Musings: Cannibalism, Feminism and Holistic Claustrophobia

Apparently I blinked and feminism became an entity, developed a conscious filtering system and an eerily biased opinion on equality. I don’t like its purpose being dictated. Women in the media are now victims not only to the opposition but to their own team, under constant scrutiny for their place on the scale from one to feminism. Female celebrities are under increasing attack for their behaviour, simultaneously judged and celebrated by the infinite amount of voices to be heard, each with its own idea about the ‘right kind of feminism.’

Sometimes I get stuck in the big picture. The other day I was reading The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism & the Problem with Domination. Typically, Freudian theories of domination (that it’s an inevitable effect of human interaction) sent me spiralling into an existential crisis. Now, I’m tied down by possibilities and scales, handcuffed by the largeness of life, gagged by the perception that my actions and beliefs are completely inconsequential. I can’t write. I can’t talk. Sometimes it’s hard to think.

I call it ‘holistic claustrophobia.’ Don’t steal it.

I feel that secularisation is important now, that it’s the next logical step in progressive open-mindedness. As a group, surely it’s vital to embrace the individual experience of owning one’s own religion, finding a unique path of ideals and tailoring them over time, releasing labels of gender, sexuality and belief – forever weaving the tapestry of us – and embracing the fact that there will never be enough labels. Diversity through wholeness. Harmony. Polarities.

We have to find a balance, a way to maintain our individual ideals but keep huddling under the same umbrella: even the cannibals. As long as there’s no killing involved, I’m vocal in supporting those who have, but more importantly have needed to, devour a friend. But that’s an opinion for another day.

Chickens eat chicken and don’t get no hate.

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26 comments

  1. This may be long…. I apologize for the long windedness.

    I agree with your comment that women in the media are judged by their own team. In so far as we as women tend to judge each other rather than uplift, discuss, and celebrate one another. But it is more difficult to say we have “one team” in feminism. Feminism in itself has several different opinions, approaches, ideas, theories etc. For example, there are widely debated topics on reproduction within feminism, in radical feminism some wanting to completely alter the way procreation happens to develop children outside of the womb. Whereas, other feminists may just advocate only for equal rights within the family for parental leaves, equal rights to employment, or equal opportunities, meanwhile are denouncing radical ideas. There really is no, “right kind of feminism.” It is the beauty of diversity.
    So, what is the right way of thinking? How can we get to a basis of real truth? Where… like you said we can have“Diversity through wholeness. Harmony. Polarities.” Where can we embrace ourselves as individuals (which includes differences in gender). Unfortunately, I do believe Secularisation Theory, or secularization in general, is not the next step to open mindedness.

    Why? Religion gives us moral truths, that give us a bedrock of a way of living that promotes the common good. Religion also coexists with science, and gives us a way at discovering the world with ethics. It also gives us a basis for understanding conscience and morality. Equally it is important to have philosophers and theologians ask difficult questions to come to a conclusion of what is morally good, which usually comes to the question of God. It is by understanding the will or existence of God that we come to know the meaning, implications, and importance of our life. Such as, why are we here? What is right or wrong? Do right and wrong exist? Does my life have purpose, or am I just made up of particles/chemical reactions?

    People quite often assume that religion holds us back, or causes war or conflict. Science and religion can coexist. Some scientists or people are attempting to eliminate the need for God and claim that science can explain everything. Fr. Barren explains this perfectly when he says, “Though the sciences may be able to explain the chemical compounds of paper and ink. The sciences will never understand the meaning of a book. Though the sciences might be able to understand the physical make up the body. The sciences will never be able to understand what makes an act morally good or morally evil. Though the sciences may be able to break down the chemical makeup of the paint used on the Sistine chapel ceiling. They will never be able to tell you why it is a beautiful work of art.(2)” At their depth religion and science come together. Every scientist assumes that “being is intelligible” that we can come to understand the world that we live in. A scientist goes out to meet a world imbued with meaning. How to you explain the universality to the meaningfulness of the world? (Because the world was thought out by God first (1).) People need to ask themselves these types of difficult questions to gain “open mindedness.”
    There is however a problem. People sum up religion for what maybe they perceive on the outside, or based on stereotype, history, or misconceptions they heard. Normally people never seek out or research the true meaning of how the faith works. They think religion is old fashioned, can’t be explained, or is irrational. The problem? With that rational alone that individual has just “closed their mind” to a perspective that could shed truth. People simply don’t want to seek answers to their questions when it comes to religion, they don’t want to take the time to learn what philosophers or theologians said about the meaningfulness of the world and the meaningfulness of life. People also think discussions regarding religion always result in conflict. It’s simply not the case. I can be friends with you, and love you, and have a rational conversation on religion. Some of the best philosophers argued with each other in friendship.

    Anyway, this is why I don’t think Secularization is a good thing.

    My biggest struggle? Coming to terms with the feminism I was taught, and my faith. My professors preached a lot was wrong with the church, but they never really understood the basis of the faith. Once I came to understand the basis of the faith I learned that I’m not “meant” to stay at home, and I have the same value as my husband. I am also called to love everyone without a doubt. It was amazing once I started learning what my faith was about how everything seemed to fit within my worldview..
    Here are 2 links you may find interesting. I would absolutely recommend you watch the second one… even if nothing more than an interesting perspective.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP2rLgrBtTI (1)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZkHv8iTJPo (2)

    1. I agree with you completely. I actually consider myself to be a very religious/spiritual person and love talking to people about their beliefs 🙂

      I probably wasn’t very clear, but when I used the term secularization I meant it in a sense broader than religion – as a general breakdown of (for lack of a better term) ‘organised labels’, rather than actual content, to embrace the fact that a person’s beliefs, traits and ideals are exactly that diverse.

  2. In The Greater Scheme of Things, your actions and beliefs probably are completely inconsequential- Oh God! An Existential Crisis!- but in the moment they can be very important indeed.

  3. I am a practical feminist who wants women to have the same opportunities to fulfill their dreams in whatever form that comes. As a man I should never stand in the way of a woman who wants to achieve special things that can make their lives and our world better. I also believe in being respectful and polite to the women in my life and others because its just how I was raised. Sometimes feminism is overthought and underdone. I hope all this makes sense.

  4. Very stimulating musings on the contemporary contexts of feminism, religion, science! Existentialism. Could the questions be: Is the umbrella not large enough to satisfy everyone’s needs? Is there a “secular” context to a happy and valuable life?

  5. Wondering if you have run into anything good on the feminist balance of Taoist philosophy. I have not, but I would think this would be a rich paradigm for exploring the future ecological balance of feminist platforms. Also, with you being from the home of Permaculture, I believe there is a richly vibrant co-creative intelligence in the ethics and practice of permaculture design and development. Regardless, this is a fascinating journey you invite for yourself and so generously share with the rest of us. With appreciation.

    Gerald Oliver

    1. Hi Gerald,

      Unfortunately I haven’t come across anything quite like this, but I completely agree that it’s a fascinating route to explore. I’ll be sure to keep my eye and mind out from now on.

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Hi Kezia, Thanks for recently following my blog.

    I feel old visiting your blog. You have a way of expressing which is outside my general experience. That probably also means it will be good for me to read it and expand my brain 🙂

    What do you think of Chrissie Hynde these days?

    1. Hey! Well, my mum is a big Pretenders fan so I’ve always had a soft spot for her which may influence my opinion…

      That said, I believe her recent comments should be received with a mindfulness that she’s coming from an anecdotal perspective. Chrissie made a conscious decision to put herself in harm’s way, and has an inability to see herself as a victim because of that, which I can totally relate to. She’s entitled to feel that way, and I don’t believe she made any generalizing comments that shame, judge or speak for others, so she’s still good with me.

      You’ve inspired me to read her memoir, and explore her mind some more!

      🙂

  7. This is a really interesting article. I like your perspective. The Bonds of Love sounds intriguing. Domination, submission, gender, and sexuality is something that I touch upon on my own blog, within the context of BDSM. That subject is always so controversial in feminism and contributes to the whole “sex-negative” vs. “sex-positive” divide (or radical vs. liberal, depending on who you’re talking to). I also hope that you write about devouring a friend.

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