Susan from New York writes:
Dear Spirit, I went to a seminar given by a highly regarded teacher in the spiritual community, and I was disturbed by a central theme in his discussion which sounded sexist to me; and I wonder if You agree. Do you mind if I quote from his workbook?
Spirit: Please go ahead.
Susan: “I became interested in what it would mean to come together in a higher consciousness beyond ego – beyond narcissistic self-concern. But when I began to encourage my students to explore this potential, I soon realized that men and women responded very differently. The men found it relatively easy, while my women students would not or could not comply.”
I felt confused and dumbfounded. Aren’t men renowned for their ego? and women famous for catering to it?
Spirit: The seminar leader does seem to be focusing on the ‘speck’ in women’s eyes, without noticing the ‘beam’ in men’s.
Susan: Thank you for saying that.
Spirit: The teacher you are referring to is behaving like a typical ‘Martian’ by trying to ‘fix’ women – in this case, by asking them to be more like men. In male culture, self transcendence is often based on a military model that includes the acceptance of rigorous discipline and willing submission to a greater authority; while, in female culture – transcendence is based more on personal experience. It is often expressed as the kind of self sacrifice that is a natural consequence of compassion.
In a positive sense, the teacher in question wants women to learn to integrate the Spiritual Warrior or male strength in them. Yet, he does so without acknowledging that men need to reverse the honor and internalize their Goddess power. That is the blind spot in ‘Martian’ psychology.
Susan: What can women do about it?
Spirit: Learn to speak up – in an enlightened way.
It is often difficult for women to come out of denial when the man/men in their lives behave in a sexist way – either through fear of censure or of being shamed. Yet, it is important to speak up so history can change.
SIX STEPS TO TAKE:
- Come out of denial
- Set a clear intention to help heal negative sexism
- Avoid any temptation to shame the man/men in question
- Share the impact that his/their behavior has on you; and, remember to speak from the heart.
- If the man/men shame you in response, continue sharing your experience; and
- Let go of your attachment to the outcome; trust the universe to take care of that.
Share your experiences below.
Celine from Orlando, FL writes:
Dear Spirit, I just returned home from a seminar I attended for helping professionals. It was led by a well known psychoanalyst who claimed that Mothers are to blame for 80% or more of their children’s neuroses – without mentioning the father’s role. Could he be right? Or is his viewpoint chauvinistic?
Spirit: Though the psychoanalyst in question is clearly off base – I can account for some of his reasoning. Of course, a child is surrounded by the mother’s womb during the 9 month long gestation process and definitely internalizes her emotions.
In addition, until the child is a year or so – the Mother-Child bond generally serves as the child’s sense of Self or “I am”
Yet the Father’s imprint is as essential in a different way. His presence is generally felt as the child’s first sense of “Other” or I-Thou relationship. The way he treats the Mother during pregnancy will impact his child’s feeling of well being, starting in utero – as well as his attitude about having the child.
Of course, some children take more after their mother, and others after their father’s side of the family. In this sense, genetic inheritance – as well as the child’s soul predisposition play a key role in the child’s development