What She Said

Because I know, in the center of my being where I know that I am a woman, that the body matters. There is a wisdom in the body that cannot be overwritten by any intellectual formulation. There is a meaning in the body that is the true meaning of my life. No man can know it, no man can explain it to me, no man has ever gotten it right, and it is a transgression when a man arrogates to himself the task of explaining to me what it means to be a woman.

Because my sisters matter. When I navigate the common divide by rejecting my sisterhood with other women to assume the mantle of manhood, I lose their company. I leave their conversation, their nurturance, the collegial sense of companionship which women of goodwill achieve so easily.

Because there are those among my sisters who cannot navigate the common divide by abandoning their bodies. They cannot bring themselves to sacrifice what the body knows and the company of other women in order to achieve in the world. So they give up — they never enter into the [magikal] lineage at all, or if they do, they content themselves with embodying the muse, the sexual vamp, the all-accepting whore, the love-without-limits mother, and they pursue accomplishments vicariously through the magical men in their lives.

Because I know, in the center of myself where I know the most important truth of my life, that I am not deformed or incomplete [because I am not a man], that I am not fitted only to be a helpmeet, that it is not my purpose in life to be someone else’s inspiration and servant. I know that I reason clearly, that I possess a soul, that I am both a material and a spiritual being. Thelemite that I am, I know that my will is my own and no one else’s.

I refuse to accept that I must abandon my body and my sisters, call the universe Lord, call myself he, center my magic in an organ that looks suspiciously like the male member, enact mystery plays about men’s lives in the world in order to be a magician. And I am incensed that I struggle every day of my magical life with this divide that no male magician has ever had to face, because his body and his gender and his way of knowing in the world is perfectly reflected in the lineage.

I challenge this.

~ Brandy Williams in The Woman Magician: Revisioning Western Metaphysics from a Woman’s Perspective and Experience

Picture found here.

2 responses to “What She Said

  1. I LOVE Brandy Williams!

  2. “No man can know it, no man can explain it to me, no man has ever gotten it right, and it is a transgression when a man arrogates to himself the task of explaining to me what it means to be a woman.”

    Indeed. And we can substitute Christian for man and Jew, Muslim, Pagan, or whatever, for woman–and vice versa..

    To paraphrase Swidler’s “Dialogue Decalogue,” to which we’ve linked in earlier posts and comments, each participant must define hirself. Only a woman (for example) can define what it means to be a woman. The rest can only describe what it looks like from the outside. Furthermore, if one is interpreted by the other, she must be able to recognize herself in the interpretation.

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