The Collapse of Patriarchy

This is a pivotal time in history as women’s voices are collectively fortified and encouraged.

Scores of us are coming out across all industries and walks-of-life to tell our stories, revealing what happened to us regarding sexual harassment, abuse, or about how we mold ourselves to meet the expectations of men with whom we live or work–fearing the consequences if we didn’t acquiesce to an implied inferiority. Women now, at this “pivotal time,” have an opportunity to rise up and transcend the bullies—either those in our external world or the voices in our hearts and souls, whispering echoes of unworthiness. No longer are we rendered powerless.

Self Belonging by Luann Robinson Hull

As a result of some courageous torch bearers who have been willing to take great risks for self-advocacy as well as to help others, toxic male players in our culture are being exposed for who and what they are–tumbling in what appears to be a major seismic fault in the patriarchal system. Sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein was incredulous when he repeatedly mumbled, “But I’m innocent,” even as his verdict was read to him by a Judge. Nor did the jurors agree. He was found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual acts in the 1st degree, bringing his 7-week New York trial to conviction in the central criminal case of the #MeToo movement.

At the height of his career as Hollywood film producer, would the all-powerful Weinstein have ever imagined he’d one day be on trial and subsequently found guilty for his conduct with women behind closed doors? Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. praised the women, who testified against Weinstein as “brave” and “heroic” saying the accusers, Miriam Holly and Jessica Mann, “have changed the course of history by exposing a vicious, serial, sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate, and silence women.”

While I know what I am about to say may not be popular…

In order to avoid vilifying all men in general at this pivotal time, I feel it is important to examine how women have been influenced by the patriarchal culture over the course of human history. Don’t we also have to ask how we might have participated in perpetuating it—whether consciously or not?

Among the many gifts that an old flame’s re-emergence in my life has helped me to remember is that my own patterns in the past were a fractal of the co-dependent female archetype—a part of which is still alive among many of us–though hopefully diminishing its influence. That fractal is immersed in need, fear, and dependency—perhaps similar to what some of Weinstein’s prey may have experienced in finding themselves helplessly vulnerable to his unconscionable treachery. Gratefully, this old boyfriend’s re-entry in my life illuminated my field of self-love/self-advocacy—helping me to realize I’ve come a long way in this journey of learning to stand up for myself (by believing I’m worth it), fortified by a host of amazing mentors with remarkable grit and gumption—similar to that of Holly and Mann.

Now I want to be very clear here…

This former beau never abused me in any way. Did he neglect me? Quite possibly. But his most noteworthy “crime” was a perpetual lack of commitment, which I allowed and enabled by my own continuous lack of advocacy while repeatedly attempting to fit into his world—rather than considering my own goals and dreams. That I behaved this way was not in any way his responsibility. It was my own. His recent re-entry and subsequent exit from my life has also helped me to consider what I hope will also come tumbling down along with ‘male-players’ like Weinstein (and the patriarchal hierarchy of which they have been a part). That is for any propensity by me or other women to be further tempted to see ourselves as victims—emphasizing how we may have been “wronged” by that patriarchal system, without first recognizing and taking responsibility for our own possible participation in sustaining it.

I know, it’s hard to imagine that women could have enabled such a system, but if you are willing, please hear me out. For example:

  • Did I ever try to morph into whatever persona I thought I needed to be to please and placate “my man?” Most definitely.
  • Did I ever cower and cave in when facing perceived abandonment? You bet.
  • Did I ever quiet my voice when I should have spoken up? Absolutely.
  • Did I ever diminish my own needs while highlighting those of my partner? Indeed.

There is no evidence of grit or gumption in passive behavior…

Please understand that I have enormous compassion for myself (finally) and for other women who may not have thought we had a choice other than to acquiesce. That I behaved this way, was not the fault of “my man.” I most certainly wouldn’t let him off the hook for being a life-long “commitment freak.” He must be held accountable for his part in perpetuating the patriarchal story—but this post is not about him or how he “wronged” me. What I am speaking out about is how his behavior inspired me to raise the question of how women and men—human beings sharing one planet–can come together in heartfelt conversations and loving action to reconcile the human story. I believe reconciliation is essential to awakening Ancient prophecies, which may be our only salvation as a species.

These prophecies call for the forces of Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energy to emerge and resonate on planet Earth.

Dear sisters, if this is going to happen isn’t it up to each and every one of us to do our part in reaching that possibility? In stepping into our divinity, isn’t it our moral imperative to cultivate the true creation that we embody rather than sculpting ourselves into whatever we perceive might be expected of us by others? Can we take individual responsibility for our part in acquiescing to the suffering and drama we’ve permitted our partners to inflict upon us? Can we use our past wounds as reminders to continue recruiting the all-powerful Life Urge that’s always ready within us, to exponentially accelerate our evolutionary destiny?

How do we begin (or continue) on such a course—to become the true creations that we really are? The renowned poet, David Whyte offers a suggestion in his beautiful book, The Heart Aroused, (pp. 136):

“One way to come to yes (in discovering our most creative nature) is to say no to everything (and every person) that does not nourish or entice our secret inner life out into the world.”

Whyte goes on to quote poet Rainer Maria Rilke in emphasizing the point: “I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone.”

At this magical time in history, can we afford to let ourselves become distracted by those who do not bring us more fully alive? Isn’t every moment persuaded by a distraction one wasted? …when instead it could be spent in moving toward our most optimal potential?

Rest easy. If you’ve patiently hung in while reading this piece all the way through—you know what to do. You’ve got this.

Believing in you,

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