An ode to the old me: An ode to Roe v. Wade by Chasity Jones, M. Div 

Greetings Feminism and Religion family! It has been soooo long and I have missed you so much!!

I have been working on a few projects that were rudely interrupted by a heartbreaking divorce, decisions of survival, and the subsequent recovery that followed this period. I have spent the past at least 6 months healing from the shame, guilt, pain, and blame that was placed in my lap for the collapse of the marriage. Needless to say, that shit is heavy and it kept me in an endless and perpetual night- not the beautiful mysterious, infinite, expansive darkness that I have come to know but the night that I was afraid of when I was young. No one could save me from the ways that I tormented myself or questioned my womanhood, motherhood in particular. Even more, no one could save me from being an emotional punching bag from my ex-spouse, who also torments himself.

That being said, I am on the mend and am settled in my own apartment furnished with peace, wholeness, and healing for myself and my daughter. As an earth sign, stable ground and a comfortable home in which I can be myself means the world to me. I am a spiritual advisor at a recovery center in Massachusetts and therefore have studied the art of recovery in many ways. Recovery from loss and recovery of self are two procedures that I address in my upcoming book, Black Gold: The Road to Black Infinity!!

Less than a year ago, I wrote a poem that symbolized a collective cry of women from the beginning of time through the present day. Little did I know that Woe V. Wade would be reversed in less than a year. Here is  an excerpt from my Womanist response to this tragic turn of events. The full response can be found on fourthwaverevolution.com or https://teawithchas.buzzsprout.com/

Throughout this time, the lyrics to Maxwell’s This Woman’s Work have been replaying in my mind. He says,

“I know you’ve got a little life in you left

I know you’ve got a lotta strength left.”

Woe is it to be a Woman

The womb knows no privacy

On display for the world to see

Judging

Deciding

My worth determined by my womb’s performance

By its function

No privacy

No agency

Like Hagar, decisions are made concerning the sacred space in my core

My center

This sacred space is not honored for what it is capable of

But controlled

We are feared

Subjected

Repressed

Made small

Crushed

There is so much more to me than my smile

Do you even care to know who I am and the unique particularities of the universe that has manifested as me

Or are you still looking at my chest

My thighs

My eyes that hide

The fact I’ve been conditioned to make you comfortable even in my own discomfort

Ignorant of your ignorance

How does a mermaid dwell in the shallow waters of another’s soul

I live for the depth

Intimacy

Passion

Relation

Human connection

I grow in deep waters

I am nourished in the ocean of life

I want you to know there is so much more of me to love

So much more woman

So much more to ME

Than what you see with your eyes or even touch with your hands

I am land

Air

Fire

Pain

Rupture

Fissure

Throbbing pain

Poking

Prodding

Needles

Scars

Blood

Pain

Regardless of the decision, there is pain

Pain of prevention

Pain of pregnancy

Pain of postpartum

My Goddes

Pain of termination

I was on my period when I found out about Roe V Wade being reversed. I cannot help but think of how sacred that blood is. Sacred enough to create life. It is all that the Divine feminine embodies and it is degraded and debased in Western Judeo-Christian theology (a colonial rendition of Christianity). This includes as I mentioned before in the source text (scripture) as well as interpretation of scripture. Leviticus 15: 19-30 embodies this.

19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

20 “‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 22 Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening.

24 “‘If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.

25 “‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

28 “‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that, she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way, he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge.

We can see here where concepts within this tradition that associate menstrual blood with uncleanliness and nastiness originate as well as enforced regulation and control of women’s bodies. Lastly, I would like to point out that THIS IS WITCHCRAFT, acceptable witchcraft with the burnt offerings that enable the bloody women to be forgiven….for bleeding.

To access the full opinion through a Womanist lens, listen to my podcast SpiritualiTEA with Chasity!

https://teawithchas.buzzsprout.com/

Chasity Jones, M.Div is a Louisiana native and came from a conservative, Evangelical background until moving to Seattle, WA to be a community organizer (young adult missionary). It was here she began to challenge traditional mission work in the context of colonialism and began her own process of liberation and decolonization.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in history and a master of Divinity (’22) from Boston University School of Theology. As a result of her process of decolonization, she has focused her degree on exploring various ways of individual and collective healing through liberation theologies that center Blackness, Femininity, and decolonization. She was selected to present her paper ‘A Womanist Liberation Theology of African Ancestral Traditions’, at the American Academy of Religion in 2020. She currently works as a Spiritual Advisor for those in treatment for substance use disorder at Recovery Centers of America. She is a licensed wedding officiant through The American Marriage Ministries.

She is also a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about making the benefits of yoga accessible to communities of color and making wellness and self-care an integral part of the collective struggle. Chasity has been instrumental in creating Liberation Flow, weekly donation-based yoga for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in Seattle, Washington through Poseurs Community Magic For All.

Her sermon, “My Powerful Case for the Black Jesus” was featured recently in the film Manifest Destiny Jesus, which explores and compares gentrification in Seattle with colonization and questions the role of white Jesus and white Jesus-centered religions in these forces of erasure. This project was also featured in Christian Century Magazine titled, “This Seattle church’s stained-glass Jesus was far too White” by Sam Luikens. The sermon is referenced in a documentary comparing gentrification in Seattle to colonization, Manifest Destiny Jesus screened in film festivals all over the country.

She has recently launched Fourth Wave Revolution, a consulting agency, in an attempt to educate as well as decolonize! Fourth Wave is passionate about accompanying communities through a process of decolonization through collaborative consulting, subversive workshops, and restorative retreats.

According to postcolonial theorist Albert Memmi, race and racism are a symptom of colonialism (The Colonizer and the Colonized, 69-70). Therefore, we must reach as deep as possible and address as close to the root as possible to dismantle racism and white supremacy. Fourth Wave Revolution is committed to digging deeper. Chastity is the host of SpiritualiTEA with Chasity podcast that explores the intersection of decolonization and spirituality through a Womanist and yoga lens. To contact, collaborate, or connect with Fourth Wave Revolution please visit foourthwaverevolution.com. To listen to Chasity’s podcast, SpiritualiTEA with Chasity – a podcast at the intersection of spirituality and decolonization visit https://teawithchas.buzzsprout.com/



Categories: General, Roe v. Wade, Womanist Theology, Women and Community, Women and Ministry, Women's Spirituality, Women's Voices

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Thank you, Chastity, for this wonderful piece! Happy you are recovering from your recent life upheaval. Love the poem as I can identify with the speaker!

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  2. Wise words and a beautiful, powerful poem. Thank you!

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  3. Chasity! I’m so glad you are back, recovering from the past months, and thriving. Congratulations on your upcoming book – I can’t wait to read it – as well as your new Master’s degree! Your poem is beautiful and so insightful. I always learn so much from your posts and am always so inspired by your positive spirit.

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  4. WELCOME BACK! I LOVED, loved your poem – so real so poignant so much about us as women – endless struggles and going backwards and still finding STRENGTH to endure the unholy dark – the kind we all fear.
    Thank you!

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  5. Dear Chasity. You got this! Keep going! I am so proud of you, your courage and your strength! 💫

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  6. Joy, safety and peace to you and your beautiful daughter.

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