“Is Gather the Women an Activist Organization?” That is the subject of a June 8th post on Gather the Women’s Facebook page, and it is beautifully written.
I am 66 years old. My memories of American activism center on the Women’s Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of these laws passed in the 1960s were about basic fairness for human beings and society did change in most parts of the United States. I don’t recall ever hearing about “sacred activism”. As a Catholic, I was surrounded by talk of “sacred” objects. When I left the church at 21, “sacred” disappeared from my vocabulary for decades. It had a narrow definition to me until I found Gather the Women and a new lexicon around women, sacredness, circle, center, and activism. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sacred as “highly valued and important; deserving great respect.” That fits.
Sit next to a woman you do not know in a small Gather the Women circle and, by the end of the circle time, you will know her. You will know all the women in the circle because their daily face to the world as career woman, mother, gay woman, gay mother, solitary by choice woman, grandmother, will fade and her authentic self will show up. Rarely have I sat in circle with women who were NOT activists in some way or other.
Jean Shinoda Bolen’s famous quote, “Gather the women, save the world.”, is not hyperbole. She means it. On the inside of her latest book jacket for “Moving Toward the Millionth Circle”, it says the book is “about heart-centered activism and women’s circles with a sacred center”. What we do when we bring women together as Gather the Women is give them the moral, spiritual, and sometimes physical support to do what they are called to do. That is enough. For a start.