Women and Our Future

 

Today Women and Our Future begins a new series. A major theme on this blog and an implicit theme in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy is the empowerment of women. I support the empowerment but also am utterly intrigued with the potential and where it may lead us. I’m going to begin with a reprise of a recent post and move from there to a number of topics.

Your commentary is welcomed and I would like to see us open an active exchange of views and explorations.

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The Not So Loyal Opposition

For you, what are the implications of the movement to empower women?

Opposing Empowerment

From history it is clear that there are very many people opposed to women being empowered. It was not so long ago that women did not have the right to vote. They had to be brave, march in the streets and insist that they should have such a right. In the 1960s came the women’s liberation movement. In some ways it was not an easy time for women. I recall women dressing in what amounted to men’s suits with ties. That form of dress was (thankfully) abandoned shortly. But we were all finding our way.

There were questions about who would support women being liberated and that included some women. At times it was all so tentative. I recall being at a convention and hearing there was to be a meeting of women about the issues. I showed up wanting to hear what they had to say and a stricken woman politely told me it was for women only. In retrospect I can see how they wanted to consider where they stood and what needed to be done without some male making possibly unwanted input, possibly in the form of “mansplaining”.

Male Subterfuges

And lets face it, whether men will say so out loud, many of them are opposed to women being empowered. And, of course, the question is why they should feel so threatened. Of course, they almost never put it that way. There were simple statements that a woman’s place was in the home, that it was unseemly what women were asking and on and on. Oh please, can we be honest?

Actually, I’m not so sure we can be honest because I think the issues are so fundamental and deep in the human psyche that I’m not sure we can easily be honest.

Such Breadth of Opposition!

And then there are other matters which are related. Recently it has come out that men in football are suffering terrible brain injuries from the brain bouncing around in the skull and from twisting of the brain stem. Suggesting there is a problem seems to be tantamount to taking away their masculinity. But the real point here is something else that came up in one discussion I heard. A couple of former players raised the issue of a player who came out and said he was gay. To put it mildly he was not treated well by his brother players. And then both of the former players commented that they thought the homophobia was simply another form of being antiwomen. I simply can’t respond to that thought in a simple fashion.

Expecting a Backlash

The bottom line here is that there is a lot more than meets the eye. Presently we have a war on women going on in the United States. Efforts are being made to restrict women’s reproductive rights which also relates to fundamental issues of health care. The talk is about opposition to abortion but, not for a second do I believe that is the issue. Women are not supposed to be empowered.

And I fully expect that I’m going to get some nastiness for supporting the movement and I think it will be disguised and, in fact, the men objecting may actually believe what they are saying. This is a very, very deep issue which will require exploration. And this issue is fundamentally underlying my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

I’ll have much more to say and some thoughts about the underlying issues.

How are you expecting the movement for empowerment will play out?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Not So Loyal Opposition

For you, what are the implications of the movement to empower women?

Opposing Empowerment

From history it is clear that there are very many people opposed to women being empowered. It was not so long ago that women did not have the right to vote. They had to be brave, march in the streets and insist that they should have such a right. In the 1960s came the women’s liberation movement. In some ways it was not an easy time for women. I recall women dressing in what amounted to men’s suits with ties. That form of dress was (thankfully) abandoned shortly. But we were all finding our way.

There were questions about who would support women being liberated and that included some women. At times it was all so tentative. I recall being at a convention and hearing there was to be a meeting of women about the issues. I showed up wanting to hear what they had to say and a stricken woman politely told me it was for women only. In retrospect I can see how they wanted to consider where they stood and what needed to be done without some male making possibly unwanted input, possibly in the form of “mansplaining”.

Male Subterfuges

And lets face it, whether men will say so out loud, many of them are opposed to women being empowered. And, of course, the question is why they should feel so threatened. Of course, they almost never put it that way. There were simple statements that a woman’s place was in the home, that it was unseemly what women were asking and on and on. Oh please, can we be honest?

Actually, I’m not so sure we can be honest because I think the issues are so fundamental and deep in the human psyche that I’m not sure we can easily be honest.

Such Breadth of Opposition!

And then there are other matters which are related. Recently it has come out that men in football are suffering terrible brain injuries from the brain bouncing around in the skull and from twisting of the brain stem. Suggesting there is a problem seems to be tantamount to taking away their masculinity. But the real point here is something else that came up in one discussion I heard. A couple of former players raised the issue of a player who came out and said he was gay. To put it mildly he was not treated well by his brother players. And then both of the former players commented that they thought the homophobia was simply another form of being antiwomen. I simply can’t respond to that thought in a simple fashion.

Expecting a Backlash

The bottom line here is that there is a lot more than meets the eye. Presently we have a war on women going on in the United States. Efforts are being made to restrict women’s reproductive rights which also relates to fundamental issues of health care. The talk is about opposition to abortion but, not for a second do I believe that is the issue. Women are not supposed to be empowered.

And I fully expect that I’m going to get some nastiness for supporting the movement and I think it will be disguised and, in fact, the men objecting may actually believe what they are saying. This is a very, very deep issue which will require exploration. And this issue is fundamentally underlying my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

I’ll have much more to say and some thoughts about the underlying issues.

How are you expecting the movement for empowerment will play out?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Wonder of Reuben De Santis

Seeking Character Diversity

In the first book of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, Gaia’s Majesty: Mission Called, our lead character, Chantia, refers to being among the fishies. Her use of the term reflects her ambivalence about the new life she has been thrust into in the world of the Tethyans.

Of course she has derived benefits such as finding the birth mother she didn’t know she had and the love of her life, Beck. But it is a complex world and she finds special appreciation of the man Reuben who helps guide her through the revelations and turmoil.

The Richness of Reuben

The world views Reuben as an extremely talented couture designer who works in Milan, Italy. While he is, indeed, talented and world renowned, he also is deeply embedded in the causes of the Tethyan people. And that means he offers special guidance and support for Chantia and Beck. It is he who designs their wedding and her wedding gown.

Why Reuben?

Where did this character come from and why was he brought into the story?

While at the beginning there was an outline of this series and it began with a lot of detail, the story had a way of developing itself. Things had to be explained, they had to have reasons for inclusion but some characters showed up insisting on inclusion.

From an author’s standpoint it seemed desirable to have diversity so long as the diversity enhanced the richness and meaning of the story.

Reuben’s Origins

In the world of this story Reuben had his origins in Project Runway on the Lifetime network. Tim Gunn from the series was the inspiration. In fact, that is him in the picture at the top of this post. He is with Heidi Klum who is also prominent in the series. I suspect she is secretly one of the Tethyans. In the series Tim is a man of impeccable élan and manner. He is ever so talented and supportive of the contestants. The man he is seemed perfect for the book and he would help guide Chantia just as he helps guide and support the contestants on the show.

The one problem is that I am pleased to have the character but I could not do justice to the man who inspired the character Reuben. Nonetheless I wanted his inspiration in the book and I feel he offers diversity to the setting and the people.

One Other Note

Another thing that Reuben brings to the story is that he is gay and has a husband in Milan. There had to be diversity in this series. The core Tethyans are mermaids who live in the sea. They can morph and come to land to form families but they also bond and have children in the cities in the sea. These women can reproduce diversely. Some birth children from heterosexual unions, they also have the capacity to form a union of eggs from other women or can clone themselves. These facets of the story symbolize the underlying diversity of the world of humankind. Too often we are sheltered and deny the diversity of possibility. This author felt the need to open the full possibility of this fantasy world along with underlying realities. And Reuben added to the diversity and wonder of this world. Especially because the inspiration for his character enriches our world as it is.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Dedication

The Sources of Inspiration

In writing we often get so focused on the work at hand that we forget that our inspiration requires a statement of dedication. I find that defining the dedication may not be simple and may require attention to the diversity. Our inspiration may be somewhere close at hand or may involve much larger players or forces.

Dedication To Women

Yes, in our love stories men celebrate the women they come to love. But there is a larger context to which we often don’t attend. For the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I wish to propose a dedication to women in general. They are a creative force in all regards, through their activities and through the children they bear for our future. For too long they have been subjugated. And now, at last, their empowerment is gaining force. They are to be celebrated in their diversity in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and just now in the publication of the first book of the trilogy, Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power.

A Specific Dedication

And then I must make a specific dedication to the woman who is especially inspirational to me. Together we enjoyed the television series The Vikings partly because we both have viking blood and fight life’s battles in partnership. We were amazed and delighted to see the women called Shield Maidens who fought side by side with their men. And so I am dedicating Gaia’s Majesty:Mission Called to my wife Mala, my love and Shield Maiden.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy – Part 6


The Forces at Work in the Growing World Conflict

The core mission of the Tethyans is to oversee the future of our planet and humankind. And, of course, this mission will inevitably involve considerable conflict sooner or later. And in that conflict fundamental forces will be involved. For millennia the Tethyans had been at peace or at least not central to conflict. The Progenitors in the hidden cities tended to their preparations and the Primal families built their own futures on land and contributed to stewardship.

Specific Forces

Among the Tethyan women were some with specific abilities which were essential. There were the Illuminata or women who were of the sun and fair of complexion. They brought clarity and illumination of all kinds including understanding and the essences of stewardship.

And then there were the women of the Mysterium who were of the moon. They were of darker complexion and conveyed the mystery that is woman and the associated passions and creativity.

In defense, the women of the Mysterium could employ fundamental power. Their passions and sexual nature meant they could overwhelm a man and stir him to extraordinary involvement or self destruction. In love and special bonding endeavors they formed truly enlightening and elevating passionate bonds with the right men. It is this primordial power which many men fear most even while some relish the mystery and delight. Among these women were leaders who formed an elite Mysterium and some Illuminata as well.

A Very Different Force

There was another fundamental force of the universe present among these beings. It was called the Maelstrom which was closer to the men and was often associated with predation and destruction. As a universal force it is most clearly seen in the universe among the stars. There are cataclysms as galaxies collide and giant stars explode. But in this force there is also a creative component of a very different kind. When galaxies collide new solar systems and planets are created. When a star explodes new heavier elements are created and this stardust brings new wonders to the universe as in the stardust of which humankind is made. And so the Maelstrom is both destructive and wondrously creative. Together these universal forces of the Mysterium and the Maelstrom play out in humankind.

A Final Confrontation for the Future of Earth

And so with these people and forces in place Gaia watched as a final confrontation built. It was not yet apparent to all the people who would be involved or central. But the inevitability of the conflict would become clear. While this trilogy is fictional it may speak truths about a similar conflict in our “reality”. We can wonder at the resolution and outcome. And it would appear that it is impending.

Nicole Laurette

The women of the Andromeda each brought very different talents and possibilities. Among them was Nicole. She was a Haitian mulatto woman who learned the depths of Vodun (which we often call Voo-Doo). Through Vodun and her contact with the spirit world she gained extraordinary powers. At her finger tips were the arts of healing and death. It seemed that her future had to be linked to Andromeda and she found added depth as she joined the reality of Nordic mythology. It may have been that it was ordained she would enter the spirit world. And in that world is found hidden wonders.

Do you have any of these forces at your command?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Core Themes in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

 

Where Do Core Themes in Fiction Come From?

I’ve found that for me at least core themes are emergent. It’s probably safe to assume they were down there yearning to break free. Or at least that is how it felt. The story may begin with an idea or a question but it is hardly a linear process.

How It Began

In global terms I have always been fascinated by mythology. Part of that fascination is because as a psychologist I studied the human mind. And things were definitely not simple or linear no matter how much we want to believe to the contrary. The works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell contributed to my fascination.

And then for some reason I focused on mermaids! They show up very many places in literature and fantasy and I had to wonder why. Of course no definitive answer presented itself. Except that mermen were not at all common and so it had to be something to do with women. And a woman’s mystery presented itself as one explanation.

So a story began to evolve and then an outline. It wasn’t all a simple eruption. But it was also apparent that it could be enriched by the weaving of truth, fiction and fantasy.

An Important Center
The mermaids led me to contemplate an essential current event which is the growing movement to empower women. In the story it is illustrated that their power has clear benefits. Not only were they stewards but they also had the capacity to fight the forces which so often destroyed potential in humanity.

Implicit is the indication that we lose so much if we subjugate women. If these women were robbed of power and potential they could not aid in the development of our potential as a species and also preserve our future from being corrupted because of grasping for power and profit. Enter the Overlords.

Vision for Our Future
We can’t view our future without underscoring the need for stewardship in all its forms. As our population grows our relationship with the planet which supports us may grow increasingly tenuous and dangerous.

And then comes what might be unexpected. At key points in human history we seem to have taken turns with sudden unexpected consequences of change and growth. And forever as an intuitive personality type I have to ask the question, “what if”. And in that what if is the possibility, given the acceleration of cultural change and our technical capacity, can’t there be a point at which there is a transformation.

What do you see ahead?
Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Context of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power

 

Childhood Innocence

One day in 1945 I was standing on Fifth Avenue with my aunts. Before us marched troops returning from the terrible world conflict which had just ended. Above us were flights of planes also proclaiming victory.

Five years later my family visited Europe. I recall the streets of London cleaned of rubble now to the side in seemingly endless piles. In France there were the faces of people haunted by the horrors of the Nazi occupation.

Only later did that child come to understand what had happened. America was rejoicing and building long hoped for prosperity after a punishing depression and war. The past haunted us even while we built a glorious future.

Something Felt Fundamental

Then came another demarkation I did not understand at the time, but it took the heart of a young man. Birth control was liberating women and they arose in the Women’s Liberation movement. I could feel the flowering of promise.

And now has come an era with an aura of fear. I’ve heard it said that what we are seeing is an era similar to what presaged World War I. Out of that prior era came the march to the terrible world conflict and the beginning of nuclear threat. Humankind has a history of waves both terrible and promising.

Direction Unknown

For a time there seemed to be more promise than threat, but now we see Europe trembling, Asia in fearful potential and even our beloved country reeling from an unexpected instability. We can only wonder if we may descend into another terrible era of conflict. Human history has repeated these kinds of errors.

Renewal of Hope

But like an echo, from a period decades ago there is a revolution which is occurring. And it is a revolution unexpectedly happening across the world. This time we call it the Empowerment of Women.

When I scan these recent decades I can feel my dreams and fears but now a special hope. All of these things came together in their own way to create the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

A Context of World Crisis

The context of the trilogy begins with many of the essential issues we see before us. In spite of the denials, the threat of climate change is upon us. A great variety of social crises are occurring. We also see oligarchs threatening the economic viability of countries and contributing to the failing of economic futures for so many people.

Center stage in the series is a movement with powerful women. Women were asserting their rights and place before World War I but could not turn the tide of war. But today women are rising up and may well be central to preserving our future. And, of course, in this trilogy a central force had to be a goddess.

We will see won’t we? What is before us deserves our attention and support.
Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt