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Friday, February 10, 2012
Women Wall Street Pastors and Priests.
The wonderful part is the fact that everyday I meet and read about men and women who struggle every day and still fight against all kinds of injustice. The appalling part is how many men and women , usually those who struggle the least and have the most wealth and privilege systematically go out of their way to make life miserable for as many as possible. I know that wealth , privilege and power and controlling, exploiting and oppressing the majority go hand in hand . This is the ugly and appalling side of things. The hardest to understand , yet the most awesome and amazing aspect of existence is how it is that the most just and liberating ideas come from the most oppressed and their allies in life.
The previous author wrote about the obscene conservatism of the Catholic church ( as well as most religious institutions) and the way they continue to oppress women. The term conservatism of course implies just that - all out efforts to conserve a status quo and power over the many by a few. At all times this means control over the minds and bodies of those they exploit and oppress. Capitalism requires that - that men and women must relinquish control over who uses our bodies and who controls the way we think. It is necessary to squash our most creative thoughts and force us to relinquish ideas and dreams of freedom and equality.
The word that comes to mind is slavery and captivity.
The role of religion and its most hard core institutions is to make sure this happens. It uses fear and reward if you you succumb- it exploits every human beings need to feel part of a community and to be connected to other human beings. It creates arcane and lunatic theoretical constructs to justify acts of cruelty, violence and capture of our minds and bodies. It splits human nature into mind and body and makes sure they will never be reconciled in any way other than the way the priests and learned men determine. It turns nature into law and then has the supreme arrogance to say that we are both nature and spirit simultaneously.
Women are relegated to the natural world. In the end we are pure nature , bodies to be used to the advantage of the power of the church and its leaders pastors or priests. And then we are idealized , ripped straight out of the realm we are forced to live in and told if we follow the dictates of nature we are of the spirit.
It is contradictory and irrational. But then we know this.
It is harder than it used to be to burn women at the stake when we step out of line. And we always step out of line eventually thanks be to our strength and our creativity. Ultimately women and the men who support us and refuse to see or treat our bodies and minds as property to be used to benefit whatever the evil project of the powerful and the rich, will not be enthralled and awed by their power and their evil. But it is still a long way away before we will win - but win we will.
This requires more than a collective will based in dreams of equality and freedom to own our minds and bodies. It requires economic and political power. This is almost impossible to achieve when we are forced to have children because we have no access to contraceptives and abortion rights.
Outright ownership of our bodies is required and desired . Institutionalized religion when it comes to the role of women in society has no other goal. We must have babies no matter whether or not we can afford to nurture and feed them- keep them whole and happy and safe. The family is the primary social unit- and must be privileged over any other social relationship according to the pastors and the priests and the rich and powerful that they serve.
This is why they hate trade unions and day care. This is why they hate gays and lesbians. They hate any form of social relationship that threatens their right to own womens bodies and minds. This is why they hate welfare to moms and family benefits. Any social entitlement or way of organizing and relating and being together that threatens their power and their privilege , economic or political.
It is an old old story and sometimes impossible to believe it is a narrative that still has power over our minds and bodies. But it does . But not for always - not forever .
Thanks again to the authors on this blog who continue to flog this issue until it is dead, dead and buried because we won, not the priests of the church , the priests on Wall Street and in every dark corner of the world.