I have been an advocate for a 5th World Conference on Women since 2002 when I went to the UN with women as a member of the Millionth Circle Initiative that had been inspired by my book The Millionth Circle. Up until going to India this spring, I knew that there needed to be such a conference, the first since Beijing 1995. After going to Delhi, India, I have an inner certainty that there will be such a conference in 2022, to be organized in India and part of a rising tide of women and feminism. Women are rising, marching, forming circles, running for office, and more. If the momentum continues, women may be ushering in a Decade of the Woman, maybe even a Century of the Woman!
There is a part of me that I think of as “Jean the Activist,” tapping into the energy and focus of the Artemis archetype. The little girl I was--with a mind of her own, an innate sense of fairness, and a streak of stubbornness, is still in me--only I now can consciously choose to take on, be involved, or speak up.
Energy and time, love, courage and outrage, are the resources in us that we can spend or waste. I have written in Moving Toward The Millionth Circle: Energizing the Global Women’s Movement, that a cause may come along “with your name on it,” if it is meaningful to you personally, will be fun, and is motivated by love. It’s fun to be with others who share your values and work together for good, which is also to be in good company.
I recorded Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman-- the book. Driving alone to and from Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, I listened to the CD, and realized how much more I conveyed when my words and voice come together. Besides the activist aspect of Artemis, this archetype is a connection to a mystical oneness with nature and the universe. Artemis-Athena-Hestia and Artemis-Selene-Hecate were mythically connected in Greek mythology and are often linked in the psyches of women and the feminine aspect of men who have an innate sense of sibling equality with women. My other recorded activist book focuses on the environment: Like A Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet.
While I have spoken truth to power, and have made my voice heard in organizations, including at the United Nations now, student government in high school and college, the San Francisco C.G. Jung Institute where I organized the Candidates Organization, and the American Psychiatric Association where I led Psychiatrists for ERA and a boycott. I know that it often takes more courage to speak truth one to one, and be vulnerable. This also is “Activism.”
Activism reveals truth and character, it takes the risk of loss or disillusionment, and grief which can follow. In my broad understanding of activism, it is necessary for “individuation,” a Jungian concept
of becoming authentically yourself; or who you were meant to be.
Activism can also be expressed through creative acts of expression
in writing, theater, visual arts, and films.
The Millionth Circle led me to become a leading advocate for a UN 5th World Conference on Women (5WCW). The 4th was in Beijing in 1995, before the widespread use of cellphones, the internet, and social media. See 5WWC.org archival site for more information.
In 2012, the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN General Assembly jointly asked for a resolution to hold the 5th World Conference on Women. Behind the scenes lobbying against it stopped the momentum but now with the rise of feminism and the millennial generation, the time is ripe for 5WCW (www.5wcw.org). Envisioned: holding 5WW in India.
The Premise and the Power
of The Millionth Circle
Start with women’s circles
Each one like a pebble thrown in a pond.
The effect of women in them,
And the effect women in them have,
Send out concentric rings of influence.
Remember how one age ends and another begins?
What “was and always will be” in one age,
Is outmoded, superseded, revised in the next.
Something like a teeter-totter effect happens
At certain points in time,
Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Field Theory is enacted
And history changes.
When a critical mass–the hundredth monkey
Or the millionth circle–tips the scales,A new era will be ushered in
And patriarchy will be over.
–excerpted from Jean’s The Millionth Circle: How to Change Ourselves and The World.
This book inspired the Millionth Circle Initiative (2001).www.millionthcircle.org
and led Jean to become a leading advocate for a
UN 5th World Conference on women (5WCW).
On January 21, 2017, pink pussy-hatted women marched in Washington DC, and in cities all over the world. It was a peaceful resistance to the inauguration of Trump and what he stands for– between five and six million women and supporters marched in 673 cities. It was the largest resistance march in history. The #MeToo movement caught fire at year end. Like the marches, this also was started by an email–and was responded to by individual women who felt compelled by an inner impetus to speak out, just as individuals learned about the marches and showed up. Women empowered themselves and are empowering each other.
(Thoughts from Jean)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a kindred spirit who believes that what we do matters--as did RBG who lived by this same principle. To stay true to what is meaningful, to trust that it matters what we say and do is a matter of choice that shapes soul. It is especially relevant now—for our own souls and for the soul of America. Watch this instagram of AOC and be inspired. This is a time to free ourselves from passivity and cynicism and be on the positive side of human history. May a kindred activist spirit arise in each of us!