May 06 2012

Zoe Artemis considered herself a New Feminist.

It’s a concept I have long held as my belief.

Many of those who were active in the Feminism of the 1970s grabbed onto the idea that to be equal, women had to be like men. Some women chose to dress in gray pantsuits; some even wore ties, thinking that would level the playing fields in the male bastions of business, medicine and law.

Many decided being aggressive, using foul language and telling obscene jokes that demeaned women would endear them to their male counterparts. In most cases, these efforts were ineffectual, just looked silly and compromised those participating. It diluted women’s feminine power.

Zoe belly-danced in the Tribal Style. It differs from
traditional belly-dancing in that it started in California
in the mid 1970s and is done to primarily enrich the
dancer, with the audience being secondary.

In the following essay, Zoe expresses her belief that aggressive, male dominated feminism dishonors the feminine ideal and dilutes feminine power. She sent it to her friend, Brian Hassett, a short story writer, poet, feature writer, essayist, critic, columnist, reviewer, and songwriter, in such places as The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Complete Woman, Penthouse, High Times, Beat Scene, etc. and most importantly to us, a blogger.  To read Zoe’s letter as it originally appeared on-line, click here.

Zoe’s New Feminists Essay

March 22nd, 2008 

This is a nice essay that was slipped over the transom by a fellow New York warrior in honor of Women’s History Month, thought I’d share. 

MEET THE NEW FEMININE FEMINISTS,

by Zoe Artemis

These days my life is divided up into two moving parts: teaching dancing, and campaigning for Barack Obama.  Yes, I’m a Baby-boomer for Barack.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, I taught a Belly Dance workshop at my studio in New York City.  My role:  to teach women to connect with their sacred feminine power and their female heritage. The women in attendance ranged in age from 26-60, in all glorious shapes and sizes.   

Belly Dancing has great mojo power in bringing together highly smart women from all walks of life, to get down with each other, and dance.  I create a supportive environment where women can feel sexy, saucy, ass-kickin’ strong, vampish, gorgeous and nurtured; a space where they can express latent archetypes:  the coquette, the angel, the sensualist, the earth mother, the gypsy, the performer, the priestess, the warrior, and the tribal dancer.  Meet the new feminine feminists.

Zoe excelled at everything she did.

We spent the day swiveling, shimmying, shaking, and moving our hips independently of our torso, like a pendulum swinging beneath an immobile clock.   To world thumping music our hands created the frame around the body; sometimes the moves were soft, sensual and inward; other times it was outward, wild and reckless.  A tribe of women who validate and confirm each other’s sensuality and beauty becomes the perfect antidote to lack of self esteem.  For many western women Belly Dance is truly a form of liberation.

The feedback I received from women who belly dance with me is this:  it’s not necessary  to have that one-to-one attention from a man in order to feel womanly and sensual.  Women can feel sexy, sensual and feminine whether they’re in a relationship or not. It’s about creating self-confidence, community, joy and humor.  The repetitive movements bring us fully into the present moment, the meditative state, into the zone.

Another aspect which is important for us feminine feminists is that we get to play dress up.  Gone are the pant suits, the jeans, the sweat pants, the baggy clothes, the clunky sneakers and the 10″ high heels.

Many arms indicates supernatural powers and the ability
to do many things. Zoe is in red, seated at the bottom.

We usually think of feminism as a modern, contemporary trend, however there’s a new kind of feminism that is emerging, where women can own up to their sensuality and softness, while maintaining their fire.  I don’t want to take orders from the patriarchy, but I don’t want to take orders from (contemporary) feminists either, i.e., Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro; which brings me to the current political climate.  I am stunned by the raw voracious and, yes, desperate grasping for power by the old guard feminists.  It’s pathetic and frightening to see these women make fun of anything deep or soulful, and who take joy in wounding people.  Some feminine feminists:  Samantha Power, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Arianna Huffington.  Yelling, shrieking, mocking, bullying, punching and whining are not cool.  Punching and whining simultaneously?  That’s an oxyMORON. 

Zoe Artemis is a native New Yorker who currently teaches belly dance classes at her studio, creative movement classes in the NYC public schools, and campaigns for Barack Obama.  In l978-79, at her first job ever, she worked as an administrative assistant in the Carter White House.   http://www.zoeartemis.com/

 

To learn more about Zoe Artemis, click here.

 

NaBloPoMo May 2012



Tags: , , , , ,

Filed under: Head,Intangibles — admin @ 4:36 pm Comments (0)
May 05 2012

Writing about the Divine Feminine caused me to think of a special person I knew in upstate New York.

She was a dancer, a writer a teacher and mentor. She was a very unusual woman. She was spiritual and, at times, didn’t seem of this world. And yet her basic information on her FaceBook page was down to earth while stating:

‘these are the good old days’

I’m a liberal Dem, but not politically correct.

Interested in the art of ‘hangoutology’ and good conversation.
Dancing, writing, painting, performing and cooking are what I love doing best

Her Relationship Status sounds just like her when it says, “It’s complicated”

Her given name was Elaine Zessi, but “Zoe Artemis” was the name she commonly used.

Zoe Artemis, professional name of Elaine Zessi

If there is one thing I love to do, it’s network. Introduce people and cause paths to cross that would never have happened otherwise. But, then, I love it when acquaintances do the same for me in return. When I owned and operated my quilting business for nine years in the 1980s, I used to give weekend retreats where all of the food was catered and quilters could come and quilt without distraction. One of my quilters, Kathy from Syracuse, introduced me to a Women who had dancing workshops, Zoe Artemis.

Zoe belly-dancing.

The last time I spoke to Zoe, it was about four years ago. She was off on her latest adventures, organizing trips to her land of heritage, Greece. When I went to her web site, it was very pictorial with scenes of Zoe in the Greek islands surrounded by white walls and crystal blue seas and skies. I was enchanted by her new ventures, but not anywhere near attending her trips.

I was also amazed at her social history as she had written essays and placed them on her web site. In our phone call, I HAD to mention her affair with TV’s Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes. “Zoe!” I said, “You never told me you had an affair with Ed Bradley!” I was wide-eyed with celebrity wonderment, thinking I was two degrees from knowing Ed Bradley.

“Oh!” she said. “He was a wonderful man. Very polite and soft spoken. Yes. I liked him very much.”

“But,” she continued, “One doesn’t just talk of such things.”

So, when I decided to write about the Divine Feminine in dance, who would naturally come to mind except Zoe Artemis? Wonderful, other worldly, mentor to hundreds of women, Zoe personified feminine power and grace.

I thought that, wow! I could tie my BlogHer series to Zoe and let all my BlogHer friends know about her workshops and trips to Greece. I thought that while I’ve never been able to go, maybe some of you could!

That’s when I found out the bad news.

Zoe reading in Greece. Look at her beautiful posture!

Searching to find her webs site online, I was led to a new web site, one remembering Zoe! At first, I couldn’t even understand what it meant. “Remembering,” I thought, “That’s what you do for someone who has died.” The meaning just didn’t sink in. It took me several minutes to understand what had happened. It was a reality I was not ready to enter.

But, yes, Zoe died last summer, in 2011, of pancreatic cancer. I have been told she died as she lived, bigger than life with humor and looking ahead to her next tour of Greece. She never verbalized the negative, thinking of her life in the physical coming to an end, but rather, I am told she kept the conversation away from herself, preferring to learn about her visitor. She was always a master at enjoying the moment.

Zoe was an energy healer, using etheric
healing to realign skewed chakras.

Once I began to go to Zoe’s dance workshops, I found out that she also did energy healing and I used to go to her as a healer as well. All of us have a light body of energy that surrounds us, about six inches from our skin outward. If the light body is damaged, it can affect the physical body. Many illnesses can be healed by first healing and aligning the chakras, or energy centers, of the light body.

Zoe traveled in very high powered, intellectual circles. Here
she is reading at a tribute to Jack Kerouac in 2004. She is
at the mic from about 14:49 to 22:30 in the video.

I lost touch with Zoe when I moved away from New York State. It wasn’t until the immediacy of the Internet, I realized I could do a search on her and find her. I immediately found her web site, which is no longer up and running, sent an e-mail and soon, we were on the phone, picking up where we left off years before. Her web site was fascinating and beautiful, just as one would expect.

She talked about her trips to Greece, visiting the site of the Oracle at Delphi and many other tempting images. She encouraged me to come on these wonderful adventures, but, of course, I had too many obligations to take off and “head to the Mediterranean.” In all truth, though, I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than having journeyed as part of Zoe’s tour group. Maybe some day….

And so, now you know that why, whenever I think of the Divine Feminine, I think of Zoe, with all of her spiritual and physical talents and attributes.

And now, you will understand why, when I planned this series of Divine Feminine dancing posts, I just HAD to let you know about the incarnation in our time space known as Elaine Zessi, or Zoe Artemis.

For more information on energy healing:

“Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing
Through the Human Energy Field”

by Barbara Ann Brennan

Zoe’s writer’s trips to Greece are continuing. Look
for my post on “Women Reading Aloud,” coming soon.

Tomorrow: Zoe’s New Feminism

 

NaBloPoMo May 2012

 



Tags: , , , ,

Filed under: Family,Heart — admin @ 4:34 pm Comments (0)

Follow Us!


http://paper.li/SunbonSmart/1349239748

Recent Posts

Featured on BlogHer.com
Syndicated on BlogHer.com

Flash the badge

<div align="center"><a href="http://sunbonnetsmart.com" title="Sunbonnet Smart"><img src="http://sunbonnetsmart.com/wp-content/uploads/badge125.jpg" alt="Sunbonnet Smart" style="border:solid 1px black;" /></a></div>

Categories


About Me

www.flickr.com
sunbonnetsmart's items Go to sunbonnetsmart's photostream
I'm going to BlogHer '12
BlogHer '13
I'm Going to #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us
I'm Going to #BlogHer16 in Los Angeles!

Archives

NaBloPoMo November 2012