Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things I Want to Write About and Sort Of Just Did

This writing a blog a day thing is perhaps not the best way to write about everything I want to write about but it does get me here. I still can't do much about the time and energy thing...

So here's a list of some things I know I want to write about:

A heart-wrenching story in the Globe and Mail yesterday about a Yemeni family that was quite liberal and culturally hip in the 70s that is now full of women in burkhas and the ideological equivalent in ideas.

I find this story relevant for two main reasons: 1) my daughters are growing up in this world where Islamic fundamentalism basically rules and fucks around with a huge swath of humanity and 2) I find it interesting to compare this family's transformation--as their environment became more unstable and more hard-line, so did their beliefs--to my quite fundamental Christian and Mormon students who, while part of quite conservative churches, exhibit much more open-mindedness than their religions spout. (My theory is that their relatively safe, free and liberal environment allows them to move beyond the scary dogma stuff. I also hasten to add that neither of these religions is even close to as scary and violent in their dogma as fundamentalist Islam. For instance, I know of no Mormons or evangelical Christians who wish to martyr themselves by blowing up heathen.)

Another article I read in the Globe recently in which the often shallow and annoying, but in this case relevant, Margaret Wente discusses the deep dark secret (yeah, nobody knows) of men with Martin Amis, who is one of the few men with enough balls to talk about it: "Violence against women is the great curse of masculinity." He also argues that Islamic extremists have no place in our society. I just looked at the article again and I agree with everything he says.

This brings me to an issue that often bedevils me, the far aheadness of women in terms of consciousness. Alpha males are destroying the planet. What do the non-violent/non-survival of the fittest males have to say about it? Not too much as far as I can observe. I was in a conversation on Friday about how I haven't had to endure a male-dominated, competitive environment since my Maclean's days (with a brief tenure associated with the City of Lethbridge). In one of my M Ed classes we learned about work environments. I can't seem to find all four terms: there was the really horrible and damaging, the quite stuck and more quietly damaging (like Maclean's and the U of L), the "benign" (like LC), and the "generative" (anywhere???). We never discussed how the first two are full of crazed alpha-male behaviour.

This brings me to menstruation. And an annoying article in the Globe this week about how lots of women go to university and blah blah blah but aren't yet in power centres like CEO positions and politics.

It's not the most important question. The most important and invisible question or issue is the value of femininity and motherhood and children. When you live in a world and the water you swim in is masculine, good stuff for women and children is seen through a masculine lens. Getting better jobs and day care is not the point, although in a world of clitoral chopping and marrying girls at 9, what the heck, let's aim for better jobs and day care--I do get it. It's just that the whole value of feminine energy is completely not in the ken of almost anyone. Mother love may just be the world's most important resource. Yet it is completely unimportant in most realms. Love, nurturance, holding, allowing, being with one's body (menstruation on a woman's terms; I wonder if any woman on Earth has experienced this?), being with one's body means being more able to be respectful to the earth, etc. etc. This is what women can do (part of being really smart and conscious) and what has been taken from them. Non-violent, non-alpha-male men may argue that they haven't got life in their body to be lived on their own terms either and I would agree. So start speaking the fuck up.

My shamanic healer and friend Betty says we are moving into an era where the masculine energy is finally doing what it has always been supposed to do (check up on chivalry, for instance), support the feminine energy. I see it in terms of how men in my circle are fairly supportive of their wives and children in ways that fathers in my day would have been laughed off the block. I see it in other ways, too, like the way more people are aware of how the world is connected. Compartmentalizing is a masculine skill, connectedness is feminine. But I am often frightened.

Tonight, Claire, told me she is sad because I will die. I held her and tried to talk about how life is full of happy/sad (conversation not being her favoured means of communicating that's about as far as we went). This too is feminine, holding the happy/sad. I.e. allowing feelings, dealing with feelings, feeling.

There's more but I'll stop here for tonight. Status update: Tasha is happy/sad.

p.s. Don't know how to make the links linky.

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