My friend, teacher, inspiration Elizabeth Keller witnessed to and wrote on how the patriarchy is harmful to men YEARS ago. Years.Ago. She was the first in my sphere of knowing to take this position and speak of it.
So, what I will be saying is not new. But it obviously needs to be said over and over and over.
Patriarchy as a cultural influence, puts men in a one-size-fits-all position of masculine domination. It is the cornerstone of the modern era where there was one voice speaking for all, one view imposed over all other views. And at the head, of course, is the male presumption of head-ship.
Folks, this is one way to live life. It is not the only way. It is not the best way. It puts all males into one mold. But oh, the males I know are like a funky wall of boxes of different sizes, shapes, temperaments, colors, perspectives, joys, gifts, skills. Some of the lead. To be sure! Some of them keep things going. Some dream and scheme the next great thing in a smokey backroom with low lights.
I want this for the men I know. I want for their freedom to celebrate their man-bun style or their Brooks Brothers attitude or their used-clothing-store-last-decade look. Who cares! I care. I care that each person, woman or man, gets to live out of their full expression of self and inner reality.
I have opinions about all of this. One that is the strongest is that by forcing all men into a patriarchal presumption, we have not taught how to know the self. That is a crime. A crime against the soul. A stifling killer of human uniqueness.
You matter. Your interior personhood matters. It matters so much that really there is no balance in the world until we are living out of our own unique and full expression. This is not narcissism. None of us has more worth than the other. But each of us has a worth that is brilliantly blinding when it shines.
And shine we should.
Men and Women. Beyond man and woman. Beyond the codes of determining that put you in a box for my convenience. Who do you say that you are? That is who I am acknowledging.
What comes next? I don’t think the opposite of patriarchy is matriarchy. That is its binary and modernist compliment and to move that direction seeking balance will just bring a different a different imbalance.
What if we explored Onearchy? I know this sounds ridiculous. I know it. Not the concept, but the word. Silly. But its the point that counts. So, in this social construct, the needs of society would be met by the gifts and skill sets of each person. Decided by each person. With equal worth placed on each need. So, CEOs and Maintenance Workers would be valued the same. Or maybe we would do away with a notion of a singular CEO and instead had CET (teams, not officers), like Ministry Teams.
As I write this, I see all the ways we’d sink right back down to where we’ve been. Let’s give this way of thinking up then. And perhaps the simplest is the best. And that is that whatever social and governmental structure we live in, we raise a revolution for inner strength and knowing. I will know who I am, stripped of old narratives and cloaks of mis-identification placed on me by others, and I will live as Amy. That might get me killed, or go unnoticed,or it might liberate another. But at the very least, I will be free and adding to the balance for another person to stand up and claim their own way in the world no matter how out of or in sync it might be with the norm.
Friends, I am already at work at this. I have clients who are moving closer to that personal knowing. Statements like “Yes, this is me! I’ve always known it to be true” happen in my spiritual direction room all the time. All.The.Time. My own personal work is ongoing, seeking out the best mentors, directors, who somehow see inside of me what I cannot yet see and they name it, keep naming it, until I can see it myself and I name it. Holy Cow the power in those moments. Moments often accompanied by tears, fears, anxious that if I actually live that truth out, others will not accept it. My experience is that the animal part of our brain that does so much for the human experience, responds positively and instinctively to the person who is standing in their rightful energy. And we say “yes, there they are.”
My last word is this: I see you, I welcome you. I care about the you you claim. You are a wonder. Tell me your story and I will believe it. Yes, there you are.
To your forward!
all images pulled from google, licensed for reuse