A Healthy Stepmother . . . nurtures her “girl cell.”

I was startled and inspired to my core when I saw Eve Ensler’s TED Talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/eve_ensler_embrace_your_inner_girl.html, and her discussion of the “girl cell.” She thinks there is a cell in every human that is our link to our emotions, our intuition, our “knowing.” And, she makes a very strong case for why ignoring the girl cell in all of us is what is responsible for the damage we do to one another, on a daily basis and all around the world.

Eve Ensler . . . talks about Girl Cells

It’s true that she paints some very graphic and violent images, which hopefully none of us are currently living. But, even when you zoom the lens out and take a more distant look, it’s possible to see how what happens to every stepmother is the ignoring of the girl cell. If nurturing your girl cell is taking care of your “knowing” and living from that knowing, then certainly we women would not be pitted against one another. The children would not be set up “against” the stepmother, because everyone’s feelings would matter. Everyone would be nurtured, if everyone could feel that their girl cell was whole and functioning.

Our girl cell is responsible for compassion, empathy, openness, association, relationship, intuition. According to Ensler, compassion informs wisdom and emotions have inherent logic. And, she goes on to say that “we’ve been taught the exact opposite, that passion clouds thinking, emotions are not to be trusted, and (her favorite) not to take things personally.” Her new book, I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World is out this month and outlines the interviews she’s done for the last 5 years with girls all around the country. I’d argue those girls are us . . . women who have had their girl cells tromped on and we’re no longer listening because we’ve been taught it’s not safe.

Girls are trained “to please” . . . Ensler wants to change the verb. “Change the verb to educate, activate, engage, confront, defy, or create. . . . If we change the verb, we actually enforce the girl inside us and the girl inside them.”

It occurred to me that when we put a stepmother (or a mother) down, we are basically telling her to “not be a girl.” Ensler says that “being a girl is so powerful, that we’ve had to train everyone to not be that.” Refusing feeling has led us here . . . the “here” being our distrust, our hatred, and abuse of one another. And, she’s pretty passionate about her plea for everyone, men and women, to grow their girl cells. How else will we change our future?, she asks.

And, maybe you think, I don’t distrust, I don’t hate, I don’t abuse. But, when you discount someone else, when you make them seem “crazy,” or, when you make yourself be those things, you are not nurturing your girl cell.

A healthy stepmother . . . nurtures her girl cell, and is not silenced.

5 thoughts on “A Healthy Stepmother . . . nurtures her “girl cell.”

  1. Hi Kim,

    Ensler has an interesting perspective and I’ll make the time to listen to her TED talk. Whether it’s the “girl cell,” your “inner knower,” or the “Divine” inside, we all have access to that place where we can unlearn all the programming we’ve been given by well meaning adults. It’s the unlearning of it all that’s the trick. Most people find it very scary to take that inward trip…

    Excellent post!

    • Ensler has taken on such a huge task, to get the world’s attention to unlearn and unprogram our silencing of the girl. It’s amazing how she has been able to take that walk into such uncharted territory, that inward place you’re referring to. And, it’s that very inward place in each one of us that she is hoping she’ll wake up and shift so we live and love in a way that allows everyone to have their emotions, their feelings, their knowings and their insights. Women and men, alike.

      I think the silencing of the stepmother is a less severe version of this same phenomenon. And, that’s the reason I posted this here. Thanks Peggy.

Leave a Reply to Peggy Nolan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s