I do not remember when I became present to Patriarchy as a word but I began to understand it more deeply and fully only in 2010 when I joined the M.A in Women’s Spirituality.
The very first response of becoming present to it was ‘Intense Rage, Intense Pain and Intense Sorrow’ – I literally and figuratively felt like a Volcano with Intensely Hot Bubbling Rumbling Molten Lava inside of me in terms of emotions of anger, rage, sorrow, pain, angst and so much more – all together harrowing deep within like wanting to Burst the limits of my body and explode and cause utter devastation. In hindsight – Volcano did explode – Mama Pele Reigned supreme and everything got burst open and brought with it in passing rebirth, renewal, growth and transformation.
Overtime I have recognized Patriarchy better. I still do not understand it origin and nor do I wish to. I feel recognizing it and acknowledging it has become more important than understanding its history.
Today patriarchy is attained new, newer and newest heights – more refined, morphed, transformed – sealed and concealed under the garbs of so many additional identities.
What is Patriarchy? That is a valid question because I feel that majority of folks are completely ignorant of the term or its meaning, and wave it off like it is a scam or something! Well, that itself is a classic Patriarchal behavior!
Patriarchy as a word comes from the greek root of patēr (meaning father) and arche (meaning domination) . It literally means “the rule of the father” or “lineage or descent from the patēr or father”. Simply put the word itself prophesies the supremacy of the father to the mother and in that sense it topples the basic balance right from the beginning of a child’s birth on the planet and messing with t
Bell Hooks defines “Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence.”
For greater detail of understanding, read this article about patriarchy by Bell Hooks: http://imaginenoborders.org/pdf/zines/UnderstandingPatriarchy.pdf
Now my greatest learning is that it is time to disassociate patriarchy directly from men and women, male or female and know that both of us are equally influenced by it, victims of it, perpetrators of it and we equally, experience and embody it. Even more so, I feel its time to replace the male with “the Masculine or Logic” and female with “the Feminine or Intuitive.” Therapist Terrence Real calls this psychological patriarchy:
Psychological patriarchy is the dynamic between those qualities deemed “masculine” and “feminine” in which half of our human traits are exalted while the other half is devalued. Both men and women participate in this tortured value system. Psychological patriarchy is a “dance of contempt,” a perverse form of connection that replaces true intimacy with complex, covert layers of dominance and submission, collusion and manipulation. It is the unacknowledged paradigm of relationships that has suffused Western civilization generation after generation, deforming both sexes, and destroying the passionate bond between them.
I associate Patriarchy with the Reign of the male daemon ‘Kali’ (not the Goddess Kaali) in this time cycle of Kaliyuga. Patriarchy is stipulated to have developed over the last 5000 years and that is exact match with what we call the beginning of Kaliyuga – the dominance of the masculine egoistic male energy – not just in gender but also, in energy on the planet as well!
Some notions held high by the system of Patriarchy is….
- Patriarchy is the notion that certain set of people know or have access to information and they solely reserve the right to impart that information. Mind you, patriarchy is founded in information and not knowledge. Patriarchy thrives on hierarchy, domination, separation of some and every kind.
- Today almost every system in the world be it school, college, university, religious organization, religion, non profit organization, business, corporation, politics, hospitals, food and medical industry, research and science – is subscribed to patriarchy by default.
- There is no listening in patriarchy.
- Patriarchy is held together by strict adherence to rules, regulations, behaviour, right versus wrong, shoulds & should nots.
- Patriarchy definitely debilitates the fullness of creativity, thrives on hatred, violence, wars, abuse – justifying it in the process, curbs choices and makes it available only for those it thinks will use it the way the system sees fit.
- Patriarchy will not let you acknowledge the wisdom and humanity innate in every human being, and his or her ability to grow in it and make choices from that knowing.
- Patriarchy instills the notion that head is the Master and the Heart is the slave. Do not let yourself feel anything. Feelings are rubbish. Do not be sensitive or a wuss. Be Sensible.
- Patriarchy perpetuates imbalance within and without, and thrives in that imbalance.
- Patriarchy will not let anyone recognize that all you need or seek is within you. The outside is merely a project or reflection of your inside.
- Patriarchy will dissolve You in identities of a billion kind, and will keep you busy in up-keeping it while striving for more,
- Patriarchy will always keep one side of the Scales dipping either “Good Verus Bad”, “God versus Devil”, “Man versus Woman”, “Head versus Heart”, “You versus Me”, “Us versus Them”. There is a complete lack of the coming together of the two and integration of the two.
- And now for the BIG ONE, Patriarchy is also, part of the cycle of Time, recycle of the mind. It will shift and it is in the process of shifting!
NOW COMES THE BIG QUESTION:
Is it possible to unsubscribe to patriarchy right now or create a system outside of it – not influenced by it?
My immediate answer would be “not fully”!
But it is possible to begin the process such that down the timeline we can definitely birth a generation that can be free of the patriarchal mindset. It is already happening!
HOW TO BEGIN THIS PROCESS!
I can only share my process. It will be unique for each person.
- Learn about patriarchy. That will support us to Recognize it, Acknowledge it, and Hold space for it – within and without.
- Yes. As we begin to recognize it – Hell will break loose in life for sure because we will be pained, angry, sad – all at the same time with everything we see, hear, experience! Its OK because that is the process of stepping out of the ignorance of patriarchy. Now Remember: Do not get stuck here. Many do. You need to move further.
- We need to recognize that Patriarchy is not a person or a group of people – it is not a man or a woman. It is a notion, a belief system that is gnawing at the minds of human beings everywhere. Anger itself is a weapon that patriarchy understands very well so burning yourself or the other is of not much use. Although we will keep burning ourselves , we will also, in the learn, unlearn and relearn.
- We will feel the need to Educate the other of patriarchy. Soon we will also learn that all one can do is educate. We cannot make anyone choose it. So we will also need to Learn to Educate and then, Ignore.
- Even to educate we will need different set of tools, skills, language – rooted in the infinite expansiveness and inclusiveness of the heart – to communicate with those in patriarchy. Head has to be a follower in this game – not the master.
- As we begin the journey of educating the other, it will become even more important for us to do our own inner work of all the shit that we ourselves carry – across lineages, across lifetimes. And as we seek this process of our inner work, we will be guided to the only antidote to Patriarchy.
- Reclaiming Embodied Spirituality. Firstly when I say spirituality I do not mean the essence of all religion. We might begin from here or even get here in our journey but we Do Not stop here. We have to go beyond religion because Religion itself perpetuates patriarchal notions and is man made. Seek that spirituality which is the innate wisdom that is within each one of us – not just some. Secondly, I say embodied because I feel the body has to be part of this process. Material and Spiritual, Form and Formless, Body and Spirit – there has to be an integration – otherwise we are still leaving doorways for Kali to enter. This itself is a journey of lifetimes! Many guides will show up for us when we begin to seek sincerely. Then we need to create space for….
- Pause. Slow Down. Become present to your Breath. Breathe. Meditate. Make Art. Create. Play. Sing. Dance. Be bewitched by stories. Listen and tell Stories. See stories. Recognize Life beyond your limited identity. Become present to the other life – living and dying with you on Earth and everywhere. Become present to the Moon, Sun, Planets, Stars, the Universe! Become present to the Highest Truth! It is a process of renewal, relearning, reemerging, re-awakeing!
- Peeling peeling of layers and layers of Ignorance – conditioning, narratives, beliefs – and awakening to one’s truth! This whole process as it unveils will awaken in us many skills of being present, expressing and embodying in the world. We will slowly recognize the veil of patriarchy and see it for what it is – IGNORANCE. Then many will also, begin to see and recognize that ignorance. They will inspire many others to see and so on.
- Again and again we will need to go back to Step 8, and continue. Relearn, Re-tune, Re-sing!
Wow! Sounds so simple. It is simple and yet, complicated. It is its own journey!
Put in one word – it is a precious GIFT – gift of the journey of waking up out of Ignorance – whatever you might call it – Destination Unknown!
Begin your Journey Today!!