I Believe Her

One of the reasons Republicans can go ahead with Kavanaugh’s confirmation while a good many of them find Dr. Ford’s allegations credible is that they place such a low value on the sanctity of a woman’s right to her own body, her own space, her own time, her own mind. And, yet, at the same time, they place a premium on her ability to smooth ruffled feathers, look “pleasing”, be “pleasing”, and basically push all the buttons that mommy presumably failed to do so many years ago, or did so well they’ve never realized the world isn’t mommy.
We are, at once, compelled to nurse and coddle our men while simultaneously empowering them to be all they can be, as if the fact that they require our perpetual hand-holding isn’t enough to challenge the very idea that they are empowered, much less that it might present the credible question of whether or not the whole paradigm needs to be tossed.
This speaks to why a man can speak up after 40 years of silence and declare a priest his abuser and not be ridiculed. He is not a responsible party in that paradigm of the feminine burden; he is, instead, the one who receives the benefit of the doubt and the one whose sexuality – especially if it fits the hegemonic mold – precludes him from any doubt, for surely, as a man, to admit he was overpowered and violated (since his role, his duty is to be perpetually empowered and in control) is the greatest violation of the paradigm. Why would any man admit to something happening to him, something especially that challenges the myth of masculine domination and strength?
Women, on the other hand, are responsible for perpetuating the myth, for being the ones who, by their less than, second-class, weaker status affirm the superiority of the male. We are meant to be inspiring and inspired, independent and yet not to the point of challenging male superiority, accommodating, brilliant, child-bearing, gorgeous and never-failing in the face of unyielding criticism even when we are called out for abandoning the great paradigm or for merely stepping a toe out of those maddening realms – we must first be sure we held our faces just right. If we cannot make everyone around us at least comfortable, then we must not either try too hard to make folks happy in too obvious a way otherwise, we may make folks ill at ease. We must grin and bear it when the product of our efforts to fall in line do not always go according to plan. The great white God is truly, intentionally a motherfucker from where I’m sitting, for he is a creation of patriarchy.
I was told by my father when on the cusp of my 20’s that “anything that happens between you and a guy is your fault.” Anything. The great burden. You wore those clothes. You looked him in the eye. You didn’t look him in the eye. You smiled. You didn’t smile. You had an attitude. You spoke your mind. You rocked the boat. You left the house, the car, the building.
I believed him for many years. I believed him until I birthed a daughter. Then it all fell apart.
Besides the feminine burden of upholding it and a host of other common human frailties, the myth of male domination rests on the brute power of the male form and the ability of a man to hold a woman down, to take the time to put his hand over her mouth, or tower over her with his fists balled, or to quote scripture at her about her wifely duties or to yell and bluster in the face of accountability before a judiciary committee. Ad Infinitum.
The GOP and many who claim Christ as their great Saviour (as did my father at the time he declared me wholly responsible for all the actions of a male towards me) rely on the myth of the work of the Cross as one that requires nothing more than that you accept it. And from there? Well, much like the t and c club, you’re a member. You can do anything except challenge the paradigm. If you’re a woman, forget it. You can’t do anything. There are only certain things and only in certain ways especially if you have had a child. This slice of “Christianity” doesn’t actually possess a moral compass apart from the paradigm that upholds the myth. You must not challenge the paradigm. That is their great “morality” and they believe in it fully.
I watched Dr. Ford yesterday and was simultaneously grieved, devastated and beyond thrilled that someone would embody such power and courage in the face of that myth. And that Anita Hill did this very thing years ago enduring the violation and ridicule, that we are still right here enrages me.
We are not going to progress by pulling back and we aren’t going to be free of the paradigm if we don’t upend it fully.
I’m so very proud of Dr. Ford and of everyone who has rallied for investigations and, at the same time, I salute those men who stand with women outside the myth, who know their true power rests, not in domination, but in welcoming the dance.

God Re-Visited And Freedom’s Truth

The view from Alan Watts’ brilliant perspective, voiced here:

“In the West we have always admitted in theory that truly moral acts must be expressions of freedom. Yet we have never allowed this freedom, never permitted ourselves to be everything that we are, to see that fundamentally all the gains and losses, rights and wrongs of our lives are as natural and “perfect” as the peaks and valleys of a mountain range. For in identifying God, the Absolute, with a goodness excluding evil we make it impossible for us to accept ourselves radically: what is not in accord with the will of God is at variance with Being itself and must not under any circumstances be accepted. Our freedom is therefore set about with such catastrophic rewards and punishments that it is not freedom at all, but resembles rather the totalitarian state in which one may vote against the government but always at the risk of being sent to a concentration camp. Instead of self-acceptance, the groundwork of our thought and action has therefore been metaphysical anxiety, the terror of being ultimately wrong and rotten to the core.”

Nature, Man and Woman

I recall my father saying of the devil – when I was a bit of an argumentative kid going on and on about the discrepancies in judgements of right and wrong, good vs. evil and how much God does or does not get involved and if he’s in control then why doesn’t he stop this said devil – “He’s God’s Devil.” Wrap your mind around that one.

And remember in Job, what did God say to this keeper of evil? “Have you considered my servant Job?” In other words, “I dare you to knock him around, to rape his family and kill them. Do it!!!” What a huge challenge to simply prove that one man would not curse God. How holy is that?

I don’t know why I’m dragging this out but I am. No. Now I know why. I’m realizing, more and more, that I’m more invested in being an oppression ouster than anything else. And there are beliefs and whole attitudes of living that originate in this wrong notion of God as the tooth fairy or as, cringe, “good.” Why d’ya suppose he forbade such knowledge?

Courtesy of Dave Grant
Courtesy of Dave Grant

I have days where I’m just not so sure I believe in any God’s existence. And then I stand under trees. God/dess is not yet and never will be measured by any religion, philosophy or belief system. But take a deep breath, feel the pulse of the earth of this planet, of your own body and you know the truth. And it’s all good/evil. It’s all there. In the blink of an eye, one moment can wipe out a life or birth another. How is that “good?” It simply is…

Alligators, rainbows and humans too! So, how can this God be good? Do we have to decree a final verdict? I think that, instead, I will go walk through the wet grass barefoot, breathe, feel, know without logic.

jrk