Revel, Wil, and I were witness to 2 acts of blatant homophopia and sexism before 11 o’clock this morning.
We were waiting for a table at our favorite diner. A man and his partner saw a family they knew as they were leaving the restaurant. One of the men came over and gave one of the guys waiting a big hug, and jokingly ended up sitting on his lap for a second. Everyone laughed and chatted for a minute, and the man and his partner left.
“I work with him” the guy who had received the hug explained to his family. Then he said, “That was his boyfriend.” in a voice dripping with sarcasm. “I DID NOT enjoy that hug AT ALL, not AT ALL.” he said emphatically. And the rest of his family laughed and made snide remarks about what a start to his day, wow you can’t catch a break this morning etc., etc.
Then we went to Goodwill to hunt for second-hand treasures. I found a vest for Revel, and Wil found a pair of sweet shoes. Then Revel and I went over to the toy section to see if there was anything fun to play with.
Revel immediately picked up a baby doll, started hugging and kissing it and carrying it around the store.
We bumped into a nice woman who cooed over how cute Revel was, and then remarked in an offhand manner “Oh, I’m sure his Daddy just LOVES that he’s carrying that DOLL around.”
And I said, “Actually he does love him carrying this doll around.” and her face shut down and we went our separate ways.
Blatant sexism. With maybe a little homophobia mixed in. And all before 11 o’clock AM.
Just a little reminder that the patriarchy is alive and well.
When I talk about the patriarchy I am talking about our civilization at large, a culture of destruction that was born when we turned our backs on the landbase, and severed our ties with the creation-force that is mother earth.
The patriarchy was born when we stopped seeing the earth as alive, stopped seeing her awesome female-ness, and started seeing her in pieces, pieces to be parceled out to the highest bidder, in board feet, and crude oil, and water, packaged and sold for profit.
And because our relationship with the great mother is our blueprint for our relationships with ALL mothers, we forgot women were alive and started to see them as peices as well, parts to be sold to the highest bidder. As wives, as servants, as slaves, as breasts, lips, vaginas, and legs.
But the Patriarchy makes many others into commodities as well. Poor people, people who have beautiful brown skin, people who do not speak english, people who love someone of their own gender, people who do not identify with any gender. Handicapped people, sensitive people, people who refuse to follow the leader , and children are all thrown together in a clump to be used and abused and controlled.
And although the patriarchy is run by only a select few- the richest, and whitest, and most male, and most powerful among us- we have become so mixed up, and confused, and lost that we perpetuate the Patriarchy ourselves, with jokes, and biases, and bullying, and secret segregation.
And there’s so much fear, and hate just floating around.
And here I am, just trying to raise my precious son.
My beautiful boy who laughs in his sleep and cries when the game ends, who talks to trucks, and trees, AND people,
Who blows kisses to mailboxes, and hugs his friends, and snuggles his mama.
Who plays with cars, and babydolls, and sticks, and rocks.
Who admires the sequiny-sparkly girls shoes in stores, and wants to wear his cousin’s fireman costume to the playground.
Wil and I are his parents, he is of us, and lives with us, but he is not us.
He is Revel.
And Wil and I are responsible for keeping him safe, and loving him, and modeling empathy, and sympathy, and cooperation, and teaching him the things we know.
But the biggest challenge will be letting him be himself, helping him find his own way, allowing him to explore and experiment with the things that speak to him in this world.
And that’s why I want to topple this patriarchy and help people reconnect the land, to the great mother that is our earth.
People should be free to love who they love, to be who they are. If we repair our relationship with the planet, we can change the blueprint for ALL of our relationships.
We can put the pieces back together so we’re not just labor, or legs, or breasts, or crude oil, or board feet.
We can become whole again.
And I’m trying to promise myself that the next time I hear people laughing and making snide remarks about someone who is gay, or a woman, or native american, or poor, I’ll say something straight to their faces.
Because we need to take equality out of the realm of theory and into the streets.
Into our schools, and restaurants, and churches, and neighborhoods.
And it’s up to us to make that happen.
Thank you for listening,
Thank you to my strong, and inspiring, and brilliant sister Cheryl A. for your bold and honest guest piece tonight. Here’s to breaking the chains!!!
CHARACTERS: Me, My Roaring Lion, Poor Unfortunate Peace
My reason for starting writing this is simple; I refuse to continue living as a self-destructive individual!!!
When I say self-destructive, I’m talking deep down at the core of my spirit, where in attendance is a component of my soul, so essential, I have become immortal without it. Regrettably, it has been silenced by the thunderous roars of the Lion’s character I have taken on in its place.
“Oh, peaceful part of my soul to which is imprisoned by fear, hush your anticipation of release, for it will not come to pass.”
In the darkest hours, when wolves have laid their weary heads to rest, glimpses of harmony dance subtlety through my dreams. As a short lived waltz wreaks havoc to my slumber, sweat distributes itself without discrimination, evidence of sorrows conquered by shame, result in wakeful trembles.
The entirety of me, all that I am and inspire to be, am not capable enough to detain the Lion for extinction. Truth be told; where there is no Lion, I am exposed and defenseless, fragile and susceptible to unfamiliar inhabitants.
Perspective!!! Simple yet appropriate, a declaration to me, myself, and poor unfortunate peace, proclaiming a promise to set in motion a battle so fierce, existence thereafter will without a doubt be advantageous. In the same breath, with the same eyes, and all the apprehension which encompasses them, I bid adu to the Almighty Lion….
“Dear old friend, you are no longer welcome to operate as a protector to me, for I am no longer in need of immeasurable barbed wire fences.”
Rather than suffer heartache I formed YOU for protection, but the truth of the matter is that you have caused ME more sorrow by way of others tears, than vulnerability would have been capable of.
I fed you, when my family was hungry, nurtured you while those who love me, cried out for reciprocation. I followed YOU into the darkest valleys, despite the deafening cries from the mountain of clarity.
“I say unto you with peace, rest now old friend you have served your purposed.”
I will be bound by the security blanket of chains no more!!! Perhaps I will set course toward the whisper of Poor Unfortunate Peace. I will do so by placing one foot in front of the other.
I am fearless by my determination, unyielding to fear. I am an undefined someone with a purpose bestowed upon me by that which is superior to Webster…