Patriarchal Rape Culture: President Elect Donald Trump and the Silencing of Women
Wisdom from The Praying Sisterhood: Intention Creates Change
TRUMP and the SILENCING OF WOMEN
"The dream and goal of the patriarchal rape-culture is to destroy the Earth
and annihilate all life-forms, including our own."
During the past few days following the American election result, we have become acutely aware of a profoundly disturbing problem facing us women who dream of a healed world.
We had expected that should the disaster of Trump being the next president of the USA come to happen, we would all unite in shared grief and rage, freely expressed, and focus on how to live with this reality while using it to unveil the structure and extent of patriarchal power-over Life paradigm.
But all around social media and in our family circle we hear the message: "we have to accept diversity", we don't accept "political" speech in this group", "we have ourselves created this situation", "don't speak negatively", let us focus on sending love to Trump", "we need to heal our own shadow," etc.
The dream and goal of the patriarchal rape-culture is to destroy the Earth and annihilate all life-forms, including our own.
The precondition for making this patriarchal dream come true has been and is the silencing of women. This silencing has been made effective by raping, beating and killing ENOUGH women to silence ALL women.
No matter how good the intentions, no matter how obedient we are to new age ideology, when we silence each other as women we are performing the patriarchal rape-ritual against each other on the mental, spiritual and emotional levels.
More than ever we need to come together to name and speak about patriarchal evil in order to inspire each other to think deeply about how we can stand together on behalf of Life undividedly and uncompromisingly.
We should never accept silencing each other or being silenced. And we HAVE to break the chains that we bind each other's voices with NOW.
A sisterhood that does not allow free speech is not a sisterhood, but at best a cuddly space of apolitical illusionary bliss with the inevitable consequence that denial is maintained and no healing, only ephemeral solace, happens. And at worst it will be a place where those who still dare to speak are continually hurt and betrayed, where all are afraid to speak and where it becomes normal to clothe even statements of indisputable truth about patriarchal past and present evil in some beautifying "make-up" that hides the truth.
On the other hand, we should not accept any form of hate-speech.
We believe that one of the challenges we are facing in our sisterhoods is to learn how to speak truthfully and how to address each other's views critically without using words that hurt - hurt all within us (in both aggressor and accused) which longs for healing.
May we all realize that speaking the truth exactly as we see it is the fundamental precondition for embarking upon the path of healing the world and the Earth we love so deeply.
The Praying Sisterhood was born in March this year, after an experience Shekhina had one day during her morning prayers. She was in a state of depression with regard to sisterhood: How can we ever find the quality of sisterhood needed to be strong enough to radically free women, the Earth and humanity from patriarchy?
The night before she went to sleep with a very heavy and closed heart. Sleep didn’t help and when she arrived at the stream where she meditates and pray each morning, her heart was still very closed. It was a misty, silent morning and she just stood there feeling miserable. Then she looked to the south and saw a big otter swimming right towards her and then disappearing into the bank. The otter has been extinct in Denmark for a hundred years and even though it is returning in a few places, the chance to see one is minuscule.
An otter! According to Jamie Sams, author of “Animal Medicine Cards”, one of the powers of Otter is Sisterhood. Later we recalled a story we read many years ago about a group of sister otters joining to protect their offspring from a crocodile. By standing together they succeeded in scaring it away. It became clear to us that this experience was a message from Life about the quality of sisterhood needed if we women are to succeed in freeing humanity and future generations from patriarchy.
Later that day, Shekhina returned to the stream to contemplate the experience, hoping to see the otter again. It wasn’t there, but she found a very special hawthorn stick and decided it should be used to make a prayerstick for sisterhood and for the healing of humanity. And when she made that prayerstick the idea of The Praying Sisterhood was born.
The symbolism connected with Hawthorn is: strong boundaries, retreat, purity and healing of the heart.
Then, what is the message of this experience?
The otter and hawthorn experience asks us women to stand together and help each other to face patriarchy head-on and protect all Life on Earth from patriarchy with strong boundaries, boundaries made possible by a sisterhood that is undivided and act uncompromisingly with clear intention as a group on behalf of the whole.
Undividedness, strong boundaries, retreat from patriarchy and joined courageous action on behalf of the whole are the basic qualities needed in our sisterhoods in order to be powerful enough to do what we all deeply want to do: free the Earth, free our children and coming generations from patriarchy.
The otters dispelled the crocodile because they confronted it directly and with the strength of undividedness forced it to leave. They stood together with one intention and one shared effort.
This is a strong message that radically challenges the idea that we change patriarchy by changing ourselves individually. Had the otters believed this, some of their young ones and some of the sisters would have been killed while others survived. Believing that we heal patriarchy by healing ourselves is equivalent to the victim of a violent husband repeatedly telling herself that he will change if she changes. A violent husband doesn’t change - and patriarchy doesn’t change - because we change and heal our inner patriarchal patterns.
Of course, we have to heal the inner patriarchy if there is to be any hope that we can ever free ourselves, the Earth, and humanity from patriarchy. But it doesn’t change patriarchy as such. It may make it more bearable for a few of us to live our lives WITHIN patriarchy, but it will never change the patriarchal violence against Life and women, and it will never remove the roots of patriarchy.
Moreover: it is NOT women who are the primary carriers of the patriarchal power-over paradigm. It is not the female sex that rapes, is sexually abusive, is violent and makes war. It is patriarchal men who are the main problem in patriarchy, and they do not change because we change our inner oppressed/oppressor, master/slave, victim/victimizer patterns. Regardless of how much we address e.g. our anger, feel it and transmute it, this inner healing work will never change patriarchy and men's violence.
It is not women's repressed emotions that cause men's violence, rapes and sexual abuse. It is men's EXPRESSED emotions. And it is not our inner patterns of fear that attract these atrocities. It is men's FREE CHOICE of being violent, a rapist or sexually abusive. Nor is it a child's inner karmic patterns of being victimized or karmic debt as a victimizer that causes her/him to be raped by her/his father!
It is the father's FREE CHOICE.
Evil is a CHOICE. Neither a karmic nor an ontological necessity.
The moment we all CHOOSE not to be a victimizer, karma no longer exists. The whole idea of karma is constructed to block our ability to see into the REAL causes of suffering.
This said, we still, of course, have to focus on our individual healing, too, as women. We deeply need to and have to heal the inner oppressor, master, victimizer - the inner patriarchy.
Audre Lorde beautifully puts these reflections in their true perspective in "Sister Outsider, "The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors’ tactics, the oppressors’ relationships.
"Change means growth, and growth can be painful. But we sharpen self-definition by exposing the self in work and struggle together with those whom we define as different from ourselves although sharing the same goals. For black and white, old and young, lesbian and heterosexual women alike, this can mean new paths to our survival.
"We have chosen each other and the edge of each others battles
the war is the same
if we lose someday women’s blood will congeal upon a dead planet
if we win there is no telling we seek beyond history for a new and more possible meeting.”
We women can fully heal the inner oppressor, master, victimizer, but we cannot fully heal the inner patterns of the oppressed/ slave/ victim as long as patriarchy exists. As long as there are men who CHOOSE to be violent, sexual abusive or rape no child, no woman and no man is safe.
As long as there are men who CHOOSE to be violent, sexually abusive or to rape there will consequently be massive energetic patterns of fear in our systems and there will be anger.
Stopping to blame ourselves and each other for feeling a fear that is REAL and an anger that is understandable is paramount. Soothing each other in a circle of sisterhood that is undivided, and where all sisters encourage each other to face the evils of patriarchy fully without denial because we know this is our shared strength, is in itself a healing balm for the inner patterns of victimhood. Healing our own energetic systems and each other's with the vibration of love is also comforting medicine that can help us to live with the fear and anger that cannot be healed as long as patriarchy exists.
Fear and love are not opposites. Fear and feeling safe are opposites. Under patriarchy fear is inevitably more real than love, but we can still trust that on a cosmic scale Love is what will prevail, trust that the Great Dream of Beauty - which we sense is the Dream of Life ( see Part II of this article) - is stronger than the will to power-over Life and power-over Beauty.
The idea that we heal patriarchy by healing ourselves is an illusion, but an understandable illusion. Understandable because we are afraid to look patriarchy directly into the eyes, know the truth and speak the truth about its evils and destructivity, and we are afraid to act appropriately: to refuse to be involved with patriarchy on any level (spiritual, mental, emotional, sexual, material/economic, social, political and cultural).
And understandable because we feel completely powerless confronted with the massive evil and destructivity of patriarchy. Honestly, we don’t know what to do about patriarchy. We may work hard to save the Earth and we may do formidable healing work to free ourselves from inner patriarchy, but we have not yet figured out how we STOP patriarchy effectively and how we heal patriarchal men and the political, social, economic and cultural systems that carry the patriarchal power-over paradigms.
All societies in the world are patriarchal. How do we dissolve these systems radically? ( "radically" literally meaning 'from/to the root'). If we confront this question directly and deeply, we can't help but feeling overwhelmed by a feeling of 'no way out' of the collective patriarchy. So we try to escape individually by focusing on personal healing and sometimes even personal success in patriarchy. Not because we are unintelligent or don't care, but because we don't know what to do and just try to stay sane.
One of the other reasons that we are so reluctant to look deeply into the all-encompassing destructivity and evil of patriarchy, are afraid to hear about it, speak about and act against it, is that we feel SO bad about the fact that it is men who are the carriers of almost all destructivity and evil. We are afraid to confront the question: Why are men more destructive than women? We feel that this truth is unbearable. So we choose not to really seek an understanding of the roots of the male sex' destructivity and the all-encompassing evil of patriarchy. So we gloss it over.
We all know the facts about men’s violence, rape and sexual abuse, like we all know the facts about climate change, nuclearism, nuclear waste, deforestation, ocean deaths, pesticides etc. But most of us choose simply to continue to live as if nothing was deeply wrong. Because we are afraid and because we don’t know what to do about it. But also because we have not yet found the “otter” and “hawthorn” qualities we need in our sisterhoods.
A CALL TO REVOLUTIONARY SISTERHOOD
The Praying Sisterhood is an invitation to all women who want to gather in meditation, intention setting, prayer, dreaming, creative imagination and contemplation in order to free the Earth and humanity from being destroyed by the patriarchal power-over-Life-and-women paradigm and to heal humanity so we can become a tribe of Life-lovers who live in Peace, Harmony and Beauty.
The Praying Sisterhood is a community that starts December 14. In the Northern hemisphere this is the darkest time of the year. We decided to start in the season of deep rest, contemplation and dreaming to mark that this community calls us all to move into a daily space of Holy Winter Peace, into the depths of our Universal Be-ing, into the place where we are All One Life Dreaming the Wisdom, Love and Beauty that we Are and long to Be.
In this space of Silent Be-ing we will rest in our cosmic identity as Life in Oneness with Life and listen for answers to the question we have to answer: How do we free and heal humanity and the Earth from patriarchy? We will dream the answers together, set intentions and help each other to hold these intentions in our minds and hearts by gathering in short daily and weekly longer meditation on the 'inner planes'.
Let us wrap the whole world in a beautiful blanket of our shared intention to end violence against women and the Earth
US & INTERNATIONAL FACTS ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
*One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds.
*One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
*Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
*One in five women will be raped at some point in their lives.
*One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. (reported cases)
*96% of people who sexually abuse children are male.
*325,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of commercial child sexual exploitation each year.
*One in five women are sexually assaulted while in college.
*In eight out of ten cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them.
*130 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting.
*Over 60 million girls are child brides (an underage girl is given to marriage every other second).
*Women and girls are 80 % of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually, with the majority (79 %) trafficked for sexual exploitation.
*Between 40 and 50 % of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.
WHAT IS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE EARTH?
* to produce or buy something unnecessary.
* nuclear power plants (fission and fusion) and nuclear waste.
* pesticides, particularly water supplies, military base toxicity, Monsanto, Agent Orange and GMO food.
* fossil fuels (also hydrogen).
* all machines, cars etc. that are not absolutely necessary.
* to create something that cannot be assimilated by the eco-systems of the Earth without causing harm.
* to take more from the Earth than we need collectively and personally to be comfortable.
* to create something that does not mirror the Beauty of the Earth.