Women Wake Up

Last night I saw Thelma & Louise, the 1991 movie, for the first time. Actually, it was the fourth time watching it. But I changed since I had last seen it. (Spoiler alert: Watch the movie first if you haven’t.)

This movie is about waking up as a Woman. I hadn’t been awake like these women before I saw it this time.

Are you Awake? Scene from the movie

I cried at the end, even though I know it’s “just a story“. I cried because it is a reality today for many women that the only option they see to escape patriarchy is to kill themselves, physically or energetically.

It is a story of unconscious men setting up women to fail. It is a story of unconscious women playing along. It is a story of women acting like children and then creating messes too big for them to clean up so as to come out alive and thriving.

It is about Women waking up and becoming so alive that turning back is no longer an option.

It is about Women that have become so alive for no reason that they would rather die than go back to where they came from.

It is a movie about boys in men’s bodies raping women and getting away with it.

It is a movie highlighting to me as a Woman my old thoughtware of annoyance with the “mistakes” these two women make on their path out of patriarchy: 

  • First, that Thelma would flirt with the first man crossing her path and be so “stupid” as to get drunk and go out to the parking lot with him alone. Of course, I was mad he would try to rape her. But there was also this thought of how stupid she could be. I was shocked to realize I had that thought in me!
  • Second, that Louise would get hooked by the rapist’s comment to “suck my dick“ when the situation was already cleared, and ending up shooting him. Damn! Why didn’t she control herself?! (Surely because else there wouldn’t be a movie. And still! It shows later why she was triggered – her past of a raped woman set her up for that moment in time.)
  • Third when Thelma let JD steal her money. How could she be so “stupid” to be in love and not be more careful with the money after that he had told her he was a robber? Again, I was shocked to find how quick I was to think that! For the first time I got it that it is actually not OK for a man to steal that money, no matter what his history, and especially after he had sex with a Woman. 

This thoughtware runs deep:

The thoughtware by which women have to be clever and men can do as they please. There is never an excuse for a woman to be naive or stupid. There is always a right for a man to be outrighteously violent, deceiving, stupid, manipulative. 

The thoughtware that as a Woman your story needs to be airtight. That as a Woman, you‘re never good enough. That as a Woman, you’ve got to be reasonable.

The story that as a Woman, being awake comes at a high price: It costs you your life.

I admit: Whenever I watched the movie the first three times, I did not like it. 

I did not like the fact that these women were so bold, so unreasonable.

I did not like that Thelma was so naive and childish and adolescent and sexual-energy-leaking, seeking-for-male-attention in the first half of the movie.

I did not like that these two women drive off the cliff and that it’s made out to be a joyful thing, almost glorified.

I did not like that men got to rape and be abusive and make dirty jokes and scream “fuck you bitch” and “crazy women” at these two women without learning anything from these women calling them out.

I did not like that there was only one man throughout the whole movie who would consider being on the side of these Women.

I did not like the movie because it seemed like while the women changed immensely and claimed their authority, the world around them hardly changed. In fact, many of the male characters clearly refusing to change at all.

I did not like the movie because it meant these women’s aliveness had to die either way.

I did not like the movie because the whole story from the very start pointed to that end.

Now I get it. I get the bigger picture. This is not a made-up story. 

This is the story of how Women step out of Patriarchy.

It takes big, bold steps such as – figuratively speaking – killing men’s ego to catapult them out of modern culture.

It takes drastic steps of journeying to a new destination without knowing whether they will get there alive.

It takes adventures that will change their shape.

It takes Women’s radical collaboration.

It takes the necessity of Women to wake up and dare to be radically alive.

And then this: The jumping off the cliff is no longer a suicidal act.

It is a jumping out of the old culture into a new culture. One which is co-created by adult Women and Men, with Women going first.

Julia Neumann

I am a pioneer exploring the edges of current realities, venturing into unknown territories to collaboratively co-create a regenerative culture in service of life. The best way I know how is to empower you to bring forth your unique gifts and dreams.

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