I am grateful for the #metoo movement. I believe it is doing a lot to expose the tragic prevalence of sexual assault and resultant trauma. I believe it has helped many women and men and children in their journey of healing.
Professionally, I am a psychotherapist, and have long known of the devastation the too often prevailing mindthink of ‘power-over’ (whether the power is physical, psychological, or financial) in violating sexual boundaries. It is shocking to me how little the brutality and terror involved is understood. For me that lack of understanding is dangerous. It allows the mindthink to happen in plain view, i.e. I viewed the Kavanaugh hearings as 12 white men witnessing Kavanaugh’s forcing silence on his victim instead of the one witness the victim spoke of watching the original attack, and in that way continues to normalize it. It also allows for the non-predator to be denounced for that which is neither an act of power-over, nor terrifying, such as the condemnation and ultimate resignation of the great Senator Franken, for having a photo taken the intention of which was clearly buffoonery.
I believe that the #metoo movement is one of the movements of our time that has the possibility of creating an evolutionary leap in our culture and in our world, or of just being a trend in calling out the other, that limits its own role in calling in the paradigm shift called for in our time.
For the #metoo movement to be true to its mission of ending Violence Against Women, we as women would have to first acknowledge our complicity in both the mindthink and the acts of violence against women, by our support of war. Indeed, war is the large scale rape, maiming, and murder of women and children and men, until the suffering is crippling enough to have a country capitulate to the predator nation’s demands. War is the ultimate belief and act that violence gives you rights.
Mine is not a radical new idea. From the greek comedy of women demanding peace, Lysistrata, written in 411BC, to the award winning 2008 documentary ‘Pray The Devil Back To Hell’ about the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, womens movements refusing to support war is not new. What is shocking is how silenced the movements are as evidenced by our own present day negation of the establishment of Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day Proclamation was written in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, (author of The Battle Hymn of The Republic, who after witnessing the horror of war became) one of the leaders of a movement of pacifists. LOOK how relevant its call is today:
“Arise, then… women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: Disarm, Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
nor violence vindicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war,
let women now leave all that may be left of home
for a great and earnest day of council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality,
may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.“
~ Julia Ward Howe
Did you know this about the establishment of Mother’s Day? Likely not, as it has become a commercialized holiday about cards and flowers and acknowledging your mother for mothering you. The #metoo movement runs the same risk of losing it’s original intent, if it stays at the shallow end of calling out others without us believers taking responsibility for our own role in perpetuating violence.
Today women are rising up in one of the greatest grassroots movements in history, to influence how we are governed. From Momsrising.org (social justice), moms across America (eliminating unsafe/untested gmos from our food supply), Emerge (women to run for office) moms out front (climate change), the Women’s March, to a plethora of other women’s movements, women are waking up from the hypnosis of letting the policies that govern the well-being of ourselves and our families be somebody else’s (a politician’s job vs. my job).
As women, let us lead the way in ending the use of violence as a ‘solution’ to a relational issue, yes between individuals, and between nations. Eliminating the mindthink ‘violence makes me right’, takes the eradication of that mindthink from all of us.