Giving Power To Patriarchy
So very often we are giving power to patriarchy without even realising it. When I cast my mind back on my own fertility struggles and early years as a mother, I can see clearly now how I was giving power to patriarchy. As if that was some kind of noble exercise.
I was caught up my efforts to be 'good' - as our patriarchal world kindly defines that for women. (You can read more on my personal journey with this in the following posts: When to give up trying to have a baby, Have a baby or get a job and this one on my experience with fertility doctors.)
But this audio and article below were inspired by an experience I had with one of my daughters when she was eight years old - as I thought it would be valuable for you.
A Trip To The Hair Dresser!
Zero maintenance was her goal. Fed up with brushing, my little girl wanted her tresses to be knot-free. Without engaging in prevention activities or detangling!
But even if, at 5 years, she had snipped a very cute bob with her own little hands - she wanted a professional this time.
Prior to the appointment we chatted about what she had in mind and she was very clear. Short. Not just above the shoulders short (which is considered short among her peers). She wanted it really short - like a boy's.
While waiting for the stylist to finish up with another client, she picked images from the magazine that were consistent with her words. She knew what she wanted.
Here is where it got interesting for me...
Her very pleasant, warm coiffeuse perceived this version of 'short' to be a bit too radical. (I since learned that she never had short hair herself.)
So, in an effort to facilitate communication, I stepped in to show a photo my daughter had picked out minutes before.
The response the came was as follows "No, it's too short, we'll go longer". And to my surprise, I observed the younger of the other two females in this triad nodding in agreement.
And, after trying again to support her to stick to her previously articulated preference, I retreated to allow the process unfold.
Because I could see that this beautiful little girl had shifted track and intervening further was pointless....
All pretences of being content with the end result disappeared when we were greeted by the fresh air upon exiting the building. It was a lovely cut but not in her eyes - as she shared with us in numerous ways.
She didn't like the look of it. Or how it felt in her firm fingers. And, after hurrying into the car which was parked close by, she wept into her hands. But it wasn't just the outcome (above shoulder-length hair) that caused her to grieve.
I could see that she was not happy with herself for being sidetracked from her true desires. Having done that myself, I could really relate to what was going on.
How many times have I expressed sadness or anger with the results when what bothered me much more deeply was how I showed up. For me. Perhaps you can resonate too?
Giving Power To Patriarchy?
So what has that to do with us giving power to patriarchy? This interaction didn't happen with a doctor, police officer or even a man (authority figures we often associate with patriarchy).
This child is not growing up in a home that encourages submissiveness and giving up on what you want. Or says that you have to go along with adults because they are adults. (Although this is very tempting at times - especially when that adult is me!)
And that is why it felt so important to share this. Because giving power to patriarchy is not the experience of disadvantaged women and children in blatently male systems.
Giving power to patriarchy happens everywhere. All of the time. With all of us. How? Due to a very clever line of code written into most of our education, legal and health systems on the planet. Indeed, this code as been so fused with our idea of what education is, that we don't even question it.
The Line Of Code
But it ensures that we remain disconnected from our creative feminine power and maintain the patriarchal status quo. So here is that line of code that keeps us on the treadmill of giving power to patriarchy:
The right answers are outside of you.
This idea is endemic in patriarchy and it's part of our current collective consciousness. Invisible as the air we breath, it infuses us over and over with the notion that it is rude and wrong not to go along with others. Especially if they are older and/or present themselves with authority.
So when another human being comes along with a sense that their perspective is superior in some way, all too often we go along with that. We forget the desire, excitement and delight in persuing what we would really love. In other words, we forget our creative feminine.
With the result that so many of our creative impulses never get past the first trimester. And we believe that this is the extent of what is possible for us.
And Giving Power To Patriarchy Continues...
So after unplugging from our creative feminine by letting others steal our dreams, we throw the flex away when we deduce that the results are proof that what we wanted wasn't really important anyway. Or it wasn't meant to be. (See my article on false hope in fertility after 50)
But as you become more aware of this code, you might be able to hear the sneaky patriarchal snigger in the background. (I am reminded here of my post on fertility and feminine wisdom. Because that topic evokes a patriarchal guffaw.)
So even if it was painful, it was powerful for this lovely child to experience this dynamic in action. When the dust settled, I explained to her that this is the way it used to be. Because we have been taught directly and indirectly that somebody else knows what is better for us. It turned out to be a powerful lesson for us all.
Your Creative Feminine Future
As somebody who is always investing in my own personal development, I know the importance of learning from others (like you!) and having great mentors. So it's important not to throw the baby out with the bath water on the issue of giving power to patriarchy. I don't mean that we shouldn't learn from or listen to others.
But sustainable co-creation always includes a mix of the feminine and masculine aspects. And when you are in your true creative power as a woman, you will be able to learn from others, receive guidance AND tune into your own feminine wisdom while doing so.
You will listen to how you feel about a subject or taking a particular course of action. You will give yourself permission to try and change your mind. You will engage your feminine power on each and every step - even with the best mentors.
Because you are one of a kind. And it is only by navigating with your personal feminine wisdom and guidance that you can really show up as the woman and mother (if you want to be one) you truly want to be!
Giving Power To Patriarchy - Audio
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