which speak to how they see and feel the world?

Apparently not.

And that confuses me hugely. For if my work is not attractive to the women in my local area, if it is not desirable… but rather avoidable, awkward, embarrassing… then surely it is not women’s work… if women don’t want to do it…

For every woman who finds it and cries tears of relief for finding a space which feels like home. For finding words which speak to her soul and shift her life. There are hundreds of others left cold by it.

I feel an edge-walker in my community. I realise there are women in the world who would walk over hot coals to work with me, who eagerly await my next book. But here I am a weird anomally. My work almost incomprehensible. What is it? Why would we want to do that?

Two clues for me emerged: one at church over the weekend. I was there for the funeral of a much-loved woman in our community. The church was standing room only, the crowds spilling out into the sunshine, to pay their respects to this beautiful loving soul. But instead of focusing on her tremendous hearts and gifts, the priest, one of 5 there officiating, spent 20 minutes telling us about the male god and how he created the world, and how the son of god saves us from it, and how it was humans who brought suffering into the world, how we were unworthy sinners… my bile rose. I bit my tongue. it has been a long time since I was in a church. But most of my community would go every week. And if you listened to this every week, as well as mascerating in our culture of male agendas, you have to have some way of justifying it, of squaring it and making it bearable… as to why your gender, and therefore you, were irrelevant, second-class… and have been for centuries.

The second clue is dropped by  Sue Monk Kidd in her superb book on feminine spiritual awakening which I am reading for a second time:

“Like the Sandman from the nursery story, who stole into children’s rooms and put them to sleep by sprinkling sleep dust over them, our culture, even the culture of our faith, has helped anesthetize the feminine spirit.

“I like the way that Clarissa Pinkola Estes puts it:

“When a woman is exhorted to be compliant, cooperative and quiet, to not make upset or go against the old guard, she is pressed into living a most unnatural life – a life that is self-binding… without innovation. The world-wide issue for women is that under such conditions they are not only silence, but put to sleep. Their concerns, their viewpoints,  their own truths are vapourised.”

Women don’t see the need for this work, don’t feel the need for it… because they don’t see or feel that there’s anything particular wrong…in their lives, or their culture.

But there comes a time, when a woman feels herself chaffed  too hard. When she finds herself going mad in the ordinary world. When traumatised by a birth, depressed post partum, angry at having no support whilst working and caring for a home and family, navigating menopause and she finds herself alone, abandoned and uncared for by the culture to which she had given her allegiance in return for her silence… in that moment she feels her longing rise, a longing for a culture which supports her, in which she does not have to hide her full self, or apologize for herself. Which can help her to navigate this inner world to which she has been numb her whole life.

Then, and only then, she will run towards womancraft like a thirsty woman towards a desert oasis. So grateful that it is there.

And I am there, for that moment. Waiting quietly in the dark… calling you home. An anomally, a holding space. With no agenda but to hold and hear you, and offer you a bag of tools.

*********

I was deeply touched and honoured that this post was UBER popular amongst women workers around the world. For a compilation of their wise and insightful responses see this post, as well as the comments below and on the Facebook page.

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20 Responses to Why Aren’t Women Interested?

  1. Stefanie says:

    Thank you, Lucy, for asking and answering that question! I am one of a few women who do the red tent work all over Germany, and we all are baffled by how women on the one hand e-mail us with pleas like “where, oh where are all the red tents?” and when we hold events, we can call ourselves lucky to have two guests. Each of one feels that she is there holding a single candle, each in her own area, guarding the flame until another woman discovers that she needs this fire in her life.

    Love from Dresden, Germany

  2. Helen says:

    Hi Lucy,

    I have often wondered along similar lines. I am into spiritual work, soul healing, meditation, self development or whatever you want to call it! However I have learned to work alone and not mention it because most women not only don’t understand it but don’t WANT to. They aren’t driven in the same way I guess. I found a few soulful friends and I count my blessings. I do think with the bulk of family life weighing on their shoulders moat women can’t and won’t carve out time. But don’t underestimate how hard it is for many people to change. Check out “Why do I do that?” To find out about some common defense mechanisms. I found it helped me learn to come to terms with it. Sending you hugs. H xx

  3. Siobhan says:

    ‘… she finds herself alone, abandoned and uncared for by the culture to which she had given her allegiance in return for her silence… in that moment she feels her longing rise, a longing for a culture which supports her, in which she does not have to hide her full self, or apologize for herself.’

    WOW! This right here is IT! You found the words that i feel! THANKYOU!
    Had you on my blogroll for some time now!

    Keep on keeping on! ;) X X X

  4. Theresa k says:

    I’m one of those women with the longing, a longing that started growing five years ago without me noticing. And now that it’s overwhelming me… I actually am finding it hard to find people like yourself, near my community…

  5. becky jaine says:

    Dearheart, In this sacred work humbly I share from my experience. Success is not found in quantity of hearts who come, but rather one sacred beautiful heart at a time. And if only I am there, I work with my self. One is enough.

    I once held a Circle and only I came. At first my ego judged it as failure, but then I realized, I was enough. My intention and my presence was enough.

    The intentions are felt around the world.

    You are a gift, dear Lucy, as are all the beautiful women called to create these sacred sharing spaces.

    from my heart to yours,
    becky

    • Catherine says:

      I totally agree.

      I have been there, done that.

      I realized age 10 that I had programmed myself to do this home coming journey into One at age 50 2004.

      I had forgotten all about it as I had shut down my true self age 10 in order to survive in patriarchal Ireland.

      But come 50- somewhere deep inside came this yearning to do this unstoppable journey home.

      I did not expect anyone else to be there for me though.

      I knew I had to do it alone. Then come out as One and share with other women.

      I got such a shock one day- as I never told anyone about my journey- when a matriarchal male asked me “If I had called the sisters together”?

      He wrote the script in Lilith pink and I knew he knew and so I called out to the sisters- you sisters all.

      One by one they came from all over the world. One last week in Liverpool , saying she heard me call.

      When I came upon this site, I was over the moon.

      Finally there were others.

      While I love it. I can still be a loner, a hermit as that is my preference. Yet if a sister comes for assistance I am here.

      So the journey may be deep and long or short and sweet, or a hundred different ones, it makes no difference. Its an individual journey back to One- all there in Bru Na Boinne- the womb of the Sidhe triple spiral- virgin, mother, crone.
      With its 13 moonstones to remind us of our connection to natural time and not patriarchal time = money.

      As I am often called a trailblazer – more like a sh*t stirrer to some patriarchs- I see the trail through the jungle and cut down the over grown trail back to the place of One.

      Oh when you get there, nothing is ever the same.

      If you have been there in the nothingness and the All- you are home.

      This site is a meeting place for our sisters and they will come when their souls cry “it is time”

  6. Irena says:

    Sister, I know exactly where you are coming from. Where are the women who bleed, who feel who yearn? I can only hope that those of us who feel the pains and are waking up are very, very gradually drip-feeding to a sleeping population.

    Even my own blood sisters don’t understand the imbalances of Yin and Yang, while it’s screaming out of my consciousness – CHANGE! But we must stay firm in what we believe and embrace those as and when they are ready to join us. Blessings and thank you for your work. xxxxx

  7. I hear you… coming from the USA, I deal with the same issues. I find my whole health healing workshops go over better. Holistic women stuff… not so much. It is the awkward thing! I am moving ahead on putting together a holistic women’s academy for the late fall. We shall see who shows up!

    • Post thought: If we build it, they will come. Maybe women are so used to functioning in the patriarchy, without sisterhood, that they are not sure how to embrace it again. Time and patience will draw women back to the energy and support we know is good, true, and right… right to our cores!

  8. Darla says:

    I used to wonder similar to you… You are far from alone! Your insights are valid, wise, as are the wisdom of SMK and CPE. Even further to our individuality of womanhood, is that some women move into compliancy or the, as SMK put it in your quote of her, a state of anesthesia, while others believe they *are* healed into our culture when they are actually acting from a disguised masculine principle. Marion Woodman speaks of this from her first book through to her latest talks and video; I believe it is vital that women begin to understand how the yin/yang (masculine/feminine; active/receptive) principles or energies spring from their own wells. Many of us believe (many of us used to believe!) that we have come through all the cultural changes into our own power when we are actually still acting from the masculine within us rather than from a feminine foundation. Beautiful post. Blessings to you in all that you do!

  9. admin says:

    Wow! What an outpouring of support and empathy, both here and on my personal and Happy Womb Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/thehappywomb?fref=ts. I am so touched and honoured. This post has received ten times the traffic of an ordinary day!

    Thank you all.

  10. […] has started a really interesting conversation over at The Happy Womb with this blog post. – Why Aren’t Women Interested? - This piece really resonated for me as someone who works in a what could be considered a niche […]

    • Catherine says:

      many wombmen are not interested because the conditioning under patriarchy that being equal to males means acting and being like males.
      No mention that to be whole/holy is being fe+male.

      So if we cut off our fe energy to become equal, then we are simply male and not fully functioning.
      Worse, most do not realize it.

      I have to say here that it was matriarchal males who inspired me to the sisterhood.

  11. Blessed Woman… I hear you! As the Red Tide Rises, we hear a call that we cannot ignore… more and more women are hearing this too. For me, tis important to hold open the space here at the farm, but also to make the digital offerings that will touch a woman, one at a time, as she unfolds in front of her screen. Sisterhood being a place often needing to be found within, a safety that can be trusted before it can be entered… Big Hugs Beautiful One!

  12. Marybeth Wolf says:

    Thank you Lucy, and all my sisters who honor their bodies, voices, women’s work in the world. I too, am a determined passionate woman, rsonating with all of you. I am a mother, healer, herbalist, homebirth midwife, local Red Tent Temple guardian, and STILL I have to self vallidate over and over again my worth and work in my community and in the world. The resistance and protection run deep. It wasn’t long ago that I would have been killed for what I do. I still operate underground on many levels. Over the past 7 years, our red tent community here in Yellow Spriings Ohio, U.S. has grown to a place where we are truly creating the woman honoring culture many of us crave. We are gathering, we are strengthening, we are growing. One by one. I am so grateful to you Lucy and to all of you brave whole hearted women! Love to you all. Marybeth

  13. From one wombman to another, I hear you sister! Loud and clear. I feel in these times it is essential to cultivate a support system for those(us) who continually and courageously hold space for other women, who walk with intention as a way-shower into creating a new paradigm of conscious, compassionate and empowered women. The collective feminine still seems to be carrying some deep wounds around the sisterhood… I have seen it come up in my community and under the tongues of those who willingly turn cheeks and glances of indifference. I find that there is a need to continually exploring the shadow aswell as the balance of masculine/feminine energies within us, the wombman in man and the man in wombman as well as subconscious archetypes that play out. Slowly but surely the value of this ‘work’ will be honoured and respected with a deep sense of place as more return home to themselves deeply. I would love to stay in touch as a supportive ally- as I resonate deeply with your sentiments here! Blessings D

  14. Thanks Lucy for sharing your thoughts, considerations, doubts, fears and the rest of it so well!
    I asked myself that question for five years now and before I asked myself similar questions, but I wasn’t on this path yet, so I was just looking at the world in disbelief trying to make sense of it all!
    Be assured that there are women like you scattered around the world and I am one of them to share this lonely path …
    When we will gather though it will be wonderful!
    Love and hugs from The Flying Witch alias Gabriella for mortals

  15. Karina Ladet says:

    Wow! This post really resonated for me. Where I live it’s the same. Apart from some of my close friends who are very open and creative wild women I see the other moms at my kids school and they are asleep. They never do anything for themselves and when I invite them to something it’s impossible. How could they take time out for themselves? Seriously, how can they NOT?

    Thank you, Lucy! Your work is SO needed and I’ll be sharing your post with my tribe. We are so much stronger and have so much more power than we think. It’s time to rise!

  16. Rob says:

    Hi Lucy,
    I feel that I need to reply to this as one of your ‘mainstream’ friends who doesnt come along to your things, but who respects you deeply for your passion for what you do and your drive.

    Some of the comments here really dumbfound me, I just dont feel hard done by, by the males in our society. I have always been encouraged and loved by my father and brothers, my husband is a huge source of support to me and they have only ever stood behind me and respected me and given me strength. As well as my mother and all the females in my life too.

    I feel hugely powerful as a woman – being able to give birth was and is the most incredible gift to me and to our family and I love every moment of being a mother. And I celebrate being a woman and love it.

    I feel that we all hold different roles in life and yes as a mother we are giving everything of ourselves bring up a family and its exhausting at times but so joyous too and so worth it.

    I am not “asleep” “silenced” “second class”I totally disagree with these posts that say we are only living in a masculine world, we need men in our lives to be the other half of our families, to give us the support and to sustain us in the ways they do. With out my husbands support I would never have started my second business and with out him basically running my business while heavily pregnant and with a new tiny baby the business wouldve colapsed. But because of him its there – he is helping my creativity, my passion, my hobby that is also a business. He inspires me and gives me the motivation to keep going when Im tired.

    So I am happy in this life that I lead, its hasnt always been easy, life isnt perfect, but I am thankful for all the ways that its good, and I think my friends who are also ‘mainstream’ would feel the same.
    That we are happy the way our lives are and we are thankful for it.
    As I said I deeply respect your energy and passion for your work and creativity whilst raising a family – not just me but everyone in our community respects you and your work, but it just doesnt resonate with me.

    I have been thinking about replying since the post went up, but didnt want to offend other women out there, but just wanted to get ‘my’ side of the story out there. Im not a great writer so this is just thought rambling out – maybe I have given you some insight???

    Keep following your heart Lucy, maybe we just cant all be interested in the same things, as we all think differently and have different takes on the world and ourselves in it.

    Love to you xxxx R

  17. Lucy says:

    Hey Rob,

    Thanks for your very articulate comment and for reaching out.

    I have been toying whether to call round and talk this through, or answer you here, but I guess the dialogue has been started here.

    First and foremost I want to wholeheartedly commend the tribute you have paid to the men in your life for the love and support they give and have given you. This is truth. Completely. And nothing that I do or say or live contradicts this. I have been fortunate to have had so many, many loving, supportive, wonderful men in my life, as friends and family. My issue has not been, nor ever will be with our dear, precious men.

    My issue, and that of the women who have commented, is with the system which was put in place by some men, which has systematically empowered men, and disempowered women… and many men for centuries. In a way it is not even about “men” and “women”… but about sets of values and ways of being in the world… where the dominant values systems has many characteristics which have been associated with and support the “masculine” whilst disempowering the feminine. Where we live this system is far, far less oppressive than it has been. We are blessed to live in the time we do, in so many ways.

    The reason women int this conversation have used the words “asleep” or “unconscious” is not a value judgement on you or anyone else. It is merely a statement about not seeing this system which I described above. But instead accepting it as good, acceptable, or unchangeable, when it does women… AND men, so much damage. This seeing I’m talking about is a different way of perceiving which does not shrug its shoulders at small injustices here and there, but joins the dots between them in a systemic fashion…

    Such dots being:
    *Women changing their names in marriage – because only decades ago she was considered in law her husband’s property. She was not a legal entity in her own right.
    *Rape being something that one in four women experience. Now. Today.
    *Slut shaming… men can play the field, women are sluts.
    *The fact that if you have hairy armpits and raise your arm, YOU will feel shame if someone sees… if your husband does, it is normal and natural. Ditto your legs, your bikini line… but there is nothing shameful in your husband’s body in its natural state.
    * Ditto your weight… how what you weigh is seen as a VALUE judgement of goodness in our culture.
    *That God is described in almost every Christian/ Muslim service as He. Where only male priests/ rabbis/ imams are allowed to officiate.
    * That my grandmother was one of the first women IN THE WORLD to go to university, where men had been going for centuries.
    * That things which are considered “feminine” are less valued: mothering, emotions, housework…
    *That if you want to insult a boy or man you call him a “cunt” or “a big girl’s blouse”…
    * 800 babies bodies in a mother and baby “home” in Ireland, born to women who were deemed fallen, shamed, and then considered dirty after childbirth, who had to be “churched” in order to be “clean” again after birth – which is woman’s punishment, because of her Original sin…

    If you don’t “see” the world in this way, you don’t see how these things are all joined up by a connected system of thoughts and beliefs, it is easy to write off hundreds of “little” things as irrelevances… and just shrug them off and get on with life… but when people, women and men begin to FEEL these injustices, when they begin stacking up in their minds and hearts, there tends to be a clamour in their soul that things must change – in an individual’s life and in our culture as a whole, so that we have a culture which is life-affirming, love-affirming, empowering to ALL.

    Rob, nothing I say will or can shift you. Either you feel these injustices as an insult to your soul… to all of our souls… or you don’t. But it is hard when these two way of seeing are so entirely incongruent… this is what is called a paradigm shift… it means suddenly you see the world with entirely new eyes. Exactly like what happens when you become a mother, and it’s like everything has changed… because your perception has changed.

    Rob,love, yes we have different views. My struggle is that I am at odds with most around me and I find that hard. Because I don’t want to be the crazy one, the weird one, the odd-one-out… because I would love to have the ease in accepting it all. Of fitting in. It would be much easier. To not be the one always arguing the other view point, feeling something SO strongly, that no one else around me can SEE or feel, therefore cannot understand… nothing says crazy louder than a woman railing against “invisible” “oppression”. We are not oppressed… so what’s her problem?

    Whilst I hear you and others respect my work, and am grateful for that, I have no doubt that many conversations are also had at my expense, behind my back, which are less respectful, and more eye-rolling. I know that if I want to socialise I have to silence down this part of me which I hold most dear, so as not to make things awkward. I feel sad about that. Because what I most want is to help to shift our culture further towards being more loving and accepting for me, and you, and our daughters… but no one around me gets what’s wrong… so why it’s so important. Because as far as they’re concerned it’s a fuss about nothing. Or just an interest…

    And that’s when I feel sad, frustrated, self doubting, despondent, and write posts like this!

    Love to you,

    Lucy x