A Return to Sisterhood

In the wake of anti-feminist backlash, and fueled by the fear of being an “out” feminist (think: “I’m not a feminist, but…”), the concept and power of sisterhood has faded away. But perhaps it is (high) time for the return of this simple, yet powerful, idea.

Sisters: Talk to each other, be connected and informed, form women’s circles, share your stories, work together and take risks. Together we are invincible. There is nothing to be afraid of. – Isabel Allende

Finding the courage to speak, to fight and to be our genuine selves by connecting with other strong women is the message of Marianne Schnall‘s forthcoming collection of courageous quotations by influential women, Daring to Be Ourselves.

Sharing our experiences, speaking our truths and finding power in our collective knowledge are not dated concepts, but projects we must take up–again–because rape still isn’t funny, and violence against women still isn’t sexy, and smirking apologies, year after year, for these same violations are simply unacceptable.

It doesn’t matter what word we use; if it has the same content, it will be treated in the same way. There are other words–there’s “womanist,” there’s “mujerista,” there’s women’s liberationist”–all mean the same thing and they get the same ridicule. I think we just need to choose what word we feel comfortable with that says women are full human beings, and whatever that word is, it will get a lot of opposition. But it will also attract a lot of support. But this is a revolution, not a public relations movement. – Gloria Steinem

Sisterhood is still powerful.

Photo from Flickr user discoodoni under Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. Thanks for this article. Connecting to other women, identifying our individual and collective power while battling anti-feminist backlash and our own ingrained sense of jealousy, suspicion and competition is incredibly important and potent! You might like a recent article that touches on similar subject matter. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/06/sisterhood

  2. This is such a simple yet empowering approach! Women from the first and second waves were so good at connecting with one another…they marched, they sang, they wrote, they traveled and spoke to others. The ever changing workplace and family dynamic has driven women away from connecting with one another. We need to get focused on reconnecting with sisters, mothers, wives, friends, lovers and women! Whether we do it via the blogosphere, email, a cup of tea, a book club, or Skype we must continue to reach out and share our common stories and bond as women.

  3. A sense of sisterhood, solidarity among women, is what I find completely lacking here in Latin society, especially at the lower levels. They are all fighting to get/keep a man, and will throw close friends under the bus if they get in the way. They even blame the women and leave the men completely blameless when a man is unfaithful. It's pathetic. We need some serious campaigns down here in South America.

    • Veronica says:

      I absolutely agree with what you have written.This happens here in the United States as well. It's sad really because we women are strong and have a powerful voice that can implement change. Using all our strengths to keep a man is not what our sisters before us fought for…

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