The most difficult function we ever learn is how to use language; how to communicate thoughts, needs, feelings and ideas into sounds. The complex nuances of language and communication are the most difficult things we learn as humans, and also the most powerful and important tool we have. Without language, we would not be able to cooperate to obtain food, clothing and shelter with the efficiency we do.
But it’s much more than that. With the right sentiment, at the proper time, one word can change a society, inspiring it to new understandings, directions and achievements. And conversely, with the opposite sentiment, words can tear a society to pieces or manipulate its consciousness into willing submission. What we communicate, and how, has the power to change the world. Just as importantly, language, its interpretation and its transformation over time reveals a lot about the collective consciousness of the society that speaks it.
The Language of Gender
Ma. Ma is the tone of the divine feminine according to Hindu and Buddhist ideas. A primal tone used to express femininity, it is also, essentially, what most of us call our mothers – the embodiment of the divine feminine.
English: Mama/Mum, Afrikaans: Ma,Portugese: Mãe, Dutch: Moer, Greek:Màna, Russian: Mat’, Hindi: Maji,Romanian: Maica, Italian: Madre, Yiddish:Muter, French: Mère, Polish: Matka,Punjabi: Mai, Serbian: Majka,Albanian: Mëmë, Haitian: Manman, Slovenian: Máti, Mandarin: Mǔqīn, Zulu: Umama,Sicilian: Matri, Spanish: Madre, Icelandic: Móðir, Swahili: Mzaa, Vietnamese: Mẹ, Swedish: Morsa,Thai: Mæ̀, Ukranian: Me, Nepali: Āmā, Tamil: Am’mā …While the divine ‘ma’ is so commonly at the root of “mother” in so many (curiously disparate) cultures around the world, another variation of mother also echoes the sacred Aum. In Hinduism, the “aum” sound is the sound of the original vibration of consciousness; of god manifested in form.
Maltese: Omm, Arabic: Ahm…
The sacred linguistic roots of our words for ‘mother’ tells us a lot about the reverential, matriotic roots of our ancestral societies. Indeed, there are traces of ancient cultures in which women were not just respected but revered as manifestations of the divine feminine, writes Steve Taylor Ph.D in his article If Women Ruled the World – Is a Matriarchal Society the Solution?:
The most striking thing about the culture of ancient Crete (or Minoan culture, as it is often called) is how prominent women are. They are everywhere in Minoan artwork, on pottery, frescoes and figurines… They are shown as priestesses, goddesses, dancing and talking at social occasions, in beautiful dresses with their breasts on show. There is a striking fresco of a beautifully dressed woman surrounded by a group of half naked dancing men.The feminine influence on our cultures, and correspondingly, the manifestation of feminine nature of our collective consciousness, has diminished throughout recorded time – an era of increasingly patriotic global elitism. As our reverence for the nature of ‘the feminine’ has diminished, so too has the influence of women on the priorities of our civilizations. Around the world, entire civilizations have lost their energetic balance, becoming overtly militaristic, competitive, nationalistic and institutionalized. Uncivilized. Our societies embrace priorities that undermine the ‘feminine’ virtues of individualism and sustainability. Without the natural feminine balance, our most influential institutions are competitive and not co-operative, controlling not enabling, scientific not spiritual, and structured on the irrational principles of militarism, consumption and perpetual economic growth.
It is clear that – as many archaeologists have agreed – this was a society in which women had very high status; at least as high as men.
This psychological and energetic imbalance is clearly reflected in, and perpetuated by, our common use of language. Obvious examples include the countless derogatory terms for female genitalia and the menstrual cycle. But our distorted perceptions of masculine and feminine are more subtly even evidenced in the way we use the words ‘manly’ and ‘womanly’ themselves.
Manly adjectiveCourageous… determined… heroic…
Definition #1: having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage, strength, and spirit.
Example: “a manly torso of perfect proportions”.
Synonyms: brave, courageous, bold, valiant, fearless, macho, intrepid, daring, heroic, gallant, chivalrous, adventurous, dauntless, resolute, determined… Definition #2: (of an activity) befitting a man.
Example: “honest, manly sports”.
Synonyms: virile, masculine, strong, muscular, strapping, well built, sturdy, robust, rugged, tough, hardy, powerful, brawny, red-blooded, vigorous…
Definition #1: relating to or having the characteristics of a woman or women.
Examples: “her smooth, womanly skin”… “her womanly virtues”.
Synonyms: feminine, female.
Definition #2: (of a girl’s or woman’s body) fully developed and curvaceous.
Example: “I’ve got a womanly figure”.
Synonyms: voluptuous, curvaceous, shapely, ample, opulent, full-figured, well formed, well proportioned, buxom, full-bosomed, luscious…
Smooth… curvaceous… buxom…
Kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
Then, add to this kind of distorted language the weight of social norms, largely re-generated through media conditioning, and you embed an ideal archetype so unachievable that some spend their entire lives in its pursuit.
Such widely held expectations of feminine ‘normality’ undermine the very divinity of the true feminine nature. They treat femininity as a value that must be achieved through outside means, a goal, not a divine sacred essence. Today, women are socially encouraged toward the “masculine” roles of provider, competitor and protector, not only by an increased economic necessity but in part by the common interpretation of “feminism” as a woman’s right to embody “masculine” roles such as military, competitive sports etc., rather than a broader opposed to a social movement to instil “feminine” values into our broader culture.
Radical Oppression and the Rising Ecocide
The definitions above represent one of the more subtle ways the divine feminine is undermined by the radical patriarchy. However much more overt oppression of the sacred feminine is evident in other extremes; in cultures like our own, where femininity has been objectified by popular culture into the realms of over-sexualized male fantasy, while at the other extreme, in certain Middle Eastern countries (among others) for example, women’s value is considered to be far less than that of men – and in some cases, less than that of the animals the family raises. There are cultures in which women are routinely given lashes in public… or worse… for causing men to rape them. And those where women cannot go anywhere alone, and remain hidden behind garments that conceal their appearance. In China, this perceived inequality of genders and chronic overpopulation results in countless female babies being discarded at birth. And let us not forget the great tradition of the ‘chastity belt’. Or the practice of routine female genital mutilation, which prevents women from experiencing their whole sacred female sexuality.
Such practices don’t just violate the individual rights (and lives) of females but pose a collective attack on the very nature of the divine feminine. They undermine the sacred gentleness, compassion and wisdom inherent to humanity’s feminine nature, and facilitate the dominance of the decidedly un-sacred masculine.
The oppression of the sacred feminine is further obvious when we look at the psychology of systemic environmental destruction. The sacred feminine once kept whole communities intuitively tuned with our Mother Earth, valuing her as the nurturer of life, and honouring her need to be nurtured in return. By conditioning entire populations to perceive disconnection from their natural environment and the nurturing energy she embodies, the patriarchy has managed to undervalue the need for sustainable, compassionate thinking in our collective plan, and gained our ignorant but willing consent to destroy great swathes of our beautiful planet – on our behalf but to their benefit – and all in great the name of human progress. And while this ecocide continues, so too does our collective affront to the divine feminine – to Gaia herself.
Writes Psychologist Steve Taylor Ph.D in his article Ecocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction:
Would a sane species abuse their own habitat so recklessly? And would they allow such dangerous trends to intensify without taking any serious measures against them?… Indigenous peoples were in no doubt that our attitude to nature was pathological, and would lead to disaster…Believing we are disconnected from our environment and each other, our unbalanced decision makers steer an unbalanced society toward unbalanced and destructive practices (nuclear for example). Those who have lost the essence of who they really are cannot function in a harmonious, high-vibrational level. Without balance – the masculine and feminine, the yin and yang – what we have allowed in its place is a radical patriarchy.
In my view, there are two main psychological factors. The first is what I call our “over-developed sense of ego,” or intensified sense of individuality… The second factor is our “de-sacralised” vision of nature, our inability to sense the “being-ness” of natural phenomena. Our ego-separateness means that we don’t feel connected to the “web of creation,” the network of life on Earth.
What Happened to Feminism?
It is no secret that women are oppressed, beat up and kept down in countless ways, in cultures all over the world. We certainly have never had the need for a ‘masculinist’ movement, in demand of male rights. Perhaps an ancient history of matriarchal influence is why we find ourselves here.
Women have been systemically relegated by the seekers of power in our society. If the divine feminine was truly celebrated, revered and embodied – and equally, if the true nature of the divine masculine was embodied – our society would be shaped by quite a different balance of interests and influences; ones that would not have supported the rise of today’s most powerful, war-driven institutional structures. The radical patriarchy.
Unfortunately, like most “movements”, the second-wave feminist movement ultimately became “controlled opposition” in some regards, overrun by the ideals of the masculine institution. While the second wave sought to combat social and cultural inequalities, and to an extent was successful in that regard, it by no means caused a revolution in the way our society operates; only the way families and workplaces are run, increasing the time and energy women typically spend “providing” instead of “nurturing”. Adding to the expectations caused by our increasing masculinization of female social roles, the increased necessity for dual-incomes means mothers often don’t have the choice to engage their time in raising their children, as our grandmothers did. Instead, both parents must typically work just to survive financially. Make no mistake, this trend a deliberate economic construct. The role of mother has been squeezed out of common practice by economic design, and those who can subjected to the social burden of (patronizing) qualifiers like “stay at home mom” or “workingmom” (as opposed to working dads who are simply called “dads”). Meanwhile, carers and other nurturers are undervalued and poorly remunerated for their contribution to society, if at all.
Writes Jay Dyer in his article for Jay’s Analysis, Why Billionaire Oligarchs Bankroll Feminism:
… It is a fact that almost all so-called “liberal” movements have been funded, co-opted, used and harnessed by the money power as a means of psychological warfare for the destruction of the existing order. Feminism is no exception to this, and like Marxism, had the backing of powerful financial interests which could utilize the “liberation” by appealing to the… naïve ignorance of youth, as the world witnesses with Mao’s cultural revolution.As a result of this trend, women are certainly working more than at any time in history, yet the number of women in key decision making roles still remains relatively low. More importantly though, the influence of “feminine” virtues (sustainability, compassion) on what those roles actually achieve has remained all but non-existence. Currently, the most influential direction setting in our society happens at a corporate and government level (arguably the same thing) which are competitive in natue. So, while the second wave feminist movement achieved equal right for women to perform important roles within heavily masculine institutions, there was no energetic shift toward embodying the sacred feminine energy within those institutions themselves. Rather, to be “successful” in corporate and government, women adopt mannish standards of appearance, bolstering the suit and tie with shoulder pads and a requisite killer attitude. Meanwhile, feminine ideals fail to penetrate these institutionalized structure, awhile successful women routinely trade their femininity at the door, adopting instead the worst qualities of men.
Thus, just as the banking elite funded revolutionaries in Russia and China to destabilize the existing regimes, so with feminism and “women’s liberation,” the destabilization of the masses could be more easily accomplished, not just through altering social structures, but also through attacking gender. The attack on gender is a long, scientific process that began with women’s liberation and has now consummated in the synthetic rewrite of all nature. Along this long, technocratic and scientistic path, the oligarchs reasoned that the inversion of all existing orders through subversion would result in the feminization of men, and the masculinization of women.
“Hasn’t she got balls!”, they say, as she steers her fracking corporation to record profits. Hilary “Hard Ass” Clinton, Gina “The Coral Reef Bulldozer” Reinhart and Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher are three perfect examples of this archetype. Masculine energy, with breasts.
When we honestly assess the energetic state of our world today, we see that the feminist movement has not achieved any significant change to the masculine priorities and practices that underpin our society’s most influential institutional structures. Instead, the forces of bastardization – the radical patriarchy – ensured that the feminist movement became “controlled opposition” in many ways, minimizing its focus and therefore its impact on issues of genuine social direction. In fact, the over-sexualization of the “ideal” female archetype is in part the slingshot effect of this interference we see still playing out today. Deliberate manipulation of the feminist ideals over time has seen the movement inadvertently facilitate the rise of the “It’s my body and I’ll flash the paparazzi if I want to” ethos that has become so prevalent in establishment media today; some fine examples include Britney “I attract $300 a ticket to mime and grab my own breasts on stage” Spears and the other one… Oh, you know the one! That “good girl gone bad” story that was all over the news last week. What was her name again…?
So while the initial intentions behind the feminist movement, and indeed some of the rights that were recognized along the way, were clearly very valuable, its success was limited by deliberately steered objectives. Although some may see “women’s liberation” as a mostly done deal, so far, the limitations instilled within the movement have ensured its perceived successes fell well short of bringing about the Divine Feminine Revolution one might have hoped (or in the case of the establishment, feared).
Just as the divine feminine has been relegated, the role of “the male” in our society has conversely manipulated. The overly sexualized female ideal is matched by similarly unrealistic male ideal, one that is essentially built for war. And while the increasing absence of parents and other adult influences leaves children with less parental guidance, our children are collecting influences wherever they find them; school, media, internet, and each other.
The distorted expression of the masculine within our institutional structures and the desecration of the divine feminine, as constructed by those institutional powers, is evidenced by the rather un-divine expressions of masculinity and femininity that are so embraced and embedded in our society. From Barbie and G.I. Joe to Miss Universe and Uncle Sam, the heroes and princesses archetypes serve to steer the collective mindset toward accepting constant distortion of the masculine and feminine, and to engage in the roles these archetypes embody; the passive beauty and the powerful warrior. Our society has accepted those archetypes and at the same time, the rule of an overtly masculine paradigm – one where a competitive economy, military complex, over-consumptive industries and energy systems, and exclusive power structures (that are faultlessly self-serving) are given value. Thus, we consider it normal business practice to engage in industrial practices that threaten all life on our fragile, life-giving natural environment.
So how do we best overcome our society’s current conditioning? Through the power of our words.
A Matriotic Revolution?
“This is my voice, my weapon of choice…” ~ Ms. Grace Jones, “This Is Life”.Theosophy and philosophy universally point to the primal importance of communication. Diverse belief systems concur that the word begins it all, and this idea is particularly reflected in The Bible and in the Aum/Om (a mantra of Hindu origin). Even the United States ‘Bill of Rights’ begins with the First Amendment, the five points of law that not only protect the inherent human right of U.S. citizens to communicate freely but which recognize the importance of communication to a healthy, dynamic and functional society.
George Orwell, author of 1984, wrote in his essay Politics and the English Language.
“… the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development… or constructions.” ~ George OrwellThroughout recorded time, the power of the word to change things, to change everything, remains a constant. One word is all it takes to change every form and shape, which is why the United States’ First Amendment – the protection of the right to speak – is first. It is also why censorship is increasingly being enacted against individuals who express ideas – through words – that challenge our unconscious acceptance of what already is.
But beside the more overt manipulations of censorship, language is deliberately used to condition our thinking in ways most of us do not comprehend. The very word “patriotism” is used in our society to describe a virtue of the highest order, while the words “matriotic” and “matriotism” don’t even feature in our society’s collective vocabulary. So at this point, it is wise to understand the meanings of these words so that we can better understand the nature of our collective thinking, and how we got here.
Matriotism:The distinction here is very clear: patriotism values collectivism and competition, while matriotism values individualism, compassion and sustainability. So, in a world entrenched in the warring culture of patriotism – of nationalism and competition – our natural balance may only be restored by way of ‘Matriotic Revolution'; by truly valuing the virtues of the matriot, and embodying the divine feminine and divine masculine in equal measure. And not just in our hearts, but in word and deed, equally reflected in the most influential conventions in our society today — language and government.
1) Devotion to Mother Earth, ecology, sustainability, peace and the survival of life and the human species.
2) Love or celebration of women’s influence upon society; the feminine equivalent of male patriotism.
1) Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one’s compatriots; the passion which inspires one to serve one’s country.
2) The desire to compete with other nations; nationalism.
3) Love or celebration of men’s influence upon society; the masculine equivalent of female matriotism.
Where Have All The Grandmothers Gone?
“When the wisdom of the Grandmothers is finally heard and respected, the world will heal.” ~ Hopi ProphecyThe American Indians despite a variety of beliefs and traditions shared many customs and ideas. Among them was to consult the grandmothers of the tribe when a big decision was to be made. The grandmothers often had the final say on important matters, bringing the balance of wisdom, forethought and compassion.
Today, the martial patriarchs run the world. Our society is focused on “masculine” enterprises, fueled by “masculine” energy: growth and expansion, power/control, competition, nationalism, even violence and war. The distorted belief systems of many modern religions, their ranks dominated by male leaders, encourage the worship of a masculine “God”, and engender the disempowering belief that He will come and save us. Eventually. We hope. Yet for many, we are so far embedded in this masculine consciousness most people today don’t realize that there is any other way; that long-standing ancient cultures were built on “feminine” virtues, from the ground up.
Rather than being considered the experienced caretakers and the wise leaders of our communities, the role of the maternal elder in our youth-obsessed society has effectively been relegated to nursing home status. Meanwhile generations of future mothers and grandmothers are steered from childhood toward the polarities of the subordinated, overly-sexualized feminine archetype of today’s media and the powerful iron-maiden of our most “successful” female leaders.
Yet, while women are encouraged to embody the “masculine” in their social roles, the same cannot be said in reverse. Our society teaches that access to the energy of the divine feminine should be experienced only by women, and simultaneously engenders an over-masculine ideal of men and maleness. Men and boys who exhibit “feminine” traits energy are assumed to be “weak”, or homosexual, or both, and are often subjected to stereotype and stigma. For teenage boys, being called a “girl” by your peers is among the highest of insults! All they have experienced is distortion and confusion.
This raises the question: to negate the radical masculine, is a balanced approach to engender feminine virtues in boys? Or engender the virtues of the truly sacred masculine in our future men, including due respect for the sacred feminine, and teaching their divine sisters to do likewise?
Add to this imbalance between masculine and feminine the effects of a youth-driven culture, and the matriarchs of the world – the female elders of the tribe – are regarded in our society’s consciousness as secondary on two fronts; age and gender.
Given our society’s imbalanced embodiment of the masculine over the feminine, of the young over the old, and the resulting subjugation of the matriarchy, the only way humanity can now move forward is to restore that balance. As a society we need to embody the energy of the divine feminine, and invited the influence of the tribal female elder back to all levels of direction-setting and decision-making in our societies.
Such a shift won’t happen over night, it will start at home… with the mothers and grandmothers of the world, who will teach the next generation of thought leaders the value of giving and not getting, and the wisdom of revering and caring for the Earth Mother, just as they revere the Mother herself… with the fathers and grandfathers of the world, who will teach their children to honor the feminine in all her physical embodiment, and guide the culture of their families and communities, valuing the virtues of the sacred masculine and feminine in harmony… with those of us who will stand up to those institutions that support the oppressive treatment of women – be it violent or more subtle – with courageous, compassionate, peaceful action… and with those of us who will integrate the yin and yang in our inner worlds, and consciously re-define how our cultures express (and therefore how they consider) the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.
To heal a world increasingly ravaged by unchecked patriarchy, we must rediscover the honor of the sacred masculine and value equally the qualities of the sacred matriarch – a devotion to Mother Earth, ecology, sustainability, peace and the survival of life and the human species. The future of our civilization now depends on our willingness to recognize our own divinity, to revere both youth and age, and embody the energy of the sacred feminine and the divine masculine in conscious balance, in our words and our deeds.
Peace on Earth, only for real.
About the Authors
Based in Sydney Australia, Lucy Morales is a writer, speaker and activist with an keen interest in exploring humanity’s social, environmental and spiritual realities. With a ‘past-life’ in the corporate world behind her, she now dedicates her time to exploring the nature of our ailing societies and raising awareness of important trends, issues and solutions.
Connect with Lucy online at Facebook.com/JoinWakeUpWorld.
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.
For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook and check out Ethan’s author page on Amazon.