The Wolf Mask - Just a Bitch, Witch
image original - alessioalbi
There were howls of warning of what was coming; a song on the wind of the spiritual climate, teeth gnashing and growling; the lesson of the Wolf was cracking through the world, ready to tear at throat and draw blood.
It was not until afterwards that I realised we were seeing through the Other Eyes of the Wolf, for I was not prepared, not engaged, not expecting the spiritual medicine to arrive, perhaps preoccupied with my own emotional responses to the political and cultural climate.
In the ongoing aftermath of the political situation surrounding Doctor Ford and Kavanaugh, opinions and people were/are divided, battlelines were/are drawn, cries for basic human decency seemed to fall on deaf ears as female survivors in particular were ridiculed, mocked and disbelieved on one side, with an outpouring of support and revealing of stories on the other.
I honour every survivor who speaks out.
Thankyou for shining a light where it is needed, and to those who do not or can not speak out; you are still heard, and loved.
To speak on the heinous acts of sexual abuse and survivors is not new to me, I have been standing in this space for years, and that was not the wolf lesson I heard.
I will be here, speaking for my own experiences, holding space for those in pain, and honouring those survivors who also come forward, no matter the political climate. When the attention simmers down once again, I will still be here, and to those survivors who are afraid of what happens when mass support goes quiet I tell you this; I will still be here. So will some others.
You are not alone.
What seemed stark to me in the fallout of recent events was the response to shame and silence women, particularly by other women. You somewhat expect the men who profit from holding women down to repeat their foul rhetoric, you know that they will fall on their outmoded swords and eventually we will bury them with that. But to see women so indoctrinated that they throw other women down hoping for praise and scraps from this table is disturbing.
I had been speaking on a separate personal issue that affected myself as another woman sought to discredit my work because my current partner had rejected her sexual advances, and mocked the fact that I was a sexual abuser survivor. (From this point on I will term this 'warrior' as I think survivor is not wholly better than victim and I do not like defining myself or those other warriors by the actions of their attackers.)
This came in the same political climate which saw other Warriors being shamed and I witnessed other women being triggered by her poison, and I could not let that pass.
In the discussion of this situation, I hit on a point which resonated with myself not long ago, and in so doing, resonated with many others;
This seemed to hit a nerve with many women who retorted "Or you/she is just a bitch."
Bitch doesn’t have one defined meaning as a supposed slur.
It’s just an insult thrown usually at women, often (but not always) by other women. There isn’t such a thing as just a bitch, what that even is doesn’t exist.
It’s simplifying a woman down to “I don’t like her and refuse to see her side, her feelings, her wounds.”
And no, you don’t have to like every woman, agree with her, or have her in your life in any way whatsoever, but you are accountable for yourself.
It is also used as a slur thrown at men to equate them to something female and thus supposedly weaker. The ingrained misogyny is not hard to discern.
The Etymology of 'Bitch' is as follows;
"Old English bicce "female dog," probably from Old Norse bikkjuna "female of the dog" (also of the fox, wolf, and occasionally other beasts), which is of unknown origin" - Etymologyonline
And just like that, we see the Wolf within the lessons of women (shout out to the 'little-wolves' as Morrigan calls me, the Foxes).
In Spiritual circles, everyone seems to want their spirit to be of the Wolf.
It is a hugely popular energy, and yet, women even within the spiritual circles are casting the name against other women as though it is an insult. Everyone wants to be a Wolf until they realize what that means.
Wolf is a call to howl, to be heard, to stand at the border points of territory and refuse to give ground.
Another reaction which I had not thought to expect was the notion of not wanting to 'threaten' other women that came in result not of others using the insult of bitch, but by assertion of alpha energy.
I could think of examples where threaten was exactly what was needed; to threaten the outmoded ingrained patriarchal notions within some womens minds, to threaten those who feel comfortable spreading the hatred of racism, sexism, and homophobia, who see other women as less than themselves. I would happily threaten those status quos by embodying my (little) wolf energy and speaking out against it.
Silence is complicit.
“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés Women Who Run With The Wolves
What 'bitch' seems to mean to most then is the following; outspoken, disagreeable, loud, rebellious, defiant, wounded, hurting, assertive, sexual... female... Woman. I know some people have reclaimed 'bitch' and use it as a term of endearment... but then you're just saying you honour the alpha in your friends and sisters and you run as a pack of wild women seeking to change the world, which is pretty bad-ass, wouldn't you agree?
To those throwing around slurs at other women they do not care for; I ask you to consider instead how those words, those actions, reflect on you, and the women you care for.
I cannot ask every woman to speak, to stand in the liminal, to be defiant. Some will never hear my howls on the wind, and on them it may well be lost, but I can growl to defend the future of women, the present of women, and honour the past struggles of women.
I honour the wounds of all women. The places they have been torn, the memories that besiege them, the shame they feel and learn to reject, who they are and who they are becoming. You are never "just" anything... you are a complex, growing, beautiful, multi-faceted soul with her own lessons and medicine.
So turn your face upward, warrior women, and howl at the moon with me.
Many blessings starlets,
Live wildly, love freely, and may your Other eyes and lives be clad in stars.
image half wolf by Khandiie