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Thread: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    I finished the book "Unplugging the Patriarchy". I'm reacting, chemical reaction almost it feels like...

    Lucia, what an adventure!!!!!! My heart is still singing. Thank you. Thank you for the Rama stories too. One of my dearest friends was a Rama student and it is so interesting to hear what he was like. I also started a computer career in 1984 and I wonder if I was picking up on Rama’s advice in the aether lol

    A sidebar:
    After reading this book something entered my awareness. I used to be a heavy hitter on the deaf/Deaf bulletin boards and political chat rooms on the _____ website, where for a long time no one knew my gender. Most people assumed I was male. I thought, wow, a level playing field, I am on a level playing field for the first time in my life. No one knows my looks, race, age, sex, career or what I sound like when I open my mouth. Nothing counted but the words and the truth of the words. I found I had a voice, a place to speak and it had a profound effect on me.

    Here, it is known I am female and I observe in surprise the difference in response to my words from the community. It is what it is. It sort of hurts. Well, it feels like grief. Still processing this one … but I wanted to put it out there to see if there is any dialog to be said.

    Please be respectful if you respond. This was a tough one to acknowledge.

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote Posted by Sierra (here)
    Here, it is known I am female and I observe in surprise the difference in response to my words from the community.
    Could you describe the difference you observe?
    -- Formerly known as "ThePythonicCow", aka "Cow", "PCow", "TPC", "PC", "Mooster", ...

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by Sierra (here)
    Here, it is known I am female and I observe in surprise the difference in response to my words from the community.
    Could you describe the difference you observe?
    Ugh. I knew someone was going to ask me that lol! I don't think I WOULD have known the difference without spending years as a genderless poster on other BBs ... and also reading Lucia's book. I don't know why Lucia's book made me put two and two together. Maybe the respect that shines throughout the book for everyone and everything. Maybe hearing a story of women being women in peace and doing their thing. Its the contrast you know that can make you see.

    OK, I have to exaggerate WILDLY because it is so amorphous to me. It feels as if I am invisible, spacey, ungrounded. It feels as if I don't exist. It is like reading what a male posted five pages later what I already said and he is acknowledged and I am not. Its like throwing one's opinion into the debate and it is ignored. Or... the metacommunication is brusque. Or the metacommunication is contemptuous. Or the metacommunication is dismissive. Or the metacommunication is rejection ... All of this is horribly exaggerated ... hell Paul, it is MUCH better here at Project Avalon than in the real world LOL!

    Metacommunication is normally defined as all the movement and expression AROUND the spoken word that tell you a person is being sarcastic, ironic, loving, cruel or kind or funny. You are NOT supposed to be able to see it in words on a page LOL!

    This is why I mention Bill Ryan's communication (in the Integrity thread I think) as being exceptionally congruent and I was trying to understand how his words express integrity. They are just words and the same words are used by everyone else ... BUT the effect is much different. With Bill's words I got a wall at my back. Thats what it feels like. Solid words. Visible words. Dare I say it, words of power that accept I am here, I have a place to stand, I can speak. Not that I worship Bill Ryan or anything but damn how many examples are out there for me to use to show the contrast?

    Can you see the difference? Do men give more weight to the words of men than the words of women? Yes. And it makes it difficult in SO many ways to use words as a woman. And there are SO many words that women "should not" use or men will harm them and there are SO many words that are hurtful to women of which there is no equivalent lexicon for the male. Language was built by men for men.

    So ... maybe it is the words being used or certain words not being used... I haven't drilled down enough yet to say why, just became aware of the difference today.

    Maybe it is the blatant outright support of women's place in the world expressed by Bill/Project Avalon that is so different. In words, in threads, in interviews women are there, women are present, women are acknowledged. Bill acknowledged Lucia and the importance of her work. Maybe that is another reason I noticed the difference today.

    Its marginalization. It FEELS like be silent or die.

    Maybe its the fact I immediately read another book after Lucia's book called "Thanks for the Memories" by Brice Taylor ...

    Geez Paul, I have no idea if I hit the nail yet ... oh man (wiping sweat from face realizing the flack I'll probably face...)

    Sierra quivering in her boots damn I'm gonna get clobbered lol!

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote Sierra quivering in her boots damn I'm gonna get clobbered lol!
    Hopefully not too bad .

    My sense is that there is are many statistical differences between men and women, taken as a group.

    Physically, these are reasonably apparent to most of us, and we usually can understand the difference between a group statistical difference and an individual difference. But not always even there.

    A little story. Once long ago I held a job as an equipment repairman. The job involved occasionally lifting 50 to 80 pound pieces of equipment. This was back in the days before U.S. Federal regulations had much to say about discriminatory hiring practices. My boss had a strict policy - no women hired. He (of course, a "he") figured a woman could not lift that much. I am sure some women can lift that much - just fewer women on a percentage basis than men. But his rigid thinking on this also led us to hiring a diminutive man with a bad back who wore high heels (ashamed of his short stature I presume.) We always had to send someone out with him when any heavy lifting was involved.

    There are group differences and there are individual differences. Every dominant center in the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been male. I don't think that's sexism at work. I just don't think we have ever seen a woman over seven feet tall with massive upper body strength, enormous leaping ability, and outstanding athleticism. But that obviously doesn't mean that all men are taller, stronger and better jumpers than all women. Of course not.

    In my view the same thing applies in more subtle areas. As best as I can tell, men tend to be more dominant in "the world out there." They will usually be the first to explore, conquer, invent, or discover some new area in the external world, separate from human social connections.

    (At this point I tried several times to give equal time to the ways in which women, statistically, dominate. I failed. Everything I thought to say was junk. My own understanding was inadequate. Perhaps you understand this and can explain it.)

    Where we (men and women) often fall short is in distinguishing statistical group differences from individual differences. Like my boss on that equipment repair job, just because most men have stronger upper bodies doesn't mean they all do, nor does it mean that all women have weaker upper bodies. Unless one is looking for the handful of most dominant humans on the planet in some regard (such as NBA centers) one had best actually consider the individual.

    This applies to forum presence as well. The majority of threads have a "male" spirit to them, and in such threads, both men and women will have to be more aware than they usually are to avoid expecting the posts of males to be more dominant than the posts of females.

    Our minds, being of modest capacity, are always working to simplify, categorize and find similarities. It takes a shift from the usual consciousness to interact with other posters as they individually are, without polluting that interaction with our (often quite reasonable) awareness of common group statistical variations.

    P.S. I wrote above "It takes a shift from the usual consciousness to interact with other posters as they individually are". That's not quite accurate. The hope is that we can interact with each other on higher levels of awareness, where the usual gender stereotypes (whether legitimate on a statistical group basis or not) do not apply.
    Last edited by Paul; 23rd April 2011 at 01:20.
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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Sierra quivering in her boots damn I'm gonna get clobbered lol!
    Hopefully not too bad .

    <snip>

    In my view the same thing applies in more subtle areas. As best as I can tell, men tend to be more dominant in "the world out there." They will usually be the first to explore, conquer, invent, or discover some new area in the external world, separate from human social connections.

    (At this point I tried several times to give equal time to the ways in which women, statistically, dominate. I failed. Everything I thought to say was junk. My own understanding was inadequate. Perhaps you understand this and can explain it.)

    <snip>
    How interesting. The Deaf/deaf BBs were statistically dominated by women. Taking care of the deaf kids was a woman’s task. There was one lovely father from Utah but for the most part, women.

    I don’t think the statistical group basis is applicable to what I am attempting to describe. The silence you experience as you attempt to describe the ways in which women statistically dominate is a closer hit. All the things men were allowed to do

    “… usually be the first to explore, conquer, invent, or discover some new area in the external world, separate from human social connections.”

    Those are the events recorded in patriarchal human time. These events have been described and are easy to list. Women have not been allowed for the most part to BE separate from human social connections. Women have been enslaved to human social connections.

    My generation is the first to be able to have sex with birth control. Freedom. And witness the almost vicious desire to strip us of that freedom by the legal, educational and religious systems from those who merely want the choice of having a family to be their own choice in their own time. This has nothing to do with statistical dominance.

    You draw a blank when you attempt to describe where women are dominant because where women dominate is hidden from men by their own statistically speaking significant historical disinterest that continues pretty much to the present day in human social connections to which they have been severely TRAINED to ignore usually by their own ancestral living male line. I also don't see most women as wanting to dominate or live and work in a culture where one must be dominated or dominate. We also haven't been allowed to dominate. A Nunnery is always ruled by a male priest at the top. Maybe that is why you can't think of anything ... I don't know. I get confused with this dominance because I can't stand competition and the only kind I'll do is when I compete against myself for better character, faster soul response, more patience when my husband is Mr. GrumpyPants lol.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    This applies to forum presence as well. The majority of threads have a "male" spirit to them, and in such threads, both men and women will have to be more aware than they usually are to avoid expecting the posts of males to be more dominant than the posts of females.

    Snip

    The hope is that we can interact with each other on higher levels of awareness, where the usual gender stereotypes (whether legitimate on a statistical group basis or not) do not apply.
    Having male dominant threads and being on a higher level of awareness where the usual gender stereotypes do not apply lol. Let me apologize, grovel, beat my breast and strew ashes on my head while muttering mea culpa if I have come off as a male basher. It never occurred to me I would be viewed as stereotyping or lumping men into categories. No stereotyping here you are all so very very different lmao. I adore men. However I consider all men real men and I do not say that in reverential tones with heaving bosom. Ugh. Sorry, thread posting crossover. I’m bleary eyed.

    This is what I meant: It was an experience in contrast, where on the one hand I could post knowing my words were just as important as anyone else’s and on the other hand, noticing I didn’t feel that way here. The contrast came to life from reading Lucia’s book. (I think that was the trigger.) I noticed oh, I’m more intimidated here than there, why? What am I feeling and where is it coming from?

    I think because the Deaf/deaf BBs were dominated by women I felt safer there than I do here. I think that is the reason. I also think the female culture does not play hard ball as the male culture does. Sorry Paul introducing new material on you here ... Also, the deaf/Deaf BBs women were on a quest, they had no time to tolerate crap, they had to get their kids language before it was too late. The excessive aggressive dominance games that were played here recently would not have flown over there.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    “This applies to forum presence as well. The majority of threads have a "male" spirit to them, and in such threads, both men and women will have to be more aware than they usually are to avoid expecting the posts of males to be more dominant than the posts of females.”
    Why do you say the majority of threads have a “male” spirit? Is the population of Avalon Forum membership significantly skewed toward the male?

    If the majority of threads have a “male” sprit to them (I have to go look at them and see what you mean... more scientific? Less soft and squishy? LOL!), then we would expect statistically speaking the posts of males to be more dominant both in quantity and in quality, yes? If there are 100 horses and 2 cows in the pasture, there is going to be more manure than cow pies. Doesn’t mean the cow pies are not welcome does it? I want the cow pies to be welcome too lol.

    I think the most important thing you said is, "...One had best actually consider the individual." I'm hearing you say you think I have not been seeing the posters as individuals. I do but that is not something one can actually PROOOOVE is it lol.

    Nice discussion This is way too long. My apologies. Couldn't figure out where to cut.

    Regards, Sierra wiped and off to bed

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote "...One had best actually consider the individual." I'm hearing you say you think I have not been seeing the posters as individuals.
    I doubt that that was what I was thinking. If I had been thinking you were deficient in that way, I might well have denied such to myself and then put in a disclaimer that I was not thinking that (my brain can be a bit twisty on such matters.)

    The "One" in "One had best ..." was either the generic human, striving to rise above these lower categories, or perhaps myself.

    Quote You draw a blank when you attempt to describe where women are dominant because where women dominate is hidden from men by their own statistically speaking significant historical disinterest that continues pretty much to the present day in human social connections to which they have been severely TRAINED to ignore usually by their own ancestral living male line.
    I doubt that it is -just- training. This sounds like the well trod nature vs nuture debate. I tend towards the position that there is more nature involved in determining our temperaments than is popularly accepted. But then that bleeds over into the question of free will, and that gets more subtle than I know how to explain, even to myself.

    However, in any case, I would agree (if this is what you were saying) that at one mundane but rather dominant level of our awareness, men are more focused on the external "other" worlds and women more focused on the connected social world.

    The more we each move into other "higher" ways of relating, what some would call more spiritual, the less the gender differences of the currently dominant mundane level will matter.

    Quote they had to get their kids language before it was too late
    I hope you had some success in that regard.
    -- Formerly known as "ThePythonicCow", aka "Cow", "PCow", "TPC", "PC", "Mooster", ...

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    I agree with your insight there is a lot wisdom in your words sepia. Thank you for posting them.

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Ive rarely been in an environment where people didn't listen to everything I say...except when my car breaks down....then I'm screwed!!! But I really don't know anything about cars. It's not my area. I'm sure there are lots of men in the same position. It appears to me that about half of the men I have met in my life had their mother as a dominant figure in their life. The other half had dad. I think they carry this through their lives and the men that listened to mom will be more inclined to listen to women than men. I guess those are the men I have the most contact with and I don't tend to keep in contact with the other ones --- except maybe on these forums. However, I think there are some men who are more balanced and have ears for both mom and dad. I did once meet a woman who was the type that would only listen to dad. I found it helped to speak in a deeper voice to her. Some of it could be vibration.

    Older sisters can make a big difference also.

    Of course, there are many people who don't listen to anyone but themselves.
    Last edited by 161803398; 25th April 2011 at 02:11.

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Let me caveat here before I continue the conversation with you Paul For those reading this posting, Lucia Rene’s book is NOT a feminist book, it is a SPIRITUAL book. You might get the wrong impression from listening to me wabbit on about the darkness between man and woman so a pound of salt in hand as I drop down to the 3rd level for this discussion:

    Let me also caveat:
    • I believe in reincarnation
    • I believe we ALL have been the raper/rapee
    • I believe we are ALL equally innocent/guilty in the duality
    • I believe we ALL need to be able to bring this topic out in the open and discharge the karmic entanglement around the subject
    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote "...One had best actually consider the individual." I'm hearing you say you think I have not been seeing the posters as individuals.
    I doubt that that was what I was thinking. If I had been thinking you were deficient in that way, I might well have denied such to myself and then put in a disclaimer that I was not thinking that (my brain can be a bit twisty on such matters.)
    Wish I had a wry grin icon here, been there done that ... this is a rawther difficult subject to be conducted on a public forum no less which does add another dimension of weirdness.

    Quote You draw a blank when you attempt to describe where women are dominant because where women dominate is hidden from men by their own statistically speaking significant historical disinterest that continues pretty much to the present day in human social connections to which they have been severely TRAINED to ignore usually by their own ancestral living male line.
    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    I doubt that it is -just- training. This sounds like the well trod nature vs nuture debate. I tend towards the position that there is more nature involved in determining our temperaments than is popularly accepted. But then that bleeds over into the question of free will, and that gets more subtle than I know how to explain, even to myself.
    I respectfully disagree here Paul. I think saying it is nature is a copout. I truly hope and pray it is a copout. I think the end result of what we're seeing is too awful to be blamed on nature and I refuse to see a reality where it is nature. Have you ever read a book (taking a deep breath here) called "Transforming a Rape Culture"? If you have, kudos to you and it should be required reading in public schools. And no I am not well read on the subject… I was only able to read the first chapter before I had to close the book and put it away, permanently. At that point in time (1983) I did not know how to walk on the dark side.

    I can’t find my copy of the book but Amazon reviews say:
    "The contributors to this invaluable sourcebook share the conviction that rape is epidemic because our society encourages male aggression and tacitly or overtly supports violence against women. Cumulatively, these 34 essays <snip> situate rape on a continuum extending from sexist language to pornography, sexual harassment in schools and the workplace, wife battering and date and marital rape."
    The Amazon review says about the one chapter I was able to read before closing the book:
    "Andrea Dworkin's famous `I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce' opens the collection: It's a 1983 speech to a “men's movement'' seminar in which Dworkin passionately challenges men to begin to shun and punish each other for the act of rape."
    We might now add what we have learned since 1983: That same continuum extends to the men, women and children subjected to rape, torture and murder by TPTB who consider these violent acts tools of the trade to force the planetary population to be subservient and silent.

    We haven’t gotten that far have we?

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    However, in any case, I would agree (if this is what you were saying) that at one mundane but rather dominant level of our awareness, men are more focused on the external "other" worlds and women more focused on the connected social world.
    Well... we haven’t gotten that far have we?

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    The more we each move into other "higher" ways of relating, what some would call more spiritual, the less the gender differences of the currently dominant mundane level will matter.
    Yes. (Fiercely Squashing Paul in an Avalonian Bear Hug) It is my intent that we do it do it do it.

    Quote they had to get their kids language before it was too late
    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    I hope you had some success in that regard.
    Er … I wuz the deafie, not the momma lol! But those mommas followed me around like baby duckies because they knew they had four years to get language into their child before the tabula rasa developmental stage ended. Because I was a lower case deafie, raised in a hearing culture, able to talk to normals, (that’s you sweetie) and independently support myself in a hearing world. Eventually the boards were hijacked by the AVers (Auditory Verbal therapy): more fantasy nonsense, devote the children's educational hours to lipreading and elocution (oh but who cares if they come off like bloody ignorant idiots as long as they sound like NORMAL bloody ignorant idiots) and I left. Low expectations, we all know what they do...



    Paul: I synchronistically wrote on this subject in a PM last night and feel free to delete the block below if it is inappropriate for this posting (including this paragraph), I do NOT want to hijack Rene's book thread. I'm putting it out there because you asked and it was already written lol, but maybe it should be for your perusal only. I feel guilty enough already wandering this far afield into carbon based reality ...

    Begin Block:
    I was born deaf in the fifties so getting language into me was difficult. Getting me to talk was worse. Mother's options were to send me away to a Deaf Culture boarding school or throw me off the deep end in the Hearing Culture public school system, which is what she chose to do, because it was the only option that offered me a chance to grow up to be independent as well as allow me to live at home with my family. When I was six years old she walked me down to the library and got me a library card. I was a book worm at a very early age and lived in libraries.

    I didn't really learn to use expressive language myself until the deaf bulletin boards at 40. Lip reading is so difficult I didn't really peak on my lip reading skills until I was 38 (Lip reading is heavily dependent on context and the context of life is brand new to children). I didn't really learn I was deaf until I talked to other deaf/Deaf people lol. When I got on the forum, communication was suddenly easy. The Deaf/deaf BBs were a revelation to me. A revelation of what it meant to be deaf, a revelation of what it meant to be the parent of a Deaf or deaf child. And apparently I was a revelation to them, an independent adult deafie making it in a hearing culture. I'm trying to remember if I was the only one on the site.

    One of my sister’s son is autistic and one day when he was four or five she called me up and said, "Mother had a handicapped child." I said, "Yes, I know.". Silence. She said, "Mother had a developmentally handicapped child.". Puzzled, I said, "Yes, I know.". Silence. "No you don't.", she said. "What are you talking about?" I said. Incomprehension continued.

    It was not until I made friends with a Deaf Culture ASL woman who taught me what it meant to be lower case deaf in a hearing culture, did I realize how right my sister was, and what a dragon lady my mother was and how lucky and fortunate I was to have that hellish childhood growing up in the public school system in a hearing culture. Hellish. I don't remember this but Mother says I'd come home from public school every day, slam the front the door, sit down on the floor and burst into tears. The only thing she could do with me was dump me into the bathtub with a glass of orange juice... lol

    I threw myself into being there for my sister and gradually horrifically realized my sister was in the same boat my mother had been, medieval doctors, medieval schools, medieval understanding of how to help the developmentally challenged. She had a hard life with a violent autistic with an IQ of fifty, who today can read, write, do math, dress himself, do simple chores and sort of talk, but she did it herself and with huge blocks thrown in her way by the system of the TPTB. Did you know the largest by far big budget ticket item in public school systems is the money set aside for lawsuits with the parents of developmentally challenged children? It is so shameful what goes on.
    End Block.

    Thank you Paul, you rock in this sort of quiet dispassionate way that allows me to think without concern for the reaction. Oh this is why you are a mod!

    I hope you know I am respecting you more and more as I listen to you.

    Sierra
    Last edited by Sierra; 26th April 2011 at 00:33. Reason: corrected punctuation

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Quote For those reading this posting, Lucia Rene’s book is NOT a feminist book, it is a SPIRITUAL book.
    My comments have likely strayed enough from this thread's focus that I should let this thread get back on track. I have more experience with feminists than with the spiritual, and that shows.
    Quote I respectfully disagree here Paul. I think saying it is nature is a copout.
    I was not saying nature instead of nuture. I was thinking both, in a more subtle way than the usual dichotomy reflects. But that would be going further astray where I just decided I shouldn't.
    Quote I wuz the deafie, not the momma lol!
    Well my congratulations then to your mother. She surely succeeded well in "getting you language."

    Thank-you for your background on yourself. I enjoyed reading it. If some mod removes it for being off topic, it will have to be some other mod than myself.

    Thank-you also for helping your sister and her child, and for the kind words. I got to be a mod because I started writing good help threads on how to use the forum ... but that would be another detour from this thread's topic.
    -- Formerly known as "ThePythonicCow", aka "Cow", "PCow", "TPC", "PC", "Mooster", ...

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching this interview! It felt just as engaging as previous videos, but in a different way. The dialogue between Lucia and Bill really seemed to mirror and embody the essence of what 'Unplugging The Patriarchy' sets forth as our inevitable future - Both male and female intelli-GENTLY engaged in equal measure. Loved it, great work!

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Personally this is the best video from Avalon project that I've seen so far, very inspiring, with the open heart (from both men and women) love, and compassion.
    Thank you Bill, great work and hope to see a further interview with Lucia René again!

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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Hi there,

    I'm very new to this forum, but I remember listening to the interview with Lucia, and wishing that I could chime in on a discussion on this very topic. Sierra, I've been really enjoying your posts, especially as it feels to me that you are trying to work through something, while also advocating for your experiences. It's kind of like a miner who is sifting through the silt in search of gold. I say this, because I can relate to how you feel in this sense. I have so many strong emotions and thoughts around the subject of how men and women are treating each other, and while I feel a need to advocate for my experience, I am also trying to understand how to incorporate other people's experiences to come to a mutual place of harmony and understanding.

    I'm really interested in the points that you are bringing up Sierra, and the discussions that have resulted. As a man, I feel compelled to offer another perspective. You see, I have always been surrounded by women. I was raised by my mom, and it just so happened that most of the activities and carreers I was interested in were totally dominated by women. At least in my experience. In virtually every circle or community I have been, women are very outspoken and powerful, and men are very soft spoken, kind of mousy, and very much on the periphery. Most of my bosses, teachers, and supervisors have been women.

    Most of my interests in life have taken me in a spiritual and contemplative direction, mostyly through the body. That means, I am a dancer. I have always been interested in social work, and art forms that are centered around the body, or bodily awareness. In my experience, women very much dominate those fields.

    On a quick tangent, I once had a very interesting experience. I went to an event for 3-4 days in the woods where we danced from midnight to dawn around a fire every night. It was an incredibly spiritual experience, but very sensual and nurturing. Not in the sense that we were all holding hands and stroking each other. More like it was just about letting go, and letting a sense of irrational expression take over. We just melted into a deep flow of experience that seemed to have its own intelligence. It was a very sensual experience which allowed for very deep connections, and that's what was so nurturing. It was rich, and powerful, and raw, and creative. This group was mostly dominated by women.

    Immediately after, I went to a 10 day silent retreat, where we meditated a total of 12 hours a day, every day, from 4 am to 9pm (with little breaks). The hours were exactly opposite. This was also a very spiritual and profuound experience, but in a very opposite way than the dance event. We were not allowed to look at each other, or talk to each other. Even though we were a group, it was about remaining focused inwardly. But most importantly, it was about cultivating equanimity. There was no responding to, or expressing sensation. There was only observing the changing nature of experience, no matter what. Whether pleassurable or painful. Frightening or comforting, we were there to remain detached and observant. It felt very much like a place where you have to face the enormity of life by yourself. No one will help you. There is no comfort or help. You have to do it on your own. The only support you get, is the insistence to continue to face whatever is in front of you, however painful or pleasant.

    When I was done, I reflected on both those experiences, and I concluded that I had come to feel the love of the mother at the dance event. It was all about expression, and body, and spirituality, and creation, and nurture, and sensuality. It was about being alive, as a human being, on earth. It was about sharing the joys and burdens of pain and pleassure together.
    It was about pure experience.

    Then there was the love of the father at the meditation retreat which very much felt like this. You are alone in the world. The world will throw a lot at you, and you have to learn to deal with it by yourself. You have to cultivate the ability to allow pain and pleassure to whip past you while you remain neutral and in control. You have to come to see that you are not the experiences that you are experiencing, but rather a more subtle, refined vapor, or consciousness that lives beyond the body, and the earth.

    Those were my experiences. In my life I have come to see that both those states have their importance and their place. There are times when you have to control yourself, and be able to deal with whatever is coming your way while remaining level headed and in control of yourself. Other times, it's extremely important to let go and just experience. Whe I think back on the influence my mother and father had on me, it was very similar. My mom helped me by making things ok, and feeling with/for me. My dad helped me by pushing me to deal with life on my own, no matter how hard it seemed.

    But back to my original point, I have seen first hand how oppressive women can be towards men as well. It's different. Women don't tend to resort to physical violence. But, I have seen how women exclude men, and leverage power by a man's desire to be included. In the circles that I have frequented, women are at the core of what builds community. Without them, there really is no community. They tend to be exceptionally gifted in organizing and developing a sense of cohesion among people. I ascribe this to the ability to experience, as opposed to reflecting and contemplating meaning, which is something I see men doing a lot. Women, in my experience, flood the social body with richness, vitality, and creativity. Men seem to be good at providing frameworks and boundaries, but really fall short when it comes to filling those containers with substance and experience. Women seem to be really good at enlivening a social body, but struggle to provide a level of containment (that doesn't mean women aren't ingenious at organizing, and men aren't capable of providing substance).

    When I see women getting together, they laugh, and play, and cry, and create, and experience. It feels very sensual (in terms of the senses), rich, and chaotic. When I see men get together, they tend to discuss the meaning of things. It feels dense, pointed, and sparse. When I've seen women in a social space where men outnumber them and are dominating the activities, I see women often seem to hit a point where the intensive discussion about meaning starts to become stifling and frustrating. Almost like a fish that has no water. When I observe men who are in a social envrionment where women outnumber them and dominate the social space, I see the men feeling very disoriented, almost afraid, because they don't know how to let go and just surrender to experience. I see men often looking on on the periphery with almost envy, because they can't just let go. Even if they were capable of it, which many men are, just like many women are capable of debating meaning, they would quickly feel lost. In my experience, women guide men into the realm of experience. Men take their cues from women. If they barge in to that space uninvited, that can be seen as very threatening. Of course, I am speaking from a very hetero-normative perspective.

    All this to say, that my experience as a man growing up in the feminist movement was as follows. I came to be ashamed of myself and my manhood. The only messages I received, were that men are evil, and pigs. So I modeled myself after what I thought women wanted. A soft spoken, gentle, a-sexual, good friend. That, as you might be able to imagine, was desastrous for me. I was completely ignored. It took me years to figure out that the things the women around me were saying they were looking for, were actually not entirely true. Now, I have done a lot of asking, and interviewing, and it turns out that there are a huge number of men out there who are having the same experience. They feel the pressure of needing to be strong, but not being allowed to be strong because it is quickly perceived as an act of colonization. They are utterly confused, and deeply ashamed of their masculinty.

    I think we can agree that this is a very complex issue, and what i'm presenting here is only one narrow thread of many, but if we put these threads together, I believe we can see how it all intertwines into the rope that we are all hanging ourselves by. Part of the equation, is that the reason so many men use pornography, is because they are totally excluded and ignored by women, and prevented from having any kind of contact with women. Again, I am speaking from the narrow perspective of my experience. But in my world, women choose. A man can show his interest, but women have the final decision making vote. Many men go unchosen, and so the only way they can experience sensuality, is through porn, or prostitution of some kind. I don't even think it's about sex. It's about going outside of the realm of meaning, and entering into the realm of expression and experience. I know the difference. I've experienced both. Experience is where life is. Meaning and reflection help hold things together. To be condemned to a life of contemplaitng meaning without experiencing, is what I consider a life of solitary confinement. Something that I believe is well documented as being detrimental to a human beings life. I see how many men live in this state. Porn is the only way they can, for a moment, feel the realm of sensuality and experience.

    Part of it, is that we've done away with the very institutions that were designed to help men get into their bodies. That is what I believe the "Unplugging of the Patriarchy" is all about. It's about recognizing that women have these incredible powers to bring men into the thick of life, as opposed to standing on the sidelines building structures and mechanisms that frame life. When we allow for those intstitutions to re-emerge, men can be supported in rediscovering themselves as sensual experiencers. What prostitues and porn stars mimmick, are their sacred counterparts. People who's function it is to teach another human being how to safely navigate the incredibly powerful realm of experience. In my mind, there's no question. We've stripped all of our importan social archetypes of their inherent substance, and created fast food versions of their original, nutrient rich counterparts.

    So I see men working really hard to achieve some status, so that they will be chosen or noticed by women. As women are becoming more and more emancipated, and taking over more and more carreer fields, this is becoming harder and harder for men to do. Regardless, the reason men strive for status, is so that they will be noticed and chosen by a woman.

    I guess what I am trying to say, is that in my experience, and for the entirety of my lifetime, women have always dominated and been on top. I just want to add that this perspective also exists. That doesn't diminish the struggles that women still have, and the abuses that women have faced at the hands of men. I am for the true expression of what women are, and are capable of. Seeing a women in her full glory is very thrilling to me, and I feel an enormous sense of compassion for the oppression and marginalizaton that women have had to endure. All I am saying, is that as a man who has grown up in a feminist clmate, I see that many women, in their attempts to gain equality, have actually ended up battering and oppressing the men who love them, and whom they love. My life can be defined by the experience of marginalization and oppression on many levels. And, I can say that many of the people who have oppressed me the most were women. Most of them had no idea they were doing it. It still remains a subject of controversy. I have talked with many women about this, and surprisingly, a lot of women agree with me on this point.

    I think what we share is the experience of oppression and shame. The more I seek to understand what's goin on, the more clearly I understand that we are all being abused, because we live in a social psyche that's built on abuse. In order for one to have liberty, the other has to be subjugated. The way we are prevented from speaking out, is through shame. I believe that all of us are being pressured to be ashamed of ourselves in some way or another. The trick, I think, is to be able to speak up and describe the ways in which we are experiencing oppression, to learn how to develop understanding and compassion for each other's suffering, and to cultivate a set of agreements that lead to a sense of anatomical harmony/alignment. I do believe we can do that, only by opening up to each other earnestly and honestly. Most women I've talked to do not want to see men oppressed (some do). Most men I know don't want to see women oppressed. What that means, and how to create that situation is really a matter of clarity, communication, and synthesis.

    Those are my thoughts for now. I'm sure I'll have more. I am very interested in this discussion, and grateful that this topic is being approached here. Thank you for hearing me...

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    Avalon Retired Member
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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    WOW! I cried thru the whole thing, it is very healing.

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    ------

    This video embedded below (also posted by Astrid at post #160 on the previous page) comes from the beautiful Ninja Nun. (See her thread here...)
    Hi Bill,
    In don't know if you've seen this one yet. It follows along with Unplugging the Patriarchy and is a new start, a beginning of another way for our planet. Looks like there really are a few good men, after all, and we know a few of them ourselves... Sr._

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=K_uRIMUBnvw


  22. Link to Post #195
    New Zealand Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    I agree Armen, had the same conversation with my famz 2 weeks ago.

    If it wasn't my Mother lookin after me it was an Auntie.... Sisters!

  23. Link to Post #196
    Armenia Avalon Member Armen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unplugging the Patriarchy - a new interview with Lucia Rene

    Tahi,

    would love to hear some of your experiences. If you feel comfortable sharing here that would be great, or you can PM me.

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