I was checking my facebook page today when I came across a post from a friend regarding the abuse of women. There was a picture of a woman in various stages of abuse signifying that each consecutive beating had steadily got worse. This is unfortunately true, in most cases once a man has lifted his hand to a woman once he is very likely to do so again. It is a matter of respect you see; he has none for her or himself.
As I read the comments made below about how these men should be hung, drawn and quartered I wondered what could really be done. More physical violence would most certainly not solve the issue as a matter of fact it might even exasperate the situation. It might make the men who do not condone this kind of behaviour feel better to think what they would do should they get their hands on them; but in the long run it will not resolve a thing.
It made me think about where and how this behaviour started. I am sure that all was not sweetness in light throughout the ages; however there was an Age, at the Dawn of Mankind when women and The Earth Mother was revered. Women were cared for as society realized that without them there would be no future generation. Every law and decision was based on the needs of the women and children of the tribe and assuring the continuation of the blood line. There were many matriarchal societies and the very first artifacts, were of the Goddess and was found all over Europe and many other cultures. As a matter of fact the phallic symbol only came along many thousands of years later and was always placed close or nearby the Goddess symbols. The Sacred Feminine was very much alive and well. The Universe was in balance as matriarchal societies; it is believed, did not disregard their men but believed in working together toward the common good of the people.
Then came the Greeks and suddenly Athena “sprang” from Zeus’s brow. She was no longer perceived as a Mother Goddess that gave birth to the world and all in it and she became the Goddess of War. How did the nurturer become the destroyer? Slowly civilizations built on this and our societies became patriarchal and the women slowly lost their power. It took thousands of years but eventually women once revered were forced under foot.
In very recent history as little as 800 years ago women were vilified by the Church. Thousands were put to death, burnt at the stake for practicing medicine, midwifery and herbalism. The village wise women were ostracised and pushed aside. There are some historians that believe that the number of murdered women could be in the millions as the Burning Times spanned a period of 600 years but very few records were kept. Generation after generation of young men were raised believing that their Mothers and Sisters were inferior. I have many opinions on why the Church did what they did but it would take me days and days to write it all down. You only need to read the “Witches Hammer” to realize that there is something very disturbing about a faith that could allow such atrocities based solely on gender and an imagined evil. Why, in England and North America in the late 1800’s a women’s person belonged to her husband and he could do with her as he pleased. All her property and resources went to him without question at marriage. First she belonged to her Father and then her Husband.
Of course now our Western Societies frown upon such behaviour. We no longer prosecute women HOWEVER thousands of years of conditioning have left their mark and it will not take a couple of hundred years to undo what has been done. Terrible I know. There are still cultures today that practice the persecution of women and some of them are driven by faith and cultural belief systems. Islam is a case in point but that does not mean that all Islamic men would treat their women badly. Their Laws however, can and often do. Are they only following our lead? Individuals during the burning times I am sure looked after and cared for their wives but as a society we were sorely lacking.
Which I guess brings me to my point. I apologize for the rant…. but this subject is very close to my heart. As the Mother of two boys it was important to me and their Father to instil in them a sense of respect for women. I hope we succeeded; all the signs indicate that we did.
Yet we still have men who treat their women as second class citizens. Children see, children do… they watch and learn. There will be some who will vow to never lift their hands to the women in their lives even if that is what they saw but unfortunately the majority will follow in their father’s footsteps.
In my opinion it is important that these men be re-educated. When found guilty of abusing their women and children meeting this behaviour with more violence is not going to change one thing. We need to think of future generations and change the behaviour at the source. The men should be healed…brought into balance again, taught how to be men in the true sense of the word. Tormentors hate themselves more than anything and until that anger and hatred is released all the punishment in the world will not help. If there are young men in these households they need to be educated alongside their fathers. The whole family’s anger needs to be addressed.
There is much support for the abused but not necessarily so for the abuser, in my opinion this is where the change should be made. I am not saying cry me a river for the abuser, all I am saying is I believe with the correct support they may be able to let go and become whole again. As a society we need to heal our sick; emotionally, spiritually, mentally and not only physically. I am not talking about the Western concept of illness or healing…there isn’t a pill to shift deep routed perceptions of hatred. Yes, I use the word hatred because that is what it ultimately is.
I know…. I know… easier said than done, right? But we have to start somewhere and it might as well be with the culprit! The world’s tormentors will continue to prey on the weak if we don’t heal them. Or maybe I’m just an idealistic fool…..
Love and Light!