It is now about a half century that I have been working toward an end to discrimination against, oppression of, violence against, torture of, murder of women and girls on this planet, and violence toward the Earth itself. I have never been as hopeful as since finding WorldPulse, where we are finally meeting and gathering in a way never experienced before, to create this change. Our collective stories, evidence that can no longer be denied, proven beyond a doubt, reinforced by repeating what we now know, that women and girls are being held in severe control, in servitude, in torture, in life and death situations - and that by our sharing of what we know, we are finding our ways to freedom. Joining hands, linking arms, repeating the truth of what we know ourselves and through each other. I want to tell you my story, because I believe that it can offer some perspective in how far we have come, and why I am committed to World Pulse, for life.
I was told that I was born yelling. By the time I was 6, I began to understand why. Philosophical discussions with brothers about women, and therefore girls, being responsible for everything wrong with the world, therefore expected to stay back and have men be in control. By 7, first stranger in the park. By 9, first man in a car pulling up beside me with his pants open. I never told my parents. I didn’t want to lose my freedom to roam. That year, told to wear a shirt in summer. By 11, no more bicycling to meadows for picnics with my girlfriends. But things got a lot more serious. My best friend shamed for being sexual with her boyfriend. Then, holding woman after woman who had been raped.
I have started at the beginning because I can go back 67 years and give somewhat of a “long view”. I am comparing “now” with an innocent time when we began to address each insult, each danger one by one, when “now” we are putting our stories together globally, and creating extraordinary times. I’m comparing “now” to one of the first women’s centres that 5 of us opened in Montreal in 1969. We went from 5 to 300 in months, and kept going. Women coming together to share stories. The issues were the right to birth control, rape being legal within marriage, women dying from illegal, botched abortions, few work options, and divorce being considered shameful and grounds for ostracizing, no matter what the circumstances were. We read back to 100 years prior when women tried to stop WW1. To the suffrage movement. And forward, new books coming out. Sisterhood is Powerful, Robin Morgan, and Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Barbara Smith. Women’s Centres were opening across Canada. We began small newspapers, learned how to do layout in our living rooms and wrote letters to try to find and connect with each other. We were greatly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and by strong outspoken sisters in the USA.
In 1973 and 1974 I went to a women’s camp in Denmark. 20 women arrived from Italy. Each one had thought she was the only feminist in her country. Networks formed. We gathered statistics in our various countries. Most of us had been groped, ridiculed, punched or raped. I no longer believe that 1 in 3 women has experienced some form of violence. With respect to the very different degrees, I believe that we would be lucky to find 1 in 3 who has not been violated in some way. We set up Women’s Centres, Rape Crisis Centres and Battered Women’s Shelters across Canada.
In the 1980’s we began to discover the high numbers of children who had been sexually assaulted, primarily girls by fathers, uncles, grandfathers and brothers, boys by sports coaches and church clergy, and indigenous children forced into residential schools where they had been regularly beaten and raped. The size of this epidemic was overwhelming. I started groups for girls 4-12 years old and 13-17, and continued to hold women, and hear stories about having been raped. We learned and taught self defense. When we spoke out we were labeled man haters, and the Press was vicious. Women have all along been ridiculed or punished for being part of women’s movements, and this was a time when women came under extreme pressure to disassociate from the word feminist. But the stories continued to pour in and we refused to stop talking. We formed group after group for women to come forward and tell their stories. This galvanized us. I managed to get my foot in the door of the main federal prison for women and heard the stories from the women inside, over a 10 year period. I was sent to meet and talk with all of the federally sentenced women across Canada, and heard their stories too. I can count on one hand the number of women who did not speak about having been raped before their lives slid off track.
I’m not telling you all this to say I’ve done a lot. Thousands of us have. I’m telling you because we thought we would have had this all cleared up in the 80’s. Now it is 30 years later, rapes and beatings continue and the full story is finally emerging as we are finding each other globally, and speaking out in ever increasing numbers. This is the big question. How can this still be happening? And how do we stop it.
That was then and here is how “now” is different. Today we have WorldPulse. Something shifted for me when I found WorldPulse. As soon as I began to read the stories pouring in from all over the world, my vision sharpened, my trust in what is possible grew, and a deeply held, ancient dream that we would find each other and rise together, was suddenly there in front of me. I realized that we were truly rising globally.
Now there is so much good, powerful work going on - AWID, Half The Sky, Nobel Women’s Initiative, Women’s Earth Alliance, International Women’s Media Foundation, so many, all essential, unapologetic, inspired, courageous, powerful, full of such important news, connecting with each other. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter! We are in this together. Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. Idle No More. These connections are essential, so that we make sure that we are including everything and everyone, standing together whenever and in every way we can.
Through WorldPulse, and the connections being forged with other like-hearted organizations that this brilliant Board, Team and big bunch of members keep dreaming up, I believe that we are creating a Quantum Shift, a Paradigm Shift. I believe that through every Call to Action, every detail we report, every one of our discussions, every one of our actions we are creating that Shift. The connections within our own countries are that much stronger and more hopeful. Our news internationally that much more full and trustworthy. We are forming an unbreakable network, alive and growing as long as we continue to speak about, acknowledge, insist upon what is happening and what needs to change everywhere.
What is different these days from those early days is the speed, the courage, the openness, the depth of action, the depth of imagination and determination that is gathering collectively through this site, and the purity and beauty of the respect, the commitment to each other, and the love. Though we believed before that we were creating a movement of women with every woman in mind, what is happening now through WorldPulse has turned little ripples into a giant wave, a small breeze into a cleansing wind, a spark into a volcanic eruption of evolutionary, new-ground-forming change. To even be able to say these words to all of you who know about this, how can I convey my profound gratitude, to have been offered such a gift, to be able to be a Listener, and a Welcomer. And a Contributor. To be able to know what is being done. To be able to meet and be in ongoing discussion with others creating change, and recently to meet in person WorldPulse Sisters from the other side of the world, and to be able to meet and be in close ongoing connection with these visionary Team members.
I also want to say something to the men involved in WorldPulse. Thank you.Thank you for your work, too. You are in a particular position, able to have great and necessary effect on other men, and boys. Many of you have begun to do this. Imagine if every man would speak with every other man and boy he knows, and hold meetings, volunteer time to be involved in this way. You have such an important role to play. Thank you for being here. Thank you for not being defensive as we women celebrate finding each other. Thank you for understanding when we need to meet, speak together as sisters. Please know that I appreciate all you are doing, too.
So - where to from here. Building momentum. I believe that we are building a Paradigm Shift. I want to see the day when so many of us are connected, that we can stop the world from business as usual when we need to. When even one woman is badly treated. When even one mining company packs up intending to leave pollution behind. When even one corrupted official steals money. When any election or government meeting is held without addressing off-shore money and the corruption of the global economy. When any action is taken in the wrong direction.
I began to look into quantum physics because it is about how the Universe works, and how change comes about naturally.
It is now understood that in nature, when a degree of tension builds from recognizing and acknowledging an imperfection or unwanted aspect of that system, causing enough stress, that a series of incremental changes take place, shifting into a new form. Slowly in increments, or at times suddenly and completely. Our stress and tension: We are now extremely aware that we have a global crisis of how women are treated on this planet.
A new paradigm forms. New ideas form. Old ones die off. New ideas take hold in the next generation. WorldPulse: All of the beautiful work being done with redesigning what has been called tradition, rescuing girls from sexual slavery, teaching girls to be proud to be girls, encouraging stories, speaking out about what is both possible and necessary, automatically ensures a Shift. Teaching men and boys new ways of relating to women and girls creates this Shift.
Quantum Jumping: A leap into a new life. Finding our own power and each other. WorldPulse: all of the Empowerment Training, Digital Training, Voices of our Future Training lead to Quantum Jumps. Becoming what we have wished to be, what we have dreamed of becoming. “I have a new life, I am now able to envision, to observe the possibility”.
Also Quantum Jumping. A handshake through time and space. A connection that forms a bridge. To physically jump from one reality into a new one. Awareness of who you are coalesces into a new reality. WorldPulse: Witness all of the stories of quantum jumps that you have made possible.
Quantum Entanglement. Interconnectedness by moving in simultaneous synchronization, even when separated by distance. WorldPulse: Our stories and conversations are forming one movement. These are our quantum handshakes across space and time. Set in motion and buoyed by the continual interconnectedness, the continual growth of respect and love made possible through our conversations with each other.
Quantum Teleportation. Transferring information without being physically in the same place. WorldPulse: Listening and Welcoming. These are synchronized transactions. A global Dance. A celebration of difference and inclusion. A choreography of change. A space/time coordination. An ongoing absorption of waves sent to each other in love, and in perfect symmetry. We are creating self fulfilling prophesies. Trusting that we can. Desiring it with our very lives.
We have already shifted into a new reality. Detached from the old. Embraced what we know is possible. We are in it. And we are now able to be in it with each other. This is a dream come true.
We are rising
We are rising
Now our voices carry
On the wind across the oceans
On the wings of the birds
By the sound of our drums
By the beat of our hearts
By the sound of our feet
Dancing on the earth
We are rising.
We are calling out to sisters
And our sisters call out answers
And we know
And we know
We are rising.
And we know what is possible
We know what is needed
And we know that with each other
Our voices vibrate with our fury
And our fury is the healing
And our fury is what’s needed.
Our voices vibrate with our joy
That we now have each other
And our drums sound out the message
Our drums are now connected
And we dance this dance together
We are here for each other
We are here with each other
We are here to make this happen
We are rising
We are rising.