Last night I was absolutely thrilled to hear Eve Ensler read from her new book “In the Body of the World” at Powell’s in Portland. (So excited that I left my rain coat on my chair after she signed my book…sigh….)
If you get a chance to hear her, go.
She mentioned how she got started: One way was being part of a Consciousness-Raising (CR) Group in the 1970’s. I was 19 when I joined a CR Group in the summer of 1974. I had taken the first-ever Women’s Studies class at Grossmont College and after the second semester of this class, some of us went on a summer campout. We didn’t know each other – we showed up for the campout and from there, created a CR group.
Meeting in the CR group was life-changing for all of us. We shared our lives and learned how pervasive sexism was and how it affected us — we learned clearly that the personal IS political. We now had a bigger picture of the abuse we’d endured as girls and women, and that we weren’t alone. From that awareness and motivation, we started a rape crisis center where there was none.
If you’ve never been in a CR group, I want to encourage you to start one. Whether you do it with friends, or with women you don’t know, gather to talk about your lives. It’s astounding to hear that younger women think there’s no further need for feminism. Just go watch “Miss Representative” or “Girl Rising” or read about One Billion Rising….we need you to be aware, connected, and motivated. Gather with others and change your world.