The recent uprising in social media of the #MeToo movement has brought to light the pervasive denigration of the feminine. Thousands of women (and men too) have come forward with their stories of rape, abuse, and misogyny.
I believe that abusive sexual behavior patterns of (mostly) males generally reflect a deep psychological wounding and a profound disconnect/alienation from their true Self and everything else. These dysfunctional patterns cannot be healed unless males are being taught at an early age to view women’s womb/bodies (and, by extension, the body of Mother Earth) as sacred and as deserving of respect, to say the least. This would also have to include transformative spiritual practices and teachings that allow for a healthy (or healthier) balance and integration of the values of the Divine Feminine (cooperation, partnership, creativity, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and a more nurturing and life-affirming attitude in general).
When we look at the prehistoric period as well as the great civilizations of Egypt, Babylonia, and India a few thousand years ago, we can see that the Goddess was highly praised for her great powers and numerous functions. Her womb was viewed as the cosmic womb of all creation, and, by extension, women’s wombs and bodies were viewed as sacred and imbued with the vital life force of the Goddess. Since then, women’s bodies have become increasingly sexualized and objectified, as we can see today with forced prostitution and pornography proliferating into a huge multi-billion dollar industry. Patriarchal institutionalized religion has, for the most part, contributed to the image of women’s bodies as being “inferior” to Spirit and prone to “sin” and “temptation” because women are “closer to nature” due to their child-bearing function. The most extreme expression of this attitude was the demonization of women accused of witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries. Witches were believed to kill newborn babies, destroy the crops, and engage in sexual intercourse with the devil. A strange reversal of the ancient powers and functions of the Goddess, indeed!
Of course, our so-called progressive society today doesn’t burn women as witches anymore but similar unconscious collective beliefs and entrenched fears of women’s power and female sexuality persist nonetheless in many different disguises in the psyche of male predators and sex offenders. Moreover, male control/power over women and “physical ownership” of their bodies is still a practice sanctioned by some forms of organized religion and cultures across the world.
So how do we move forward collectively? Here are some of the questions we all need to ask ourselves: How do we, as caring human beings, respond to the trauma of so many of our brothers and sisters? How do we comfort them? And how do we begin to look at the larger pervasive issue of the denigration of the feminine in our patriarchal world and create a new, more holistic and inclusive reality going forward? We are all called to do our work at this critical evolutionary threshold for humanity.