ESSAY SERIES INTRODUCTION: The Feminine (R)evolution

Using the word ‘feminine’ in the title of my blog has not come easily. In fact, in the way the word is generally used, even hearing myself say it still makes me cringe. I remind myself this is a reclamation, a rising up of the real deal from a barren, dry landscape of forgetting.

In fact, it took a journey into darkness, a journey that turned my understanding of life upside-down, in order to re-discover the word ‘feminine’ and its significance in our times.  This journey is about how a pissed off, white woman found her humanity and a profound sense of purpose in the heart of shitty, crazy times in our country. The story of that journey, and the dots I have connected subsequently are chronicled in a series of essays (some complete, some pending) about the inner work of citizenship, about post-patriarchal values, relationships, and an emerging, devotional love of our World.

We are not just a skin-encapsulated ego, a soul encased in flesh. We are each other and we are the world.
― Charles Eisenstein

The first essay shares an account of how Donald Trump had everything and nothing to do with all this – how he perfectly, though inadvertently, catalyzed in my mind and heart a whole new frontier for Citizenship.

But, first, something more about that troublesome word feminine… Continue reading “ESSAY SERIES INTRODUCTION: The Feminine (R)evolution”

The Obama/ Buttigieg Difference: On the Appeal of a Post-Patriarchal Masculinity

Amidst the rapidly growing pool of candidates for the democratic ticket in 2020, the relatively un-known, Pete Buttigieg, is making an un-expectedly big splash. “Mayor Pete” distinguishes himself in many ways — he’s the youngest candidate, an outside the beltway democrat from a red-state and, of course… he’s gay. People are also impressed with his grounded rhetoric — a down-home, reasoned and whip-smart common sense. Likened by more than a few to Barack Obama, Chris Cillizza writes: “Don’t look now, but (another) skinny kid with a funny name is turning heads in the presidential race.”

Like Obama, Buttigieg does have that remarkable ability to focus his sizable intelligence, (he’s a Rhodes scholar with a philosopher’s reflective interest in all-things-civic), on our complex political reality in readily, relatable ways. Also like Obama, he has that unflappable capacity to sound reassuring with every answer he offers, coming off cool no matter the curve ball.

But, I think there’s another reason why Buttigieg reassures us. Of all the candidates, he has something Obama had that’s essential to our future and yet that’s rare among men in leadership today: what I would describe as a post-patriarchal masculinity.

Continue reading “The Obama/ Buttigieg Difference: On the Appeal of a Post-Patriarchal Masculinity”

The Silver Lining: Trump and the Crisis of White, Patriarchy’s Archetypes

The silver lining to Trump and America’s white-patriarchal crisis.

In his recent interview with Bill Moyers, Ben Fountain, author of Beautiful Country, Burn Again, contextualizes Trump’s ascent to power within America’s (popular) culture, clarifying the ways our current political circumstances far from rose out of a vacuum. As an immigrant to this country and a keen observer of its culture, I’ve seen this truth as self-evident since the 2016 primaries. Fountain points to the popularity of J.R. Ewing — a Trumpian, villain proto-type — a character who, in the year I emigrated from England to the US, (1977), morosely captivated what was then still a fledgling, “global” popular culture. His image was so compelling my friends joked that I would surely return one day in a ten-gallon hat. J.R. Ewing and his tough, good-guy counterpart, John Wayne, hold sway as powerful, mythic white, male archetypes — the existence of which, in today’s evolving America, have become deeply threatened to their celluloid core.

J.R. Ewing from the TV series DallasFountain’s analysis begins to touch on the ways the Trump phenomenon is inseparable from the culture in which it was born. I remember hearing the predictions of a famous Vedic astrologer before the 2016 election that “America will get the president it deserves” — and we have. Fountain weaves connections between American popular culture, the failures of the American dream under its waking-life capitalism, and our propensity to escape, exponentially compounded today by the addictive appeal of our “devices”. Fountain is dead on here as he points to the complexity of the problems we face in this country; he makes it clear it will require much more than the time it takes for Trump to leave office to address them. (Assuming he leaves, which I still have some faith will eventually happen.)

However, there is something important missing in Fountain’s analysis — at least as it appears in this interview. American culture, its economic institutions, and this country’s values are infused at their foundation by the impact of a patriarchal worldview. As those institutions are increasingly threatened, the question is begged: What might be able to emerge on the other side? Continue reading “The Silver Lining: Trump and the Crisis of White, Patriarchy’s Archetypes”

About: the feminine (r)evolution

Τhis site contains writing about all that has the potential to be born in dark and (r)evolutionary times.

The commentary, poetry, and essays on this blog spring from the heart of a woman, a mother of sons, and a gender warrior joining others today in the clarion call from our bodies today saying “enough is enough!” My writing explores themes of power and vulnerability,  masculine and feminine, patriarchy, gender, and the territory – including the territory of the earth – where the personal has become newly political.

(r)evolutionary times

The seeds for all the great, progressive leaps in Western history have always been planted during trying times.  When outer conditions were experienced as increasingly in-humane, the human soul responded through the work of courageous, (r)evolutionary artists, philosophers, theorists and theologians whose creative engagements coalesced to articulate more meaningful human truths to live by.  The seedbed for democracy was planted this way, through stories written, revised, and debated over decades about a then ‘new’ “Man in the State of Nature.”

Today, we are again in such (r)evolutionary times.  Though life on the surface reflects a confident, status quo,  evidence of something new being born is all around, seeds planted where the darkness and weight of our culture’s hubris are felt and faced. Here, a new “notion of self”(Joanna Macy) is taking shape with an accompanying world view to support a more meaningful future for humanity and our earth.

For the last half-century, the pressures of Western, patriarchal capitalism and an increasingly alienating age of technology, have spawned a growing counter-movement that reflects a search for what it means to be meaningfully human.  We see it in many areas of our culture: in a desired return to the body, meditation, metaphysics and inner-reflection, in facing and healing racial and gender trauma, in unravelling the scripts of patriarchal gender conditioning in search of more authenticity, and in discovering a relationship to nature that supports a

more sustainable, respectful engagement with a planet in peril.  All of these counter-movements reflect a striving for deeper meaning, connection, authenticity, realness, a movement to grow our humanity through an honest, inward turn.  This turn, which recognizes our all-t0o-human vulnerability, invites us to the territory of the feminine principle, territory historically diminished by the misconstruals and imbalances of a patriarchal worldview.

My writing, which could be said to align with the mounting definition of Fourth Wave Feminism, is informed by four, founding premises: Continue reading “About: the feminine (r)evolution”