“The Dead Girl” Juan Soriano (1938)
‘The Dead Girl’ Juan Soriano (1938)

Since I have mired in the slog of working on a new book, there has been nowhere near enough time to write as I should. But I’d like to alert you that there has been a ton of good work being shared and written over on the Order’s sister site, Death & the Maiden.

Death & the Maiden is run by the Order’s Executive Director, Sarah Chavez (Troop), and Lucy Coleman Talbot. It is a project to explore the cultural and historical roles women have played, and continue to play, in death.

I wanted to share with you a bit of what is happening there, from Sarah’s own words.

“Death & the Maiden offers a supportive and inclusive community which endeavors to amplify the voices of those actively creating the future of death.

We acknowledge that social justice movements fighting for human, social, or reproductive rights of women such as Black Lives Matter, Ni Una Mas and countless others, are streams of the death positive movement. Among our contributors are scholars, death doulas, scientists, morticians, game developers, museum professionals, artists, anthropologists and activists, to name a few.

In the press, women working with death are often reduced to stereotypes of the nurturing, sensitive, party planner – portrayed as selfless martyrs or even Disney Princesses – viewing the individuals, the work and the movement through a narrow lens, acknowledging only a fraction of the picture.

As women and non-binary folks, many of us are often forced to confront death in ways men are not. Murders of trans women of color, indigenous women in Canada, women in Mexico and El Salvador, or at the hands of our domestic partners and law enforcement are so common that they are now deemed “epidemics” by experts. Care of elderly and dying family members overwhelmingly falls to women, Latina teens and trans women have the highest rate of suicide attempts and deaths in the U.S., and of course, there is a long history of reproductive rights tied to death in countless ways.”

If you want your voice heard in this dialogue, please submit here.  Sarah and Lucy will be posting some submissions on Death & the Maiden, and some here on The Order of the Good Death.  We also have some larger projects in the works on these themes, so stay tuned.

‘Girl with Desk Mask’ by Frida Kahlo (1938)
‘Girl with Desk Mask’ by Frida Kahlo (1938)

Death & the Maiden will be holding their first conference in July of 2017.  I will absolutely be there, and I hope you will consider adding your voice as well. Here is a call for papers (note: you do not have to be an academic– practitioners, innovators, activists and artists also welcome.)

In the past few days it has felt taxing for many to be a woman, a person of color, LGBT, the list goes on. But we have only just begun to fight, and our movement will only be made stronger as we seek to reveal the role death, and fear of death, plays in all our lives.

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