Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gender, Spirituality, Hypocracy

I wholeheartedly believe in gender roles. They exist for a reason, they're important. I also believe they should be flexible. I can't rightly call myself a feminist because feminism has largely eliminated gender roles. I do not approve.

The goal that a woman should be ABLE to work, to live and act as she chooses, was and is a noble one; but in practice what feminism has done is moved from one forced social expectation to another. Women are no longer forced to be "housewives", but now we no longer have the option, even if we wanted to.

Many times I've encountered women with children at home who struggle with the desire to be present in their children's lives versus the inability to support a family on a single income. This situation was created by the expectation that the average American family with 2.5 children will have two full time incomes. One of the many many many reasons I will never have children and I'm not sold on the idea of pets is my unwillingness to waste that much of my life on the pursuit of money.

It is natural, genetic, and part of universal racial memory for men to be providers and protectors, and women to be nurturers and care givers.

If an individual should deviate from this norm, they should feel free to express themselves as is natural to them. We all know a Mama Bear who's up in arms to defend her clan, and we all know at least one Mister Mom. Two of my closest friends in Pensacola are these, you know who you are.

Once upon a time, men and women had equal roles in religion. Men were the law makers, the dispensers of justice. Women were the comforters, the healers, the spiritual guides. Today this is rarely so. Either women or men are marginalized; I'm looking at you, Christianity and Dianic Wicca; or in more enlightened practices it is regarded as sexist to have gender oriented roles and therefore all spiritual leaders tend to occupy the same roles. Even when the ritualism of the religion involves honoring gender duality, after the pageantry is over priest and priestess share the same tasks.

To forbid anyone from taking the role they are suited to based on gender, or anything else, would be backward and wasteful. To not even have these specialized roles is no better.

The work-a-day world is sucking the life out of me, but there is no place in this society, no niche to be filled, for someone like me. There hasn't been for a very long time. Once upon a time I'd have been a priestess living on the auspices of the temple and serving the community full time. In these times I am forced to work for a living and contribute only what little strength I have left to spare to helping those around me.

Our society is guilty of failing to recognize the unique gifts of the individual, of forcing everyone to become a cog in the industrial machine. We are no longer people, we are "human resources".

We have been standardized, and this process has included stripping all differentiation between the genders. And yet, somehow it is still taboo  to cross from one gender to the other. We're supposed to all act the same, but that only means women should act like men, not the other way around. Way to go feminists, hope you're proud of yourselves. You didn't achieve female freedom, you just became men with boobs.


  1. I wouldn't be too hard on the first wave or second wave feminists. After centuries of patriarchy, they faced a hard road with courage and determination to change things. Forging a new road can be precarious and mistakes are bound to be made. Wrong turns, false's all part of the process. The pendulum swings...too much one way, then too much the other, with the hope that it will one day come to rest in the center. And as post demonstrates, gender roles are tricky, reimagining them a slippery slope.

    1. The pendulum swings because that is how the mechanism is designed. They are welcome to be part of the mechanism. I'd rather be the clock maker.

  2. "Women are no longer forced to be "housewives", but now we no longer have the option, even if we wanted to."

    This line brought tears to my eyes.
    I'd love nothing more than to devote my time to spiritual practice, herbalism, and tending my garden and my home, but that really isn't an option, and it breaks my heart.