These words have been rumbling around in my headspace for a few days now. I’ve been putting words and words and more words onto the page since the Newtown tragedy. Nothing I wrote felt like it would contribute to what was already being said. Until now. Until these two words… for what?
For what is all of this work with women?
For what are we finding our power?
For what are we wanting equality?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s all for…the children.
Yes, for the children. For ALL the world’s children.
For us, women and men, to heal whatever it is between us for the sake of the children.
I know this. I know this. And, my mind searches for answers to how to do this, for answers on why Friday’s tragedy happened. There are tons of people looking for answers, and many more readily providing them.
What my heart keeps going back to is this damn system, the system we live under. The patriarchy is rotten at its core. This rotten system conditions us all, women and men, to believe things about ourselves, our gender, and the masculine and feminine, that are rotten at their core. The system denies real beauty. It denies the love that is in our hearts. A system that puts us into a hierarchy, that parcels out value and privilege, that teaches us to fear and distrust each other does all of this in order to keep the system going, to keep the system alive. And it does this through each of us. We do it. We uphold the system.
This systemic upheaval, violence, and pain feeds the broken relationship between the genders, between men and women, between the masculine and feminine, within us and outside of us. And, it is destroying lives.
We, both women and men, must turn, together, side by side, to look at the system itself, to see it for what it is. We, both men and women, must have the courage to do this.
Men are not patriarchy. Patriarchy is a system that says men have the power. And, we all uphold by playing into the system to get our needs met, when we believe we are owed something, when we believe that it is only hard work that has gotten us what we have, when we believe we are better than others, when we believe we must fear and hate others, and when we are too afraid to turn to look at what we are all capable of doing even though it is right in front of our eyes.
So, I say this to myself:
I must realize that my privilege is not real.
I do not deserve anything simply because of who I am.
I am not entitled to anything simply because of my gender, or the color of my skin, or my sexual preference, or my religious beliefs.
And, when I question the system it does not mean I am blaming the ‘other’ for the ills of the world.
I ask myself:
Can I be adult enough to see that it is in the children’s best interest (and in all of our best interest) to be in conversation with you, to find some way out of this system, to heal this fear and distrust between us all?
I hope you will ask yourself, too.
A new time begins tomorrow, a time described here by Evo Morales, President of Bolivia to the UN General Assembly, 67th Session, 2012:
“…according to the Mayan Calendar the 21st of December marks the end of the time and the beginning of no-time. It is the end of the Macha & the beginning of the Pacha. It is the end of selfishness & the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism & the beginning of collectivism… the 21st of December this year. The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a biocentric life. It is the end of hatred & the beginning of love. The end of lies & the beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness & the beginning of joy. It is the end of division & the beginning of unity.”