Gender, Marriage and Sarai Sierra’s Death-
In the previous post:
The warrior in women is an extreme archetype. Her Shadow face is our “Crazy Woman” and she is a blood-thirsty warrior. When a woman decides to fight, she is deadly for anyone around. She is not playing games. She is out to kill. The game is over when a woman fights back.
That is one of the reasons why women who have been abused for years may suddenly killed their attacker in a really bloody and violent explosion. I am not justifying their behavior. I am pointing out that the way of “fighting” that is so normal for many men to use in daily arguments is detrimental to women’s limbic system and psyche.
When women fight, it is not a game. When they are among friends and family, they want bonding and intimacy. Argumentation, as rational and logic as it may seem to most men, is deeply insulting (in the way we talk about a medical insult) to women.
“No Fight” is not Dirty Fighting.
Coming back to our conversation; I said nothing, which the man interpreted as he was one-up. He escalated.
“She has no right to leave her children and go off on her own. No. She has no right to go take a ‘break’ when she has children to take care of. Not when she is a family woman, no.”
Were we talking about the same woman? About taking a little break here and there? When this did become abandoning the children? When did a mother lose her life completely and stopped being a human being with needs, dreams and a purpose beyond her family?
We’ve never asked this of men. We do not expect it from them. But these men were really angry that this woman had taken time for herself. So angry, that they were willing to judge her as a criminal and attack me in a middle of a social celebration.
“I don’t know what button I pushed in you, but I am not willing to have this conversation anymore,” I said. “You’re shouting at me and attacking me and I’m not interested in this.”
“Oh, you are a dirty fighter!”
And here’s something else that takes place regularly in gender “fights.”
There is no way out of argumentation. Nothing you do will change the mode. It is a vicious circle. Now no fight was dirty fighting.
That’s when I withdrew.
I am an elder. I have served my kin through years of hard work, loving giving, impeccable self-examination, self-growth and shared wisdom. Every white hair in my head was earned and I am proud of it.
I demand respect for my eldership. I demand respect for my womanship. I will not be talked down, gamed over or argued into false equality.
A woman needs to choose her wars, because as you see, fighting is her most extreme state. A woman also has a right to choose the frequency and quality of company she keeps.
I choose to keep a frequency of love. I choose to keep a quality of friends —both women and men— who act from love, seek understanding, practice compassion and challenge each other only to grow and evolve, not to win stupid games that are nothing but a fear response.
And here’s what I did not say to that young man out of respect for myself and consideration to him and to the group. Now I am saying it to you.
I am speaking as a Wise Woman, an elder and an expert in personal growth, Shadow work and emotional empowerment. Below you will find 11 tips that are the pearls of wisdom I extracted from this sad, messy situation.
The Lesson in this Messy Situation
If you are a woman
- Heal your emotional wounds. Especially, heal your father hunger and the wounds that keep you playing small. Only a woman who is wounded this way allows a man to debate her human rights or steals her own dreams and existence in the name of love.
- Choose the frequency and quality of the men in your life so that they support, respect and uplift you to your best potential.
- Seek men who have healed their Sacred Masculine from the wound of control as power, who have healed their Sacred Feminine and can listen and communicate from a place of love.
- Seek men who have done their personal healing of their wounds. Men who do not know their emotions or how to manage them will make you do their emotional work and at the same time resist it. You will wind up frustrated and exhausted.
- Choose men who will protect you while respecting your freedom.
- Demand this behavior from the men in your Tribe. This is our responsibility to ourselves and to our men. Do not let them off the hook.
- However, do not use their tactics. This is about bringing them into balance with the Sacred Feminine, not on you becoming a “macha” a female version of the “macho.”
- Do not engage in sparring, but make the meaning of your silence clear and declare your rights without ambiguity.
- Stand in your self-authority. Let your silence be clear to the men and let them know that you do not allow that way of non-communication in your relationships. Here’s where disallowing serves its purpose. Disallow the ways that steal the love zone from all of us.
- If you don’t find this man right away, hold on. Do not compromise your needs and the quality of relationship and life you want in order to have a relationship. Women need relationship and we often compromise our freedom and values just to have one.
- Stand in the Place of Paradox. The paradox between flight or fight is the place of self-authority. Be crystal clear from the beginning about your rights and the limits you set in your love relationship to affirm your human rights. Express them lovingly, but clearly. Do not ALLOW (here’s that word again)): argumentation when it comes to your rights. They are not to be compromised. If you compromise, your Shadow will eventually take over and you will react by withdrawing into invisibility and wilting or suddenly reacting from your Crazy Woman with disastrous results.
If you are a man
- Heal your emotional wounds. If you don’t, you will be fighting with your Shadows believing they are the women around you.
- Heal your mother wounds, or you will project them onto women, especially your woman. Do you really want to go to bed with mamma?
- When you make your partner into your mother, you will turn her off. Start throwing all your anger about mom’s abandonment onto her, and watch her turn cold in bed. Grow up!
- When you make powerful women into your Mother’s Shadows, you will turn your greatest allies into enemies. The women of power around you can be your greatest allies, but only if you become theirs instead of attacking them.
- Never ever spar with women. Do not use words as swords. Do not throw your anger at them (though it’s great if you own it and let them know how you feel.) If you enter the argumentation game with women, understand the flight or fight response. You will suffer the consequences. You will either have a cold, withdrawn woman or you will be attacked by a blood-thirsty Crazy Woman. Does either or this sound attractive to you?
- Seek to walk in the other’s shoes as a way of conversation. Use this instead of argumentation or other forms of sparring. See what happens.
- Develop your Emotional Intelligence and empathy in your relationships. Walk the path of the Sacred Feminine by making the goal of a conversation to come closer, know each other better and help each other deepen and enrich your lives. Stay in the love zone!
- Learn to listen to women. Become aware of their silence. Ask for its meaning. You will learn more about women from this than any little book out there about how to “make women do what you want.” Learn instead to listen to what they really want!
- When you feel attacked at a woman’s declaration of independence, freedom, at her verbalization of her needs or her time in the limelight; before you lash out to defend yourself by attacking, ask yourself these questions:
- What am I afraid of?
- Have I been really attacked, or am I interpreting it as an attack?
- Why am I feeling this as an attack?
- Am I avoiding looking at how I may be an oppressor?
- If this was said or done by a man, would I feel outraged?
- No one wants to be an oppressor, but we all are. As adults, we often oppressed children and youth. Men often oppressed women. (And vice-versa). Bosses often oppress employees. Young people often oppress the old. The healthy often oppress the sick. People in the mainstream of culture and race, often oppress minorities or non-mainstream culture and races. Heterosexuals often oppress gay, lesbian and transgender people. The list goes on. To truly be free and champion democracy, diversity and equality, we need to courageously face both —how we are oppressed and how we are oppressors.
- If you truly believe that you are charged with protecting your kin; your woman, your children, your elders, your community. Then make an oath to NOT attack them, especially in the name of your duty to protect them.
To Allow or not to allow… that is the question
And here’s my last consideration.
To allow is to permit. In a democratic, free and equally fair relationship of any type, you have a right and a duty to allow only in reference to your own needs, desires and rights. You allow or disallow certain standards of communication, relationship or treatment, for example. You allow what you accept while setting limits to what you do not accept.
But you do not have a right to allow in reference to the other. You have no authority to “permit” what the other desires or chooses to do with her or his life. When that happens, you’ve crossed the line. You are assuming both responsibility for and control of another adult’s choices. You have that responsibility and control over children under your care. But not over adults.
And that goes for women as well as men.
Giving away our power and rights as well as infringing them has been an old recipe for unhappiness and failure in marriage. We now have free-choice. Use it well and your relationship will flourish as it helps you flourish.
When we cherish our love partner as a free individual we do not take him or her for granted. We honor his or her dreams. We support him or her in her life purpose, spiritual, personal and professional evolution. We enjoy the companionship and partnership with which we have been blessed for the short or long time we share it. But we do not treat each other as possessions. We do not transgress their freedom. Sometimes this is tough. But it is also highly rewarding, exciting and deeply loving.
Share your experience!
What conversations have you had around Sarai’s tragic death? What is your experience of human rights within marriage? About violence against women? Have you ever suffered from the use of argumentation and other aggressive sparring that separates instead of bringing people closer? Please share your experience.
Please share in a spirit that honors Sarai.
May she rest in peace.