Self Examination Is Not Enough

 

Beyond Dealing With Subjugation

If we are to end the subjugation of women in all its forms each of us (men) must engage in self examination. Such an examination may be informative but at a personal level it is unlikely that the richest forms of discovery will be made.

Certainly there can be worthy endeavors in discussion with women about their experiences. And reading on the topic is worthwhile. But, since there are surely cultural elements as part of the setting, a group examination by men would be worthwhile if not essential.

A Collective Endeavor

Examination is a worthwhile but the problem between men and women is a rich field of endeavor which requires in depth and diverse study. Women have raised an issue to our awareness and now feel enough power themselves that it will not be totally hidden again. But it is also up to men to speak up and together examine themselves personally and their interactions. We men must compare “notes” and experiences if we are to go into depth. The abuse process has been visited upon men themselves as they failed to support potential of all kinds. And there can be cruelty and victimization as the will of someone may be imposed on their fellows. And, regardless of stereotypes it is not at all clear how “real men” really are. Just as with the beginning of the women’s liberation movement when women sat together and examined what had been happening and their belief in a future, men need to begin by sitting together and reflecting. We may be shocked at what we uncover.

Beyond the Issue of Power

Much of the discussion at this time focuses on the issue of men exercising power. But it is essential that we look at the very real possibility that men have been victims as well. There is a distinct element of pressure for focus on specific activities and viewpoints. And certainly the male culture contributes heavily to sexual assault and abuse. And included must also be the concern about self esteem and belief in what constitutes the self. What will surely be found is that the components of this process of male domination and abuse is complex. We must ask what it is that men do to each other. How are they subjugated as well in their own way. Surely there will be surprises and this endeavor will be interesting and surprising.

And then later, or in separate groups, we can sit together, men and women, to evaluate and to share. When the sharing occurs there is the real opportunity for real change.

Please let me hear your thoughts. roger.burt@earthlink.net

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

An Important Post For The Moment

Recently I said I’m trying to stay away from politics on this blog. Some things have happened recently which some would see as political. Instead I have to say I see them as events which relate substantively to who we are and the future of America in the world. Below is a post from the delconsuiltblog of my friend Helen Delaney. I had to share it.

Unfollow me, unfriend me.

by delconsult

 

Just three days ago, a friend asked me why I stopped writing my blog. One of the reasons, I told him, was that I just didn’t believe in talking unless I had something to say. I told him that I had run out of things to say, and that I just couldn’t bore my friends for the sake of maintaining a blog. Besides, I wanted to turn my energy toward my second book. That was three days ago. That was before my ancestors came into my consciousness and nudged me in their ever-so-gentle way. The way spirits do.

 

I have never expressed my personal political views on this blog or any public media outlet because I saw no value in it. My position was that people will believe what they want to believe, and that my political views, no matter what they were, would attract anonymous, angry people with nothing better to do than to sling mud from behind the safety of their darkened rooms and backlit computer screens.  I don’t enjoy conflict, online or off, and so I kept my views to myself. But now, I’m done. I’m done, because I am here, alive in my body, in this country, on this tortured night, representing my ancestors.

 

Let me introduce them: My maternal grandmother: Her name was Sarah. Her father was German, her mother African American. Her husband’s mother, my great grandmother: Her name was Elizabeth, and she came to this country from Syria. I’m sure that wasn’t her name when she stepped up to the immigration official to be registered. Then, there is my paternal grandfather. His name was Edward and he was all or part Native American. Cherokee. His wife, Helen, came from a family of Irish indentured slaves. My parents were the “mixed blood” children of those I have named. They lived in South Carolina before and at the turn of the last century. In this country, they were all either indentured whites (in our case dis-owned by their families), or Negroes. I’ve seen the census reports.

 

I cannot imagine the bravery, courage, or the depth and breadth of love it must have taken for them to raise families of seven, eight children. Or just to stay alive. I also represent their children, uncles who fought in both World Wars, my father, who wore a policeman’s badge in Philadelphia for 35 years, a man of color who could not rise in the ranks but who nevertheless served and protected all the citizens of that city, my mother, who broke ranks with her family to come North with my father so that I and my brothers could live a life that was free of harassment, degradation, fear, and sorrow. Or so they thought.

 

When a black man was elected President of the United States, my husband and I sat before the television set and watched Barack Obama and his family write a chapter in history unlike any before it, except, perhaps, the one written by Abraham Lincoln.  At last, I told my husband, the tears running down my face, our country has become what it said it would. It has marched steadily toward its own ideals. It has kept its promise. My husband, who was Irish American, nodded, tears blinding his own eyes. We were proud of our country. We were proud that the idea of freedom, that the experiment in equality, the stumbling, difficult climb into a true democracy, and the repudiation of all things indecent, had made us the most powerful, important nation on the planet. We were not to know, on that night, that it was only a moment in time.

 

We have taken a step backward to a place my ancestors would recognize. My tears tonight are ones of grief. I am not proud. I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I must accept sympathy from my friends around the world. I am ashamed that our doors are slamming shut against people like my ancestors, and that all sense of generosity, compassion, and conscience seem to be absent from the hearts of those who could make it different. I am ashamed that once again, my ancestors are the subjects of hate and derision. No wonder they won’t let me alone.

 

And now, I’m done. I can no longer be quiet. I speak for those who came before me, those who gave me life, and for my children and my grandchildren. Today and ever after, I disavow the indecent, hateful bigotry that is despoiling my country and the man who is the face and the voice of it.

 

And I say to you, whoever may be reading this blog – if, after what has happened in the past two days, indeed in the past year, you can still support the man in the White House, his ideas, his language, and behavior, you support everything I, as an American, as an African American, as an Irish American, as a German American, as the great granddaughter of a Syrian woman, and the granddaughter of a Native American man, abhor, and I ask you to unfollow me. If you are a “friend” on Facebook, I ask you to unfriend me now.

 

This is the time to take a stand. It is time to speak clearly. No more excuses, no more mealy-mouthed explanations.  No more burying heads in the sand. It’s over. The President of the United States is a racist. I repudiate that hateful concept, and I repudiate him.

 

Matthew said it: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Choose your camp.

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward Together – For Change

 

Complex Issues

Of course men and women do form partnerships. We marry and we do have each other as friends and colleagues. But what we are coming to see is that there have been severe limits imposed and we aren’t clear why they are imposed. We have a sense of how it might be and do participate in some evaluation of how we relate to each other from time to time. But there may be so much more.

The Patriarchy

One definition of patriarchy is “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” Certainly there are exceptions, but, in general, we see that the participation of women has been limited. In the United States we are seeing greater participation of women in government and business but we are experiencing the resistance to their participation. It goes beyond even what we call “the glass ceiling”.

Last year began a new series specifically about patriarchy. It proved to be complex and it was only possible to touch on it lightly in this blog format. Surely there are detailed studies and formulations to be explored, but at least it needed to be introduced. Thinking about it led to the recognition of the need for the Masculinism movement.

Posts Already Published

These posts can be found on the blog http://www.cuspofreality.com.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 1 – Shifting the Focus Regarding Women. (7/31/17)
We are seeing what’s called radical feminism related to the call to end subjugation. There are a number of definitions, each worth thought and exploration. Then we have to ask what the justification is for subjugation. And then there are questions regarding supposed perceived benefits for the maintenance of the patriarchy.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 2 Why Are Women Subjugated? (9/11/17)
When the question “Were women always subjugated?” is asked, it opens a fascinating history. Cavemen dragging women away by their hair is one common image. But there are women warriors in history. One supposition is that subjugation began in earnest with the agricultural revolution when more and more children were needed as workers.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 3 The Meaning and Substance of the Subjugation of Women (10/2/17)
It takes some exploration, but it is fascinating to think in detail about why this happens. Certainly one usual assumption is that it has distinct benefits for men, but often that assumption is simplistic. Examination requires looking at losses for women and society. It is also apparent that it is carried in the extrasomatic stream of culture.

More to Come
In the series about patriarchy there is more to come. Clearly thinking about it led to the series related to a masculinist movement. As we enter this period where we are seriously reevaluating these issues and the demands for change are increasing, there will surely be many more posts. This is going to get really interesting.

AND your thoughts and sharing are invited. Please send to roger.burt@earthlink.net.

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

A Time For Men and Women to Move Forward Together

 

Women May Lead the Way Into Our Future

Through history at least fifty percent of our population (women) have been subjugated. The Amazon women and Viking Shield Maidens are examples of exceptions.

In the 1960s, when the Women’s Liberation movement flowered, I was intrigued and, at a conference, saw the opportunity to attend a women’s group. I went to the gathering but was turned away because, in that dawning era, the women sought to discuss the issues among themselves only. At first I felt a sense of disappointment, but finally saw it was best for them to probe the issues and set a course on their own.

A Cultural Surge

And now every day women are calling out regarding the need for their empowerment and expressing their outrage at things such as sexual harassment and the glass ceiling. Among other things they point to specific men, incidents and misogyny. We can’t turn back now. Women generally feared coming out and pointing at the men who abused and harassed them. But now the door of confinement has been broken open and it cannot be closed again.

Coming Together to Shape Our Collective Future

Now it’s time for men to come together, not in opposition, but to permit men to reveal who they are personally, how they have been and the processes and alliances which direct their development. The reformulation of our societies is not to be done by women alone, as they call for an end to subjugation and an evaluation of misogyny, its origins and how to control it. This is an opening to a special once in a lifetime opportunity that will surely expand and evolve. Now that we begin the process of empowering women we release a new rich fund of creativity and intellectual prowess to benefit all of us.

As women are empowered, we advance the opportunity for them to fulfill their full potential. And now men need to face themselves and find a way to fulfill their own full potential. Yes, the male culture and the attitude of men are often holding them back and all of us as well. And now we may seize that most fruitful partnership with women and the bounty it can yield. It’s important to be clear that the end to subjugation of both men and women, in all its forms, holds unforeseen possibilities leading us collectively into an enhanced future.

Please let me hear from you. roger.burt@earthlink.net

 

 

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

A New Year of Peril and Promise

 

Coming this spring, Gaia’s Majesty:Challenge – The Chosen Rise.

Book 2 in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

 

 

           

A New Year of Peril and Promise

Intriguing Possibilities

Now comes a new year. It is both a year fraught with peril for America but one which also holds extraordinary promise. By and large I’m going to leave the political analyses to others although it is very hard to separate politics from policy and process, including the content in fiction writing.

This year in my blog I’m going to cover a variety of topics.In the spring the second book of my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy will be published. (See cover at top of page.) Among issues I will be covering related to the trilogy will be the origins of the story in the series, expanded commentary about key Andromeda women warriors in Majesty, and commentary on some issues facing authors. I’m also going to make a few comments related to the adventures my wife and I had in the Caribbean as the world expanded for us. But the major focus near term will be the issue of the empowerment of women and a call for men to examine themselves and their culture. What is happening with women offers huge potential. It is an opportunity we must seize.

Call for a Movement

A Collective Search

We have a feminist movement and it’s time for a masculinist movement. If you think that means a movement in opposition to feminism, that is the opposite of what is needed. We need a movement in which men together evaluate themselves, male culture and what has been holding them back. We can only dimly see where that may lead us.

With this new year and all its import, I’m going to begin a new series which I’m calling the Masculinism Movement. (Hear the echoes of the words “Feminism Movement”.) The Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960s opened with women coming together in groups to evaluate their positions and their way forward. Now that we are entering a period where we look toward full empowerment of women, it’s time for men to come together in groups to assess the male culture and to own how they have been and what has been done to them. The recent cresting of sexual harassment allegations are instructive but are only one facet of problems in the male culture.

As noted, the proposed Masculinism Movement is not a movement purely to empower men. It is a movement in which men assess themselves and assess what has been holding them back in general and especially in regard to women. It is an opportunity to examine the male culture and the roots of their need to dominate and keep women subjugated. Men even inhibit the reproductive health care of their wives, mothers, children and grandchildren. It is a wholly irrational process. This is not how men are but a cultural issue.

A Personal Opportunity

Rarely have I seen men come together to deal with their culture and how their lives have been shaped by what is often tyranny and control by their fellows. Rarely is it even mentioned, but it is often assumed that men simply feed upon power and domination. There is surely a lot more to it that many men have not examined and that includes the influence of all forms of male culture in their lives. These influences extend to their relationships with women and how they function in our society. If men are to change and we are to truly open the full potential for our future, men must examine themselves. That is the force of the movement and it can help us reshape our societies. And some of the issues for men surely may relate to insecurity or distorted self concepts often reflecting what has happened to them personally or as a function of the larger male cultures.

Please let me hear your thoughts.

roger.burt@earthlink.net

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

Coming in January – A Call for the Masculinism Movement

Entering a New Age

With the new year I’m going to begin a new series which is about what I’m calling the Masculinism Movement. (Hear the echoes of the words Feminism Movement.) The Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960s opened with women coming together in groups to evaluate their positions and their way forward. Now that we are entering a period where we look toward full empowerment of women, it’s time for men to come together in groups to assess the male culture and to own how they have been. The recent cresting of sexual harassment allegations are instructive but are only one facet of problems in the male culture. The proposed Masculinism Movement is not a movement to empower men. It is a movement in which men assess themselves and assess what has been holding them back in general and especially in regard to women.

As women are empowered, we have the opportunity for them to fulfill their full potential. And now men need to face themselves and find a way to fulfill their full potential. Yes, the male culture and the attitudes of men are often holding them back from fulfilling their potential and the potential of all of us. And we now have the opportunity to seize that most fruitful partnership we can have with women and the bounty it can yield for all of us.

For now, through the holidays, I’m going to suspend posting. People get busy with family and holiday preparations and celebration. I’ll be back at the beginning of January with continuing series and the new series especially for and about men.

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

America – Addict Nation Pt 2

 

A Call for Help

Shortly after I left my job working in inner city poverty in Baltimore I got a call from a good friend who had been a community organizer in that program. He had become an administrator at what was referred to as a Methadone treatment program. The treatment providers were recovering addicts and social workers. They were under the supervision of psychiatrists. Those supervisory relationships were not working well. I was familiar with that problem because the administrators of the program in Baltimore had been psychiatrists and the rest of us in the treatment delivery teams had to fight them constantly so that we remained focused on the real needs of the community we were serving and how those needs were addressed. What my friend wanted was someone who could address the needs of the incoming clients to the staff in a way that meant something to them. Long term intensive psychotherapy did not. Since I had been on the street with him and other staff I could talk the language of his staff and relate to their perspective. The staff needed a down to earth approach.

A New World of Problems

So I came on board as a clinical consultant. New clients were routed to me for an evaluation. In spite of my time on the street I was surprised at who was coming for help. I had been relating more to community services and the drug world was a different place. I expected to see heroin addicts arriving to take methadone. The people who came had many different problems. Some weren’t even what I would call “physiological” addicts. One nineteen year old had been using hallucinogens for six years. He wasn’t physically addicted to anything but had missed his adolescence.

I won’t go into all the details except to say that it made me aware that drug issues rarely stop at the matter of physiology. There are developmental issues, marital issues, education issues, job issues and on and on. There was absolutely no way to address everyone in the same way. It became a matter of designing approaches and determining needed resources for a broad range of needs.

Treatment Chaos

If we think anything else, we are deluding ourselves. As we begin to look at our opioid crisis there evidently are burgeoning treatment programs but some of them are shady and shabby enterprises. Just recently we learned that Google raked in over $1 billion in ad revenue related to advertising for treatment services. It seems there is insufficient regulation or attention to what needs to be provided and what is provided. We are missing the needs point. There is shouting about the addiction problem, but I’m not hearing a whole lot about a comprehensive plan or even a plan for working on having a plan.

Many Other Needs

One issue alone is illuminating. It is clear that a lot of these opioid drugs have flowed into Appalachia. This is the area where people have labored in coal mines, been injured, and suffer from chronic pain. The coal industry is clearly dying and there is little attention to what needs to be done for the economies of such areas. This alone tells us that we have a lot to study and work to be done. And much of the work needs to start today.

The Bottom Line

In some ways this blog post is nothing other than a warning. We have been diverted by political and ideological infighting. It is time to go to work in a more focused and cooperative way.

I’m going to close this post out now because this subject deserves study, certainly a book, or maybe a library of books. And we are not doing enough that is effective. We have a national scandal at many levels. We need to search and study our world.

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