Let's start understanding the Patriarchy (and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that it infects our culture daily) how it affects males and females in extremely negative ways, how it's an issue of public health, and how we can all individually take away its power if we can simply be aware of its influences. Just because this is the way things are doesn't make it right nor does it make it the way things *have* to be. We get a choice. We get to make our own rules, our own social dynamics, our own paradigms of what masculine and feminine mean, and what level of importance these things have on our humanity. All it takes is for each of us to open our eyes one at a time and foresee a future that includes real equality and social justice.
"There are lots of men who will rape without ever seeing pornography
and there are lots of men who will see pornography and never rape. So it's too
simplistic to ask the question 'does pornography cause rape?'. The answer is clearly no,
but that's not the right question. The question is... in a context of a Patriarchal, male dominant society
how does men's habitual use of sexually explicit material that fuses sexual pleasure with the routine
humiliation and degredation of women affect the formation of attitudes in men.
And what connection do those attitudes have to subequent behavior?"
- Robert Jensen
"To appreciate just how bizarre it is to collapse a critique of pornography into a critique of sex, think for a minute if we were critiquing McDonald’s for its exploitive labor practices, its destruction of the environment, and its impact on our diet and health. Would anyone accuse us of being anti-eating or anti-food? I suspect that most readers would separate the industry (McDonald’s) and the industrial product (hamburgers) from the act of eating and would understand that the critique was focused on the large-scale impact of the fast food industry and not the human need, experience, and joy of eating. So, why, when we talk about pornography, is it difficult to understand that one can be a feminist who is unabashedly pro-sex but against the commodification and industrialization of a human desire? The answer of course is that pornographers have done an incredible job of selling their product as being all about sex, and not about a particular constructed version of sex that is developed within an industrial setting."
- Gail Dines
the master of generation,
bestowed on humankind
the sacrament of reproduction -
full of affection and joy,
gladness and yearning,
and all the heavenly love that is his Being.
I would have to explain the nature
of this compelling sacred bond
that binds man and woman together,
were it not that each one of us,
if we explore our innermost feelings
can experience it for ourselves.
Contemplate that supreme moment,
when each sex infuses itself with the other.
One giving forth
and the other eagerly embracing.
At that moment,
through the intermingling of the two natures,
the female acquires male vigor,
and the male is relaxed in female languor.
The sweet sacramental act we celebrate
is shared in secret,
because if performed openly
before impure eyes,
the ignorant may mock
and the divine power
manifesting in both sexes
will shy away."
- The Hermetica (prophecies of Hermes) as translated by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy in The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs
Those of you who believe in the old gods, in Pagan ideologies, understand that you are still subject to the Patriarchal fabric that shapes the world we live in. Your opinions on (supposed) liberated sexuality, pornography, sexual power games such as BDSM, and other cultural phenomena are not of your soul. They are an expression of the exact anti-Goddess system that you've been rallying against in your pursuit of spiritual wisdom. Perhaps Christians are some of the few who speak out against these things and you think you should hold ideas that are opposite to them. While their convictions come from another place - a place oftentimes more rooted in ideas such as shame and original sin - they are not wrong. Unfortunately, the repression that results from shame is one of the biggest causes of our lack of love.
Shame is irrelevant and useless. It keeps us immature and unable to face our fears and failures. These things masquerading as love, which fill the gaping void of actual love in humanity, fool most of us at some point in our lives. At first, we don't know any better. But by seeking "free love" and a place without repression in the wrong places we continue to be enslaved to ideas that separate humanity instead of joining us together in sacredness. Besides, all love is free. But in order to be able to receive it, we must be willing to truly give it as well.
The prophetic words above which state "The sweet sacramental act we celebrate is shared in secret, because if performed openly before impure eyes, the ignorant may mock and the divine power manifesting in both sexes will shy away" have already come to pass and continue to torture the human race at a startlingly increasing rate. How many women have been hurt by and are resentful of men? How often do we ridicule them and seek power over them by using our affections as a weapon? Why is it that we want to love them but allow our children to take their place in our hearts? How many men are emotionally stunted and full of rage because they've lost that part of their humanity that knows how to love? How many frequent strip clubs, drinking and gazing until the lonely, stabbing pain subsides?
Too often we shrug at these things. We think they're normal. But deep down we know the truth. We know all of it is a subterfuge of misery. Have we sunk so low to believe that misery is our natural state? Perhaps it is as the Buddha said, that life is suffering. But that is only certain for the ignorant. When you know better, you can be better. Know better now because now is the time for each of us to take back the power that is our birthright - the power of love which is the power of God/dess. It is already yours if you can look within yourself and see it shining there. It has always been within you.
Do not mistake this for a lesson in morality. I am not pointing fingers or calling for repentance. Real love is what makes us happy. Not made up ideas of romance, not cheap orgasmic fixes, not financial security, manicures, or an expensive home. So don't worry about being defensive. Simply ask yourself if you want to be happy.
Love is selfless not greedy. Love is compassionate not demanding. Love is eternal not fickle. Love is the honest truth not what we think others want to hear. Love is acceptance not expectations. Love is unconditional not subject to meeting conditions. Love is brave not fearful of pain or rejection. Love is willingly giving not endlessly taking. Love is the forgetting of desire and the gratitude for what is. Love is wanting to not feeling obliged.
Of love is what we were made and of love we remain. Everything else is a wall of illusion. It is the purpose of our existence to tear down that wall brick by brick.
By Lisa on Friday, February 08, 2013