God is a Woman

I never saw the need to call myself a feminist, much less a proud feminist, since the basics of feminism always seemed like common sense. If you exercise common sense, what’s there to be proud of? Nothing. It’s a waste of energy. The crucial detail of common sense is that it’s common. Therefore, just follow common sense, don’t kill anybody, and move on with your life.

The point is I’ve often viewed feminism with the same sort of cut-and-dryness. The dictionary defines it simply as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Yet in light of the recent wave of sexual harassment charges against men of significant power, calling into question whether the majority of men out there have any understanding of themselves in relation to women, much less how to treat a woman in everyday life, I actually do feel the need to make very clear that I am a feminist.

As we all know, many of these powerful men have stepped down from their place of office and experienced enormous public backlash while others have been awarded the presidency. At this point, few can doubt the collective shift of consciousness happening right now, exemplified not by any one person or singular manifesto presenting new and revolutionary ideas, but instead by a growing choir of brave women, their voices echoing over the long, arduous passage of time; by the sheer weight of an ever-increasing number of committed offenses which have occurred over generations, and have now, hopefully, brought all of us to a breaking point long overdue. The timbre of the choir has only intensified and the dam is beginning to crack. Hopefully, the sound has carried far enough and long enough for it to break completely, if it hasn’t already.

On the one hand, it would seem more appropriate for any relevant literature on the matter to be written by a woman, since women are the ones who have suffered the long epidemic of sexism in our society and most instances of sexual harassment. As it is, women have been the ones speaking out and writing about it for the most part. The only reason I’m writing anything about it at all is because I do think a majority of men definitely equate sensitivity and compassion to weakness and unmanliness, and I personally have heard very few guys out there highlight that discrepancy.

Such is the modern male culture that I’ve personally experienced. I don’t think it’s any secret that locker room talk—that is, talking about women in terms of their looks or sexual attractiveness and objectifying them—is almost certainly a thing. In my experience, the guy who speaks out in the name of decency, understanding, or having more respect for women in that sort of environment is almost guaranteed to be labeled soft, a boy-scout or not a real man and thus lose the respect of every guy in that crowd. The unspoken understanding then is either keep quiet or have no friends. This proverbial fork in the road is confronted as early as junior high-school and so one can imagine how easy it might be for a young kid to keep quiet, or possibly even join in.

I’m not about to make excuses for some of the destructive illusions so prominent in male culture, but I think it’s important to understand that this behavior is most definitely learned and it happens at a young age. With no older, more authoritative mind—like a father or mother who knows better—to steer them toward a more enlightened and decent way of thinking, this frame of mind never changes and thus a cycle repeats over generations and is often handed down, directly or indirectly, from father to son.

If we can acknowledge that this perspective is indeed learned then we can break the chain. The real solution, then, starts by the example we set for incoming generations.

If you look far enough through the annals of human history, you’ll find the traces of numerous ancient cultures that celebrate some form of what historians and philosophers refer to as the sacred feminine. It’s a concept which recognizes that basic goodness, the essence of life that we eventually refer to as “God” is of course neither male or female but something far beyond mere form and duality, and at it’s core, a harmonic unification of both masculine and feminine principles constantly at play throughout our existence.

Of course it was, as it continues to be, the woman who bears and nurtures our children, thus making Her the true life-bearer and, at least symbolically, the mother of life itself. Early civilizations understood this, and so if any sort of pendulum existed representing power and influence in society, it naturally swayed into the direction of women.

Somewhere along the line, this way of thinking was deemed unacceptable by the increasingly prominent male order of early civilizations which henceforth referred to “God” as He and ensured that all His prophets throughout the world and its religions followed suit. It was to be the first of many baseless male assumptions of power, but I believe it remains among the most consequential and one that has laid the foundation for our ongoing collective frame of mind, in both men and women, throughout the ages.

It’s a history lesson, but it’s an important thing to remember when looking at the world today and the systemic changes we all can make to improve it.

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