She is not crying in the wilderness. She is not railing in the streets.
She sits quietly and speaks softly and with absolute clarity and certainty.
To let all the water systems and food systems and planetary climate systems get destroyed. That is the stupidity which rules us today.
No fire and brimstone, no angry God.
I do not think the planet will die. I think the earth is too powerful.
A simple truth.
We need to protect our home.
Men have lost the way.
Going to war and killing was considered important. Making profits at the cost of others was considered important.
Women must lead.
The values we need are in the knowledge of how to live with nature. That’s what women’s knowledge is. We need knowledge of how to care. That’s knowledge: it’s … called emotional intelligence now. We need knowledge of how to share.
We are part of the earth.
Working with our hands is not a degradation.
Could it really be as simple as that?
Some gender scholars will protest. “This is essentialism,” they will say. “This will keep women in the home where they have always been,” they will say.
If they say this, they will miss the point. This is not gender essentialism. The situation Shiva describes is a product of history. A history in which powerful men determined that war, killing, and profit are the highest values. It may or may not be in women’s nature to know how to live with nature, to care, and to share. These values are part of “women’s knowledge”* because they derive from the work women have been doing while men were making war and making profit on the backs of others.
Shiva is not telling women to stay in the home. She is telling women to confront “deceitful, dishonest, brutal power.” She is telling women to teach those who rule the world how to live with nature, how to share, how to care.
If women are can teach what they know, how to live with nature, how to care, how to share, women’s knowledge will become human knowledge once again and we may be able to save our home.
. . . we are dispensable. She’ll find a way.
A prophet is speaking. listen to her words. Etch them on your heart. And save the world.
*Shiva has stated that women do most of the farming in the world. Women who are not farmers care and share and may tend gardens. Women’s knowledge is a relative term. Some women in industrialized countries place ambition, competiton, and profit above caring and sharing. Even in this situation, women generally care for children. See Shiva’s Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development.
Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer, activist, and educator currently living in Lasithi Prefecture, Crete. Carol’s recent book written with Judith Plaskow, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology, is on Amazon. A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess is on sale for $9.99 on Amazon. Carol has been leading Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for over twenty years: join her in Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Bakas. Carol will be speaking at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Re-Imagining Conference at Hamline College in St. Paul Minnesota on November 1 and 3 and at the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto, Canada on November 5.