One of the problems that comes up when talking about women growing in empowerment, or, as I prefer to call it, embodiment, is there is an assumption that men won’t get on board, or don’t want to. Within the female psyche is an automatic reaction that says we can’t trust men. And that is not just from single women. That is from women who are married, women who have brothers, women who have male friends and go to male doctors, or have male colleagues and employees.
So let’s be clear as we move toward a new kind of understanding and thinking about gender, and about sex. The kind of new understanding that is going to open up doors for us of healing and wholeness, the kind of understanding that is going to give us a path forward out of this mess of violence and rage and hatred. The understanding and path that is going to bring us closer together in Love, in Truth, in Light, in Fulfillment, in Harmony. The kind of understanding that will end wars, that will ensure our leaders are compassionate, kind people, that will stop us from living in a terrorist state filled with people who fill their closets with guns.
Trust, support, empowerment, and embodiment is not limited to one gender. Gender is fluid for a reason, and we are beginning to recognize that through the teachers who come forward as transgender, or transsexual. Within every person, whether she calls herself a man or a woman, there is an energy of masculine energy and feminine energy. These two energies must be present within us (and around us) if we are to be balanced, if we are to live balanced lives. Masculine energy can be described, in yogic terms, as the energy of push–when we act decisively, when we move in one direction with determination. The other energy, the feminine, is the energy of yield. This is our need to surrender, to let flow, to let come.
The problem is that while we need both of these energies to live healthy, productive lives, we’re way out of balance. Because we’ve been living in a culture that has stressed the “push” energy for far too long, and has not honored what is sacred in the female energy, the yielding piece, the flowing. (Aligned with nature.) Keep in mind that most world religions stress the importance of surrender and letting go, and yet most current religions are run and organized by men, with women considered inferior.
So one sex (or gender) is not more important than the other in this world. Both are vitally necessary. And their coming together is the grand event, the standing ovation. The problem is, women have been digging themselves out of the mess of patriarchy for thousands of years, trying to get above ground, trying to find ways to bond together and get treated with the equal respect they deserve, because our feminine energy is sorely lacking in the man-made structures around us. And our own becoming and rising up is not easy, because these poisonous seeds of violence and inferiority that were planted and watered for a long time go very, very deep within all of us. These seeds are very, very old. Both men and women need to become conscious of how we hold these beliefs about gender not only in our minds (although we can rationalize our way around whether we actually have them or not), but in our bodies. Beliefs are part of the matter of us. They are in our chakra system, our energetic centers. And they form in us very young. And we act from them, or make assumptions based in them, unwittingly.
So while I’m quick to call out misogyny when I see it, misogyny, or lack of respect for the feminine, is not only held and enacted by men. Plenty of women have the same mentality.
Plenty of men are understanding and yearning for women to rise up, to lead in a way that will benefit us all. And plenty of women are disgusted by the idea of a woman in charge.
We are all dying in the midst of this mess. Good men are struggling for answers just as much as good women are. We just don’t know how to change the system, and we want some teachings to help us forward.
Men, by and large, love women. And women love men. We’re just so isolated from each other. We think that every interaction between a man and a woman may eventually lead to sex. The sexual repression that the Church has created has made us all think sex is our organizing principle, when really our organizing principle is love. And Yeshua’s message of loving your neighbor as yourself is really impeded if we think the only relationship we can have with the opposite sex is a sexual one. Our growth, our coming together in meaningful ways, is hindered.
We need a plan of attack on our own problematic assumptions. We need to get into our hearts, where all the healing and love occurs. And when we get some brave new teachers to rise up and share this message of unity among men and women, we can begin to move forward one breadcrumb at a time.
But we also have to do it with the deep recognition and understanding that in the U.S., 1 in 5 women is raped in her lifetime. 1 in 3 women is a victim of sexual violence. and 51% of female victims are raped by an intimate partner.
So we need to figure out where to begin.
I’m working on it.