Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fuck striving for divinity, let’s be real

People on my Facebook friends list keep posting this article called “A Call to the Sacred Masculine: Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine.” I cannot let this article go by without comment, and I also cannot let it go by without a trigger warning for rape imagery. More on that in a bit.

The tagline for this article is, “If I am going act like a goddess, I want a man who acts like a god.” Based on this, I knew I was going to find the article nauseating before I clicked on it, and I’m honestly not sure why I bothered. But now that I’ve seen it I’m going to pick it apart in a totally nonscientific and childish way, because that seems like the appropriate response to an article whose very premise makes me want to barf.

First off, who the fuck said you had to act like a goddess, and why are you listening to them? Having a vagina and/or identifying as female does not obligate you to be superhuman.

“goddess propagandists promote the unilateral concept of a spiritually elevated womanhood—strong but supple, decisive and nurturing, wild yet wise”

Dear women, please believe that you do not owe it to anybody to be ANY OF THOSE THINGS. You are allowed to fall apart emotionally and not be strong all the time. You are allowed to be indecisive or not nurturing or make foolish mistakes. And I’m not even touching the downright creepy notion that women should be “wild” and “supple.”

But the author’s problem does not seem to be with the misogyny inherent in this ideal. Rather, she thinks this goddess mythology is a good idea, and should be extended to men as well:

“Organizing a spiritual revolution as women without inviting men to the front lines with us means we are orchestrating a collective reframe with only half the available power. Real change means humanity—yes both genders—opts for the cosmic upgrade to Divine Class together.”

Women are organizing a spiritual revolution? That’s funny, because I was under the impression that women were a diverse group of people who run the full gamut of spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. But that’s not even what has me rolling my eyes so hard. I spend a lot of time thinking, talking and learning about gender, and even I have rarely seen a single paragraph so densely packed with binarism. I think I’d have to start reading neocon blogs for that to happen. Because women – half of people! – are organizing this feminine revolution, by being feminine because all women are and wish to be feminine, and they need men – the other half of people! Both genders! Two is all there are! – to come along and be masculine because all men are and wish to be masculine. Look, I’m not usually this crass in my blogs, but just go ahead and fuck right off with that shit.

“So, on behalf of the X chromosome, here is my invitation to mortal men who wish to dance as gods with wanna-be goddesses.”

Someone failed Genetics 101: Everyone has an X chromosome. You need at least one of them to exist as so much as a blastocyst. Please either take a biology class or never make any attempt to say anything about human life ever again. Plus, there are women with only one X chromosome, either because they’re trans or they have Turner syndrome, and men with more than one, either because they’re trans or they have Klinefelter syndrome. The X chromosome is about as divinely feminine as your lower intestine.
Yikes. I’m already nauseous and I haven’t even gotten through the introduction yet. Let me just pick out a few choice sentences that make me want to puke and/or weep silently.

“The world needs your brave heart to take bold action.”

And then there’s a picture of Braveheart. i c wut u did thar. And fuck you. The world needs to drop its patriarchal notions that bravery and boldness are traits inherent in and exclusive to maleness. The world needs bravery and boldness, sure, but it also needs to quit fucking associating them with penises.

“As a man, you wield a sword of truth that can cut through cultural distractions to what really matters.”

As a trans guy, I’m already wincing at the phallic imagery in the statement “As a man, you wield a sword.” As a feminist, I’m downright horrified at the notion that being a man is equated with knowing truth. The entire fucking kyriarchy is based on the notion that Father Knows Best, that women should stand aside and let the men handle it because they have all the answers. It sallows my spirit to see this notion being so blatantly perpetuated by a woman.

“Work for more than the mortgage and car payments—work because you find some measure of joy in your job. And if the job is just to make ends meet for now, then meet that employment with gratitude and a call to service.”

You were so close to being anticapitalist in that first sentence. Too bad you completely took it back in the second one by suggesting that all forms of paying work are good for the world and good for the worker. I dare you to look a Chinese factory worker, whose job contract includes promising not to commit suicide, in the eye and tell them to meet that employment with gratitude and a call to service. If you really believe in the divine feminine, I dare you to suggest any such thing to Mother Earth.

“The tender-hearted masculine is both wise and merciful. When you weep, you give women permission to be strong.”

Ooh, she got so close to breaking down some aspect of the gender binary by suggesting that men should be allowed to feel emotions. But then she flies right back into patriarchy by suggesting that women need a man’s permission to be strong. Women, you do not need a man’s permission to do anything. Fuck. That. Shit.

Okay, now this is the section where I need to put in a couple of TRIGGER WARNINGS for condoning emotional abuse and rape. Read on cautiously:

“Show us the way by standing firm when we are in a beautiful rage. Don’t run from our fury—after all it might contain magical wisdom. In the gale force of feminine anger, your calm is a powerful reminder that we are met and accepted by our beloved partner.”

Show your woman the way – because you are in control, men – by remaining stoic in the face of emotional violence from your partner. Accept abuse silently, because abuse is magic, or something. I don’t even fucking know. This whole paragraph is a wreck. But it gets worse:

Ravish your woman. Every now and then, take her wholeheartedly, without apology. Press her against a wall and bind her with your kisses.”

Jesus, I’m not even a woman and I find this triggering. I want to make it clear, for anybody that thinks this sounds sexy, that this statement is condoning rape. It is suggesting that as a man you have not only the right, but the responsibility, to overtake “your woman’s” body (because all men date women, and they own them besides) and do with it as you please, without asking for consent and “without apology.” That “without apology” bit creeps me out the most, because it makes it clear that you are doing something your partner will object to. But do not apologize for rape, men! It’s just your divine masculinity at work!

There’s more I could say about this article – the heterosexism, the sexist and binarist language oozing out of every sentence – but honestly, I’m fucking done. Once I hit the rape section I could read this piece of garbage no longer.


Jasie VanGesen said...

YES! Thank you. That piece has been shared by so many people I like and respect and I just don't even know where to begin. Frankly, the whole "divine feminine" thing creeps me out, and I identify as REALLY FUCKING FEMME.

Doofmaster said...

This whole article seemed like an incomprehensible, drug-induced word salad to me. You have a gift being able to decipher it.

Raisin Girl said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was actually QUESTIONING my trigger to this...THANK YOU AGAIN!