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I am delighted to share this article with you sent in by a sister Queen.
Greetings, Queen Donna,
First, a note of thanks for the work you’ve done, bringing the Queen into so many women’s consciousness. It’s such important work! Thank you.
I have been pondering the Queen aspect for some time now. I wrote this piece and I’m forwarding it to all the women I know. If you’d like to pass it along to others, please feel free to do so.
A Call to Queendom
By Kay Stoner, MA
Greetings women of my tribe –
When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, I had the benefit of being surrounded by women of what I considered advanced age — 70s, 80s and 90s. Many of them had been widowed and had not been partnered for a long time. Some of them had never married, but stayed nurses and teachers and missionaries and lived lives of service, essentially lay nuns or priestesses, if you will (though had I called those devoutly Christian women “priestesses,” they would have had my head on a Christmas morning platter ;).
I’ve sat at funerals amid the eldest women of the family, surrounded by literally centuries of accumulated life experience. What I have seen very clearly is that women can mature to very advanced ages, while staying lively and vital and full of fire and spunk. My great aunts were pistols. They didn’t cause harm, but they didn’t take guff from anyone. They stood their ground gracefully and powerfully with unmatched poise. They traveled the world — alone or in pairs — when the world expected them to be propped up in a chair at a rest home. They learned foreign languages “late in life”. They taught rough-and-tumble college students twice their size how to conjugate verbs.
They could fend for themselves. They could make their way unafraid in the world, and they weren’t dependent on the approval of men or the dominant paradigm to validate their choices. They ruled their lives with an iron fist in a velvet glove, and they were deeply respected by all. Long before Donna Henes did us the wonderful service of voicing the vital concept of Queendom, these elder women of my youth were Queens. They were Queens, in the purest sense of the word, and they remained so, well into their 80s.
I look around me now, hoping to find women who are past 60, and still living life to the fullest, unfazed by their age and bound and determined to make the most of their talents at every turn. I am hoping to find elder women who are able to model the qualities of Queens for young women just entering adulthood, who haven’t had the benefit of a family of elder wise women.
I am hoping that they will have the same kinds of models that I had, and that they will realize that they have more choices in life than graduating from high school or college, marrying, bearing and raising children, surviving divorce and/or disease, then fading away to a hidden world as their kids become parents themselves and their own parents pass on. What will the young women of today do, if they cannot find the sorts of women I grew up with? What will they do with themselves when they’re no longer young? What will they make of their choices?
I need to see around me strongly mature women. Powerful women. Independent women. Elder women who are not elderly. Women of age who are not aged. Women who can own that they’ve been through hell and back, and no, it hasn’t killed ’em off, and yes, they can coax a new life from the compost. Women who don’t take crap. Especially them. Women who have worked for — and earned — the right to stand tall and proud and powerful, regardless of what the television has to say about it.
We need you to be Queens. We need you to model a different way of being and doing and living and loving and ruling, than what we’ve seen before. We need you to step up and take power. We need you to get out from behind the scenes and make a scene. Set the example so many people desperately need — an example of good and right and righteous indignation, of graceful power that doesn’t need to dominate, even as it rules. That doesn’t need to micromanage, even as it leads.
Yes, we need you to be Queens. We need you to not only do, but also to be. Be Royal. Be Regal. Be Venerable. Be Holy. We need you now to show the new generations of women that they have so much to look forward to, with their prodigious talents, their unprecedented education, their new found connections, their influence, their sway, their drive, their possibilities. They need someone to show them in living, breathing flesh.
For the sake of the next seven generations, thank you for listening.
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.