Stop here and then go there.

There’s a discussion ongoing at The Happy Tutor’s here that’s worth checking out. I just posted the 26th comment (which I’m repeating here — with added links and other info). Go on over and add your 2 cents. You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. Just click on Comments and go from there.
I’m not going to able to catch up with all of the great points of this discussion, but at least I want to say that my Dad sounds like he was very much like Debbie’s. My life would be very different today if my Mom had passed away first.
And Robert Bly has tried to give men a sense of how they might create an archetype that works for them like the “crone” works for older women — some model that incorporates the male version of the most inspiring and humane human traits.
[Robert Moore did some interesting work on that too.]
Some of us older women latched onto the crone vision because it concisely captured the fact that we don’t have to be disempowered and disenfranchised as we get older. As men get older, there’s lots of support to continue reinforcing their Alpha Male daydreams (viagra et al). Unless they suffer some great catastrophe, those kinds of men continue to feel a certain level of empowerment. So there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for those men to think that they would be better off somehow if they let go of that vision of empowerment and tried the other version, the one that many (some?) women have discovered works for them.
I was thinking last night about what kind of world this might have been if men (in general) had not had the advantage of size and strength and the added alpha male fuel of testosterone. Suppose those male-associated qualities never existed. Suppose the world had remained deferential to the life-giving, nurturing
[and cthonic] capacities of the female.
Camille Paglia speculates about this in her books, and I don’t totally disagree with her. We might not have built skyscrapers, but we probably would have fewer wars. (She uses the way men and women pee as a great metaphor for pretty much all gender differences. Think about it.)
If “women’s ways” dominated the development of human culture, we might not have gone to the moon or out into space, but we probably would have fewer homeless, starving people. Or maybe not. Maybe we would have had it all. Maybe we still can.

4 thoughts on “Stop here and then go there.

  1. I can’t remember who said what but somebody (a MAN) said they were embarassed by Robert Bly, to the point of cringing. I thought that was a curious statement. And tomorrow, when I can see again, I’m going to go back and ask what he meant by that, as I’m sure I mis-read it.
    But I’ll tell ya, Elaine: I am really hesitant to get into these “feminist / women-who-hate-feminist” wars, because they are absolutely loathesome to me. I cannot stand that these youngin’s are runnin’ around loose, thinking that all the feminist movement succeeded at was turning women into men (men-hating women, at that) and ultimately led to the downfall of the American Family decried by the southern baptist congress and 30 other fundamentalist right-wingnut groups raving out there.
    Good golly miss molly, who the hell do they think is responsible for all these freedoms of equality and freedoms from sexual harassment that they blindly enjoy today? And we still haven’t even got the ERA ratified yet! We’re still two bits shy of the dollar on earned wages across genders.
    Ooof. Now I really do sound old…
    Oops! Did I say that? Lol.

  2. You saw that over at Wealth Bondage, but keep in mind that the Happy Tutor is a contrivance designed as a vehicle for perspectives that often stir controvery. (And often don’t, as well.) Bly made lots of “manly” men uncomfortable, but when the question comes up about what parallel is there to “crone” for men, Bly is a place to start.
    Haven’t heard from you in a while Kate. Are you blogging any more???

  3. Sage is the best parallel I can think of Elaine. A male who takes the lessons they have learned as youth, warrior and father and having come to an understanding of those parts of his nature and transformation begins then to pass that knowledge on, either directly or by example.
    I’ve never accepted the triune aspect in Wicca that is assigned to both male (youth, warrior, sage) and female (mother, maiden, crone). Just as the fathering/parental aspect is all too often left off the stages of a man’s life so too is a warrior aspect left off the stages of women’s lives. Certainly in the course of late post-industrialist society these omissions appears to be a reflection of society. But it really only mirrors some societies and modern ones at that, it is not a reflection of human nature but how western societies have evolved under the pressures of industrialization and in doing so points to a blinding failure of Wicca and neo-pagans in general to see past their culutral millieu.
    All the good crones I’ve known in 40 years in the pagan movements have had a definite warrior aspect integrated into their selves just as all the men who I’ve called sage have had a strong nurturing parent aspect integrated into their personas.
    I don’t need Robert Bly 🙂

  4. I’ve never left off the “warrior” stage in the woman’s life journey. I see the middle stage as “mother/warrior.” (That didn’t originate with me; I read it somewhere at some point.) And that would work with the male version, with the middle stage as “father/warrior.” There’s a fierce feeling of protectiveness that goes along with being a parent. And those who don’t have their own children often apply that to the causes they take on in mid-life. Works for me.
    Sage. Yes, of course. That’s indeed what you are.

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