11/12/2012 02:49 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2013

A Note to Virginia Woolf

Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics.

I encountered this quote by Virginia Woolf the other day and decided to respond to it -- the present speaking to the past...

If women have sat indoors, it has not been for want of action, nor for any lack of desire to share our light and right the wrongs. We have been locked into defined roles, locked into defined looks, locked into corsets and bustles and confining garments. We have had our feet bound, our hands cut off, our minds shaped, our faces scarred, our genitals cut, our brains electroshocked. Yes, we have sat indoors.

Like Emily Dickinson sat indoors -- noticing every thought, every sound, every whim, every feather and hair. We have been impregnated by the world that entered through our windows and we are giving birth now to a new world--a world of balance, a world of freedom for women, a world of education and hope for girls in every country.

The creative force is rumbling through the cells of every female, a cacophony of ideas, urges, manifestations. It is falling like rain, roaring like a tsunami, boiling like water for afternoon tea. Who we are is what we create -- our furies, our despair, our ecstasies become the poems, the novels, the operas and plays that melt a heart, change a mind, stamp a culture with its indelible ink.

From our parlor chairs, our boudoirs and dressing rooms, we are standing up, stretching into our magnitude, bending toward our future as we write and sing and dance the stories we embody. We are unfolding our history, undressing the present and revealing the underpinnings of a civilization in collapse.

Indoors no more, we are in the streets, in the news, in the studios and rooms of our own, co-creating a world that works for everyone. Seizing the moment, taking our power -- overcharged as it is -- we are becoming the light we have wanted to see. Circling the globe, we are weaving networks that buoy and bind us. A woman in Omaha reads the poetry of a woman from Kandahar. A girl from Staten Island emails a girl from Shanghai who is learning English. Five thousand women from around the world send messages in every medium to Malala Yousafzi, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about the importance of girls going to school.

The force that we are will not die down. It is a raging fire, a burning hope. It is a quest, a mission, our task at hand. For all those women who were locked inside, we will stand outside. We will tell the stories. We will pass the torch. We will harness our energy "to pens and brushes and business and politics," for this is the way -- the way forward, the way through, and the way out. Godspeed to us all.