Enough is Enough: Women and Patriarchy
If you do a search for International Women’s Day news in 2021 you won’t find pretty dresses and morning teas, but women tearing patriarchy limb from limb on the streets. In March 2021, in Australia, the UK, Spain, Mexico, India, Pakistan and more, women are out on the streets making their presence felt.
A recent wave of anger also led to huge protests in 2020 in Turkey, Poland and Belarus. Back in 2019 women took to the streets with this South American chant to draw attention to violence against women protestors.
Last night I watched a documentary about Women’s Liberation in the 1970’s. I was a young girl back then, but I remember the growing anger, and the excitement as women began to realise how limited their lives were, and how different they could be.
It always feels a bit fraught, raving on about the evils of patriarchy, framing women as fragile victims. I suppose, on reflection, I’m talking about toxic masculinity, the strongman culture that relies on machismo and domination. When the #metoo movement broke upon the world, what most struck me was how stunned most men were about the ‘normal’ everyday fear women live in. This was a precursor for this wave of rage, men are feeling it too, for what the people they love have been tolerating.
Marching For Justice
A series of rape allegations against politicians and staffers has lit a fire of rage in Australian women, who will protest across the country today. In the UK, the murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer has triggered massive protests in London, Norwich and other cities. (here)
There is a flashpoint for women right now. A sense of enough is enough, of being unable to remain invisible and well behaved a moment longer. The dark aspects of the feminine are coming into the light, the shadowy lived experience of women under patriarchy are being exposed, women are claiming space.
We are breaking the habit of allowing men to tell our stories from their perspective. Starting with #metoo, women’s personal experiences began forming a vast social media mountain of previously untold stories of micro-aggression.
As Marina Hyde said yesterday in The Guardian, What happened to me was nothing – the nothing women know all too well.
It’s not always nothing, it’s not always micro-aggressions. While the Women’s Liberation movement of the 70’s was about the right to leave the house, get a job, receive equal pay and the freedom to take full advantage of the contraceptive pill, 2021’s issues are about violence and control.
Women’s sexual power has been a challenge to the patriarchy from the beginning, and controlling that power is an essential tenet of western culture. Feminist scholar Gerda Lerner describes how surprised she was when her research indicated that control of women’s sexuality came even before the formation of private property. But the colonial mindset always needs resources to plunder, and women were the original resource. The tools were always intimidation and gaslighting.
We will tell you who you are and we will make it dangerous for you to step outside that context. But women are learning about safety in numbers, about the strength in a shared story.
Kidnap, rape and Persephone
There are three planetary objects playing into this moment. The first is Persephone, a young woman abducted and raped by a powerful older man. Currently in the Gate of Shock (51), this asteroid speaks to women accessing the power of their darkest experiences. The Gate of Shock is about using shocking events to motivate us for change.
In the adjoining Gate of Innocence is Cassandra, she who was not believed. The most infuriating part of the situation here in Australia has been the manipulation of public opinion to discredit the victims’ stories. Were they suffering mental illness? Were they motivated by political enmity? Did they make up a story to cover their own bad behaviour? Who would believe a damaged woman rather than a powerful man?
The Channel of Initiation is about challenging the old tribal structures, finding the spirit to bring the mutation – women’s lives are being destroyed and it has to stop.
Dark Goddess Lilith
The second place we find the erupting rage is with Lilith.
Lilith is a relic of early attempts to assimilate the powerful goddess cultures into the early Jewish religion. Her mythology centres on sexuality – one of her ‘crimes’ was to refuse the boring crudity of the missionary position. She ignored ‘gods’ commands to lay on her back so her man could assume the superior position.
Fear of Lilith continued well into the Middle Ages, when people wore amulets for protection and celibate monks tried to protect themselves from the harlots of hell by sleeping with a crucifix clutched over their genitals.
While there is no doubt she brings up rage, my take on Lilith is quite simple – I will not submit to any system which refuses to acknowledge me as a full participant.
This week the asteroid Lilith is in the Gate of Illumination (30) with Mercury. In the adjoining Gate of Decrease (41) we find centaur Chariklo, wife of Chiron, seer, healer and futurist.
Mercury and Lilith bring the rage to the surface, light floods into the dark places. Chariklo shows us a future where we can choose a more empowered experience of our own darkness. We choose the power of creation, the void, the chaos of new beginnings – rather than the projected fears of a dying world order.
Dark Moon Lilith (which most astrologers prefer to the asteroid Lilith) is in Gate 2 – the Earth – representing the equality of yin and yang, the true partnership required for creation. This is more than a protest about sexual control and violence. This is the rage of an ancient and forgotten goddess who holds the keys for the future of humanity in her womb.
Lilith is known for her magic. The magician Circe is also in Gate 2. This is a powerful and subtle experience of the true nature of life and the skill to engage consciously with it. Few people perceive the subtle realms where magic happens, and so don’t believe it’s real. Just like women’s experiences, returning after millennia of being filtered through the eyes of men, the subtle realms of creation need to be acknowledged once more.
This moment holds the seeds for a return of real feminine power through magic. Persephone went to the Great Abyss, faced her own dark self and claimed herself Queen. Each one of us must do the same.
Eris and the Hidden Forces
The third major influence this week is dwarf planet Eris.
Lilith is often linked with dwarf planet Eris, and with Persephone. Eris is disorder, chaos, evil. But at her heart, Eris is a magician. She reads the patterns and can see what is hidden in plain sight. We see Eris at work in the common use of passive language in the media that disappears the violent actions of perpetrators. It can even swap the roles of victim and perpetrator.
Here is a story about a man just going about his day grabbing teenage girls when he is violently set upon.
Like Lilith, Eris is an outcast. We see Eris when women protestors (and Black Lives Matters) are blamed for the chaos and disorder rather than the men who are using violence against them. We see Eris when women are made responsible for their own victimisation, for wearing short skirts, for being out at night. We see Eris when women are condemned for a failure to be polite and enable their own abuse.
Eris wants to put the blame where it truly belongs. She is in the Gate of Increase (42) right now, and the Muse Atropos (death) is in the adjoining Gate 53 – the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning.
Eris catalyses vital changes in our lives through chaos and crisis, teaching us to work with fast flowing change. She has been in the Incarnation Cross of the Maia with Pluto for 2 years. That ends on 16th March 2021. We are seizing this last precious moment for change.
Eris also represents the marginalised edges of the women’s movement – black and brown women, non-cis, transgender, poor women. How do we create inclusion of all women, and other allies?
This week is emotionally charged
And speaking of chaos and crisis, the Sun is in the Gate of Wounded Brightness (36) making a channel with the North Node (destiny) in the Gate of Progress (35). This is a channel of deep and profound emotion that seeks crisis to create real change.
This emotional channel brings Lilith and Mercury (in 30) to the throat for emotional expression. The pressure to express the rage, to make progress is huge, driven by destiny (North Node).
Lilith’s rage will fuel this week’s events, but don’t expect quick change. The shift requires women to slowly come to terms with a new kind of mature leadership role on this planet. Noticing what’s not being noticed, speaking out, refusing to enable their own abuse, all of these are part of the ongoing journey to wholeness.
The even-bigger picture
One question I’ve begun to ask about everything that puzzles me – who benefits from this?
Who benefits from the control of women? From the intimidation and gaslighting? Those who it makes rich. The handful of people on this planet who are addicted to wealth, power and influence at all costs. In refusing to be pawns in the game of sexual politics women remove their energy from the juggernaut of destruction that has captured our souls.
In speaking truth about what we see, women and our allies can reinstate a connection with reality, with nature, with subtle realms of experience, with each other.
Barbara G. Walker, The Woman’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets
Gerder Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy
I'm Kim Gould, founder of Love Your Design. I have been innovating and taking Human Design to the next level since 2003.
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