I’ve been having the most spirited conversation with a very close friend about the existence of “the patriarchy.” I told her immediately that I didn’t think that it existed. She, like many reading this, will disagree, but hear me out.
I’ve never been fond of the pursuit to vilify someone. Or even worse, the joy you could possibly find in that. The principle laws of the universe simply demand that if you desire something, it will be given to you. If you desire finding the wrong in someone, then that is all you will ever experience. The need to find facts and figures to prove that someone is an oppressor just makes you more of a victim of this socialized acceptance to find fault with another, rather than finding their brilliance. Hobbies should not include spending hours and hours digging up reasons why you (and all of us) are victims of another’s oppression. You will spin in circles, looking in every direction for someone to rectify your hatred.
We are able to make these arguments, we are able to have these debates in a society that is so stable that we are fortunate enough to come to the battle field with ideas rather than swords. However, those ideas can affect emotions much deeper than a sliced wound ever could, because they last so much longer than the scab that can eventually heal the situation. Wounds can heal in a matter of weeks, Ideas last longer. Ideas become imprints on how we move through our emotions. And when ideas take you to a place of emotion where it feels better to feel oppressed by someone else, victimized by someone else, or hatred for someone else….well, you’ve lost the battle. Why? Because you’re spending your time trying to justify hatred.
Perpetuating these ideas in young people does a disservice to everyone, for it hinders momentum in the individual, squashes any desire to strive for the appreciation of your own merits and your own accomplishments. Why bother? The patriarchy won’t let you. So sit there. Stay! Be mundane….
Condoleezza Rice made one of the best statements ever. “Prejudice and racism was someone else’s problem. Not mine.” She understood that if you cling to this real oppression, this real idea that you cannot do anything at all in life because of someone else, then you will never see all of the things that you are inherently blessed with, all of the things you are capable of. You deny yourself of anything that is possible. You limit yourself. You allow an idea that promotes hindrance to become normal, you allow this way of thinking to become a lifestyle, something to pursue, something to obtain, something to preach and teach about: I will never do better because I was told so, because they won’t let me… And the wretched seed in all of that is a recognition that you must hate someone else, blame someone else, possibly attack and hurt someone else in order to feel pleased about that situation. Someone else must be destroyed in order for you to survive….
What a terrible path to go down. How primitive….
My friend may have thought that our conversation was about “the patriarchy,” when I was thinking the conversation was about so much more.
My initial response to the idea that men control our lives was that my entire existence is deeply entrenched in a matriarchy. There was no possible way I could be persuaded into believing that a patriarchy exists. My authority figures (my mother and grandmother), my best friends (especially her!), and my biggest champions (you!) are all women….I don’t see a cabal of men out to suppress women, I see the opposite. I see a mass of wonderful women out to support a simple man in a ball cap and boots who knits, embroiders, and reflects in his writing. I see compassionate, caring women. none of them suppressing a man because he is a man and part of the problem. NO! They see me as an individual! I don’t want to speak on their behalf, but I can only think that these women, this matriarchy, value me as the person I am: someone wanting to share love and be loved. No hatred here.
My world is not beset with a desire to find someone to blame. No, I spend my time thanking the Universe constantly for all these amazing women that read what I write and encourage me to write more(!), women that buy my art, women that send materials so that I might create more art.
My friend can say all she wants about the punished life under a patriarchy, while I’ll be crying with joy about the blessings I’ve had under a matriarchy. (Good grief, I am a man in a female dominated scene! It doesn’t seem to have hindered me, it seems to have made people love me. It wasn’t about my gender, it was because of my work!)
I don’t spend my time looking for reasons why I’m a victim, hunting an oppressor, then faulting them for my failures. No, I spend my time thanking the Universe for all the wonderful souls in my life.
And if that’s what you ask for, that’s what you’ll get….
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