I’m new at this, so be gentle… I’m also aware that some might believe this letter to be “mansplaining” (a term I just learned). I trust it won’t be.
First, I’m not a theologian, and definitely not an academic. I’m just a guy, like any guy you might see on the street.
But I believe that feminism – defined as true and honest equality – is the only thing that’s going to save this messed-up world. I’m also convinced the biggest obstacle to this happening is organized religion. However, most importantly, I’m distressed that other guys don’t get this. So, before I leave this life, I’m determined to do something about that.
I didn’t always think this way but, in my fifties, as I was kicking and screaming and going down for the third time, I reached for Merlin Stone’s book, When God was a Woman. Only then did things start to make sense. I’ve always been told I’m a late bloomer. I never realized how late “late” would be.
But really, it’s just logical that early man watching a child grow inside the body of a woman – then seeing it emerge from that same body – must have found something amazing, wondrous, and worthy of great praise and adoration. And also worship, for something like that to happen was, and always will be, a true miracle.
So, from there it’s no great leap to imagine that women would proudly and justifiably be at the pinnacle of a society where history tells us these… creators… led their people in an equal, just, and peaceful manner and in partnership with all living things on earth.
That belief is much more logical than any endorsed by organized religion. And, despite rumors to the contrary, we guys do try to live our lives in a somewhat logical manner.
So if I get it why don’t other guys? Everything else we’ve believed in has failed us. More and more we see women covered in burkas, women raped on the streets or on campuses, and young girls stolen from schools and sold into sexual slavery. It pains us as it pains you, and we can’t find answers.
In an honest and sincere effort many of you try to offer some answers, some comfort. But how many times have you said, “all that feminism means is equality,” or “the goddess society was a partnership,” or “matriarchy does not mean women are dominant”? And how many times have those words fallen on deaf ears?
So, something’s not working. We men are spiritually starving but won’t accept the one hand that is offering sustenance. And that’s not logical.
When something makes sense but doesn’t work we’ve got to dig deeper for the solution. In doing that I thought of two possibilities. The first is kind of basic and, admittedly none of us wants to hear it, but I believe it to be the truth. We need a more neutral vocabulary.
To guys the words feminist, matriarchy, and goddess immediately raise red flags. It’s in our bones and in our guts, and no we can’t explain why but those are girl words and we’re not girls and yes we know that’s not mature and no we don’t care how old we are and NO we are NOT listening!…
Or something like that. As I said we try to be logical. It doesn’t always work… In this case these words are threatening to men – and, yes, they shouldn’t be but they are. And when men are threatened, as the little tirade (and our world today) indicates, rationality evaporates.
The great marketers of this planet we live on (and I include in that group every organized religion) know this. They also have an ancient and vested interest in making sure the so-called battle of the sexes keeps us apart. Want proof? If tomorrow every woman woke up and decided she liked her body, and every man decided that money and power weren’t everything, how many institutions would collapse? And “God” forbid if everyone decided to question their faith…
But the marketers play the long game. This separate and unequal stuff has been pounded into our DNA since the first marketer – a guy – wrote the story of Adam and Eve and decided that the image of God should be male… in order to destroy the final remnants of the matriarchal societies. But we never heard that last part of the story, so, religious or not – and by virtue of some ancient guy’s own self-proclaimed divinity – a man as the ultimate boss has evolved to become part of our identity.
So that identity is what needs to be changed, and that’s a bit more challenging than coming up with a few neutral words. And the only way that’s going to happen is if a guy discovers on his own – and in a non-threatening manner – that what he identifies with is suspect.
To that end I have written a little book titled, A Woman Called God, and before anyone thinks this is shameless self-promotion, please understand that proceeds from this effort are going to fight breast cancer, a disease that claimed both my mother and my first wife.
A Woman Called God is not a book a guy will pick on his own, but its appearance, simplicity, and brevity – it can be read in five minutes – are all designed for the reluctant reader. The book doesn’t threaten by declaring emphatically that God is a woman, but what it does do is clearly make guy-God exclusivity highly suspect. And that’s exactly what’s needed at this stage.
For today, with the world at a spiritual tipping point, it’s time, once again, for feminist thinking to come to the fore. But guys need to walk before they can run… and they need to crawl before they can walk. Maybe together we can get them to do that.
In friendship, cooperation, and great hope I remain sincerely yours,
As the son of an Episcopal minister, Peter Wilkes had a first-hand look at the inner workings of organized Religion (with a capital “R”) throughout his upbringing. Now seventy years old he has reached the conclusion that this institution, like many others, has continually done more harm than good. In his recently published book, A Woman Called God, the first in his series of Little books for Big peopleTM, he goes back to the source and examines how it’s possible to leave Religion behind and reclaim your soul. http://awomancalledgod.com, https://www.facebook.com/AWomanCalledGod.