From Patriarchy to Partnership
Anodea Judith www.sacredcenters.com
All right you guys, I hate to say it, but we women are getting back on our high
horse again. About patriarchy that is.
Yes, the P word is an overused, much abused, politically incorrect word that
links too many decent and loving men with a system they didn’t invent and
don’t know how to change. For that reason you probably don’t want to hear
about it. I certainly don’t blame you. Women got tired of talking about it. But
silence isn’t working either.
The system I’m talking about isn’t necessarily related to what’s between your
legs, despite the fact that it still looks that way when you examine who’s making
the laws, wasting the money, waging the wars, and fondling the altar boys. There
are plenty of women who wear masculine suits altered to a fashionable length so
they can do the same thing you do, and with the same patriarchal values we all
live by. Nevertheless, a civil rights movement of the divine feminine is brewing
up a storm that just may bring an end to the millennia of drought that all but
dried up the feminine flow of contribution. It may be just in the nick of time.
Of course we’re all in this together, but try looking at it from our point of view:
What if it was women who had been in charge for the last 5000 years and had disempowered your gender from participating in anything resembling power,
wealth, or status and then you had to watch us run the world into this much of
a mess? Wouldn’t you be a little antsy to take the steering wheel out our hands
before we drove civilization over the cliff?
But then imagine that in order to have even the slightest influence on anything
relevant you had to master running in high heels to catch a bus to work while
single parenting two kids, and were then discounted because your hair didn’t
look right or your butt was too big? We raise the kids and then watch you send
them off to war. And you want to tell us we don’t have a right to decide what
happens inside our own body?
One of things women want more than anything is for men to understand how
it looks from their side. So imagine if you’d been forced to worship god in Her
image, burning you at the stake if you dared to suggest otherwise, until the mere
idea of a Divine Masculine was either preposterous, archaic, or irrelevant? Would
you think something might be missing?
It’s time the Abrahamic religions took a little moral inventory. Your gods have
not exactly been peaceful or pleasant, and they haven’t left the world in better
shape than they found it when they took it away from the Goddess and threw
her into the Underworld 500 years ago. Isn’t it time we got her out?
So here’s all we’re asking for. Ask for help. From the women that is. Whether
you find them working around you, below you, or lying next to you in bed – ask
us what we think about things. Ask us how we would do it when you’re stumped.
We just might have some suggestions about how to clean up this mess. After all
we’ve been cleaning up after you and the kids since time began and you know
we’re general better housekeepers.
There’s nothing to fear here. We don’t want your jobs. We don’t want to take
over. We certainly don’t want a matriarchy. We still love you. We honor the
hard work you do, the contributions you make, and all you have achieved to
deliver us from the grim realities of living in dirt hovels.
We just want to be in partnership, to work together, to be able to make our
contribution, right along side yours. But we want to be able to do it our way
once in awhile. Bring in a little touch of the sacred, some soft music, flowers
on the table in the boardroom, healthy food. We like to make things beautiful,
sensuous, sexy, and fun. We prefer peace to war, keeping the home planet clean,
and thinking about the next generation.
You could work less, relax more, get out of the office and take a walk in the park
with your kids before they grow up. You could have an office with curves and color, women that were actually happy around you, taking the pressure off. You’d have
a softer way of life that didn’t beat you up every day, and didn’t require you produce
more than we need. You’d have a sense of community, with laughter and friends.
You might even look forward to going to work.
We thank you for building our roads, making our cars, and constructing the houses.
We appreciate our stereos and cell phones. But most of that’s done now. We don’t
need you to keep doing it. We need your help to protect what’s already here. What
use is another gadget if civilization is collapsing and the air too polluted to breathe?
Today’s paradigm needs to be based on partnership rather than domination, co-creation rather than procreation, ruling from a web of connection rather than a chain of command. We need to collaborate instead of compete, and start putting things together, rather than taking things apart. If raising kids requires teamwork, so does giving birth to a new world. And just remember, giving birth does depend on what’s between your legs.
It can’t happen without us.