At what point do the white men of patriarchy speak up to challenge The Father?
When do these men know it is time? Or, was it taken out of them? Were they taught, at the receiving end of a switch, that their lives depended on strict obedience? (As if it did not depend on the women who gave birth to them.)
Will they walk behind The Father, blindly, with military protocol — their own free will — sacrificed for ‘duty’ and ‘loyalty’? Will they choose to stand in the shadow of the man who has “the balls the size of watermelons,” for fear of being the one one who has “raisins”? Will they continue mistaking political and economic rank for ‘God’, forgetting that vulnerability is the only real foundation of faith? How long will they mistakenly assume their dependence is on The Father and not All-Life-On-Earth? How long will they continue to walk the line behind him, their terror well disguised in principles of righteousness and claims to ‘Know. Unequivocally. What. Every. American. Family. Needs. Or. Should.’
Look at these men. Please, look at them. Older, white, and in the last chapters of their lives. See all that is so tragically missing for them. The intimacy and joy of discovering others who are not like them. The peace in letting go of the out-sized belief that the world is held up by the self-reliant efforts of men. See the great value they would know in themselves if they took a stand to protect this raped and ravaged planet. Look at the 30, or so, men in the Senate who would vote to topple The Father ONLY if they could do so without being identified. See those men who are too scared to grow into the shoes — into the heart — of their own, real, manhood. Too scared to know - to be - themselves.
The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine ‘privilege’ and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose he is destroying himself — emotionally, psychologically and physically. — Herb Goldberg
There has been so much change in the world, hasn’t there, that has left you behind? So much that has challenged your authority, questioned what you inherited from The Father. You are not inherently bad, just raised to forsake the truth of who and what we are on this planet.
Towards that end, many among us see your insecurity. For better and worse. In the last three years, you have again sought to dominate, no holds barred, at any cost, as you have, in the past, in violence, assault and ‘victory’. When well-defended, (and there is much history to be consulted on this), your insecurity has won wars, proven itself immune, stood on the backs of dead bodies, dead sons, dead fathers, dead mothers, and children. In fighting to outlaw abortion, you have projected your own, all-too-human vulnerability onto “unborn fetuses”. Your insecurity shows when you seek to prove with your laws and righteousness that you have the power a woman has to create life. We see, instead, the emptiness and heartache you have left in your wake, the devastation you’ve caused with the belief that you are here to master, exercise ‘order’ and ‘provide’ at the expense of the Life that created you.
This, I want to make clear. You do not scare me, men.
I have sat at the bedside of death, beside a dying man, as old as you, a father who spent his life striving to be ‘man-enough’ according to patriarchy’s in-humane standards. I have seen him melt in a sea of vulnerability, I have seen him question all-he-ever-did-with-his-life — to make money, success, notoriety, to be the one who was ‘right’ and in control. I have seen the doubt that crossed over him when he stared at the face of his own death.
Let’s not forget, then, again and again, the fragility of the white, male Senate majority and the white male Father they cower to. Let’s not forget how afraid they all are — hanging by a frayed, shoestring. How the success, not the failure, of those who have championed a more loving and sustainable future, is the cause of this ‘Last Gasp.’ Let’s not forget how all their so-called strength is built not on the truth but on denial.
[So many men] are trapped and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to express the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.— Michael Ian Black
Were these men able to know their fear, to let themselves face that what they have fought for their whole lives may not be what is true — to know this in their hearts (as precious few, who have retained their humanity, have) — they could see the emptiness that exists in all they have aimed to defend and uphold. They could see the emptiness in who they believe they are and should be, and who they believe we are and should be.
No, it’s time to step aside. You have been on the throne for 10 thousand years … and this is where it got us. “My best thinking got me here…” is the slogan in 12 step recovery that an addict uses to remember to hand over the reins when freshly on the other side of bottoming out. Really, patriarchs of the Senate? This is what your best thinking has given us? This American mess? Are you proud of this?
I would say this is a good time to reflect back on your life now, facing your inevitable death. It will be hard to be with the grief, seeing, in this last gasp, the futility of so much of what you were taught, of what you have faught for. But, have courage. The TRULY noble thing for a man your age to do is to step aside. Put down the weapons. Admit your limitations. Be the man the world needs for our future or, instead, step aside to make way for that man.
…Be a different father to your son.
And when you meet us with this undefended heart, we will be waiting to forgive you, here to partner with you moving forward, here to tell you we understand how the stakes of your childhood were too high, how The Father did you wrong…and his Father did him wrong. How the wars, the trauma, the pressures on you of industrial capitalism messed it up so badly for all of us. We will be here to tend to you when you lie down in bed for the last time, never to rise again. Here to love you when you finally let go.
However, we will not, and can no longer, disappear for you, feel sorry for you, or maintain your illusions.
We will no longer collude with your defenses against life’s vulnerability or with the worldview of The Father you have so ubiquitously and destructively spawned. Instead, we will begin to name that misguided set of rules you have lived by for what they are, acknowledging the profound fear of your own insignificance they pivot upon. We will no longer keep the lid on our insistence, or on the wellspring of a far more powerful, radical, deeper and wiser love.
So… will these white men of patriarchy stand up to challenge The Father? Or, as we rise up, will they follow him, walking in line behind ‘the dignity of the office,’ ‘the commander in chief,’ step by step, single file, like lemmings, marching towards their graves.