Here is the statement that was presented on August 22, 2020 at Christy Michael’s online event called The Divine Feminine Activation.
- As men, we welcome into ourselves the feminine aspect of our nature and we are not ashamed of this.
- As men, we strive to recognize and dismantle the privilege that comes to us as men with the patriarchal monotheistic religions, where men have been more valued, while women and women’s voices have been sidelined and silenced. We raise our swords of fierce love to set a boundary against the systematic suppression of the sacred feminine and the women who carry it.
- As men, we support you, women, keeping our egos in check, as we honor you and bow to the wisdom that you are bringing forward at this most important time.
Woman and the Sacred Feminine, we are here for you.
Further elaborating on these key points.
On Accepting our Feminine Nature into ourselves as Men:
The issues that surround a man’s acceptance of his feminine nature are complex but historically very very challenging. The pressure that is put on men and boys from a very young age that emphasizes the typical masculine traits of being tough, don’t show emotion, and that our value comes from our achievements, all weigh heavy on us man as we form our identities during our childhood and adolescence. Shame and ridicule thrown at us by others is the main tool to enforce this anti-feminine code within male culture.
I feel personally like I was pretty fortunate in that these pressures were not so intensely strong during my early years. My father wasn’t particularly macho and there was not much overt misogyny in my upbringing and in my peer group. However in public schools, for example, the pressure to not be a “fem”, or worse a “fag”, was just the way it was.
Nevertheless, as I stepped out of these cauldrons of socialization in early adulthood, I was able to let down my guard and allow more of my feminine nature in. I am predominately heterosexual but by nature I am a musician/artist, a man with a lot of empathy and have often found myself working, for example, in social services that is mostly dominated by women. Here, qualities of the feminine were valued while also, being a conscious man in those circles was always very much appreciated.
I distinctly can recall key times in my life where psychologically I needed to embrace a more feminine identity that could be assimilated into my personality and into myself as a man in a way that I felt was directly healing me from the subtle but persistent pressures that I, like so many men, was faced with in the development of myself as a man. By owning this in ourselves as men, we can model it and hold permissive space for other men to do the same.
These days, of course, there is a far greater permission and tolerance for gender identity variation which is very refreshing. It feels like the key, at least for me personally, is to not be ashamed of those qualities in myself as a man that are associated with women; compassion, softness, nurturance, understanding, relatedness, etc.
On Male Privilege in Patriarchal Monotheistic Religion
This issue of male privilege within the zeitgeist of a Judeo-Christian culture, is something I’ve not thought of much before until I was invited by Christy to offer a men’s voice of support for women and the sacred feminine. As I look at how women and the feminine aspect of the divine are generally treated within these monotheistic religions, it is a no brainer to see how the patriarchy is deeply entrenched within the religious underpinnings of our collective culture and how male privilege is such a given.
In the early stages of the development of Christianity, it has become clear to me, a primary theme of the feminine aspect of the Divine was systematically purged and eradicated from the theology.
The feminine aspect of the divine in the pre-Roman orthodox Christianity, the feminine emanation of the Holy Spirit, had not yet been neutered into the now common genderless Holy Ghost. However, in a few short centuries, the cosmology of Sophia was essentially written out of the early Christian theology and replaced with a singular focus on the male savior. The whole large sweep of the journey of the soul, of Sophia‘s fall and restoration, was replaced by the story of the crucifixion and the martyrdom of the Christ figure. It was this man who became the primary object of worship and this seems to be at least one factor in how men in general have been favored, even worshipped, as the systematic oppression of woman within Christianity found yet another avenue to make sure woman didn’t threaten the masculine’s shaky ego.
But as Carl Jung has pointed out, the collective psyche could not hold back the need amongst people to have sacred feminine images within their devotional figures. Mother Mary took on a greater prominence gradually over time, though her identity still remained quite narrow, stripped of any qualities of the fierce feminine. The figure of Mary, I believe, was used as a symbol of the broader archetypal figure of the divine feminine, Sophia, such as are found in some of the earliest of the French gothic cathedrals. Here pilgrims and worshippers can kneel in love for the mother Mary, while at the same time, come into sympathetic resonance with the more meta mother figure of the Holy Spirit/Sophia and with all that she represents.
Christianity inherited the patriarchal God Yahweh from the Jews and, despite the efforts by the deep Christ to call out the hypocrisy of this angry and jealous God, Christianity has largely failed to generate more balanced image of God.
This issue goes very deep for me personally because within my own family system, my maternal grandfather was a professor of theology and was held with high esteem within my family system as a sort of Christian patriarch. His implicit favoritism towards boys is a wound that runs deep in the extended family system, from my mother to my sisters to myself.
So all of this has, over 2000 years, woven an implicit favoritism towards the masculine. And that masculine was raised to greater value on the ground upon which women and the divine feminine were pushed under.
Recent trends in contemporary spirituality have brought a renewed focus on the feminine dimensions of the sacred, with Mary Magdalene being a pivotal figure in this movement to call out the pervasive and often unbending masculine bias within the religious and cultural systems associated with Christianity.
Just how much boys and men are favored within the monotheistic religions which constitute primary cornerstones of our patriarchal culture, is something that deserves far more attention than it has gotten in general. Of course, I am just scratching the surface here on this topic and there is a whole school of feminist theology that is addressing this issue much more thoroughly.
However, in the same way that white culture has been forced to self evaluate the often unconscious favoritism given to whites over blacks, so to, men need to grapple with the unconscious favoritism of men over women within the often unconscious religious beliefs systems of the dominant culture.
On Men Supporting Women and the Sacred Feminine
So when I interface with women who are working to reclaim the value of the sacred feminine, such as the work being done around Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary, I see this as an opportunity to offer support and to not blindly and insensitively bring male privilege in their ritual space. All of this is part of a very slow but steady swing from an extreme male bias to a reclamation of the archetypal aspects of the feminine that is finally being given the value that is long overdue.