We've all heard or said it at some point. I've been spending years reading dozens of books, surfing and getting lost on the massive waves of the internet and pushing my brain to its limits (at least the ones I know!), being depressed because I had the feeling that most of the people don’t care. The feeling that we're all knowingly sitting on a time bomb, discussing the weather. I couldn't see some major hope or change. However there were 2 facts that kept me going with my incurably idealistic belief that if I can make a difference as a single human being, there has to be hope: when I started Afriska.ch back in 2007 there were 4 brands of menstrual cups on the market and I had only a few visitors on my website. By now, there are over 20 brands produced all over the world and there is an average of 550 visitors a day on my website!
A few months ago I got even deeper into the rabbit hole: I started my own autodidactic studies on the history of women (coz you don't learn that kind of stuff at school, do you?). Do I need to say how depressing it was? Just a few subjects: inquisition (13th-15th century) - when women got burned alive as witches because they knew too much about healing plants, midwifery or life in general. The exclusion of women in education and especially in medicine. The exclusion of women in midwifery. The unbelievable circumcision of the clitoris to avoid some sort of female mental diseases inveted by men. Pregnancy becoming a "disease" and childbirth becoming an "urgency" - both leading women to give birth in hospitals, loosing their integrity & sovereignty and the opportunity of a life changing experience in the process. The unreliability of preventive measures for women like breast cancer screenings, that lead too many of them to unnecessary breast amputation and chemotherapy. The trivialization of side effects of hormonal contraceptives (e.g. the pill) like depression, lack of libido, breast cancer and more. Dangerous medicine. Hazardous technology. Women being raped daily. Women not going to school when they're on their period...
The history of women seems to be characterized overall by oppression, inequality & exclusion from the past to the very present. Even my own happy story in a so called developped country didn’t value the feminine.
I grew up with two big brothers and I very soon learned to affirm myself. Growing up in our partriarchal society did the rest. I learned that women are weak, jealous and competitive among each other, not worth as much salary as men, not as capable as men, that the menstrual cycle is an undesired curse we have to hide, that vagina is a word that we should never say out loud, that we have to infallibly function in this linear system and that the history of women is not worth talking about at school. But acting like a man we can achieve anything we want: strength, career, wealth, appreciation, success, ...
It is therefor no surprise that when I first came across the words Sacred Feminine, sisterhood, circles of women and the title of Jean Shinoda Bolens book "Urgent Message from Mother : Gather the Women, Save the World" it made me smile awkwardly. And it all seemed to open doors to somekind of men-hating, men-rejecting hardcore feminism I definitely didn't want.
I don’t know if there had been a major change or if by changing my focus I unintentionally switched on the light on a new world, but instead of "unhealthy feminism" these words revealed unsuspected treasures and pure beauty: a whole new meaning to the menstrual cycle, the cyclical nature of women (you wanted a manual of use for women? Well, there it is!) and the appreciation of the true feminine nature. Nothing to do with men. Just women, standing up for their rights and discovering their power.
And the connection between the way our societies treat women and the way we treat our Earth seemed all of a sudden very obvious. Both are the first to suffer under that treatment. Women are first to be prone to lack of education, clean water and enough food to feed their family. But there is also a message of hope: women make 90% of the consumer choices, give naturally birth to life, still raise the children in the majority of cases. As women we have a huge potential to make a difference with our daily consumer choices and in the way we grow our children. Gathering, educating ourselfs, taking back our responsibilities, exchanging ideas, supporting each other and acting will make a difference. Connecting with our true feminine nature and thus connecting with nature itself the solutions will arise naturally within us. Our strength lies in the ability for compassion, nurturing love & caring action.
I have come across stunning women and projects and there are networks being created all over the planet. Wether you become a Tree Sister, a volunteer, a dancer, a singer, a painter, an urban gardener, create a circle of women, rediscover your menstrual cycle, share as much information as possible or donate money to an organisation of your choice, stand up on your feet and feel the support of Mother Earth, her power and her love. Express your true feminine nature on your way! We are enough to make a difference!
Afriska.ch evolved from the sole purpose of an informative website about menstrual cups to a source of inspiration with treasure chests from around the world to be discovered. Let’s rise awareness about the uncomfortable truth with the certainty that the solutions allready exist and that our strength is ready to be unleashed. Sisterhood is to be created!
Thank you for joining & sharing!