Feminism

Women’s Mysteries: Ovulation and The Active Imagination

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Dualistic, or Self Verses Other, Thinking

We got here to this beautiful earth handed down human from human, parent to parent, earth to foot to heart to head, and back again.

We suffer a single wound through which all else arises and which, for centuries, has been largely misunderstood and thus continually misrepresented.  This wound is the wound to self or soul. Recognizing it as the blessing through which we are meant to evolve into our real, authentic self is a new way of seeing I encourage!

The psyche projects today its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking.  Mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview.  Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior.  This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!

The number one symptom of an individual acting this out is do do do, keep going stay busy and there’s not enough time.  To slow down, to live moment to moment, to embody soul feels wrong.  Why is that?  Because to slow down means sitting still with the internalized belief system that we are actually bad or wrong.  Which is human nature.  Christian mythology named it original sin.

“Fundamentalisms,” said depth and ecopsychologist Craig Chalquist, “flourish as eradigms end because people caught in and psychologically fused with familiar modes of thought and habit fight to avoid changing them.”  He is speaking of the industrial-era, mechanistic belief system that esteems dualism. Dualism underlies what depth, eco-critical feminists like Christine Downing or Susan Rowland called antithetical thinking or binary thinking.   This is the idea of self being separate from all other reality, rather than a point of reference amidst an autonomous sphere of which all of life is a part.  It sets up all base conflicts in existence, for example: if this is right for me than when you do it differently it must be wrong.  Which is the basic drama of childhood: reward for right behavior.  Creating an unconscious association of what is wrong…

As societies we create entire social systems out of this misconception.  It’s what happens when we cannot see life as a continuum of constant flow and creation, and our role as conscious creator inside of that.

Again, this sort of thinking arises out of our earliest internalizations of opposites, and concretizes around age 2 or 3 when we understand that I and my caregiver are separate, too.   Now man against man, man against woman, black against white, rich against poor, man against self thinking sets up.  Internalization of getting positive attention from the Other as confirmation for Self as Right sets up a lifelong tension, meant to be the doorway to the authentic self.  Jung called this creation of the persona.  Taking on the tension of the opposites, doing the work of self verses other, is how to individuate.  He said that individuation is our true life’s work.  To become who we really are.

Women’s Mysteries

Embodying the female menstrual cycle means seeking inward to the autonomous place from which Self arises for confirmation of our Life.  The menstrual cycle teaches life embodiment in the series of different energies that rise and fall throughout the month.  These phases of female biology move back and forth from being the subject, or in control during ovulation; to being receptive or the object, at the mercy of a larger biology (the right brain) during the second half or post-ovulation. The cycle embodies the deep knowing that we are life-givers, and too experience death or loss as part of the perpetual circle of life. This is supported chemically by the hormones that are released.  It is proven that the hemisphere’s of the brain stimulate differently according to where a woman is–hence the energy moves between the lobes of thought driven or creatively intuitive.  Women’s biology is equipped to learn inter-lobal being, or heal the damage of the split in the self.

The wound of soul is the wound of being split off from the autonomous, uncalculated depths of wholeness and endless continuum of life.

At ovulation, for women who suffer this soul-split within, it is likely that the old, internalized beliefs about what is right or wrong, what writer Julia Cameron called the Critic, will start to play through her head.  This is because the psyche, at ovulation, prepares the body to create new life.  So too new ideas are stimulated, new energies that draw us outward in a motivated, excited way…just as the cycle of growth in Nature or the phases of the moon teach. All is connected. But if the psyche, as most if not all do, has that split of internalized good and bad that is not being gently, daily tended and worked out, than ovulation can be a time of unnamed sadness or frustration.  It is literally the wound of soul trying to create itself anew but being stopped by the old beliefs that our true inner life and instincts that arise from within are wrong.

I know I am living in an embodied way when what Jung called active imagination, or fresh thoughts, ideas, literal images in my head or energetic new thoughts or words or poems are pulsing during ovulation.  I know I am honoring my truth, living my rich life in a present way from day to day.  I identify with this knowing as a feeling of being rooted deeply in the relational:  when I show up first to myself and it is a buoyant joy to do so.  From this joy space I can then use me as witness to see what is going on in psyche. In this way I recognize that from within I am both subject and object.  I see myself, and can see that I am doing the seeing.  In doing so I have a choice as to how I relate to me, to the “otherness” that I label or experience as good or bad, from within.  The choice is showing up with love and gentleness, compassion.  Whatever the tapes that play, the feelings or beliefs or thoughts that flow from me and that I judge or repress by not looking at them, judge or repress according to old associations of good or bad.  I show up to me and witness this inside, with love and acceptance. This keeps me present throughout the day. This softens the split. This heals. It’s quite simple.  I am healing the wound of self/other thinking by choosing to honor and fuse both within.  The heart is where this fusion lay.

Active Imagination at ovulation is a powerful archetypal tool.  Work with this can open our life to deep psychic mysteries.  In my experiences, the symbology at this time, and coming into relationship with it, can introduce us to generational and lineage themes that underlie our entire family pattern.  This is a rich and in-depth way to approach our life, our play, our being, our work.  Our true self.

Such amazing life this is.  So many, many tools and riches.  Begin, within!

Systemic Violence and the Killing of Michael Brown by Xochitl Alvizo

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Anger is part of the work of love. Beverly Harrison tells us that “Anger is – and it always is – a sign of some resistance in ourselves to the moral quality of the social relations in which we are immersed.” It tells us that things are not well. And, indeed, things are not well. There is a lot to be angry about. May we use our anger and direct its energy toward the work of justice and love and the social change that they call forth…..

So grateful today for this 🙏💓

Alvizo profile 12-13 - CopyOppression is systemic. Injustice is systemic. It pervades the whole – it seeps into everyday actions and becomes habits and patterns that function as default. As a result, the actions that fall within these patterns hardly need justifying. If anything, the questioning of them is what is put on the defensive. And those who stand against injustice must usually do so in the face of militarized policing, before vast forces that serve to preserve the status quo.

I can’t help but see the similarities between the everyday existence of young black men, of boys in this country, and that of women. The lack of safety in public places; the need to always be aware of one’s surroundings; the lack of trust in the intentions of another; living with the knowledge that people like you experience violence at much higher rates than others. It is a racist, violent, patriarchal world we…

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Against Patriarchy: 20 Tools for Men to Further Feminist Revolution

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THIS. Every time I get discouraged (and forget that Hope means standing despite the ordeal of obstacles with which you are confronted) Life delivers something like THIS…

Change From Within

ChrisCrassThis week’s post comes from Chris Crass, a longtime organizer working to build powerful working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. Throughout the 1990s he was an organizer with Food Not Bombs. In the 2000s, he was an organizer with the Catalyst Project, which combines political education and organizing to develop and support anti-racist politics, leadership, and organization in White communities and builds dynamic multiracial alliances locally and nationally in the United States. He has written and spoken widely about anti-racist organizing, lessons from women of Color feminism, strategies to build visionary movements, and leadership for liberation. He is the author of Towards Collective Liberation: anti-racist organizing, feminist praxis, and movement building strategy published by PM Press.

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Men in Feminism

For all of us who are men who believe in social justice, who want healthy and beautiful lives for our loved ones, and who are working for positive change in…

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This is what silencing looks like

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Left at the Lights

I didn’t celebrate International Women’s Day. I didn’t feel I had the right to. I’ve known for a while that maybe I’m not allowed to call myself a feminist because of the way feminism isn’t really much about real equality (justice), or hasn’t been for quite some time even though I’ve always believed it was my calling in life, to be a professional feminist, to ‘be the change I want to see’. The movement is so fractured and ugly, there is no solidarity and as I’ve said before, what are we without it?

I am trying to understand where I’ve gone wrong and coming up with a blank. It is my belief that I trust survivors, no exceptions. I stand by that belief, I put it into practice. Of all my feminist principles, believing survivors of patriarchal violence (entitlement that is positively encouraged by society as opposed to other forms…

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HEART SPEAK: Saturday Holla-Rant (sucky homework, feminism, dope bodyboarders, instagram)

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^  This song  ^

which I discovered on Instagram by following a like to a like and then discovering the feed of one of the younger dudes that hangs out and bodyboards at the beach I go to–this one in fact, where I took Eddie and Megan to eat burritos on their way out of town, about to road trip up the coast last week:

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If you’re on there, follow him @will_ross__

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out mermaiding around and him and his buddies are off to the side howling and assin up having good times.  At least now I’m guessing it was them.  Super fun, and sorta like discovering a little private or secret treasure, to see these guys on a different level.  It made me pause a minute, envious of that generation, how incredibly…potent it is or could be.  Capable.  How powerful self-expression and the opportunity to do so is, if catalyzed… Here is a youtube he just uploaded this week:

It was also timely to find him because it helped me put into perspective something I’ve been grappling with.

~

For homework this week I posted a filmed rant of me.  It was a web assignment.  We had to do a creative or spoken word reaction to material we read for a class on psychological assessments.   It was nice to cathart my feelings that way–the material of that class infuriates me.

Which is how I’ve been my whole life: agitated by systems, institutions, cliques,  interactions etc that operate by separating, oppressing,  ignoring (which includes misunderstanding or being blind unintentionally, because of too much overt focus on one thing–which I am frequently guilty of and is how I learned about it,) silencing, excluding etc.

Lately I have found myself re-engaged by feminist dialogue for this very reason–as feminism in at least one primary context has come to be associated with a certain set of ideas normalized by the dominant culture, or white, upper-middle class.  In other words, the value system of this upper-middle class sect of society indicates what’s “acceptable”, and concepts of equality become based on this.   Which is outrageous because that reality, while real for that sect, isn’t reality for tons and tons of other people.  The concept of intersectionality is a main one currently addressing some of this.

So here I am, all hot and on a run of rants lately–like the rebel teenager I used to be,

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re-owning the parts of her that I feel still wholly and truly reflect who I am.  And at once, contextualizing the other parts that have bloomed in her wake.

~

I made my way, learned my way in to who I am and how to become and operate as an adult, the same way a lot of post-70’s kids did:  Legless as mutherfuckin hell, without a clue as to what to do with myself because the old roles were changing, because I was recovering from heavy alcohol and drug abuse, because I was from a disrupted and broken home, because it was so easy to be totally disillusioned and apathetic by the suddenly accessible big world around me, because because there’s a million becauses.   What matters is my twenties were a rite of passing, when I had to get out there, be accountable, and figure it out for myself.

I didn’t want to but I kept getting offers to teach.  Again and again.  The first class I did teach was English as a Second language for adults.   My first night, wayyyy out in the country surrounded by turned fields of corn and soy, I could see my breath on the air.  I heard my students speaking spanish, coming up the hall.  We would meet at the corner.  I spoke little espanol.  I was terrified, had no training, what was I gonna do?  I closed my eyes,  thought: direct my thoughts and actions, help me, open my heart.

The rest….has been my path.  I had five students that night and at least as many little kids.  Each was undocumented.  That class would grow to over 20, with lots more little kids.  I had no training.  (The local politics (economics, -isms, (nepotism!,) micro-reflections of the macro) of that little eastern shore “southern town” was an enormously challenging lesson in understanding that I would soon have to engage.)  My first night, three of my students were related, lived together.   Later in the month I was invited to their home for dinner after class. I had to hide my embarrassment, my guilt and shame, when we got to their home–put up in an old farmhouse by the farmer whose land they tended.   The first floor of the house was dirt.  The tia that cooked for us (a chicken killed by hand) was younger than me but looked way beyond youth.  The deep wrinkles between her brows.  The accepting way of her eyes, as she watched me swallow my distress when I saw where they lived.

~

So what does any of this have to do with a rad group of grommie bodyboarders in one of the richest, elitist, and absolutely whitest beach towns in the United States (where I, a white woman on food stamps, with two decades of private education in suburbia, live?)  It’s like this.

As I looked at this dude’s feed, and clicked on friends of his to look at, too, I saw language that would be called misogynist by the echelon of educated academic feminist circles.  (Not necessarily would women of all cultures, race, heritage, speak about this–because norms of cultures are different and speaking out is different in the context of those norms, HERE, MY POINT AGAIN—FEMINISM is a construct specific to dom culture)  (Believe me, I myself have left my fair share of anti-sexist rants on Surfer‘s forum)

I also saw vidclips of behavior that normalizes or arises out of a normalized perception of women as objects.  (Plenty of feeds did the opposite, too.)   I follow several feeds that feature only bikinis (actually–the models wearing the bikinis).  As a woman who pays attention to her body specifically because I hit the beach so often,  where does the line get blurred?

My point: The most important thing I learned teaching is that without active understanding there is no capacity to truly communicate.  And conversely, communication, or how we do so, is fundamental to understanding.  If ever we–this is a collective we, humanity, are going to shift and evolve into a species that is life-affirming and life-valuing, in my opinion it will come down to this key concept.  Understanding the differences in how we each relate.  What impacts–culture, heritage, race, upbringing, neighborhood, family etc–how we relate.  To me, I can not separate my politics from my dialectics or philosophies because it is so much less about what I have to rant about, it is way more about how I walk day to day.  How I interact with life.  With people.  With you, outside of me.  As a relational extension of me.

Do I do so–in this moment, with an other in front of me, with an open, understanding heart?  Or am I separating us, me against them, with a concretized way of how I already understand.

This is a daily practice. A challenge.  It never ends.

We repress ourselves, our need to work it out day by day, when we say we have the end-all answer.  And when we repress ourselves we battle our selves.  And when we battle ourselves, we battle everything, especially every one, we come in contact with.

All this said…I will still raise my voice.  I will do so as an example for others, because as we each get to learn, so too do we each teach.  I think it’s important to share what I see, what I am learning.  What we understand or don’t, where we struggle.  To encourage others that they’re worthy of the same.  It is important to  me to truly see you, not my idea of you.  I blow it sometimes.  Maybe more than that.  But you deserve it.  I do, too.

Rape Culture at the University of Ottawa

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The Belle Jar

On February 10th, Anne Marie Roy, president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, was sent screenshots of a chat that had taken place earlier in the month between two student federation board members and several other students who are either elected to or participate in various faculty associations. The chat had taken place during the student federation elections, and all five men involved were members of a campaign opposing Roy’s (Roy has been president of the student federation since May 2013, and was re-elected this month). The conversation was about Roy, and the portion she was given contained graphic sexual descriptions about what the men wanted to do to her, including a rape joke that could, potentially, be taken as a rape threat.

Below are the screenshots. The participants are as follows:

Bart Tremblay: a non-elected student involved with the association for the Arts faculty

Alexandre Giroux:…

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Why I Stopped Identifying With White Feminism

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Your thoughtfulness, honesty about your hesitancy to speak your mind, and the fact that you own who you are and will mess up–all of it humbled me. I find the these days even the word itself no longer sits with me–as a third wave “feminist” arising out of riot grrrl, bc of the one dimensionality, the blood baths, the us against them. Intersectionality is real reality: it numbs my mind the gratuitous blindness of so many of my peers, the false realities they create and subscribe to… I need instead, and as much as possible, to find and be inspired by conversations like this. Thank you for sticking your neck out.

ofcourseitsaboutyou

(Inspired by @SamAmbreen’s post here: We will not let white feminism divide and conquer us)

Today I’ve been talking with @HadleyFreeman about a series of posts she made to @JudeinLondon earlier in the day. Short story: Freeman wrote a problematic article, Jude discussed it on Twitter without linking to Freeman, someone emailed Freeman about Jude’s response and Freeman demanded, repeatedly, that Jude take the discussion offline. In my opinion, she abused her platform and privilege. She called Jude’s preemptive blocking of her account “childish” when it was an act of self care. Eventually, she used the same tone policing on me and I believe she has blocked my account, although I fully admit to blocking her and not checking back. Maybe later. It was yet another example of why I don’t belong in White feminism and why many other white feminists feel the same way. Today, @SamAmbreen asked for…

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House of Cards: Why not calling myself a Feminist often seems like the most pro-femi thing I can do.

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You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me–what I’m thinking.  What I’m doing?  Circling my little room.  Rump directing and redirecting like a yellow jacket about to take sweet you know?  I was getting ready to write.  Circling the whole of my apartment, a single little room because Woolf was right, it’s a tenant of feminism with which I fully agree:  women, whoever you are, from wherever you come, we do need a room of our own.

In this day and age, a little space to get to know and relate to our self, it’s what we all need.  A practical responsibility.

I’ve created my whole life around that need, my little room is the sum of all my space: a shoebox barely big enough–shoulder to shoulder–for three, and right enough for me to relate endlessly to me.  Real me.  To create and give permission and fall silent, to sing and dance and laugh and cry and scream.  To watch internet TV, eat horrible junkfood, grow fresh veggies outside my door, read, write, revere, be lonely, make love, not shower for days.  Put friends up when they come meandering or rushing through.  Feed.  Sometimes, starve.

It’s tiny, and it’s mine, and I fought hard to make it.

And I was going to write about that.  The Salon article about the trend of single women who aren’t fabulous, or spinsters, but just honoring them selves and their choices as equally important to the women who marry and parent the traditional way.  That’s what inspired it.

Then I read this, inspired by the Jezebel article.  About how House of Cards is the most Feminist thing happening on TV. And here’s my disclaimer:  Back in 2008, when I was leaving my longterm relationship to go out and pursue the room of my own, the life on my terms, Jezebel was a great inspiration to me.  But I have major issue with the tenants going on in both these articles.  Major enough to show my own ass so here we go.

Why I Believe in the Deconstruction of Feminism

Feminism is a function of dominant culture.  That means that the value system which created the need for women to organize in favor of equality between the sexes arose out of an upperclass, imperialistic, European, white, Christian (though look no further than Mexico, or New Mexico, Texas, California, or Arizona, for the heritage element to switch to Spanish–as in Spain–teaching us to consider the philosophic underpin of dominant culture) way of conquer-the-other and assimilate.  Fundamentally, the underlying philosophical aspect of this rigid and long time established illusion of this is the right way is a natural aspect of dualism.  Dualism, if you are unfamiliar, is the self/object dilemma.  It is the idea that I as subject am separate from you as object.  It is a sweeping statement, yes, full of discrepancies for sure, but for the sake of getting to my point I will say: most dogmas and religious rules, societal norms and mores, are flawed at the core because they have taken for granted an applied assumption of a dualistic understanding of consciousness.

Meaning: I am separate from you.  God is separate from me.  Night is separate from day.  Love is separate from hate.  Man is separate from women. Black is separate from white.  Masculine is separate from feminine.  These are true from a strictly social, perceptive, or three-dimensional stand point.  But arguing equality as a necessity of  we deserve the same treatment not despite of but because of our differences, without taking into consideration the philosophy underlying your politics, is irrational.

Consciousness is a vast unseperate state that arises entirely from within yourself.  The illusion that your waking thoughts are separate and unrelated to your nighttime dreams, for example, is a function of adherence to dualism.  The illusion that you of age 8 as separate from the you of age 50 is a function of adherence to dualism.  Dualism underlies, for example, the decree by the Nicaean Council that nature is not ensouled.  Or the biblical misinterpretation that dominion over the animals means conquer rather than serve.  In reality, consciousness, like night to day, white to black, masculine to feminine, are actually on a continuum.  Dualism, as stated, is real, but only on one level of reality.  A man whose gender is male is separate, on a gender level, from a woman whose gender is female.  YES.  Yet within himself, the man has feminine instincts, what Eastern traditions call yin, or depth traditions the anima (so as to not confuse the gender conversation).   Within herself, the woman has male instincts (yang or animus).  How she or he relates to these instincts are his or her own primary responsibilities.  It begins, as far as I am concerned, with nurturing a climate of understanding within our self, of the relational continuum which consciousness actually is…in fact not separate at all.  When we allow this within, we are breaking down ions of cultural constructs that allow oppression and unchecked rampant hate in the world we are actively creating around us.

Bio-cellurlarly we know this to be true.  BUT THAT ITSELF IS A WHOLE OTHER CONVERSATION.

Patriarchy is merely a lens through which we have learned that reality devalues other.   It values white, European norm over people of color or heritage.  It values men, and what we associate as masculine, over women, and what we associate as feminine.  Underlying it is the unconscious value judgement of logic over intuition (animus or yang, over anima or yin); of doing over being; of thinking over feeling, of the end over the means.  It is why white feminists are called to task for blindly valuing “white” (dominant culture) mores–which is what happens when a white woman doesn’t check her relationship to other, by beginning within.

When we don’t check our relationship to other, starting with how we relate to the continuum of aspects of our own selves, then we fall in to the dualist trap of fearing, hating, or WORSE: NOT EVEN SEEING OTHER.  In this, we each and every one are implicit in the maintenance of dominant culture and patriarchal systems.

Which is why there is no way on earth I can take seriously a feminist perspective of House of Cards that values undermining and manipulative “chess moves” to bring to light the social issues of sexism and sex abuse, in order to set them on the platform of the HEART OF THE FLAWED INSTITUTION itself.   Social commentary?  You bet. But a system that values other, that reveres differences, emotions, being, intuition, love, understanding, that is thoughtful about the instincts, reasons, and rationales in support of separateness, as in my room of my own?  NO.  Which modern day dominant culture Feminism seems to not be about anyway.  And Jezebel, while thoughtful in the final line: “In the context of House of Cards’ amoral, political spin machine, the end justifies the means” is just maintaining the old system’s norms of what’s acceptable by eschewing the tactics of House of Cards “feminism”. For us to break down dominant cultural conditioning by serving at the alter of its apex?   To call Claire Underwood a feminist strictly because she speaks out against these abuses?

This is why I say we have to tear down, deconstruct what feminism is.  As much as I am able to stay fresh and challenge myself, I can’t and won’t value the politics of demonize other.  I am humanist, relational, non-dualist.  Feminism in its most recent push publish forum separates me out, places me on the us against them battlefield that believes itself only important on the dominant culture iconic stage, because that’s the philosophy it was born out of.

How can we re-create?  Re-vision?

To me it begins with how we relate within.  As a human, to allow my feelings and my logic to influence my original thought.

The paradigm’s shifting people.

Wake up.

So, thought I’d share

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which is from a women’s rights alliance rally in college to get brighter street lights installed

circa 2001, with a Snap edit added today, made for Siobhan & E.V.E.