After almost 12 years of running this site, it is time to move on. I have tried to further the cause of Hellenism and sisterhood in one place but without the financial or spiritual support to keep it going, I have decided to pull the plug. Writing, researching and interviewing for an audience of global Greek women has been both a sacrifice, a privilege, and a thrilling adventure.
However, the truth is a one-woman act cannot do much without a movement behind her. Many times I have felt like a pebble pushing back against a huge current. The reality is that busy women do not have the time, the energy or the will-power to support each other. They are silent when it comes to the issues that really matter to them. They are too busy taking care of others to take care of themselves and their interests. Often Greek women especially work in ways that go against their own best interest. I have found that the lack of support, the lack of interest in issues that are critical to the women’s cause belies a deeper more fundamental problem: lack of self-esteem , lack of self-confidence and self-reliance. These internal warps work themselves out in instances of scathing abuse and sabotage of self and others. It is a sad reality but the saying “A woman’s worst enemy is another woman” is true. It is true because of the fundamental lack of self-love in herself. Women in a patriarchal culture have lost so much of their sense of what is fair and right with regards to gender, they are warped and wounded. They act out against each other in ways that are mind-boggling irrational and cruel.
The stamp of patriarchy has so warped the collective Greek woman’s conscience that the bonds women should have with each other are weakened to the point of spiderwebs. Think about it. Have you in the course of your relations with other women criticized them openly or much more commonly behind their backs? Have you ostracized or ignored a woman who very much like you was trying to be successful? How often have you compared yourself to another woman whether in professional or social circles and found envy, rage or ridicule rising in you? While rivalry is part of life and can actually promote individual development, excessive rivalry leads to destructive chaos, mutual annihilation not to mention bad karma for everyone down the generations.
Women, be it through nature or nurture, are doomed to cater to other’s needs first and leave their own last. Doomed to destroy the bonds of friendship and mutual support with other women when those relationships threaten the overriding relationship with the all important husband/boyfriend/male significant other in their lives. The well-being of children and family eclipse their own needs for self-fulfillment and actualization. So sensitive and suppressed are they in their culture that it is taboo to even consider themselves the F-word—“feminist.”
Is it just my sense that the Greek culture we have inherited from the Ottoman Turk yolk has so enslaved us that we cannot even connect to each other in a lasting healthy way in times of crisis?
It’s time to put the unhealthy stereotypes of female cattiness to the side. They might just be weapons of the mass patriarchy to divide and conquer. What we need is a renewed sense of female empowerment. It takes more than just one person’s website to change consciousness. It needs a revolution—a total resurrection—starting from within and then radiating out.
While there might be individual hope for change in one or two or maybe 200, without the collective political action and consciousness-raising, Greek women who carry so much cultural baggage will be doomed to repeat the same patterns the culture has handed down to her again and again.
It is for this reason that www.greekamericangirl.com will transform into www.hellinida.org. Hellinida.org will be the communication arm of a larger foundation with the same name. We are opening the cause of Hellenic womanhood to a wider global audience. The aims of the Hellinida Foundation are simple: to educate, advocate, and celebrate the Hellenic woman. As a not-for-profit organization it will operate to organize workshops, speaking engagements, gatherings and symposia organized around collective action to empower girls and women around the world, but especially those who share the Hellenic heritage.
Let us transform the cause of gender equality for our ethnic group. We need to raise our self-esteem, encourage mutual cooperation, and advocate for each other. Let’s put an end to the backbiting, cattiness, and criticism that has worked to keep us from living healthy, fulfilled, empowered lives.
Stay posted as we go through this transformation for the better together. All you have to do is take 10 seconds of your time and Like our Facebook Page, join our Twitter feed, and register for email newsletters. If the cause moves you further, contribute something to our crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter or indiegogo. More action moves forthcoming.
Get ready for a revolution, gynaikes! We have to take our lives back.