Wednesday, May 10, 2006

patriarchy and pornography - part ii

stephanie has opened up a whole can of worms for me lately - her past two posts weight and gender and more gender questions are taking me places i haven't been wanting to go lately. i tried to respond on my other blog and found i couldn't be as honest under my 'real name' as i would have liked to be - so i set it aside. now i know i must face these issues. stuffing them, eating them and ignoring them aren't going to get me anywhere.

i have found many new plants to grow in that garden i spoke of (another garden metaphor...) on the grid blog for international womens day. i wrote:

patriarchy has planted and nurtured most of the plants in my garden. their roots go very deep. my hammer looks more like a machete some days - whacking away at the branches and leaves that overshadow everything else i try to plant. i can nurture it for a moment, for a small season, but then the well established roots catch up to me and i am left in the shadows again. too exhausted to care any more. too ashamed for even wanting this small life to grow on it's own.

the thought of a hammer makes me violent, smashing and crashing to release some of this deep, dark anger and rage i have against the machine. i realize it will make me no more than those who have made me this way. violence will solve nothing however tempting it would be to crush that which has wounded my very soul.

so, i am turning in my hammer for a plowshare to clear out these roots, once and for all, get to the bottom of that ugly theology that has made these plants that overshadow everything else i try to plant. remove them, shred them, burn the seeds so they cannot take root ever again. and maybe pink will grow up without them too. nurturing her own plants and bringing life to what god has planted inside of her.
i need to do some clearing out of the old plants - there is nowhere to plant the new ones that is clear enough and exposed enough for those tender new plants to survive. so i must root out the old, and i guess that happens for me with words - writing about it, asking questions, uncovering the questions to ask, and plain old allowing myself to get angry and sad and face the truth and allow myself to grieve it and then sit and allow the new plants time to grow. silence, prayer, writing and acknowledging my emotions on these issues (patriarchy and pornography) is my only way through.

and i am angry. really angry. these two issues have shaped and distorted my life more than any other issue except for my relationship with god - and the fact that that is marred by P&P is what makes me just want to explode.

you see, i bought in - i believed it all. i loathe that i was so easily manipulated and formed by it, but it has truly made me who i am today. spiritual formation is a powerful thing - anything can become a spiritual discipline. silence is one of the most treasured of all spiritual disciplines. sitting in the presence of god in expectation - oh what joy and rapture. but when that is distorted like it was in my church of origin - silence no longer becomes a tool, but a weapon.

and not only was i to be silent, but god was too. who did i think i was that i would merit a word from god - the written word from god was the ONLY WORD FROM GOD. so silence was pointless, useless, just a cause for creating a fantasy life to keep myself from utter boredom and sheer desperation. how totally cruel to make half the kingdom (at least the only part i knew) silent, but to then take away any input from god - it was sick, twisted and wrong and it makes me want to hurt someone. the anger deep in my soul is so vile. all i ever wanted, please understand me, all i ever wanted was to please god. to serve god. to be obedient. i was truly silent, my head was covered, my heart was even covered. while i was in that place i was there trying for all i was worth to please god. i didn't fight, question or challenge. that would have been sin, and the deepest place of my heart has always been to please god.

so i sat. in silence. and heard god. and pushed the voice away. do you understand how much they stole from me? i thought i was crazy. hearing voices. god was SILENT JUST LIKE ME. then why did i hear his voice? i fought that voice my whole life. thinking i was crazy. the level of distortion is cult-like in it's control and influence over my young, eager soul. THEY WILL PAY FOR THIS at the foot of god one day. they stole from me and i want it back. i want them to pay. i want to take that hammer instead of that plowshare and bash them all to bits. the anger is so deep and so strong that i feel it overpowering me as i type. i am reduced to a puddle and trying to keep from keening.

what happens when a church makes a young girl feel like she is insane?

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