I’ve been doing research about myth, the nature of reality, sacred geometry, your general, run-of-the-mill “New Age” theology… And once you get past the cheesy bullshit (of which there is A LOT), there’s some pretty thrilling and exciting information that sort of, well, ties it all together for me. Ties together thoughts about politics, corporate capitalism, the petrolium-industrial-complex, government, religion, colonialism, indigenous rights, human history, shamanism and nature-based spirituality, slavery, oppression, ALL THE THINGS…
And it’s awesome.
But there is one major issues with the whole damn movement (well, a few, but I’m gonna sum it up in one category)… it’s [expletive deleted] MIDDLE-CLASS WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE. It’s everywhere! It’s not just that the Pope uses the male pronoun to refer to all humans in general, it’s that EVERY NEW AGE VIDEO I CAN FIND ALSO DOES IT. Every time I hear the phrase “mankind” I want to slap someone. I mean, not physically, but I just want to grab their face and yell, “THERE’S A BIG FLAW IN YOUR THEOLOGY YOU’RE NOT SEEING”.
All of these videos are talking about this super exciting Consciousness Shift, Cultural Evolution, the Great Golden Age of Glory and Enlightenment, the Procession of the Equinoxes. And I’m right there with you! Until you start talking about how Yin and YanG are “Male and Female Energy”. Until you start talking about the Trinity as “Child, Father, Mother”.
It’s every single video and documentary that completely fails to even acknowledge that EVERY SINGLE [expletive deleted] EXPERT, HOLY GURU, SCIENTIST, they quote and interview is male. It’s the fact that it doesn’t even occur to people to find or consult intersex, homo, queer, spiritual educators – it doesn’t even occur to you that those people might even exist.
Do you know why all of the famous scientists, philosophers, holy teachers of the past Collective Consciousness Memory is male??? I’ll give you a hint… it’s not because of any inherent difference between men & women… it’s BECAUSE WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED. It’s because no one expects women to be those things, so it doesn’t happen. It’s starting to change now… slowly… But still, 25% of women in the US is RAPED. That’s FULLY one quarter of the population. That is NOT equal power. And still again, more than half of that number of men is raped. That is not a society on the edge of greatness, that is a society in need of great, huge, heaping piles of HEALING. DESPERATELY IN NEED OF HEALING. And of course, the first step of healing is acknowledging that you need it.
I tell you, the “New Age” I see described in videos on the internet looks a whole lot like the New Age for middle-class white people, where gender dichotomy still exists, and men still mostly do male things and women still mostly do women things. It is extremely frustrating to see videos, one after another, after another, after another, of white men (and a smattering of wealthy brown men) who profess to be talking about spiritual enlightenment, while they continuously fail to examine the internalized oppression and privileges that they benefit from, through the exploitation of oppressed people and the exploitation of women. It’s just really, really, [large, vociferous expletive deleted] FRUSTRATING. It’s enough to make me want to tell the whole movement to go [expletive deleted] itself.
But then I get back to that old, annoying voice in my head that reminds me… “you don’t go to the golden age of enlightenment, you create it with everyone around you”. And that’s really annoying, because it basically means I don’t get to write anyone off.
So without going into a huge long dissertation about feminist theory (basically, feminism = humanism, and patriarchy oppresses men as much as it oppresses women, just in different ways)… I’ll skip straight to the part about programming.
That is to say, we’re all programmed. Programmed by society, from the moment we’re born. Programmed with the good and the bad. Programmed so thoroughly that we don’t know we’re being programmed. Programmed so thoroughly that we can’t tell the difference between the programming and reality. No one wakes up one day and decides to be an oppressive bigot. It’s absorbed from their environment. It’s the water we swim in. So there you go, humans, I’m not trying to tell anyone that they’re a bad person, or that they’re evil, or anything! I’m only saying that you’ve been programmed with some faulty software… And re-programming yourself, that’s the tricky part. It can be scary and uncomfortable… there are dark shadows and demons in there. But that’s the whole point of enlightenment, right??? Turning the dark shadows into healthy tools…
And here, I think maybe I’ve found a key… everyone keeps talking about how dichotomy is problematic… forcing us into either/or dilemmas, false understandings of how reality works… We’re all trying to get away from dichotomy… but in this age of legal gay marriage, I am shocked that the spiritual community is not working more consciously on breaking-down Gender Dichotomy. You know, that old, MALE or FEMALE, the “Men have Yang Energy and Women have Yin Energy”.
It’s a little long, but this video pretty much sums-up everything I’m ranting against right now. It says, “Male energy is FOCUSED, and Female energy is CREATIVE and RANDOM, neither is better or worse than the other…” It goes on to talk about the flower of life, and how Female energy is made of curves and flow, and how male energy is make of the point between, and straight lines, and solidness, or something…It talked about Yin and Yang.
And that’s exactly the bad programming I’m talking about! It’s not inherently wrong, it’s just overly simplistic, weak, and leaves way too much space for oppressive misinterpretation. It conflates Gender with one’s genitalia, it implies that men and women are incomplete halves of a whole, it implies that Men are one way, and Women are another way… and it completely ignores the existence of anyone in between or outside of that dichotomy! It says, men are made of straight lines and angles, and women are made of curves and fuzzies.
DO YOU SEE HOW THIS COULD BE OPPRESSIVE???
It completely ignores the fact that the Yin is pushing on the Yang, just as the Yang is pulling on the Yin… They are exactly the same… just different expressions of it, different sides of the flow, one is not the mirror of the other, the mirror is two-sided and it reflects back to both sides, and at the same time as it shows the darkness to the light. It’s like looking through a two-way mirror that is constantly shifting from transparent reflective, and back again. One cannot exist without the other because they are already ONE, the same, every part of the whole also containing the whole within itself…
It’s not that I want everyone to be same, it’s that I want everyone to be free to express themselves as they are, confident that they are whole and complete, not searching after some missing half. It’s that I want to create space for people whose bodies are made of straight lines, but whose thoughts are full of curves, and people whose bodies are made of curves, but whose thoughts are made of straight lines, and people who want to shift their expression of their gender from day to day, moment to moment, as fits their thoughts. Because gender is a social construction.
Genitalia, yes that’s a little more static, but eve there, there is such an amazing and dizzying variety of human genitalia… a dizzying variety of shape, size, and ambiguity. Do you know that every single human human fetus starts out androgenous and genital growth is stimulated by the complex mix of hormones in the womb? That a clitoris is made of exactly the same tissue as a penis, and ovaries are made of of exactly the same tissue as testicles, we’re the same, we’re just shaped differently.
And yes, there is objective fact that motherhood is a receiving, nurturing, creative activity, and that fatherhood is giving, guarding, protecting activity. But to create such tiny little boxes out of those facts… to ignore the broad, complex tapestry of the reality that within every mother there is a whole, complete universe, with active, pushing, affecting energy, and within every father there is a whole universe with nurturing, flowing, creating energy…
We humans… we are the shapeshifters… so why do we keep trying to put ourselves in static boxes? Because in reality… that energy… the energy that makes up the universe, it’s all mixed-up together… and it looks more like this:
And holy heck, isn’t that awesome!?!?!?!
Because I want to be free to be a woman who embodies action, power, leadership, mechanical skill, scientific brilliance, sexual autonomy, natural confidence… without being told I’m “acting like a man”. In fact, I want to be a human whose baseline gender is NEUTRAL, and I put on gender expression like an outfit, as it pleases me. Whether I’m wearing high heals and a short dress and makup, or tuxedo slacks and a cumberbun and a bow tie, I’m not dressed like a man or a woman, I’m dressed like myself.
And I want men to be free to express themselves as silly, sexy, tidy, enjoying a clean house, loving to cook, nursing their loved ones, nurturing their children, arranging flowers, without feeling like they’re “being feminine.”
So… have I made my case? Have I explained well enough? Can I say that language matters? It software protocol. Language dictates the shape of thoughts that it is possible to have. So pronouns matter. It matters, whether or not you refer to humans as “people” or as “mankind”. It matters whether or not you refer to a person of ambiguous or unknown gender as “they” or as “he”.
At the very least, just, please, please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please STOP REFERRING TO MALE & FEMALE ENERGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Call them giving & receiving, action & meditation, flow & resistance, push & pull… ANYTHING! Just don’t equate them with gender!!!!!!!!! It’s not incorrect… it’s just… weak programming that allows space for
One last point, and maybe this needs to be a blog post of it’s own… but it’s part of this thought. People don’t have to be talking about the “New Age”, the procession of the equinoxes, or even use the word “spirit” in order to be doing the cultural evolution, spiritual enlightenment work that you’re talking about.
It doesn’t even matter whether or not a person believes in anything beyond the physical reality in front of them. Every time a person takes the time to heal a personal relationship, to focus on their own healing journey, to think about the world being a better, more loving place, they are doing the work.
And by this, I also mean that people who are doing social justice work… anti-oppression work, people who are talking about “examining privilege”, people who are playing with their gender, people who may challenge you and call you racist, sexist, classist… people who may hurt your feelings and make you feel uncomfortable… people who might be so traumatized by their experience of oppression that they are simply full of anger and hate… they are all doing your spiritual evolution work.
So here you go, here’s just one more layer of reality, one more dimension for you to “wake up” to.