Team Love

Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

My voice is often shaky in this video. My heart lodged itself into my throat as I did my best to talk about what breaks my heart the most in this world. I wouldn’t have been able to do this video without my ladylove Kate Northrup. The heartbreak makes me feel so vulnerable, and also at the same time, so powerful. Because this is what I know to be true: the broken open heart holds more light than the closed heart too afraid to break.

I cry. Several times. And subsequently, I squeeze my butt in the effort to pull it together– Kate taught me that technique– supposedly you can’t sob and concentrate enough to squeeze your butt at the same time. I mostly prove though that this theory is incorrect. We knew it was going to be difficult to get through the story of why we felt compelled to make this video so we teamed up and often held for the other what we couldn’t on our own. This to me is what the risen feminine looks like. Doing what we can in the name of love, even if with quivering voices, and always with a hand to hold us through it.

I’ve long since dedicated my life to the divine feminine. Unearthing the stories of the other half of what we consider sacred– women’s bodies, women’s voices, female mystics, and goddesses with attributes that range from serene to fierce– is at the heart of everything I say yes to. As the survivor of sexual assault as a child, I know in my bones that the status of women and girls is directly related to a global misunderstanding that the female sex is somehow less sacred. Less valuable.

Here’s the light in all this. We hold all the power. We can end the devaluation of women and girls by reclaiming our own worth. By loving ourselves and each other. And by letting our love then take action to literally free the women and girls who are currently enslaved. The overriding factor in the widespread sex slave industry is the fundamental belief that women and girls are expendable. I am shaking as I write this.

For me, for the life I’ve chosen to live, there is no greater purpose than adding to the rising sea of love to end the exploitation of women and girls. Kate and I attended Glennon Doyle Melton’s Together Rising event in Brooklyn last month. Glennon suggested that what breaks your heart the most is also where you are meant to serve. Kate and I discuss in this video the organization we are investing in and the love we’ve found through this process of taking action. Love146 is an international human rights organization with the mission to end child trafficking worldwide.

The effort of raising the status of women and girls is a global call for us all to use our voices, our talents, and our exceptionally huge hearts. If we can remember our intrinsic, inherent worth as human beings, and act on it in small yet profound ways everyday, we become a part of a revolution. There are so many more of us that consider sex slavery a violation of our human rights. We far, far outnumber the few that are profiting from this crime industry. If we demand that this ends. If we work together, networking, and supporting each other in our own efforts, we will end this in our lifetime.

This is the great work- to right the ancient wrong that the female is somehow less sacred. The sex slave industry is the third largest crime industry in the global markets, generating 32 billion a year. It’s just below the sale of drugs and illegal arms. In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that as many as 11 million women and girls are currently enslaved.

Raising the status of women and girls globally is going to take a gigantic group of loving souls. So many of us have been called to rise for all our sake, and so many of us have long since been doing what we can to add our voice to the collective effort, and need to return women to a place of full humanity. I don’t know what it’s going to take. Because I’m not supposed to, we’re supposed to figure it out together. And I know we’re only going to right this ancient wrong, this deeply harmful misunderstanding of what it means to be female if we support, encourage, and love each other along the way.

This is why I Kate and I created Team Love. Team Love is a FB group for those of us who want to raise the status of women and girls. It’s a safe space for us to begin to put our love into action, now. It’s a community for us to find our ways of addressing the root cause that makes the sex slave industry possible. It’s a collective for us each to do what we can, even with a shaky voice, and especially with our broken open hearts, to remind the world that the female is sacred simply because we are female.

Emily Bohannon