Friday, October 28, 2011

Lady of Ten Thousand Names

The last month has been very difficult for me in terms of a situation with my daughter's Kindergarten teacher. I don't feel like my daughter is being supported for being the strong, independent girl I raised her to be. I feel she is scrutinized for having the same level of spunk as her brother - of course he has the luxury of being a boy!

I have pulled her out of school until the administration will deal with the issue. I hope that they will, but I am considering other options as well. I will not have my daughter's sense of self be violated by this woman.

It's very difficult for me not to take this personally as her mother. My ultimate goal for both of my children was for them to be independent, free-thinkers. I was intentional about letting both of them speak their minds and find their own voices. Both their previous teachers and their counselor supported this, and continue to do so. But this year, all I hear is how my daughter is wrong. And as June Jordan says, "I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name."

I started working on a children's book called The Girl-God about 5 months ago based on my daughter's vision of God, which I find inspiring. While I was in Norway to visit my fiance, I met with the brilliant artist, Elisabeth Slettnes, who has partnered with me for the illustrations.

The other day I began exploring what other female-centered deity children's books were out there. I came across Barefoot Books (which I LOVE!!) and author Burleigh Muten. I immediately ordered 2 of her books. This one came tonight. We read the first two stories, which left me in tears. I wish all children's book had this amount of depth. I also wish more children could read stories about God that were about compassion and love, as these were.

An excerpt from Poem About my Rights by June Jordan, which is ruminating in my head these last days and which will also be partially excerpted in The Girl-God book.

I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
my self
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and

whether it's about walking out at night
or whether it's about the love that I feel or
whether it's about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and disputably single and singular heart
I have been raped

because I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream
the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime

I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own

-June Jordan, Passion: New Poems, 1980

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