The Queen of My Self


The month of elections and politics. Now’s the time for all good women to run for office! Women in power. Women speaking truth to power. Wise women rule wisely!


I am mad. So very mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed.I am outraged. I am enraged. I am livid. I am GOD DAMN FURIOUS.

“All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn as much as 68 and 77 cents on the dollar (depending on our skin color) that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.

And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights, our freedoms, our health care being stripped away, one by one, by mean spirited, misogynistic, right wing religious uber-conservatives. In 2015 there is still no Equal Rights Amendment. Women are still not equal under the law.

Of course I am angry! How can I not be? I am not angry only about the injustice perpetrated upon women in this country, but also all the women everywhere in the world who are abused, exploited, enslaved, and murdered – untold thousands as newborns – simply because they are female. Better believe I am angry.

My anger is far reaching and inclusive. Every virulent expression – be it verbal, physical, cultural, political, or armed – of religious hatred, xenophobia, racism, classism, ageism, homophobia set my teeth on edge. As does witnessing extremely common displays that range from disregard to disrespect to downright mean, nasty disdain directed at folks with abundant body fat or those who are differently abled.

Every goddessdamn fracking pipeline, oil spill, contaminated river, felled forest, wild fire, melting iceberg, radiation leak, gmo apple, dead bee, poached animal, endangered species, and cancer patient, stirs my wrath. Every hungry, homeless, terrified, traumatized refugee and GI incites my furious, protective tiger mother wrath.

My partner often questions why I watch the news if it makes me so mad. Because it is important for me to know what is going on around me. I do not want to be deaf and blind even if the shrill blare and horrendous images are painful. I want to feel that pain, to feel part of that pain. I want to accept any culpability on my part for perpetuating pain and peril through denial, laziness or depression. Depression is the flip side of anger.

Women are uncomfortable with anger. We are frightened of anger directed at us for very real reasons. But we are most scared of our own anger. We have been raised to be good girls, after all. To be sugar and spice and everything nice. Yeah, right.

Anger is a natural emotion and needs to be honored and expressed, lest it eat us up from the inside. Anger contains a huge amount of energy, which can be converted to powerful creativity, positive purpose, and proactive change.

I think of  my anger as righteous indignation. It spurs me to react, to respond, to resist, to rebel. My fury is the fuel that fires my fiercely impassioned efforts toward the defense of Mother Earth and all of Her exquisite creations and creatures.

And you better believe that the ongoing onslaught of disregard, disrespect, abuse, violence, terror, rape, and murder perpetrated against girls, women and Mother Earth, Herself, tempts me to stay in a pissed-off state. But this same anger also cripples me and would prevent me from pursuing proactive methods of protest.

So I prefer to think of my anger as righteous indignation and let it fuel my determination to work toward the empowerment of women and inspire my involvement in causes pushing for social and gender justice.

And to my delight, I have been discovering legions of women everywhere who take on the troubling and terrifying threats of a world gone mad and are actively engaged in extremely courageous and creative activities which provoke thought, challenge oppression and produce real solutions.

I hereby call on women everywhere to take a stand and use our vast stores of wisdom, experience, creativity, and chutzpah do something positive, each in our own unique and inimitable way, toward creating a better world for us all.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

“The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the
world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived.”
– Ann Patchett

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

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