Today several things came together in my field of attention. First a very conventionally beautiful woman put a post up on facebook and I wondered about the idea of complying to the cultural concept of beauty.
When a woman chooses to have procedures, selects ultra feminine clothing, tilts her head seductively what motivates her? I wondered.
It is exactly what I am working through in my life right now. My mother conditioned me to “be pretty”. I had perms at 4 and 5 and back then the chemicals were beastial. My eyes stung. I could barely breathe. The curlers lifted up my scalp because they were so tight. The concern was that it “would take.”
As my mother made me dresses that restricted my muscular shoulders and shoved unforgiving mary jane plastic shoes on my feet, she reminded me of where my ultimate power lay. “Women must suffer for beauty,” she said to me during these ritual attempts to mold me into a feminine form.
The idea of fitting in to a high school that was full of the richest people in my town was entrained in me. We lived on “the heights” where doctors’ houses perched, lawyers’ abodes were custom designed over-looking the lower levels of the town where chicken farmer, mechanics and factory workers lived. Their children went to the “other” high school.
I walked the hallways through groups of girls wearing cashmere sweaters with matching socks; with boys who got a TR3 for graduation. But I was a fraud.
My parents worked four jobs between them to build a house. I was a fraud. I was not interested in being pretty and remaining passive.
At home, I was beaten and molested. At school, I was mocked and strange.
The question of how one goes into the world as a woman is on the table right now. Posts in media are asking the question, “Why have women stayed silent.”
We have stayed silent for the same reason we had ribs removed in Victorian times: in order to fit in. We have stayed silent for the same reason we walk in shoes that destroy our feet. We have stayed silent for the same reason we refuse to speak up for equal pay.
We bleach our hair blonde. We look to our fellow captives to see how they accumulate attention and power and what we see is compliance.
A few woman break out and body build, or fight like hell for the dysenfranchised, or are brave enough to say #metoo.
It is a time of transition. Since the time of the Elysian Mysteries when women held the societal power, we have been ruled by men. Throughout the history since the Mysteries collapsed, we have looked around us to see how other women embrace their own slavery. What gives them attention from men? They move up the ladder because they are not a threat. They are available to be sexual presences in the work place because of the way they dress and present themselves.
Men do not have these restrictions on them. And it is time that women, each individual woman, sit down and have a conversation with herself. Who am I when I am not trying to fit into a persona? Who am I as a free spirited being moving through life?
From that point, things will change. It moves from being a fulcrum of compliance to a fulcrum of authenticity. I have faith that is where we are headed.
For me, I sit with the question… how was I conditioned? What choices are truly my own? I am curious. And not knowing is the beginning.