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Freedom From Sexual Violence? April 17, 2006

Posted by sybil in Phallocracy.
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I emerge from my cave to Blog Against. I look around my memory bank for what’s been prominent since I last wrote. This harpy is known to be shrewish, but it wasn’t her intent to have her only contribution into the atmosphere be as an Anti. But then, not much in my life has gone according to intention.

The things that are lodged in my craw this moon, post the South Dakota disaster: Black woman violated at Duke University; Rep. Cynthia McKinney trashed for choosing a different (more natural) hairstyle; Nigerian women bloggers being hounded and harassed and abused; Pakistani bloggers being denied their voice; boys being*broomed* by their caretakers; the obscenity that was compounded over and over again by the abuse of a drugged 16 year-old, the filming of that ghoulish act, and the equally heinous insistence that the young woman watch her own debasement, the perpetrators slapped on the wrists; African women infected with AIDS by men who may or may not be ignorant, that ignorance being fostered by the United States and it’s insistence on an AIDS campaign based on abstinence and nay-saying; a whole generation of African children raised by elderly grandmothers after their mothers succumb to deaths which are preventable.
What about the *human trafficking*, the politically correct term for slavery? What about the sexual violence of not giving kids real sex education?

After a lifetime of trying to prove that I wasn’t overly sensitive, I succumbed to an illness that is defined by my sensitivity, which defines me as utterly vulnerable, fragile. I recognize my genetic predisposition. And I have also had to acknowledge the toll of sexual violence in my white middle-class upbringing that marked my nervous system out for failure. Because I was, in fact, overly sensitive, even though not the victim of rape or incest, the level of sexual menace and male privilege imprinted itself deep within my brain and nervous system, leaving me with symptoms of both impaired circuitry, and post traumatic stress. I share this not to equate my suffering with the stories I highlighted above, but to note how easy it is to be damaged for life, how fragile the human psyche really is. And yet, we deny the damage inflicted by the horrors we visit upon people. Children raised in homes where they are not wanted, in refugee camps and detention centres; all manner of stigmatisation at an early age; generations of non-white citizens raised amidst dying hopes for racial equality and equity; the early sexualization of children, especially girls, to keep the capitalist machine profitable: the roots of sexual violence go deep and spread far.

blacklooks writes on Gendercide

In a recent article in the International Herald Tribune, Somali/Dutch MP, Ayaan Hirsi Ali commented that the 200 million demographically missing women and the 2-3 million women who die annually as a direct result of gender based violence amounted to genocide. The article points out why and how women are dying and speaks powerfully about the work that needs to be done by us all.

How are women dying?

Domestic violence, abortion of female foetus, murder of female babies, neglect of female children in favour of male children, honour killings, dowry killings, death during child birth due to inadequate health care provision for women, female genital mutilation, rape, trafficking of women.

Why are women dying?

Because human rights do not apply to women; because culture and religious fundamentalists values take precedent over the rights of women. Because the women’s movement in the West has failed to support our sisters in the South. Because we sit by and ignore what we see in our families and communities. Because women collude with men in the oppression and murder of their sisters. Because we are not sufficiently OUTRAGED by the murder of 2-3 million women a year and the disappearance of 200 million.


Violet Socks:

Certainly there were racist and classist elements in the Duke incident. But men all over the world get together in packs to rape women, including women of their own social group. From Afghan tribesmen to Orange County high school students, gang rape is just something that men do.

Pam Spaulding comments,

It’s pretty sobering to see this anti-gay graffiti chalking at Michigan Tech University. There are more photos of such filth as “Shoot and kill every f*cking fag” and “Mutilate gay people.”

And,

Yavapai County prosecutor James Landis said his office never considered the “broomings” as sexual in nature. Rather, he described what happened as a form of punishment or discipline.

He has said his office could not prove Bennett and Wheeler had any sexual intent.

He said the case likely would have been treated differently if the victims were girls or if there was evidence that the defendants were homosexual .
d the disappearance of 200 million.

Ilona Jasiewicz asks,

what is the most common gender-related hate crime but rape?

She argues for re-classifying rape from a sex crime to a hate crime, to make clear that the motive of rape is power – not passion.

Hate crimes are seen as more serious and worse than sex crimes.

What’s universal? In every part of the globe, in all parts of the globe, women live in and with fear. Fear of their own sexuality, fear of men and boys, fear of transgressing mores and norms, many of which are enforced by other women. Fear that is now used as a weapon against us all, not only women, in these days of terrorists and so-called terrorists, fundamentalists of all persuasions persuading followers and would-be, wanna-be followers of the need to incite fear in others, hatred and suspicion of others. These are the universals we’re now elevating as pillars of globalism.

The true values being perpetrated by the patriarchal societies do not have women’s well-being in mind. We serve as baby factories. As such, we are commodities that must be protected from negative influences. Except rape and abuse. There, too, we are commodities, devalued in comparison with any male person.

Freedom From Sexual Violence?

Is freedom possible for women? Will the human female ever experience freedom of her own person? When every religion justifies its repression and suppression of women? When women the world over are struggling for acceptability within the confines of their social, cultural, religious structures, when women are denounced, the term feminist derided, because WE WANT OUR EQUALITY. I rage and weep; if I were conditioned differently I would pull out my hair, rip my clothing, eat dirt, sink into a coma. I rail against the patriarchy, its stranglehold on life, on the very essence and notions of life itself.

Journey to Conscious Femininity April 16, 2006

Posted by sybil in Wise Words.
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The eternal feminine is thrusting her way into contemporary consciousness. Shekinah, Kwan Yin, Sophia, whatever her name, she is the manifestation of the divine in matter. Among her many faces are the Black Madonna, White Buffalo Woman, Shakti, Kali, Aphrodite. Hers are the ways of peace, compassion, reverence for life and death in the oneness of nature. Knowing her has nothing to do with blindly stumbling toward a fate we think we cannot avoid. It has everything to do with developing consciousness until it is strong enough to hold tension as a creative energy. In the turmoil of our time, we are being called to a new order of reality. Working toward that consciousness, we suffer, but our suffering opens us to the wounds of the world and the love that can heal. It is our immediate task to relate to the emerging feminine whether she comes to us in dreams, in the loss of those we love, in body disease, or in ecological distress. Each of us in our own way is being brought face to face with Her challenge.

Conscious femininity is not bound to gender. It belongs to both men and women. Although in the history of the arts, men have articulated their femininity far more than women, women are now becoming custodians of their own feminine consciousness. For centuries, men have projected their inner image of femininity, raising it to a consciousness that left women who accepted the projection separated from their own reality. They became artifacts rather than people. The consciousness attributed to them was a consciousness projected onto them. That projection was sometimes an idealized image of beauty and truth, a sphinx or a dragon. Whatever it was, it could not be an incarnated woman. A man does not have a womb, and the embodiment of of his femininity is, therefore, different from a woman’s.

The fact remains, however, we are all human beings. We are all the children of patriarchy. While our culture depends upon three thousand years of cultural process focused through masculine eyes, it has been won at high cost. What began as masculine values has degenerated into lust for control. Power has bludgeoned both our femininity and our masculinity. We all function with these two different energies. As health and growth depend on both dark and light, so maturity depends on an inner balance between Yin and Yang, Shakti and Shiva, Being and Doing. I prefer to call these energies femininity and masculinity because their biological images appear in dreams and their interaction or lack of interaction reveals harmony or chaos in the psyche. For me, these words are not gender-bound.

Conscious Femininity…has to do with bringing the wisdom in nature to consciousness. For too long we have taken the instinctual Mother Goddess for granted. In our own bodies, in our Earth, we have assumed she would nourish and protect us. We have wallowed in sentimental images. Over centuries, we have forgotten her, reviled her, raped her. Now we will either integrate her laws into consciousness or we will die. There is an evolutionary process at work on our planet and we can only hope that out of this present death, sanity will come. Thus far in our history, the unconscious feminine has been associated with instinct; now the conscious feminine is bringing light to instinct, illuminating nature with new images that come to us in our dreams and in creative work.

The task of releasing the feminine from the tyrannical power of the driven, crazed masculine is long and arduous. The process is just as difficult inside as it is outside. Observing it abstractedly is one thing, experiencing it personally is quite another….

Our culture is riddled with the loss of feeling values because so many stories go on in the soul but are never heard. Many people have long since forgotten what they do value, and, if they do remember, they try to forget. They want to be successful in a competitive society. They want to be loved, whatever that means, when they are pretending to be someone they are not. They are so adolescent they dare not look at themselves. That would mean taking responsibility for who they are. They dare not reflect themselves to themselves; they dare not look at the tapestry of their lives spun every night in the images of their dreams. This is a tragic loss because these images shape our inner and outer lives. Without a conscious connection to them, life is lived unconsciously. With a conscious connection, life is connected to its creative source. And because these images are continually evolving–daily in analysis if the heat is hot enough–our close relationship to them assures a link between the conscious ego and the creative energy that keeps the story vital, whole, and holy.

In finding our own story, we assemble all the parts of ourselves. Whatever kind of mess we have made of it, we can somehow see the totality of who we are and recognize how our blunderings are related. We can own what we did and value who we are, not because of the outcome but because of the soul story that propelled us. that story is our individual myth.

Marion Woodman, Leaving My Father’s House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity, 1992 pp 1-2,6. emphasis added