Unraveling Patriarchy and Shifting the Paradigm
In the March 2022 issue, we want to examine patriarchy as one of the intersecting sub-systems of the “power-over” paradigm, which has deep and wide roots and branches in the idea of separation from the land and the superiority of humans. The philosophical and practical movement away from knowing the world as animate and alive gave birth to other hierarchies and oppressions, including the accumulation of resources by some, capitalism, colonialism, labor extraction, racism, heteronormativity, etc. Patriarchy’s exercise of power over all that was categorized as “feminine” necessitated “othering” of women–and land, fruit, life, wildness, the heart, intuition, etc–in order to dominate or own them. Power-over works to divide one oppressed group from another for the same reason.
The 15th and 16th century Papal Bulls (from Catholic popes) and the 1493 Doctrine of Discovery are horrific examples of patriarchy. These documents created a code of dominance that continues to this day. They gave Christian explorers/settlers the right to claim any non-Christian lands as their own. Native people were considered non-human savages, and thus had no claim to land. In stark contrast, indigenous peoples live(d) by a “code” of reverence.
- What are the structures/attitudes/values-belief systems that enable patriarchy to persist? Can WTR help dismantle them, and if so, how?
- What is the relationship between WTR and ecofeminism?
- How might WTR facilitators create gender inclusive spaces for their workshops and practices?
- How might Indigenous wisdom help WTR move us (all people) from domination toward reverence?
- How might facilitators and participants interrupt power-over dynamics when they arise in workshops and make space for their transformation?
- How might sacred feminine/masculine energies or qualities emerge or express themselves outside of a power-over paradigm?
We hope writers, poets, and artists steeped in the Work That Reconnects will be inspired by these themes and questions to explore how the Work can help transform the patriarchal paradigm into one of respect and empowerment for all people, all genders, all skin colors, all cultures, all life.
Please submit by January 15, 2022, using this Google Form. (If you have problems filling out the form, contact us at [email protected].) Please consult our submission guidelines before sending in your offering. We give preference to work submitted by practitioners of the Work That Reconnects, including writings by practitioners that have been translated into English. We especially seek poems appropriate for use in workshops.