Some time ago, I stumbled upon an article entitled “The Shortcut To True Intimacy You’ll Want To Try Immediately” by Blaire Briody.
Now “intimacy” is a term that can be used in any number of situations, from physical to emotional, from a spouse to a dog, and even a setting (think “intimate dinner”). So what kind of shortcut was this article talking about? And can “true” intimacy ever be achieved on a condensed timeline?
“In a dimly lit room behind a busy restaurant in Berkeley, California,” the article began, “eight women sit cross-legged on pillows. Outside we can hear the restaurant chatter and traffic, but as soon as the door closes, it’s quiet – like we’re in another world. The leader has a purple crystal draped around her neck and gives me a long hug when I arrive. ‘Welcome, Blaire,’ she says. A few minutes later, a woman across from me in a snug green top and yoga pants is choking back tears. She recently lost a close friend and needs to heal, she says, wiping her damp eyes. The group, mostly thirtysomethings, collectively takes a deep breath. ‘And so it is,’ we chant.”
This is Briody’s introduction to a Women’s circle, the purpose of which was to help women “connect with each other in a deeper way.” The participants were dealing with many heavy, difficult problems: divorce, death, loneliness. Many had no friends or family in the immediate area, often due to job changes.
“Women’s circles offer spaces custom-designed for just that,” Briody wrote, “so I suppose that’s how I wound up standing in a circle with a group of strangers slapping our bodies. We slap our legs, our backs, our hips. ‘This is to help with fear,’ our teacher says as we slap our stomachs. ‘The kidneys are connected to fear.’ Afterward, we take a deep breath and repeat the chant: ‘And so it is.’ Regardless of the type, these circles fill a need that even girlfriends can’t.”
Slapping their kidneys? How is this supposed to “fast-track emotional intimacy with strangers”?
Women’s circles (a reinvention of the consciousness-raising nonsense from the 1970s) are a growing movement. Briody reports, “There are now some 28,000 Lean In circles in 141 countries, while chic holistic health practitioners such as L.A.’s Ashley Neese and SpaRitual founder Shel Pink are preaching the gospel of collective female self-reflection.”
Briody experimented with another “transformative circle.” She wrote: “We gathered on the Thursday closest to the full moon to be in sync with our natural menstruation cycles. ‘If we honor and listen to our own cycles, we can have more balanced and vibrant lives,’ our leader says. Many women’s circles have a strong spiritual element, incorporating chanting, full moon worship, and meditation. … At one circle at the Maha Rose Center for Healing in Brooklyn’s trendy Greenpoint neighborhood, leader La Vonne Natasha Caesar, a hatha yoga teacher and reiki healer, had women sculpt vulvas from clay.”
I’m sorry, but can you imagine a group of men sitting around sculpting their wedding tackle in clay and finding empowerment in the process? Of course not. Likely such an exercise would result in oversized sculptures and hilarious laughter before someone broke out the beer.
Briody added, “Plenty of circles are more secular. … [A]nd it seems they’re growing because, like me, many women are finding themselves without strong social support networks.”
Here’s the thing: Women’s Circles are not my cup of tea, but there’s been many times I’ve had cups of tea with women, enjoying a jolly good visit and exchanging intimacies ranging from situations with our husbands, to our spiritual journeys, to problems with a gossipy neighbor spreading lies. Women unquestionably have a unique ability to bond with other women in ways men are unable to duplicate with other men. If the participants in this Women’s circle are able to get the emotional nurturing they need to handle stress and problems – to offer literal shoulders to cry on – how can I possibly object?
I can’t. These women are free to meet however they like. But it makes me wonder: Why, as a woman, does this hold absolutely no appeal? What is deficient in me that I view this as a stupid waste of time?
Will sculpting their vulvas and slapping their kidneys solve these women’s problems and provide the solutions they’re looking for? It used to be women in need of emotional support sought solace from other women through their churches and local communities, often neighbors or older relatives. If they found themselves lonely or isolated, they reached out to other women through church support groups, volunteer activities, etc. It’s highly unlikely any of these outlets offered sculpting clay, but women managed to connect and heal anyway.
But with the uptick in atheism among women, particularly young urban women who might find themselves far from home with a new job, church groups are out of the question, and tight-knit suburban neighborhoods are a relic of the past. In fact, feminists have spent the past five decades trashing the traditional social connections women have cultivated for millennia, namely those associated with strong family foundations and close ties through home, neighborhood and church (in other words, a real village). Now to obtain the “shortcut to true intimacy” they long for, they have to form artificial groups where sculpting personal body parts amongst strangers is supposed to help a grieving women handle the loss of a friend.
Mallory Millett, sister of feminist icon Kate Millet, confirms the damage done to women by feminists. Having literally witnessed firsthand the birth of second-wave feminism with her sister, she says in a stunning interview: “I love the term ‘Feminazi,’ as these humorless women are, indeed, fascists, killers of faith and society. So many people think the rise of women and the evisceration of our culture are somehow coincidental. But it’s been calculated and deliberate. It’s the only way America can be ‘fundamentally transformed’ into the Marxist test-tube to dazzle the world. It’s the result of hate: hating God, hating life, hating society, hating men, hating babies, hating history, hating our fathers, hating our families, hating our white male founders, hating happiness, hating heterosexuality, hating Western civ. Is this not madness?”
And now, rootless women are reaping what feminism has sown, reduced to sculpting their private parts, meeting on a lunar schedule and slapping themselves silly to deal with the pain of life. How very, very sad.
For women who need connections to other women, think carefully where you go. Beating your kidneys and sculpting your genitals isn’t likely to help. Joining with other women in a real community – and turning to God – will. Just sayin’.