My mother was not a feminist. In fact, by today’s political divisiveness, she would be what many call Alt-Right. She was so far to the right that she had no rights.
I remember my mom going to an ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) meeting to satisfy her curiosity. It was around 1979. She came home upset that women would insist on being anything but a righteous and obedient wife and mother. She used the old cliche “a woman’s place is in the home” followed by, “not gallivanting off trying to make money.” She then went on to say said that only angry divorcees and lesbians were feminists and she would have nothing to do with that. I did not know what either one of them were, but I was old enough to know that I didn’t want to be like my mother.
Not much has changed in some parts of our country. There are still women fighting to keep the patriarchy alive and in charge.
And I understand it because I’ve been there – it was ingrained in me as a little girl. There is comfort in letting someone else be in control of their destiny and comfort in wearing hand-me-down beliefs. There is comfort in staying in pre-defined roles and lanes even when the lanes are restrictive. Everything and everyone in their place maintains order and the male God’s plan.
This isn’t a judgement, just a reflection, and understanding why a segment of our society is clinging to the old ways.
It feels safe and comfortable there. It’s what they’ve always known, and change can be frightening. The old ways are comfortable, even when the discomfort is almost unbearable. This comfort is the reason women stay in abusive marriages, sweep painful stories under the rug and hold themselves beneath the power of patriarchy. There is safety in keeping things the same as they’ve always been, even when it isn’t really isn’t safe.
Fear creates anger and anger drives division.
Change is inevitable. Understanding that many are facing a real fear of change, helps us understand why some women continue to support the patriarchy, even as they continue to be abused by it. It’s their comfort zone.
It’s up to us, the change makers, to understand why they choose what they choose and try to love them through the fear. We can all get thought this re-balancing of masculine and feminine. They need us to not hold them in resentment simply because they cannot know what they don’t know.
And, it’s up to us, to no longer be afraid to ask for our own needs to be met. This is how we empower ourselves without dis-empowering our men.
Until next time Get Bold, Be Courageous and Speak Your Truth!