In thinking about the prevalence of violence throughout our country…
It’s everywhere: on the web, on TV, in the news, in the movies, at school, in homes, on our streets, in politics, within our military, our public spaces, our commercial spaces, our places of worship – even among the Amish and Native Americans who co-exist independently.
Violence in all of its insidious forms has been allowed to dictate the reality in which we all live and our ancestors and their ancestors lived. Violence has been passed down generation to generation with no end in sight. In the absence of 1/2 the human race = women, violence has prevailed.
As women, we have been the 24/7 targets of violence for centuries upon centuries. Because the law and civil society allowed it. The punishment cannot possibly fit the crime when the victim had no input. Women were denied participation in designing constitutions, laws and the institutions we live under today.
Consequently, civil society rarely reflects feminine attributes of empathy, nurturance and sacrifice. There is not one country where women are equal to men. Not one. Let that reality sink in… How tragic. What about diversity of gender, Fellas?
The overwhelming global message is men’s superiority/women’s inferiority. Men’s visibility/ women’s invisibility.
So, how is blaming ourselves for succumbing to the patriarchy’s brainwashing productive? How could we escape it? Any one of us? What choice have women and men been given other than to adopt our prescribed roles and live them out? Our culture consistently reinforces the social hierarchy at our peril.
But at any point in time, we can choose to say “Enough”. This is not the world we choose any longer.
Let’s face it. Every one of us has been affected by violence – directly or indirectly. We all have felt afraid. Angry. Despair. Hopelessness. We have all had moments of peace, joy and laughter too. Hopefully, each of us has felt loved and loved another. The universality of the Human experience is our safe harbor – our lighthouse to navigate out of the darkness.
It’s our stories around these universal emotions that is our truth. Our bridge to building the future. One that respects the worth and autonomy of each individual we encounter and even those we don’t know. Men and women can co-exist peacefully as true partners, but not if one denies the other’s free will. Isn’t it our human right to live up to our full potential and allow others to do the same?
We have the capability to forge rich and deep connections if we speak from the heart – shaped from our raw experience and trust that we are indeed stronger together. Whether our “union” becomes more perfect depends on US.