After my initial shock and disgust, I reflected upon and wrestled with these questions as continuing revelations of sexual misconduct by powerful and influential men made the headlines:
How might our relationships be different if sex was revered as sacred?
- …if the body of our partner was cherished and treated with reverence?
- …if the raw force of sexual desire was transformed into a sacred channel of conscious love?
How might our relationships be different if power was revered as sacred?
- …if power was regarded as infinite and meant to be shared?
- …if power was conferred only on those who empower others?
Could the #Me Too Movement be the beginning of a healing process?
- …could exposing sexual misconduct and misuse of power be a way of draining an abscess in the service of healing a very old infected cultural wound?
- …could exposing the shadow sides of sex and power make room for sacred dimensions to emerge?
I admire the courage of the women who gave voice to the unspeakable. I grieve for the loss of favor for the men I admired and who used poor judgment in navigating our culture’s veneration for male power at the expense of respect for women. I recognize that some of the men are suffering from a disorder and may be beyond rehabilitation. They must be held responsible and we must be protected from them. I am realistic.
In my better moments, I also search for signs of hope in the worst of situations. To me, it seems a wiser way of living than falling prey to a victimization and doomsday mindset.
And that leads to more questions.
- How do we bring wisdom and compassion to the human beings caught up in this painful, healing process?
- Would walking in their shoes make a difference?
- As a culture, are we all culpable of sending mixed messages that help create this challenging situation?
You never truly understand a person until you consider things from his (her) point of view … until you climb in his (her) skin and walk around in it. ~Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
Here are my initial attempts to truly understand:
- Women generally are judged by their attractiveness to men.
- Enjoying male attention isn’t an invitation to be abused.
- Women usually fear the consequences if we protest demeaning and disrespectful behavior…especially at work.
- Women struggle with how to protect ourselves and our bodies from violation by someone with power over us…especially the power to hire or fire us.
Climbing into a boy’s/a man’s skin ~~
- Boy’s aggressiveness is excused with “boys will be boys.” They grow up believing they have no control over their behavior and thus do not expect to be held accountable. When women object, they wonder why we are “so sensitive.” They excuse their offensive behavior as “only a joke or a comment.”
- “Be a man” means being strong and showing no vulnerability. Men are often shamed for showing their soft side and not being “in control” of their feelings. This has to be very confusing.
- Men may believe that women want them to come on strong. They are told they must be the first one to initiate contact.
Let’s face it. This is soul-shattering for all of us. I choose to believe and hope that we are in the midst of a revolution in the way we relate to each other…that “a better way” of connecting is emerging…something I have longed for since I was ten years old.
And to me, that is something to celebrate.
I’ve included links if you would like to delve into this topic more deeply.
I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections.