As I have been watching the appalling attacks on Ukraine this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we have gotten here, again. Why do humans continue to dominate, control, steal, kill…in service of their own selfish needs? Could that happen to us in America? Yes. Could it happen to me? Yes.
Patriarchy, misogyny, tyranny, dictatorship, authoritarianism…are birthed from unprocessed trauma. Hitler, Putin, Trump…all processing their shame and insecurities through domination of power. That’s powerful fuel. I’m not immune, either. I feel that pull–to slam my hand on the table and demand to be heard–but, I know I have to go deeper. Find that space behind my heart, and watch that screaming toddler unwind. Then I can feel the calm. The perspective shift. Until we stop trying to flip the system to our advantage, and instead let go of the old system all together, we are stuck in a tyrannical, patriarchal prison. We’ve got to find our way out of that prison and then give the keys to those that are still inside banging on the bars trying to be heard.
Patriarchy is the monopoly of power, representation, voice. As a feminist, I don’t want the monopoly of power–I want to dissolve the monopoly all together. I don’t want to scream louder than everybody else, I want everyone to be heard. I don’t want to throw out one system of domination for another–I want to end the need for domination and repression of others–that’s democracy. The women, the black, brown, disabled, poor, LGB, and the LGBTQIA+++++, and the Trumps and Putins too–not that there shouldn’t be consequences for abuse of power, there absolutely must be justice in order to have freedom, but we should all benefit from the gift of grace: from being free of shame and living in peace.
Freedom is contagious, yet none of us are truly free if some are still behind the bars of shame and oppression. We have a long way to go. I hope this Russian war in Ukraine ends quickly and that people learn what abuse of power and unaddressed trauma and shame can lead to. I hope we listen to one another. Attend to our wounds. Stand up for each other. Demand accountability from our leaders. Freedom and Justice for all. The American dream, the global dream, everyone’s dream.