How to silence a woman, and a man, or not

As I was driving along a scenic route towards Shop Rite yesterday afternoon I heard about how sometimes we get captured by Hades, the saboteur, the one that tells us that we cannot, should not, will not. Victims of the spell just like Persephone we are dragged into a corner, following that part that disables our creative ignition and stops us cold in our momentum track. That voice that is so convincing we render ourselves powerless, you know the one?

I fell in love with Clarissa Pinkola ever since I read Women who run with the wolves, I enjoy how she breaks into Spanish at any turn in the story telling, and how she weaves stories into the depth of the female (and male) psychic bringing healing with each word.

She said (in The Creative Fire) that a long time ago when women were not even 20% of the publishing industry she wrote a poem and called it “How to silence a woman”. Seriously? -I thought-.  It was something like 7 pages long, or so my impressionable subconscious remembers.  It had lots of one sentences that were very effective at it.  In the audiobook she says that thinking back she knows now that at the time it might have been what it was, but that these days she is very aware this applies not only to women but to men as well.

I was happy to find today another version of it, a portion of it, one she must have written recently (2008), in which she not only offers the how to, but also the how to reply when one of these appears out of the blue. When I read them my heart opens a little and I breath kind of deep, a certain new currency of energy flows through me, I almost cry a tear of power, I feel capable again.

Here is sharing with you, and by the way, I don’t know what  “vato” means:

When someone says, “We’re saying the same thing.”
Say, “We are not saying the same thing.” 

When someone says, “Don’t question, just have faith.”
Say, “I am questioning, vato, and
I have supreme faith in what I think.” 

When someone says, “Don’t defy my authority.”
Say, “There is a higher authority that I follow.”  

When someone says, “Your ideas are seductive.”
Say, “No, my ideas are not seductive,
they are substantial.”  

When someone says, “Your ideas are dangerous.”
Say, “Yes, my ideas are dangerous, and why are you
so afraid hombre o mujer?  

When it is said, “It’s just not done.”
Say, “It will be done.”  

When it is said, “It is immature.”
Say, “All life begins small and
must be allowed to grow.”  

When it is said, “It’s not thought out.”
Say, “It is well thought out.”  

When they say, “You’re over-reacting.”
Say, “You’re under-reacting, vato.” 

When they say, “You’re being emotional.”
Say, “Of course I have well placed emotions,
and by the way, what happened to yours?”  

When they say, “You’re not making any sense.”
Say, “I don’t make sense, I am the sense.”  

When they say, “I can’t understand you when you’re crying.”
Say, “Make no mistake, I can weep and be fierce
at the same time.”  

When they say, “I cant understand you when you’re being so angry.”
Say. “You couldn’t hear me when I was being nice,
or sweet or silent, either.”  

When someone says, “You’re missing the point.”
Say, “I’m not missing the point, but you seem
to be missing my point —
What are you so afraid of?”  

When someone says, “You are breaking the rules.”
Say, “Yes, I am breaking the rules.”  

When someone says, “That’s not practical.”
Say, “It’s practically a done deal, thank you very much.”  

When it is said, “No one will do it,
believe you, or follow it.”
Say, “I will do it, I will believe in it, and in time,
the world may well follow it.”  

When it is said, “No one wants to listen to that.”
Say, “I know you have a hard time listening to that.”  

When it is said, “It’s a closed system,
you cant change it.”  

Say, “I’m going to knock twice
and if there is no answer,
then I am going to blow the doors off that system
and it will change.” 

When it is said, “They’ll ignore you.”
Say, “They won’t ignore me and the hundreds of thousands who stand with me.”  

When they say, “It’s already been done.”
Say, “It’s not been done well enough.”  

When they say, “It’s not yet time.”
Say, “It’s way past time.”  

When they say, “It’s not the right day,
right month, right year.”
Tell them, “The right year was last year,
and the right month was last month,
and the right day was yesterday,
and you’re running behind schedule, vato,
and what in the name of God and all that is holy
are you going to do about it?”  

When they say, “Who do you think you are?” —
tell them 
tell them who you are,
and don’t hold back.  

When they say, “I put up with it,
you’ll have to put up with it too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”  

When they say, “I’ve suffered a long time
and you’ll have to suffer too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”  

When they say, “You’re an incorrigible, defiant,
hard to get along with,
unreasonable woman … “
Say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes …
and I have worse news for you yet —
we are teaching our daughters,
and our mothers,
and our sisters …
we are teaching our sons,
and our fathers,
and our brothers,
to be

It all comes from here


3 Responses to How to silence a woman, and a man, or not

  1. Tiffany November 24, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Vato is what you call a guy, a slang term. Like if you said, &quot;Hey vato, what&#39;s up?&quot; I live in the desert southwest and hear it all the time.<br /><br />I love Clarissa Pinkola!

  2. Claudia November 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Thank you for clarifying that Tiffany

  3. Zee November 24, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    It is so easy to get lost when juggling with words, by attaching too much importance to them. Being devoted to words will lead you nowhere. However, in a way, your blog is a story of your struggle to know yourself. Keep your urge to know yourself alive. But prior to words you are. Your conviction should be at that point, prior to words. Whatever you “find” there, don’t give it any shape or design