Women’s liberation may mean not being as active as the male culture has been in destroying the world. Equality for women may well mean having our particular, peculiar perspective honored and inviting that perspective to influence what we do in this world.
I know that as a woman, my woman’s reality is very close to Native reality. Neither of us is crazy. Our reality needs to be heard and respected.
Anne Wilson Schaef, Native Wisdom for White Minds
I come to this passage from Anne Wilson Schaef, about women’s reality and Native reality, as a white man. I affirm the wisdom here: that women more than men, and Native culture more than white culture, tends to value community and family more. I agree that patriarchy (male culture) has been a destructive force in the world. It’s not that we don’t need the gifts of masculinity in the world, it’s that the worst part of masculinity have become dominant and out of balance with the feminine in our world. War and greed and environmental destruction are linked to this toxic masculinity.
I encounter this passage in the week when women’s marches have been held in cities across the state and the country. The Texas abortion law and the supreme court’s tacit approval of the law signals a new threat to women’s bodily autonomy and to their health. In spite of popular opposition to the law, our system of minority rule make its passage and enactment possible. This is the political and social context of Anne Wilson Schaef’s words.
The personal and spiritual context of these words for me is that women’s wisdom should be valued and nurtured within all of us—male, female, transgender, non-binary, any gender. I believe we all have male and female within us and that we need to keep them in balance: individuality and community; freedom and grounding. Individuality and freedom are over-emphasized in many places: let’s honor the community and celebrate the grounding. Let’s value women and women’s reality in ourselves (whatever our gender identity), in our families, in our workplaces, our congregations, our governments.
Mother Father God, be with me now. Help me to see that the Divine has no gender, is all genders at once, and transcends the human notion of gender. Divine Spirit, bring the gifts of family, community and caring for future generations forth. Bring them forth in me; bring them forth in all people.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
October 7, 2021