vulnerable My fellow artistic sister, (oh Mandy, I hope you don’t mind I call you my sister), chose vulnerable for her word for 2012. In her post, she lists some of the ways and whys of vulnerability.

To not be so quick to judge the crumbles, chips, cracks & peels of my life.

To be authentically me.

To show others the value I see in them.

To learn not to cower when I make a mistake, feel embarrassed or when I anger or disappoint someone.

To include others in my life (on differing levels of intimacy).

To say what I must.

To keep my ego in check.

To be less alone in my humanity.

To be known.

To not be so defensive out of insecurity.

To find common ground.

To not shy away from artistic pursuits.

To love in the face of anger and indifference.

To live my self-reliant aloneness out amongst intimate community.

To feel things out loud with less apology.

To be less bristly

To stay Alive.

and I would say, “yes, yes, vulnerability is a good thing”

Brene Brown talks about vulnerability:

The thing that underpinned this was excruciating vulnerability, this idea of, in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.

They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating — as I had heard it earlier in the shame interviewing. They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say, “I love you” first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They’re willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental.

and I would say, “yes, yes, vulnerability is a good thing”

Last night, two friends and I were discussing the current political climate and the Republican war on women. Before I go any further, let me just say that just a few months ago I would roll my eyes at what I considered a hyperbolic statement when a friend would say that the Republicans were waging a war on women. That was before the contraception controversy began. Before Sandra Fluke and all male panel discussions. Before I began to see the volume of legislation being proposed and pass all across the country.

Back to that conversation where the three of us were voicing our frustration over the regressive current status of women in this country. Suddenly my friend said through tears,

“It makes me feel vulnerable”

I heard the fear and anger wrapped into those few words and my heart broke. Wiping her eyes, she went on to say, “I am a white married woman with two children who doesn’t want to have any more children. Why should I have to justify that to anyone?” Why indeed. I am simply repeating her words but she would be the first to say that her race has nothing to do with this. Her marital status has nothing to do with this. I think she would echo Soraya Chemaly,

I have responsibility but am powerless. You have power but are irresponsible with my rights.

By not trusting me, you force me to trust you. And YOU are not trustworthy.

Being vulnerable in this way is not a good thing. It is not a beautiful thing. I cannot recall any other time that I have felt so burdened about an issue. I now see what it means when Republicans say that they want to take America back and I am angry. When I think about it, I want to conjure the spirit of Mrs. Weasley and bawl, “NOT my uterus, you bastards! NOT my daughters, you bitches!”

To the women of this country … wake up. and wake up some more.

To the men who dare to attempt to drag women back to dark ages … stand down. Enough is enough.