Guest Column: ‘Me Too’: A chance to heal our wounding from Patriarchy around sex and intimacy, by Hilary Bowring*

Patriarchy is at the root of many societal problems….from Poverty to Addiction to ‘Me too’.

Patriarchy flows from Aristotle, the Greek philosopher(384 BCE) who portrayed women as inferior to men; as the property of men; whose role was to reproduce and to serve men in the household; saw male domination as natural and virtuous.

And the idea took off! I guess because back then the “P” wanted to conquer the world with armies of men trained as heartless warriors.Over time Patriarchy has become an archetypal energyand is in women too—ever seen the movie Philomena where the Irish nuns let the unwed girls die in childbirth because they had sinned?

Finally after 2000 years the archetypal influence has been dissolving through the power of Feminism in the last century to help liberate women towards equal status with men. And is now evolving further to another level to be able to see this being not entirely female gender based… as men were allocated rigid roles as soldiers, providers, defenders …and became cannon fodder in wars…..Time to liberate men too!

Patriarchal energy devalues feminine qualitiesof vulnerability and compassion in both men and women and suppresses any individual assertion that defies the status quo.We can break away when we challenge this paradigm. Hence the massive value of ‘Me too’as a catalyst to break the old vanguard.

Time for healing for women and men

Me Too…This is a big conversation best held in a non dual, neutral place. Not to pit women and men against each other. The current female anger is absolutely valid as it’s a very emotional subject, and traumatic for some; held in silence for too long. My hope is we can see it as a conversation that is enlightening and evolutionary for both men and women, not a victim /perpetrator fight. I guess I could readily see ‘Me too’ also being about men abused by men as my late husband was sexually abused as a boy by his choir master. His parents didn’t believe him. They couldn’t accept the word of a child. This is monstrous abuse using a position of power to get sex and threatening adverse consequences if not delivered… The sexual predators.

In general there is more potential for sexual abuse from men as they are biologically different to women. Testosterone fuels aggression and sexual desire and the patriarchal energy placates this behaviour with ‘boys will be boys’. However this biology can be harnessed when the higher human values of mutual respect are in place, as is the case with men who are emotionally mature. We need to teach boys how to treat women from when they are young. Need realistic Sex-ed!

I believe women saying ‘No’ very clearly both individually and collectively is key to the change and more women will do so after all this publicity and support for Me Too. Reporting long after the fact by some is due to being traumatized to a place of ‘shut down’ not being able to revisit the dreadful memory. Others hold back due to fear of being accused of lying, or low self-esteem, lack of courage to speak. It’s so good to voice and release the pain….

Like every woman, pretty well, I had my own ‘Me too’, I did say ‘No’ relatively easily as it was a slimy verbal proposition. There were consequences, I lost my job but the gates opened to other jobs and in fact my career flourished after that. A lesser experience than many-I was not raped & silenced with a hand over my mouth or gang raped. Who could speak up and readily after that unspeakable torture!!

But the average guy has not done that kind of thing to a woman. Clumsy flirting, Yes! Objectifying of women, Yes! Because men are conditioned to be brave, dominant and fearless, and not taught to respect women. Also taught to not show their feelings so relating to women has been a challenge for many. Believing in a formula to attract women based on being powerful, macho and unattainable has created a form of masculine toxicity. Perpetuated by early James Bond movies…….(I like the evolution to better M:F balance in Daniel Craig:)

‘Me too’ can be seen as a cry for Healing for all of us.

Healing both men and women with education and therapy. Bringing gender fairness and empowerment to women and dissolving toxic masculinity in men by opening their hearts to compassionate maleness. Of course the rapists and predators need to be removed from power and from society for rehabilitation..

Spiritual perspective on Me Too

This perspective starts from a belief that we are spirits in human bodies who are part of One Consciousness. Involved in a play of consciousness to learn and expand awareness. A theatre of illusion. However our egos can hold a mistaken sense of identity as just this physical body, feeling separate and alone, fearful, creating problems of divisiveness. Forgotten our Oneness as spirits.

To step up into a state of tolerance is to try to see the spirit in the other person, the loving essence there even when hidden under layers of ignorance. We are loving beings who make mistakes and we’ve all hurt someone at some time or another but some have committed actions that are more deadly than others…

Part of our journey is to get back to the state of Love and to see the ‘otherness’, the hate, the bitterness in others as coming from a place of deep wounding in themselves, people who are not awakened to who they are as Love….If we can imagine this truth then we can forgive the aberrational behaviour and bring in the healing quality of love. Unfortunately the justice system is encoded with Patriarchy. It’s an adversarial system pointing fingers and blaming and out for punishment– not about healing…If we only punishmistakes the person is going kick back harder… Love is the most powerful force and if someone feels they are in the presence of someone who sees who they are at core they can reconnect.

Forgiveness –forgiving of love and understanding is powerful, bringing us inner and outer peace! Sometimes our physical body can still hold trauma that will override any ability for forgiveness until it’s healed.

I’d like us to share a Forgiveness Meditation now, but would suggest the person you bring in to forgive not be someone actively triggering you………

Forgiveness meditation

 

*Healer, Writer, Teacher