Looking For Transformation

 

In this current era when we seem on the verge of transformation I’m going to do posts about my experience with the reform movement called community mental health long ago. I address even great details in my book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Toward the Future

It was 1967 and I was finishing up my doctorate at Duke University. It was time to leave academia, get out into the “real world” and embrace a component of the reform movement following World War II.

One of the first programs of the Community Mental Health movement was beginning to hire in Baltimore. i went to take a look and was picked up at the airport by Carl Thistel, the lead community organizer. He took me on a whirlwind engaging tour of the city regaling me with the impact of poverty and drugs. I was interviewed by the engaging, enthusiastic director and the somnolent head psychologist who fell asleep while he was interviewing me. No matter. Carl had hooked me.

Plans Versus Reality

The movement had a compelling outline of its expected services and its rationale was engaging. We had the best of intentions but then there was reality. It wasn’t long before we learned that the mental health people in the State of Maryland didn’t really care and neither did the University which was managing the grant. They wanted the status and the money and to continue their business as usual.

In Opposition

On our side we had a bunch of enthusiastic, rebellious twenty somethings who included women dedicated to the Women’s Liberation movement, It was going to get very interesting.

It turned out no one really knew how to deliver services to impoverished inner city residents. The rationale sounded good but we had to figure out how to deal with reality. We devoted ourselves to the needs of these people we were to serve and had to figure out what they really needed and how we could deliver it – over the opposition of the State and the University personnel especially on the part of the older white men.

Likelong Commitment and Reservations

So, in my twenties I committed to supporting women’s liberation and harbored deep reservations about older white men even though now I are one.

In coming posts I’ll cover key elements as we hit the streets, climbed through dangerous high rise buildings and fought for what was needed. I’m also going to address the current crisis in the world and the transformation alternatives that may be coming.

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt, Ph.D.

Available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.

The Tragedy of Older White Men

 

Roger B. Burt

Facing the Future

Yes, that’s a picture of me at the top. I’m an older white man and I’ve been upset with my colleagues for over fifty years. And now the issues are coming to a head.

An Enduring Lesson

I hadn’t thought about men and power much until I took a job in the inner city of Baltimore in the 1960s. At the time the Women’s Liberation Movement was beginning and I found myself working with young, bright women among the men. Our mission in behalf of delivering mental health services to impoverished citizens brought it all to a head. 

Naturally the heads of the program were older white men and they had no dedication to our mission to serve the people of Baltimore. They wanted the grant money, preservation of their status and continuation of the type of program they had been offering. In fact, that program was not what our people needed. And so we fought back and the lessons I learned were carried forward with me.

See It For What It Is

And now the fight continues and this fall it seems there may be what is called “a blue wave” in the interim election. I object to the term because it politicizes an important change which is NOT political. Certainly there is politics involved but we are seeing a worldwide movement to empower women at last. 

To put it bluntly I want to see the power of older white mean eroded and for women to come to equality and power because it is my firm belief that they will bring much needed change and equality of all kinds in a country which is changing rapidly with growing numbers of minorities.

Waves of Change

This is truly a wave of change and I relish these waves we have seen over human history. We have an ongoing wave within the black community. Yes, I refer to them as black because I was part of the reform movement when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and that was the year black was declared to be beautiful. It has special meaning.

And now women are coming to the fore. I am stunned to see smart women showing up on television as commentators in the news and business arenas. And, yes, they may be pretty as well in ways of their choosing.

Time For Men to Face the Future

Now it is time for men to choose a revolution of their own. And  by that I do not mean choosing to fight to retain their hold on power. Instead I strongly recommend introspection, recognition of alternative benefits and devotion to study the male culture. Surely there are benefits but there have also been marked negatives.

These changes are coming at us and we would do well to tend the benefits and seek understanding. It will benefit us all in unforeseen ways. It is time for change guys. Turn away from the grasp of power to a more diverse and glorious future!

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

Our New Age Blossoming – 3

Women Emerging – Building Our Future – 3

Something Unexpected

When I was in graduate school in the 1960s there were not a lot of women psychologists and few women in my graduate school class. They seemed ill at ease and I think they sensed something like not belonging. The horizon did not suggest change of their position. Little did we know.

Something Was Different

As I noted in part one of this series, my guide in my first job after getting my Ph.D. was a black woman. I hadn’t been searching for major changes but found them. Yes, I was looking for a new way to deliver mental health services but the possibilities offered were beyond what I had expected. And, honestly, I had not been yearning for a new day for women. But it was developing.

Of course my perspective was not their perspective but quickly I could see an advocacy for change on their part. Some of the women were angry and they were beginning to stand up for themselves.

Women’s Liberation 

Women’s Liberation was what it was called at the time and, for a reason I will never understand, it resonated with me at once. At a convention I heard women were meeting and went to attend. But I was turned away and now I understand why. Men were often arrogant and wanted to assert their power. So, the women needed to meet together first while they laid their own plans and learned to be assertive, even demanding.

That period was the beginning of what I repeatedly call the long wave. It seemed to go underground for awhile but never disappeared. Gradually women gained position and acceptance at least among some men. But, many of us continued to view a problem with older white men. Racism and sexism were part of their problem and we are still working on it.

Broadening the Movement 

And now the women’s movement is multifaceted with women who are willing to assert in general and specific ways. Suddenly we are in touch with the #MeToo movement. It took ever so long to get here but women are now speaking out about the sexual abuse they have suffered. At last they seem to feel safe enough-sometimes.

I think we are going to find there is a long way to go. Surely we will see unexpected revelations and certainly there will be many things exposed. But it seems unlikely we will turn back now and it is all, in the end, a breath of fresh air even if the revelations may sometimes smell badly.

What of Men?

Are men supposed to support the movement? I ask that obvious question because we should not just be observers. Support is indicated. We are seeing that we are opening the full inclusion of women and that means bringing in the full potential of 50% of our population.

But there is another question. Are men to simply approve and support or are we willing to face ourselves? Are we willing to examine the male culture with all its strengths and unfortunate proclivities? My view as a man is that there is often a shocking lack of morality, there is often intimidation which may, for example, be related to the demand for devotion to sports. It seems we have not yet examined things enough to really understand what happens to us and the revolution which is needed among men for men and all of us.

It is not enough to welcome women to equality. In fact we are still a long ways away. But, from my perspective, all of us must face the arrogance and assumptions of superiority of older white men. Our country will soon tip from a dominant white culture to a multiracial society. On our way we have to face the reality of the dominance which there has been for far too long. And it would certainly help if older white men would face themselves.

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 Origins and Sources of the Majesty Trilogy – Pt. 4

The Human Potential

Emerging Themes

In writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found, even though I had a chart of its arc, that components of it were emergent. Just as the characters emerged as well. To me it was not a story of whatever form. It had to have a future reflective of us and possibilities. 

In the scope of things it may be that we are merely a life form that emerged on this beautiful and unusual planet. And in time we may well vanish into the history of the universe leaving no trace whatsoever.

But what I saw was that there is the matter of potential that may lead to our transformation or even possibly some forms beyond who we are just now.

Exploring Us and Our history

In mythology we see themes in human existence as well as our development. In gods and goddesses we view ourselves but our future as well. It seems we take the hopes of our youth into thoughts about what might be to come. We are restless and often not willing to accept how it is right now for ourselves personally or collectively. In our recent past we see the acquisition of culture and language and now so many more things.  I say “recent past” because it is apparent that we have been developing for millions of years, but it is in the last thousands of years we see a sudden “maturation” and acquisitions of new skills. And now technology is thrusting us forward in a whole new way.

We regard history, but also regard our future. Parts of who we are seem little changed. But other parts are intriguing.

Carrying Forward and Progressing

When we look at human history we see some things which change little although on the surface there is difference. For much of our history we had ruling families and still do. We had kings and now we have people we are calling oligarchs. They simply direct and rule our lives in different ways. But developmentally there has been a change at the same time as we have struggled to acquire and maintain democracies where the mass of people actually have a say in government. It is a struggle to maintain it nonetheless. 

Without warning come new themes such as the liberation of women. I know I say this over and over but I’m intrigued about what this movement may mean. Suddenly we have women participating in a way which goes beyond what has gone before.

Our lives are woven together. There is chaos and cruel brutality even as there is caring for those amongst us. While some may care not at all about the welfare of others, there are some who set up beneficial foundations.

The Call of a Future

One purpose fiction can serve is to stir us to examine not just ourselves personally but as creatures on this earth. We see some marked changes over time and emergent themes born of dreams and hopes. But what is intriguing is the possibility not just for fundamental change but what may mean transformation. It may come upon us or we may grasp and trigger it. It is up to use individually and collectively. The two themes of Mysterium and Malestrom in this trilogy relate to interplay of fundamental force. We may give them names as we search and explore. It all grows out of asking “What if?” as a means to draw us forward to an intriguing future.

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

Author Issues

Do you believe writing fiction is a straightforward endeavor?

A Complex Endeavor

I opened this new series with a post about choosing categories. Writing actually has become an increasingly complex endeavor. I thought I might share some thoughts for my fellow authors. But the rest of you are invited to listen in. You might find it amusing or even interesting.

What Happened?

Many (very many) years ago I had the inspiration to write fiction. I found it engaging and interesting. It was fun to be creative. Looking back I think the impulse to write happened when I reached a life change point.

Anyway, I started writing. Then came a deeply moving job which took all my energy. Then came a divorce, a new marriage, two more children from her first marriage, a new career and on and on. Life takes energy and commitment and each time I started something new, other demands got in the way.

Life Settled Down – Well Not Quite

Later, much later, my life settled down and a new idea for fiction emerged. I thought it interesting to pursue it. My wife had been working on screen plays and gave me Dara Marks Transformational Arc. What a neat way to scope out the progress and development of a book!
So I settled in with the reassurance that I had a structure to guide me.

And then demanding characters began to show up. I had an idea and these demanding people insisted on their inclusion and of course, they brought with them their personality, conflicts and foibles among other things. And then the psychologist had to look out because he began to pick up on their inner conflicts. That doesn’t sound so bad except it leads to conflicts of all sorts that can get in the way of the story and its development.

I’m blogging about some of these people including Avery, Brigid and Luisa among others.

Enhancement and Complications

It may sound nice to have characters showing up because they bring enhancement of the story. Well, not quite. They bring more than enhancement. They complicate the story and so the book became a trilogy – I think. It seems there may be a fourth book stirring.

And through it all I began to see that the story was filled with themes. I could see mythology which had always intrigued me and the prospect of the impact of waves of humanity possibly leading to transformation. But above all, what was striking was the fact of these women’s lives. Back in the 1960s I became intrigued by the process of women’s liberation that has now become the work to end the subjugation of women. Steadily I could see that my commitment to feminism was having an impact on the story and the development of characters.

Never-ending

I’m going to leave this there for now. There are so many other matters that come into the authors life. I’ll be addressing some of them. Have a nice day. I’ve got work to do and it isn’t fiction writing. So much else has cropped up.

Did you believe writing fiction might actually involve crowd sourcing?

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 Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 6

Continuing to Share

Family Origins

Since I’m calling for men to come together to share who they are and how things are for them, I’m going to continue to share in this format.

My family was definitely not a feminist bastion. It focused on our home where my mother tended that home and the two sons. My father had a certain authority in those days as the man of the household and partly because he was surgeon.

Interestingly, he had a distinct tinge of feminist leanings and he made it clear to me that he supported women coming into medicine as physicians and did not see women coming to power as a threat. His attitude had a leveling quality to the coming reality.

My mother was not antifeminism but it was nothing she would have fought for. It was simply that her background meant this home with a successful man who had fought his way out of poverty in Mississippi was just fine with her. She could not have wanted more.

Another Direction

It feels to me that I had been freed by distancing myself from “normal” male identity.

It seems my nature is what led me away from patriarchy toward support of feminism. I was always intrigued by possibilities and sought novelty. I regret (though it could not have been otherwise) that there were no computers until long after my youth. I would have been a rabid computer nerd. I was not competitive unless wanting to do a good job and get things done was a form of competitiveness. I never saw power as important and often was dumbstruck by venal men in power and what fools so many of them were as they served only themselves.

Who Men Are

Some say men are competitive and aggressive. I was neither. My favorite book as a young child was Ferdinand the Bull. His core attribute was that he loved to smell the flowers. My mother read it over and over to me. Again, if there was any competitiveness, it related to doing that job well and uncovering new possibilities which could be pursued relentlessly.

I learned the limits of male power over time and found it often errant and saw endless skirmishes around men who sought power and domination at all costs. As I watched men pursue power and their own financial interests, I came to see the limitations of their power and its worth. I learned to fear them not at all. In my estimation the shallowness of their pursuits disappointed me. And to this day I see their pursuits were often damaging to so many among us. If my future was impaired by their machinations, then I could go somewhere else. Something else is always possible. And, of course, as is apparent, not all men are devoted to power and financially focused sociopathy.

What Satisfies

Of course not all things, no matter how long they have dominated, will endure. I believe in the cultural flow and know its relentless nature. It may be glacial but it does flow and requires endurance and patience. We see that need for patience in the empowerment of women. From the suffragettes, women in World War II, women’s liberation and on to today we see their endurance and, yes, gains. There is much more to come.

In another regard, what do you see coming and what would you wish? Please let me hear from you. roger.burt@earthllink.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

Discovering How Life Really is

 

Where Our Identity Comes From

Establishing an identity is a complicated process. It has to do with who is available for us to identify with, our ability patterns, intelligence, and our personality. And I think you can probably come up with other factors.

Given my dissatisfaction and lack of interest in many things which are supposed to interest and enthrall boys meant I sought other things. I chose to explore science, looked at the world as my family traveled, and sought to experience the world in general. That is hardly a comprehensive list because opportunities were always presenting themselves. For me I think personality was central. I wanted to seek out possibilities and unique opportunities.

My Father and I

Naturally my father played a role. I was closer to him than my brother was. Even as a surgeon he liked to get his hands dirty in the yard. He never got entirely away from his early years in rural Mississippi. We went deep sea fishing off Montauk on Long Island, he taught me to shoot which I liked as a hobby but not when it involved killing animals and he took me to ball games which I endured until the day when we went to a Yankee double header. The first game was 26 innings. Enough was enough. He was handy around the house and built furniture. Those things interested me.

Doing a Good Job

One thing that was particularly important to me was doing a good job. Power was not of interest. Getting things done especially in new ventures was of considerable interest. Too often though I saw men of power who lacked vision. When I took the job in the inner city Baltimore I was stunned.

The heads of the psychiatry department were utterly lacking in vision and the psychologists were no better. The latter group invited me to join them and in the first meeting they spent the entire time talking about how they could try to seem more important to the psychiatrists. I never went back. There was substantive work to be done. And even worse there were no women in the central halls of power. Oh yes, there was a nursing department but what I saw out in the programs on the street was their frustration as they did battle with the men in power. At basic levels there were women nurses and social workers who contributed to diversity of viewpoints. But at the top levels there were men only.

Closed Systems

Because of the import of the job I had to face a closed male system. And it was inevitable that I would come to view the men as struggling with their image of themselves and the threat involved by the women struggling for recognition and a say in a new enterprise. As it turned out this was just at the cusp of the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and their meaning and substance utterly engaged me.

Masculinity

What kept emerging over time was seeing in men a central problem in their discomfort with masculinity. They often seemed to feel they did not measure up but when you stepped back it was essential to wonder why there had to be a universal code of masculinity.

But it seemed that fear was a core element and that also surfaces in discussions of patriarchy. It seems likely that progress in our various intersexual relationships may require clearly facing the issue of fear. And honestly I think this will be a monumental task. Men have financial interests in league with the matter of power which is an impediment to change. But at base I think the most important issue and the one which will relate to a turning point is the matter of fear.

What issues do you feel will be crucial? Please let me hear from you at: 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

The Meaning and Substance of the Subjugation of Women

 

What do you believe are the driving forces and meaning of subjugation?

I have to divide this post into three parts. First is the benefit of subjugation of women to men, second is the ongoing deep effect on women and then there is the fact of culture. And again I have to point out that these posts are thought documents and certainly not research vehicles or repositories.

Benefits for Men

Looking at the discussions about patriarchy has been a depressing experience. In my life I have heard all the arguments men advance regarding the appropriate roles of women. I found every one of them distressing and invalid. Branded large on the surface of claimed benefits are the augmentation of power for men. I’ve searched that landscape for decades and found it wanting.

But they have held power and continue to hold power. Of course the exercise of that power goes well beyond the subjugation of women. Men held the power over slaves through history. And part of the discussion focuses on sexual rights including rape. The discussion in that area seems to focus more on men’s rights. I don’t hear much about celebration of rape.

As to the overall benefits men derive from patriarchy I have to confess I shake my head. Yes, there is power which some celebrate but the motivation to look away from the issue of loss of potential and broad benefits mystifies me. But then I don’t seem to relish power.

The Losses for Women and Society

It seems there are some benefits for men but at the society level the benefits are highly questionable. As to the benefits for women, they are hardly impressive and the negatives for society are rather important.

First of all, women are half of the population which means any negatives are substantial. At the most global level, the subjugation of women means there are limits of vision and effective planning. We see that much potential is not developed.

In spite of all the publicity we continue to see women paid less than men for doing the same job. That means there is less potential and freedom in their lives. All of this contains innovation and productivity. Patriarchy contributes to racism, imperialism, capitalism (in its darker components) and supports environmental catastrophe. Of course there is much more to the last item on the preceding list.

It is difficult to note any benefits to society as a whole and, even for men, the results are less than ideal. It is ever so hard to see the justification. In the media we see a cross section of people presenting views and too often the arguments simply do not hold water. It is hard to tell if those who present phony or contrived arguments believe them or whether it holds some unadmitted benefits for them.

Then There is Culture

Often in discussing these kinds of issues we talk about specific benefits and losses which leads us to deal with the people who are benefiting or not from policies and attitudes. But at a larger level there is the matter of culture.

If we move beyond individual benefits and losses to the larger picture, then culture glares before us. One of the great strengths of humanity is that we possess culture. Now and again we trip over our differences but culture in general contributes stability and guidance.

Leslie White (one of my heroes) called it the extrasomatic stream. Culture does not reside within a given person but flows around us in society. We see it when two diverse groups come up with the same idea at the same time even though they do not talk to each other. The components come together independently because of this stream outside of individuals.

Its is a strength, but it is also a weakness because when something becomes established in culture it has tremendous staying power. And even if we overcome patriarchy there are systems which constrain women as a matter of culture. These have to be defined and examined. And we cannot believe for a moment that simply recognizing it will lead to sudden and widespread change and release from the negatives of subjugation.

We have our work cut out for us.

 

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