This is one of the most powerful statements if we can truly understand what it really means.
Lets ponder this….
Our Judeo Christian heritage, the fabric of western civilization sees “The Female Body” and female sexuality (Our Nurturing Mothers and sisters) in the person of Eve as responsible for the downfall of mankind!
Men pause for a moment and think about this……………….
No wonder for thousands of years women have been beaten, abused, burned at stake and blamed for all manner of evil simply because of their sexuality.
In her book “the Second Sex” Simone Beauvoir wrote: “Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes. And since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by a so called supreme being. So unfortunately for the Jews, The Mohammedans and Christians among others, man is master by divine rights. The fear of God therefore represses any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female!” The resulting belief that men are meant to be rulers of women runs deep in western traditions not to mentions some eastern as well! This patriarchal society demands that women its second class citizen set aside their own dreams, need for self expression and self actualization in difference to men and the demands of their family. This causes enormous emotional pain and to stay out of touch with this pain women have commonly used addictive substances and practiced addictive behaviors that have resulted in Illnesses. These illnesses are in turn treated by the very patriarchal medical system that denigrates their body! In many cases discrimination against women runs rampant. In many cases they are not even afforded the same medical care as men for the very same illnesses. So the end result is that they often become sicker and eventually develop chronic health problems for which the patriarchal medical establishment has absolutely no answers or treatments.
Increasingly women today find themselves in a vicious cycle of driving to succeed in a male dominated world which puts their bodies at grave risk!. Anne Wilson Schaef writes that under such tremendous stress and self denial “anything can be used addictive-ly whether it be food alcohol or a process ‘like work’ for example. This is because the purpose of an addiction is to put a buffer between themselves and their awareness of their feelings. Addiction serves as a numbing device keeping women out of touch with those inner feelings that are in fact their innately possessed inner guidance system”. The good news is that when women acknowledge and release this emotional pain they are put immediately in touch with their feelings and this inner guidance system. In effect what women really need today is a whole new medical attitude and wisdom that helps to put them in touch with their inner pain as the first step towards healing!
Understanding the connection between addiction and this patriarchal society we live in is the first step towards understanding the patterns behind women’s major health issues it also heralds the beginning of the healing! Then there is the tendency to point the finger of blame. This tendency is one of the key behaviors that keeps people stuck in systems that harm them. we must understand that when we point the one finger three others point back towards the source of true response-ability (responsibility). Indicative of the fact that we have response ability or the ability to chose our response. And I am intentionally breaking this word down to make a point about our innate potential as humans beings regardless of gender. Worthy of note here is that neither women nor men nor society as a whole can move on and heal as long as one blames the other! Further this point the finger of blame demoralizes us causing us to adopt a weak and self defeating complaining attitude which is in fact the worst denigration of self. Both men and women perpetuate the system in which we live with our daily addictive behavior and attitudes. According to Schaef by remaining patriarchal this ‘Addictive system’ becomes harmful to both men and women. And both men and women can truly emancipate themselves by realizing how this system is harmful to both! That in and of itself is a Tremendous enlightenment!
Sonia Johnson’s definition of “Feminism” is powerful because of the fact that it contains the vision of healing and I quote: “Feminism is the articulation of the ancient underground culture and philosophy based on the values that patriarchy has labelled as ‘Womanly’ but which are necessary for full humanity. Among the principles and values of feminism that are most distinct from patriarchy are:
……………………………..Stay tuned for more!
Dedicated to my Queen who is at the moment facing the fight of her life!
Have no doubt whatsoever that we will win together regardless of the outcome!