The path to empowering women is not by disempowering men.
While many feminist campaigns and viral videos are great at expressing the (superficial) problem, they’re not helping to solve it. The problem is real – there are some men that have no idea how to relate to women, thus proceed to do so in inappropriate ways. And women often do have to face threats that most men are completely clueless about.
…but prolonging the “battle of the sexes” and “blame game” mentality will never stop rape, harassment, or abuse. All that’s being done is expressing pain and anger, which can be cathartic and okay, unless it’s directed at another. Attacking men (all or even some) for attacking women isn’t going to solve anything.
We need to go much deeper than this. So much deeper.
We don’t need to see more proof of “how fucked up society is”; this only propagates stereotypes that induce resentment and fear. We need to see the power of compassion, love, forgiveness, healing, empathy, and acceptance between both sexes. We need to learn why people hurt other people (hint: it’s because they’re hurting themselves) and how to heal it and empathize with it.
There are many women and men who do not experience these same problems, not because they live in different places, but because of how they walk through the world. We can’t force these immature men to change, and complaining about them on YouTube isn’t going to do anything; I’m sorry it won’t. It’s just going to create more complaining and victimhood, and lots of resentment or commiseration.
The power is inside the women, not the men, so stop focusing on the men and start focusing on helping women empower themselves.
Truthfully, we can’t do anything to “empower women” per se because empowerment is inherently from within. Giving power to somebody is still disempowering – it’s an illusion because the giver ultimately has the power to revoke it. Only each woman (and man) can empower themselves. They have to choose to take their power back; to realize it has nothing to do with anybody else, but in reclaiming what they’ve unknowingly given away themselves.
But how? We need women to open up and love in the face of men approaching, not shut down and run away. We need men to open up and love in the face of rejection, rather than becoming bitter or forcing our will upon another. We need a billion times more compassion and forgiveness. We need a desire to heal our traumas, not fight our way out of them.
Being bullied and teased and harassed everyday at school for 12 years, I’m pretty sure I can relate – and I’ve forgiven. Living in a culture where my spiritual and health views are consistently attacked and ridiculed, I can relate – I’ve developed compassion. Having many women friends who have been raped and mistreated, I can relate – they’ve forgiven. Having many female friends who have healed sexual traumas and overcame victimhood and are now shining their feminine love, I can see a better path – it’s a path of micro and macro healing.
The kind of love and lightness I’ve heard of and seen from some incredible women has proven to me that this darkness can indeed be transmuted; that the cycle can be stopped by the power of a single person. Women are totally in control of how they show up in the world and how they inspire the men around them to show up as well. I know what they are capable of and I will not see women as anything less than the powerful, strong, loving creatures they truly are. I refuse to see them as forever victims, disempowered and helpless to sad and shameful men and media.
Unabashedly, I do not support or promote campaigns that are based in pain, resentment, anger, or fear, no matter how noble the cause. I wish to lift up both sexes – nay, all people – without perpetuating the pain and conflict.
It’s not one sided. At the core, it’s not a men vs women thing.
It’s a deep-seeded cultural issue, not a gender one.
The things men deal with from women can be just as emotionally traumatizing, and rape and physical abuse from women to men is just as real and prevalent. My point is not to diminish the hurt women feel, but to illuminate that the hurt goes both ways; that this is a human problem, not gender problem. I don’t fight for women’s rights, I fight for human rights. I don’t fight for gender or race equality, I fight for human equality. My expression is that we need to break out of the duality of these issues that keeps the conflicts going, and instead see our connectedness to each other without taking sides — there are no sides, we’re in this together.
This darkness has been illuminated outside in the world, now it’s time to illuminate the darkness within ourselves and heal it. What we see out in our culture is a reflection of how so many of us are unable to resolve the conflicts, rejection, and hurt caused by the masculine and feminine inside of us. We can not fix this by signing new laws or going out and trying to control everybody; we do this by starting the forgiveness and healing process within ourselves and going out into the world shining love instead of hate. We as a society don’t look inwards and do the healing, but rather expect others around us to change so we can feel better. It won’t ever work that way.
We need to heal ourselves first if we ever expect the world to change.
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