Tuesday, November 17, 2009
MALE, HETEROSEXUAL, WHITE, YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL, WELL-EDUCATED, WEALTHY, POWERFUL, EMOTIONALLY PERFECT
Success in our western culture is believed by most of us to be determined by the extent to which we fulfill these characteristics or at least appear to fulfill them.
The frantic pursuit of these social values or characteristics is maintained by a fear that without these characteristics we cannot secure our supply of life's necessities. We also fear ridicule or more subtle rejection from parents, authority figures, and peers if we are not these things.
We as a culture have come to value maleness because males have been physically stronger on average than females and could defend us against attack from other men or wild animals. We value power because we believe that if we have it, we will be safe from everything but death from old age. We believe that if we are all the things listed above, we will be able to provide for all our needs, including being safe from intimidation, humiliation, and embarrassment. If we are sufficiently powerful, we believe no one can rob us of our home, food, clothes, or toys. We believe no other men will steal a powerful man's possessions or women (which men have traditionally considered possessions).
The fear of losing what we need has set up a vicious cycle of feelings of powerlessness, prompting efforts to gain power. We will try to gain power directly or through any means available to us. sometimes we may even act weak in order to gain power over an intimidating person who needs to feel strong. We may use sex to gain power, or we may dominate those weaker than we are. Those who are weaker than we are are fearful too and try to gain power in the same ways over those who are weaker still. Unfortunately, this is often a child who grows up afraid and tends to repeat the cycle in one way or another.
Fearful men tend to dominate women, other men, and children. Fearful women dominate children and less powerful women and men. The cycle only ends when love, sharing, cooperation, enlightenment, and forgiveness replace fear.
True success is not achieved by being male, heterosexual, white, young, beautiful, well-educated, wealthy, powerful, and emotionally perfect but rather by being able to obtain our daily basic needs while being loving toward ourselves and each other.