Until we experience it, this I know: we all long for sisterhood.
Even if we don’t call the ache by that name.
I see it in the women-only events we host at The School.
To be in a room of hundreds of women? Only women?
It feels … different.
It feels special.
And it feels … old.
Familiar, ancient, in-the-DNA old.
There is nothing else I know like it.
Sisterhood is complex.
In a circle of five hundred women, we can feel the safety of it.
And, we can feel other things.
We can feel the places we’ve been wounded by each other, and the places we’ve wounded.
And often, we sense we don’t wholly know each other. And we don’t know each other’s stories. Not all of them.
I am a heterosexual-ish cisgender white Jewish woman in New York City. I’ve lived through abuse, and, sister, I have six decades of sexism under my garter. My grandparents fled the Pogroms and the Holocaust. All of my work and all that I do comes from research and study and my own life experiences, what I have lived and been told. There is much I know about being on this planet as a woman.
And there is much I don’t.
I will never, for example, know all of what it is to move through this world in the body of a woman of color. And from a place of not-knowing-better, I have said things that were hurtful. I have made choices that weren’t the best ones. I hate that. But here is the thing, sisterhood requires me to show up as I am, flawed and messy and brilliant and reckless and mouthy. And when I fuck up — which I have and which I will again — I commit to cleaning up my messes, learning, and doing better. I listen to my sisters.
As a company of women, sisterhood is also our way of work at The School of Womanly Arts. We mess up and we continue on a learning path to being better and better sisters to one another. In the past (and still), we’ve read books (black lesbian poet Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider is a favorite — and part of our Recommended Reading list in the Mastery Classroom) and taken training with teachers of color; The People’s Institute’s Undoing Racism® was excellent. This year, all the women of my team hosted Milagros Phillips — she is a Mastery student and she is also one of my teachers, and I want to tell you about our profound experience with her work.
Milagros has created a two-day workshop called Race Demystified and The Healing Process. It is powerful, illuminating, instructive, embodied, and hopeful. Each of us came away knowing one another and ourselves more deeply, and we came away understanding even better the tangled roots of Colonialism and racism, and — this is key — having identified our individual places in changing the culture going forward, our unique parts in the untangling. What felt so big, so daunting, so impossible on Day One became begin-able on Day Two. We are grateful to Milagros for this meaningful, beautiful experience. Some of our team members are even planning to attend a second time, at her public event later this month. We recommend it so highly — if you will be in New York, bring your colleagues (maybe work will pay for it?), your partners, your friends. People of all gender and races are welcome. The healing is for everyone.
I think you’ll love her, too.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.
Race Demystified and The Healing Process
By Milagros Phillips
Friday, June 29 + Saturday June 30, 2018
New York City
Click here to read more and purchase tickets