Patriarchal Tumble

This is a pivotal time in history as women’s voices are collectively fortified and encouraged.

Scores are coming out of all industries and walks-of-life to tell their stories, revealing what happened to them regarding sexual harassment or abuse, or molding themselves to meet the expectations of the men with whom they live or work, fearing the consequences if they didn’t acquiesce to their seeming inferiority. Women now, at this “pivotal time,” have an opportunity to rise up and transcend the bullies—either those in our external world or the voices in our hearts and souls, whispering echoes of unworthiness. No longer are we rendered powerless.
Self Belonging by Luann Robinson Hull

As a result of some courageous torch bearers who have been willing to take great risks for self-advocacy as well as to help others, major male players in our culture are being exposed for who and what they are. And they are tumbling down in what appears to be a major seismic fault in the patriarchal system. Today, sexual predator Harvey Weinstein apparently looked incredulous when he was said to have repeatedly mumbled, “But I’m innocent,” even as his verdict was read to him by the Judge. It appears his jurors were not in agreement. He was found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual acts in the 1st degree, bringing his 7-week New York trial to conviction in the central criminal case of the #MeToo movement.

At the height of his career as a producer in Hollywood, would that seemingly all-powerful Weinstein ever have imagined he’d one day be on trial and subsequently found guilty for his conduct with women behind closed doors? Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. praised the women, who testified against Weinstein as “brave” and “heroic” saying the accusers, Miriam Holly and Jessica Mann, “have changed the course of history by exposing a vicious, serial, sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate, and silence women.”

Now then, while I know what I am about to say may not be a popular consideration...

I, nonetheless, feel it is important to ponder at this “pivotal time,” in order to avoid vilifying all men in general: In contemplating how we as women have been influenced by the patriarchal culture over the course of human history, don’t we also have to consider how we might even have participated in perpetuating it—whether consciously or not?

Among the many gifts that an old flame’s re-emergence in my life has helped me to remember is that my own patterns in the past were a fractal of the co-dependent female archetype—a part of which is still alive and well although hopefully diminishing in its influence. That fractal is immersed in need, fear, and dependency—perhaps similar to what some of Weinstein’s prey may have experienced in finding themselves helplessly vulnerable to his unconscionable treachery. Gratefully, this old boyfriend’s re-entry in my life has illuminated my field of self-love/self-advocacy—helping me to realize I’ve come a long way in this journey of learning to stand up for myself (while believing I’m worth it) fortified by a host of amazing women mentors with remarkable grit and gumption—similar to that of Holly and Mann.

Now I want to be very clear here.

This former beau never abused me in any way. Did he neglect me? Quite possibly. But his most noteworthy “crime” was a perpetual lack of commitment, which I allowed and enabled by my own continuous lack of advocacy while repeatedly attempting to fit into his world—rather than considering my own goals and dreams. That I behaved this way was not in any way his responsibility. It was my own. And so what his recent re-entry (and subsequent exit) in my life has also helped me to consider, is that I hope what will also come tumbling down right along with ‘male-players’ like Weinstein (and the patriarchal hierarchy of which they have been a part) is any propensity by me or other women to be tempted to see ourselves as victims—emphasizing how we may have been “wronged” by that patriarchal system, without first recognizing and taking responsibility for our possible participation in sustaining it. I know, it’s hard to imagine we could have enabled such a system, but if you are willing, please hear me out. For example, did I ever try to morph into whatever persona I thought I needed to be to please and placate ‘my man?’ Most definitely. Did I ever cower and cave when facing perceived abandonment? You bet. Did I ever quiet my voice when I should have spoken up? Absolutely. Did I ever diminish my own needs while highlighting those of my partner? Indeed. There is no evidence of grit and gumption in such passive behavior.

Do understand. I have enormous compassion for myself (finally) and other women, who may not have thought we had a choice other than to acquiesce. Even so, that I behaved this way was not the fault of ‘my man,’ although I most certainly don’t let him off the hook for being a life-long “commitment freak”—he does have to be held accountable for his part in perpetuating the patriarchal story—but this article is not about him or how he “wronged” me. What it is about is how his behavior has inspired me to raise the question on how we women (and men)—humans occupying the same planet, can come together in both heartful conversations and loving actions in order to reconcile this human story of ours. For I believe that reconciliation is essential to awakening Ancient prophecies, which could, quite possibly, be our only salvation as a species.

These prophecies, I’m told by those much wiser than I, call for the Divine masculine and Divine Feminine to emerge as resonate forces on planet Earth.

And Sisters, if that is going to happen, isn’t it up to each and every one of us to do our part in making our contributions toward that possibility? In stepping into our divinity, isn’t it our moral imperative to cultivate the true creations that we are, rather than sculpting ourselves into whatever we perceive might be expected of us by the men, whose planet we share? At the same time, can we take responsibility for our part in allowing any suffering and drama we’ve permitted these men in our lives to inflict? Can we use the wounds of the past as reminders to continue recruiting that all powerful Life Urge, always available within us and destined to exponentially accelerate our evolutionary progress?

So how do we begin (or continue) on such a course—to become the true creations that we really are? The renowned poet, David Whyte offers a suggestion in his beautiful book, The Heart Aroused, pp. 136, “One way to come to yes (in discovering our most creative nature) is to say no to everything (and every person) that does not nourish or entice our secret inner life out into the world.” Whyte goes on to quote poet Rainer Maria Rilke in emphasizing the point: “I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone.” At this magical time in history, can we afford to let ourselves become distracted by those who do not bring us more fully alive? Isn’t every moment persuaded by a distraction one wasted, when instead it could be spent in moving toward our most optimal potential?

Rest easy. If you’ve patiently hung in while reading this piece all the way through—you know what to do. You’ve got this.

Believing in you,