“Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Transformational activism is the idea that people need to transform on the inside as well as on the outside in order to create any meaningful change in the world.
Transformational politics is the field of guiding people to look inwardly what they feel is true power. They may discover that real power is seeing the deep connection of everyone with each other and of being able to tap that place. In this case power is not power over someone, but rather power to unleash collective creativity in creating a new society.
Transformational activism is about looking for the common values underneath, and then working from there so that both parties are able to get what they want. In the process one or both parties may find their inner landscape and paradigms changing.
Transformational open-sourced activism is the idea that you can tap into the power of mass collaboration and collective creativity in a way that transforms the people involved into more loving, peaceful, compassionate states.” Wikipedia.org
What is an activist? What does it mean to be an activist? For many, the thought of being an activist means protesting, fighting, and pushing one’s viewpoint. With this kind of activism, there seems to be separation and an “us vs them” mentality that is cultivated. Although I understand the meaning behind this quality of activism, I recognize that I am not drawn to identifying with these characteristics. For this reason, I have been hesitant to speak about activism, to claim the fact that I am an activist!
Recently, however, I have noticed that there is an internal fire within, a passion that wants to be expressed… an art. And it just so happens that this passion could be described as the voice of an activist. So in reading about activism, I have come to learn that my value system is in alignment with the term and expression, Transformational Activist. Therefore, I am trying on this statement and word and sitting with it to see if it indeed resonates within. I’ve been working with the word Birth Activist, and although that feels real it did not feel fully integrated. It felt more like a statement that sounded good but not necessarily the whole truth. One might ask “why does it matter which kind of activist you are and whether or not you identify as one”? Good question and I would answer…
It really doesn’t matter, does it? However, I feel I needed to make peace with the energy of being an activist and I needed to claim her and not be afraid to be expressive. And so, as I was experiencing for the first time the VaginaMonologuesI sat with my body, I sat with my response, I sat with my passion, and I sat with my awareness that I am passionate about the Woman’s Vagina. It was in that moment that I realized that I am not just a birth activist, a feminist/humanist… I am a Yoni Activist!
Sounds strange I know. Why declare myself as Yoni Activist (a vagina activist)? As a birth activist I feel like I am speaking to Women, I am speaking to egos, and I am speaking from an ideology. However, from a Yoni activist position, I am speaking to the vagina – no ideology in that. And ALL woman have a vagina with a story. Birth is an expression that the vagina experiences. And I have come to realize that I desire that ALL women’s vaginas are treated with respect, love, nourishing care, freedom, privacy, and trust!
From this perspective, I believe that it makes sense to question the following from your yoni’s needs and desires rather than from your mind & ego (which is full of fear, stories, thoughts, experiences, and ideologies):
- What kind of care would your vagina desire?
- When you think of birth, do you want a gentle experience for you vagina or a violent and violating one?
- How would you like your vagina to be touched during labor and birth?
- Who do you want touching your vagina?
- Do you want your vagina being exposed in strange and vulnerable positions?
- What does your vagina need in order to fully express itself and open to the powers of labor?
- What do you need to reclaim your yoni?
- How can you love your yoni?
- What would cause your yoni to close up and tighten?
- Draw a picture of your yoni giving birth.
- Who does your yoni belong to?
- Who has a right to your yoni?
- Your yoni wants to give birth in full expression, what is needed in order for that to occur?
- Learn about your yoni… read female anatomy books and sex books. Learn to love and honor your yoni.
When we view birth from the perspective of the Yoni, as if the Vagina had a voice, I believe it would be saying this about today’s birthing culture:
- Get away
- Don’t touch me that way
- That hurts, stop checking my cervix
- Hello nice to meet you, who the F$#@ are you?
- I am doing fine thank you very much, now STOP MEDDLING
- Stop staring at me, I feel shy and exposed
- Get that sharp cold thing away from me, it hurts and by the way, stop pulling on my baby!
- You want me to be in what position? Are you for real and you think that I will be able to flower and open and let my baby out?
- I need quiet and softness
- I need love and trust
- I need privacy
- Trust me, I know what I am doing!
- No, you don’t need to be constantly massaging me … that is so annoying!
- For the last time, get your fingers out of me.
- Wait, what is going on, I can’t feel anything anymore… no engorgement nothing, I don’t know what is going on, where is the baby?
- Oh, that feels so good, I love the feeling of my baby coming through me, YES i will open up to this force.
- OUCH, those fucken scissors HURT. Stop that. If you would have just let me flow with this and birth in a different position you wouldn’t have needed any of this!
- Oh, the water feels so good and relaxing and private.
- Oh, that feels so good when your hands (the mothers hands) are touching me
- Yes, I want my lover to touch me and that IS ALL!
- No, get your hands away, you don’t need to catch my baby, my mother knows how to do that thank you very much.
- GET AWAY all of you, you are distracting me!
- I want my mother… I want to just pretend that this isn’t happening anymore
- Fine, I give up, you win just get it over with.
- When are you Women going to start standing for us (the yoni) and start claiming your births!?
- When are you going to stop letting others do things to you that clearly feels like shit?
- I am a flower, soft, pliable, flexible, fluid, beautiful, and fully capable of opening, expanding, and sensing birth – Just trust me and follow my voice!
Many have written about hospital birth being violating, insulting, and for some equivalent to rape. And, I would like to add that I have witnessed home births and birthing center births that have a similar tone. There is an authority that stands over your body and yoni and that authority has control and power over your YONI. Doesn’t that seem fucked up? Why? Because of fear. We have lost trust in our bodies ability to give birth. We believe that some authority and expert knows more and therefore, we hand over our vaginas! And for the most part, many of these experts don’t trust birth nor the female body either. They aren’t in love with your yoni, need alone your baby. Their main purpose is to ‘deliver’ your baby ‘safely’ which is an illusion in itself. You can only be ‘safe’ when you are free of fear. And today’s birthing culture is founded on FEAR – this is not safe nor is it dignified. Is this what your vagina wants? Is this how your vagina wants to be treated? Is this how you want to give birth?
I am curious, what would happen if we started to view birth from this perspective? From your Yoni’s perspective, that is. Would you make different choices? Would you listen? Would you trust more? Would you change the quality of care you are receiving? Would you no longer say yes to undignified treatment and positions in labor and birth? Your Yoni belongs to YOU no system, no doctor, no nurse, no midwife NO ONE ELSE. What would you say to your children about their vaginas? Ladies, start listening, your Yoni has a story and it has a desire and needs… it is your responsibility to know them and meet them.
And so it is…