Friday, 21 April 2017

Today I want to thank you once again for sending your poems, stories, reflections. Yesterday I posted the 182nd* writing in a woman's voice. Thank you for sharing your beauty, your courage, and your confidence.

Confidence. A 2010 Miss Universe incident has recently crept back into my mind. I don't normally follow beauty pageants, and haven't done so before or since. But the headlines at the time caught my attention. Miss Philippines, Maria Venus Raj, favored to win the title, was asked what had been the biggest mistake she had ever made and how did she correct it? She answered that in her young life she had never made any major mistake. Journalists of course quipped that that would have been her first one. She ended up in fourth place, with minus points for lack of modesty, and probably a mantle of embarrassment wrapped around her for the rest of her life.

I wish I could tweak a tiny gear in this world to make a woman's confidence a treasured thing, not something that detracts from whatever is considered laudable femininity. The typical woman's mode of operation is to ask: What have I done wrong? If a boyfriend or husband leaves: What have I done wrong? If a teacher or editor doesn't like what we write: What have I done wrong? If our children misbehave: What have I done wrong? Once in a ticket line to The Passion of the Christ, an evangelical 7-year old girl explained to me how she, too, even at her tender age, was a sinner, lusting for chocolate, for example, and such like. Her attitude of indoctrinated self-effacement would certainly have stood her in good stead as a beauty pageant contestant.

I want our voices to flow and sing and spill with the innocence of truth and confidence. As Albert Einstein said: "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it." Let's build a consciousness of confidence, for self-doubt sure hasn't worked wonders for us.

In that spirit, send more stories, poems, essays, meditations, rants. We need your voice. Be loud. And, too, don't worry about mistakes

We are not here to be quiet. We are not here to be self-effacing.

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*Why 182? Well, 182 is 2 times 91and 91 is 7 times 13. 4 times 91 plus one (or 2) is the number of days in a year. There are 91 steps in 4 directions to the top of some Mayan temples. And now there are 2 times 91 examples here of a women's voices singing into the world.