More Than A Prayer: Mass Shootings + Masculinity
Yesterday, I went to Planned Parenthood. I had to pass by an armed guard at the entrance because hegemonic masculinity has militarized my vagina. Men are losing their shit. *Ahem*-- white, cis “MEN”. ← It should be noted. They don’t make air quotes big enough for the kind of “men” perpetrating these crimes. And it does seem like it’s getting worse.
What we’re hearing is the last gasp of a dying idea: the one where the spectrum of human experience of half the planet has been reduced to the thinnest sliver of what it means to be a “man.” The one where a military fuckton of that has been thrown onto one end of the binary gender teeter-totter, effectively catapulting everything else into a capitalist dystopia predicated on debt and consumption. The one where a sociopathic sky dad metes out punishment for mixing types of cloth or for being gay. The one in which the Earth itself has been dumped into a fossil-fueled Rape-O-Matic™ so we can all have iPhones and H&M. But the Earth itself has begun to shudder and buck under the yoke of toxic male aggression. And as the power is being wrested from those who have had it ohhhh since the advent of the alphabet (?), we’re witnessing a kaleidoscopic death rattle in the form of people like Donald Trump and murderous men who literally just cannot even that their paradigm is being steadily eclipsed.
Yeah it’s getting dark in here. Right before the dawn, motherfuckers.
All us real witches, all of us caregivers whose work goes untweeted, all us priestess warriors done colluding with the good-vibes-only white lady spirituality scene are rising the fuck UP. Women: get a bit more fierce. Not in an 80’s-shoulder-pads-at-the-office-act-like-a-man kind of way, but in an instant Kali’s gonna get you kind of way. Say the unpopular but true thing that makes people uncomfortable. Like Marianne Williamson said recently, “If what you're saying is always getting applause, you're probably not yet doing the right stuff.”Be exquisite with your boundaries. Encourage our boys and our men to explore and embrace gender non-conformity. Let our trans friends lead the way.
This aggression will not stand, men.
Toxic masculinity is a social construct related to privilege, a form that racism often takes - and similarly, requires vigilance and rigorous dismantling often with support from voices other than yours. Learn how to listen more, and take up less air space. Basically, STFU and try to ask more questions. At your next holiday gathering, notice if it’s mostly the women cleaning up. Study mutability. Remove all your socially constructed unnecessary emotional armor. Become acquainted with your internal environment. Cultivate interest in other people’s internal environments. Most importantly: work on your shadow, your baggage, your shit, whatever you want to call it. And remember: for the first 6 weeks of your life as a fetus, you were female. And to everyone: do not be dazzled into despair by this display. Transform your grief into action. Make your prayers into plans. Find your medicine. Some medicine we come into the world with, some we need to learn. What do people thank you for? What’s your service work looking like these days? Know your magic. What is it about you that changes things? That changes people? What is it inside you that changes? How is that even possible? If you know more brand names than plant names, start there. Re-indigenize yourself to balance the collective turning away from wild-ness. Honor and cultivate the transitional energies between male and female -- they exist in all of us. There’s an alchemy of the spirit that can transform the lead of evil into the gold of love.
With shout outs to Rob Brezsny for the comments section here, Demian DinéYazhi of R.I.S.E. Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment for being who you are and for the photo inspiration, Randi Buckley for supporting women in making the distinction between being nice and being kind, Carolyn Elliot for reminding us all that there are real witches in the world practicing real magic, to Planned Parenthood, to vaginas, to conscious men unpacking their shit, and to everyone in my Facebook feed working together to build the world that's coming after this one crumbles and falls away.