A plea for a paradigm shift through gender reconciliation
Author: Lidia Schladt
The time is ripe for a new femininity to blossom. It allows women to break out of the old, patriarchal structures and take the path to a self-determined life. This also includes reconciliation between the sexes, whose long opposition to each other is a clear obstacle to a peaceful community. In order to realize this reconciliation, female-assigned qualities such as intuition and emotion in both sexes must also be integrated and expressed in thought, feeling and action.
When I am writing this article (early December 2019), hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets in South and Central America over the weekend. They loudly protested violence against girls and women by men. There were loud shouts of “The rapist is you.” These protests went through me and many other people. Women in Mexico, the Caribbean and Chile continued to speak, “Patriarchy is a judge who condemns us because we were born. And the violence is the punishment you see.
It is female infanticide, it is impunity for my murderer. It is disappearance. It is rape. The blame is not mine, nor the place where I was, nor my clothes. The rapist is you. It is the police, the judges, the state, the president. The oppressor state is a man who rapes.” I get goosebumps when I see on YouTube the images of the many women wearing black blindfolds with blood painted on their mouths or the rest of their bodies. I wondered a few weeks earlier what would happen if the women of the world organized to challenge patriarchy and took a clear stand for female values and rights.
A LOOK BACK AT THE PAST
By now we know that the age of patriarchy began about 3000-5000 years ago. It was accompanied by the suppression and devaluation of the female principle. The previously lived age of matriarchy revered the Great Mother as a symbol of fertility. Of peaceful coexistence between the sexes and free sexuality. Goddesses were worshipped and the female principle was considered the principle of abundance. Power or hierarchies played no role at all.
It was a worship of the Great Mother as a life-giving principle of nature. Sexuality was celebrated and used to strengthen a tribe.
But it was not an arbitrary sexuality, it had a ritual character. It was invited as the power of Eros to call the fullness and awaken the life forces of a village. Women and men chose each other according to a natural instinct. Therefore knew how to hold their sexual energy and use it for the good of the whole tribe. There was no violence and therefore no rape.
This changed when the Greeks began to invade and subjugate the tribes of that time, and thus also raped the women. The age of patriarchy began and violently suppressed femininity. We still see and feel the effects of this era today. It hurts me as a woman to write about it and to put myself in that time. But it also hurts many men who know about the legacy that masculinity also cut off from its own source in this way.
FEELING AS A FEMININE QUALITY
If we want to speak of a new paradigm, we may connect the new femininity with the importance of emotio, our feelings. This is as true for women as it is for men. Because we are all still in our infancy as far as emotions are concerned. Feeling without evaluation into “negative” and “positive” feelings is practice and training. Feeling without holding on, but in the living flow, in the body sensation, is still unfamiliar. But it can be learned, and this is probably the state and desire that Jesus described as “Become like children”.
Children feel without judging. They are sad and cry when they fall down, only to laugh the next moment when they meet a dog or get an ice cream. It is an immediate being with what is happening in the present in the here and now. A child feels a bodily sensation and lets it flow through him. We have unlearned this by the time we enter school at the latest due to our much sitting still and reprimand-assessment system. We become rigid and immobile, inflexible and overemphasize the mind. From there on we devalue the body and feeling perception, same as the feminine, the emotio in us.
So we may all learn to find our way back into the body and thus into the world of feelings.
In the process, the feminine may be perceived as an irrational, threatening depth within us. That which we have so far repressed into the shadows of our subconscious.
FORGIVING AS A HUMAN QUALITY
With the awakening of the new femininity in the individual environment, there is also the question of the collective level of the new femininity. For me, the new paradigm does not mean an old golden age from the matriarchy, but a new reconciled peace between the sexes. One that consciously does forgiveness work and initiates a kind of cleaning up of the old programs between women and men. We need spaces in our environment to look at old hurts on the relationship level, to heal them far away from any question of guilt. If we manage to look soberly at what we have done to each other in the past as women and men, without pointing the finger at each other, we become free.
We feel in a vulnerable consternation all that has happened in the past and do not stop there. Rathe we orient ourselves towards a new togetherness. Even if the images, role models and reference persons are not yet there or are few. It means to continue in the uncertainty of the further common path of a kind of new “cosmic marriage” between the feminine and masculine principle. Until the way shows itself more and more by itself through the integration of the femininity and emotio.
About the author
Lidia Schladt is a logotherapist according to Viktor E. Frankl, a non-medical practitioner for psychotherapy and an integral coach in Bremen. She sees herself as an emotion midwife and modern mystic. Lidia Schladt writes for various print and online magazines on the topics of femininity, partnership at eye level, feelings as a resource, high sensitivity, working with the inner child, the Enneagram and the levels of consciousness of Spiral Dynamics.
This article was originally published on the German Homepage of Tattva Viveka: Das Erwachen der neuen Weiblichkeit