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Mother and children flee war-torn Ukraine
Photo Credit: NDTV

When measured by the word-count for my third book in progress, Year 2022 was not a productive one. All my efforts to refocus and get back on track produced only a rewrite of the Introduction and Chapter One. Two major events early in the year derailed my efforts: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and my reading of Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos (UK & USA 2021), edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read.

What is wrong with the Men in Power of our world!? How can we waste human energy and taxpayers’ money on war games when humanity is faced with an unraveling climate and ecological crisis? More than ever, our society needs more women in top decision-making positions worldwide. After all, we are the ones who suffer the most when calamity strikes our communities.

In my research on the creation of patriarchy and feminist consciousness, I have learned that every gain made by women over the centuries had to be won repeatedly. In June, we witnessed this reality happening once again when the Men in Power in the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, taking back the woman’s right to bodily autonomy won fifty years ago. Men in Power—and let us not forget the women who support them—never rest in their commitment to maintain the patriarchal system.

In 2022, I also expanded my research to cover the second wave of feminism (1968-1972), the role of African American women within the movement, and the current struggle of “abolition feminism” in defending incarcerated women against systemic state violence.

As a storyteller invested in the human condition, I cannot write in a vacuum. I need to make sense of what is happening in our world. The time not spent on writing has resulted in a deeper understanding of the human condition, the global patriarchal system of dominance and violence, and the challenges humanity must overcome if we are to survive as a species on Planet Earth.

My mother’s lifelong struggle for survival finally ended on August 22, 2022. Our contentious relationship, after more than thirty years of separation, led to my foray into writing as a form of self-therapy. Since the day she disowned me as her daughter, I maintained a safe distance from her caustic tongue that worsened with dementia in her final years.

When I visited her on February 6, she did not recognize me. My face mask, intended to protect her from the coronavirus, might have made recognition more difficult. At least, so I told myself.

It’s Rose, my sister told her.

She scrutinized my face. Rosie? Her tone was one of recognition. You have kind eyes, she told me.   

While my sister tidied our mother’s bedroom, I sat with her in the living room of the tiny apartment in a gated complex for senior citizens.

I’m staying down, she told me.

What do you mean, Mom?

I’m staying down, she repeated, ignoring my question.

Remember the days we had to stay down? She gazed at me. Yet, we survived.

I struggled to hold back the tears. I remembered those early days in Guyana.

The stories of women everywhere need to be told. Despite all our progress in having a voice in policies that affect our lives, we women still have a long way to go.

I must trust the writing process. The inner stillness has cleared the fog of our chaotic world. When the time is right, I will be better able to bring into sharper focus the stories of the women who have shaped my vision of the world.

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