Mother Earth’s ‘Me Too’: An Open Letter to Middle-Class Women.
Dear Lady-friend (do you mind if I call you that?),
I’m not entirely sure what middle class is, but if you can afford Yoga pants or a vacation or a five-dollar cup of coffee, I think I’m writing to you. Other than those superficial details, I know nothing about you. I don’t know your philosophy or your politics or your age.
I don’t know if you’re a stay-at-home mom, or working three jobs, a student, a professional, in between pursuits, retired, married, divorced, or married and wishing you were divorced, or if you’re gay, straight, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern or some combination. I don’t know if you’re religious or pagan or an atheist or a corporate climber or an artist or a teacher.
I don’t know if you woke up feeling hopeful today or dreaded the day ahead.
I don’t know anything about you, but if you relate to #MeToo, I know that somewhere along the way, and maybe in many ways, you were hurt and your voice was silenced. Maybe right now you are experiencing some kind of vindication or further anger, or even excitement about what lays ahead.
Now that a crack has opened and we see how many of us there are who have felt less than, simply because we are women, we are at a crossroads and the decisions we make will influence not only our future but the future of this planet. This can be a healing step or a hurting step.
We all have our own stories, and having our stories dismissed and disrespected is devastating and creates the conditions for abuse of power to be normalized. I don’t want to diminish what has happened to you individually or us collectively. I do wish to expand the conversation to include our Mother, who has no voice.
The trauma our culture has unleashed upon women extends beyond us. As was done to us, so too have we done to Mother Earth. Society has rejected and devalued women and the wild, natural rhythms that support and encourage life, and those same machinist values play out daily in the way we treat our planet.
If Earth were on social media, she’d most definitely post #MeToo, and those crimes, dear reader, are ones that you and I are contributing to in a very real and empowered way.
According to the Harvard Business Review, women make the decision in the purchases of 94% of home furnishings, 92% of vacations, 91% of real estate, 60% of automobiles, and 51% of consumer electronics. Our choices and values play a major role in the economy, and right now our economy is almost entirely based on the destruction of our ecology.
As we face an ecological disaster, for the first time in centuries (maybe ever), we also have the conditions for women to collectively tap into our voice, and express not only the pain of our dismissal but also our intrinsic core values, instincts, rhythms and unique intelligence while we use our considerable influence to affect culture and the economy.
Right now, we, the biggest spenders, are ignoring the needs of our planet, and since Earth can offer no consent and doesn’t have a voice, we have to speak for her. We know how she feels. We know what it’s like to be objectified. We know what it’s like to be used for our resources, to be taken apart and mined for what is judged valuable by perpetrators who dismiss the whole of us.
I’d like to invite you to consider that as you navigate your own healing, it can only be done in tandem with healing our relationship to Mother Earth. We are inextricably linked. As was done to us, so have we done to her. Earth not only supports life, but is herself alive and is quickly losing the ability to sustain us.
And if you’ll entertain some woo-woo, maybe the Earth’s intelligence is demonstrated in women’s rising. Maybe this rise of the Feminine is Earth’s immune system fighting back.
Regardless of the cosmic possibilities, we do know that we’re running out of time, and that women are in a unique position. By many metrics, the world is getting exponentially better and exponentially worse, which points to the destabilization of status quo. We are at that magical point of crisis/opportunity, and are ripe to experience an alchemical shift in society.
Can we honor the Earth the way we long to be honored ourselves? Can we see her alive and not objectified? Can we stop raping her, and revere her instead for the creative, generous, life-giving, magical, multi-intelligent being that she is? Can we use our voice to speak for Her too? Can we give back to her and normalize reciprocity without calling it charity?
At this precious moment, we have the platform. We have the microphone. The stage is set. The world is listening.
So, what do we want to say?
Do we want to use #MeToo to create further division and present the case that men are entitled poopheads who have ruined everything and are fully responsible for everything wrong in the world? Do we want to continue to unconsciously consume the planet from a powerless position while dismissing our own influence and responsibility?
Or do we want to settle into ourselves, our gifts and the great wisdom that have been rendered dormant by a runaway train of a culture that has hurt us all? Could we take stock and use the significant knowledge and goodness in our culture, and rally together to create a better world for ourselves and our children?
My vote is that we use the power and momentum that we now have and consciously align to shift both consciousness and the economy to prioritize restoration.
There are so many great women and men who are already working on our behalf to reinstate reciprocity on a global level, and they need our support.
I have chosen to focus my resources on TreeSisters, which does incredible work linking consciousness, women’s sovereignty and reforestation. We are currently killing 15 billion trees every year even though they are our greatest defense against our out-of-control carbon emissions.
According to TreeSisters, if two million of us contributed 25 dollars per month, we could be planting one billion trees every year where we need them the most, in the tropical rainforests — the very lungs of our planet.
A small act like this — when done by the masses — has extraordinary impact. Two million of us is less than 0.003 percent of the population of North America. If all these numbers sound overwhelming, consider that Lululemon is expecting to report $900,000,000 in earnings for the last quarter of 2017 (Canadian Press, Jan, 2018).
Had we collectively put that towards restoration, we could have planted over two billion trees in the tropics… in three months. That’s just one retailer in one season.
For much of my life, I’ve waited for some better version of myself to show up before I tried to leave my mark on the planet. Someone who looked like they had their shit together. But you know what? I’ve always been leaving my mark. My waste leaves a mark. My vanity leaves a mark. My inaction leaves a mark. We all leave our mark — that’s kind of the deal with life in a body.
I am confused about so many things in my life, but I’m not confused about this: we are consuming this planet at a rate and pace that has put our children’s lives at risk, and we have the power to do something about it.
#MeToo is a call to leave our mark consciously. We don’t need to individually solve all the world’s problems, but collectively we do have a shot at addressing them. If enough of us participate, we can change everything.
Sandy Ibrahim is a Canadian of Egyptian and German descent. She does not know if her grandmothers are cheering her on or rolling over in their graves. After leaving her childhood home at 17, she has been pursuing sovereignty while maintaining a state of reverent bewilderment. She’s spent the last two decades raising two sons, and has worked as a systems analyst, a boxing coach, and a book-marketer. You can currently find her practicing Yoga, freaking out, writing, and volunteering for TreeSisters. You could contact her via her website.