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  • Writer's picturestephanieraffelock

We Are Voices In A Rising Chorus

That eerily silent wind that blows into the house filling it with a sense of foreboding—it was just like that. Women walking next their husbands and sons in solidarity, love and support, suddenly turned toward the wind, hairs standing upon end on neck and arms as they spun around and opened their mouths to speak.

It was soft at first. The words of a small Pakistani girl named Malala who said “educate girls,” and strung together sentences on a blog of activism, using the power of speech to such a degree as to bring the Taliban to hunt her, kill her, a fourteen year old girl.  They could not kill her and they fled her wounded body, trembling in the kind of fear that only cowards know. Her voice became stronger and today she spoke before the United Nations about the power of education.

Sandra Fluke, despised and feared by the American version of the Taliban, a shadowy group who hijack the teachings of the Christ in order to use it for the judgement and oppression others in the name of an equally extreme theology, dared to testify before Congress about women’s health care and the correlations of public health care policy. She had been asked to render an expert opinion and though she spoke in a strong, articulate manner, it garnered her insults of “whore” and “slut,” from cowardly media pundits who twisted her words and opinions to seemingly be about unabated sexual appetite; a ploy that has been used against strong women since the middle ages.

Elizabeth Warren stepped into Congress, and just the way that the good ol’ boys club of pasty-white, elitist males would have it, she came with a broom and a dust pan in hand—only she intended to use them on the very factions that would scream “foul” if their boys club wanted to wreck the economy—she swept mightily and the cowards, who are not real men anyway, tremble in her presence…and she inspires all of us to sing.

It is happening everywhere. The single voice, once soft but strong is becoming a choir and Wendy Davis came with her own orchestra who joined in the mighty refrain of “you will not take away our rights. You will not hold us down.” While sometimes battles are lost, I cannot help but feel that the war is being won when I see Sarah Slamen chastising the ignorant and arrogant Texas legislature as they drag her away, because just like the Taliban and the old boys club, these people think they have all the control. Meanwhile her speech goes viral—gotta love the Internet—and television rolls out the red carpet so that the entire nation becomes aware of her, and she is able to finish her speech. And the collective voice grows louder.

Western fairly tales are filled with stories of Kings without Queens who must figure out a way to save their people. And the task is completed when a certain son returns with a wife—returns with the feminine missing from the picture that caused the people imbalance and famine and the need to be saved in the first place. I feel we are in the midst of living out that myth; of bringing back the feminine to a country so lost to Patriarchal values that it cannot even govern itself in the simplest manner. It still thinks that by oppressing more of the feminine, it is sure to heal itself.  Meanwhile the voice grows louder.

Oh there is healing coming. It is coming in the resounding and unified voices of women like Malala who will not be silenced; who put forth an argument of peace and compassion for all people. This is what women bring to the world and now most especially to this country—a message of equality, a message of strength. You cannot control me by controlling my body. You cannot control me by controlling my mind. You will never control my heart and my spirit is so damn strong that unless you get out-of-the-way and welcome the change that women are bringing, you are likely to get flattened into the ground by a million feet marching to the sound of the same drummer—the rhythm of a rising chorus.

This post was, in part, inspired this day by a fellow blogger whose work I admire and read frequently–Please enjoy her voice in our mighty chorus:

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