I am writing about this, because it drives me bonkers! I read books by male authors who blythly cite the wonders of the feminine e.g the moon or water or the earth, whilst holding onto all the other aspects that really count in the realms of power and control.

I could give you a few crumbs, even some rather good crumbs if I had the prevailing wonders! I am not suggesting that the moon, water or the earth are mere crumbs, of course they are not, and I mean no offence to the spirits of these wonderful aspects. However, it makes me livid to see how these become second, as we, my lovely ladies, do, again and again, to the overarching wonders of the Male.

Men will cheerfully hold onto anything that means power – e.g. the Sun and even encroach on the supposed feminine powers e.g the Sea – of course that is not water is it? No! That’s too mighty and terryfyingly powerful to be female, best assign it to a King!

This infuriates me! I have read two books by males recently, The first one was overtly sexist and I had great trouble making myself finish the book and holding onto the spiritual treasures I knew were there. Sadly, this book, recommended by the BDO, which is excellent, absolutely fantastic – if you are male!  Leaves a woman, or at least me, wondering if women existed at all except for menial work. He mentions his Mother briefly a couple of times and that is all. It is notable, at least to me. that a male will not pick up these discrepancies. They are so used to hearing of themselves and knowing that all is pertaining to them that they completely lose sight of the female or how this may feel to a female reading it. Even the most emancipated male is guilty of this.

 Like the BDO, I do recommend it, it is an excellent book on ritual and community by Malidoma Patrice Some – Ritual – Power, Healing and Community. However, if there are any females, and I know you are out there that are not merely caught up in the latest flourish of plastic Barbieness  or in the historically assigned roles for women (if you are a healthy woman aka feminist, please read patriarchally assigned roles); in other words, if you are alive, please read this book and try to breath your way through it. It has some brilliant spiritual lessons but of course these are all assigned to males and what roles there are for women are worse than we could have hoped for in Celtic times! Even in the Bible or at least the old testament they had a female judge – what was her name again? Diana or Dorcas? I bet the priests or King James forgot to esponge that name out of the storyline! Most unusual – must have been only half awake that day, dear mysogonist “B’s” that they were! 

Well, the second book, by Martin Shaw – A Branch from the Lightning Tree – is again excellent but when it comes to the real meat of the sandwich, it is again all about the male. I hasten to add that it is nowhere near as bad as the first one aforestated and many women will probably have no problems with this book whatsoever. All women are brought up expecting to give way to the male all through life from the most subtle of subjugations to the more profound and abusive. This is so second nature to many women that they don’t even notice that at a certain point they are written out of the story. In fact, so indoctrinated are we all by our wonderfully powerfully, bow down to the mighty males, counterparts, that we don’t expect a woman to be portrayed as a hero. We don’t expect to be the main centre peice of the story unless that role is assigned to a plastic, cardboard, cutout, type princess who waits around for years doing a bit of sewing, a bit of singing and lots of ridiculous dreaming and hairbrushing until her prince arrives. Incidentally, did you ever wonder why these particular tales always end with Happy Ever After? Well for one thing, going on history as opposed to herstory, women have nothing eventful to say  after this do they? I mean we are all so boring, like the princess detailed above that there would be nothing else to say. Let me just scribble a few sentences that would entail the life after marriage for the woman:

“I love you my darling” She says, hoping her eyes portray the love and loyalty she feels (like a puppy dog really)

“And I you” says the Prince thinking only of the night ahead.

After the night,  if she is lucky (as in he knows something beyond getting his own end away) or unlucky (as in a few painful gropes of the boobs and in for the kill – over in seconds), he will become steadily stifled by domesticity and will be off looking for a new haunt as in a motorbike, a fast big car  (to make up for ……), a new conquest or an actual battle.

She will be slower to get stifled and would possibly (if she is one of the alive ones as stated before), like to go travelling and mountain climbing and sailing round the world or at least the British Isles so long as principoo was around. She will be slow to realise, and probably only after he has chained her effectively and permanantly to the kitchen sink and at least six children will she twig that she was only  a tiny part of a much wider adventure. No more horse riding for you lassey! No more naked swims in the sea! Now you have to be responsible, sensible, reliable, loyal while your child of a husband who will get all the responsible jobs and the kudos, gets to run off with his mates, play football on Saturday mornings, go to the pub at least five times a week, spend time with his ‘family’ at church or at Christmas or at his Mother’s and if she is really lucky he will come shopping – or at least drive her to Sainsbury’s and sit in the carpark whilst she shops. (Unless he is one of those control freaks who checks every item she is buying to make sure that they aren’t spending money that could go on his next gadget/toy.)

I think I have made something of my point but I need to add a very important detail, for every 9 women that are quite happy for the status quo, there is one woman screaming to be heard, but time and time again she is sacrificed to the average. I am sick of being assigned the gentler or more boring tasks, the uneventful and predictable whilst the men have all the kudos and fun. I am lucky, as I am gay and so I don’t have to put up with all that rubbish and I get to do fun things and play with toys as well yeah! However, it wasn’t always that way and for many women their lives take on a supporting role whilst the screaming wild goddess inside her pushes for adventure but is slowly choked to death.

I know men love to keep us down and many women love also, to keep themselves down, but I really do object to gender roles. Not all women are the same as I am sure not all men are the same. I know my brother hates football! I hate shopping, fashion, having my hair, nails or make up done! I love things that are exciting, that challenge me and hate things that bore me like housework, cooking, etc. I am not mundane and I object to being written out of the story just when things get exciting! There will always be a Ms Sensible as there will always be a Mr Sensible, there will always be a Ms Barbie as there will always be a Mr Ken, but there will always be the nurse heroe in A & E or as a paramedic be she male or female and there will always be a Bodicea or an Arthur, there will always be a Ms Sporty and a Mr Sporty, there will always be Ms Science  and Mr Science, there will always be a Ms financial wizzkid and a Mr financial wizzkid,  there will always be Ms Shaman or Mr Shaman – do you understand what I am saying here? Good! Well please stop with the  gender role boxes! Please! And if you ever put me in a box, make sure it has lots of curves and sudden pitfalls and doorways and looks like a maze come dungeon and opens out to a great dark forest and an endless ocean beyond. Definitely not one of those boring oblong ones please!

 

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