In the world of my daughtersBy Linda Emslie on 8 March 2017
It’s International Women’s Day, and I spent a very enjoyable morning at my daughter’s high school attending a morning tea put on by her Women’s Studies class.
It was wonderful to see such a great turn out, and to hear of the successes of past Darwin High students, Natasha Fyles (NT Attorney General) and Lauren Moss (my local member, and Minister for a number of portfolios including Tourism and Culture).
It was also heartening to see the passion of Dr Suzanne Belton as she strives for equity in health care. Let's hope the proposed changes to the Medical Services Act are accepted so that the reproductive health and rights of Territory women and girls are enshrined in legislation.
It is also worth noting here that the current NT Government is one of the very few jurisdictions in the world that has almost achieved parity in regard to gender balance in their line-up for parliament. This places the Territory in the company of only six countries that can claim the same achievement -- not just states or territories, but countries. These include Sweden, Rwanda, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Senegal, and Cuba. Not bad going for a Territory with a population so small we don’t even rate a go at Statehood!
But while we’re lauding these achievements, I’d ask you to stop and look deeper, and open yourself to the possibility that in movements such as Feminism and International Women’s Day what we are truly seeking to achieve is a dynamic state of balance between the masculine and the feminine, rather than reinforcing the existing, sometimes adversarial paradigm.
Don’t get me wrong. Feminism has done many things to advance the cause of women and I do not detract from any of those. In fact, I am very grateful, because the feminist movement and its achievements have made a difference to my life, and provided opportunities for me to live my life my way.
But that sense of “us” and “them” that often comes in to play when we bring up the subject of Feminism or Equal Rights concerns me. We are equal, but in different ways. What needs changing here is the paradigm we’re operating in rather than the balance of power within it. We need to break it down completely and rebuild a new operating system that values what each of us brings equally. Our world needs the qualities of the feminine as much as those of the masculine, rather than a feminine version of the “dominator energy”. What we don’t need are dominator mindsets that want to rule by exaggerating disparities, and control via competition and a perception of global lack.
Let’s face it. The current societal norm that dictates the way Western societies operate has evolved from the historical, patriarchal model, which is based largely on fear, competition and greed. It creates and supports a divide between the “haves” and “have-nots”: whether that is based on money, information, gender, religion or race.
Many of us are waking up to the fact that the current system is dysfunctional and is leading us on an accelerating path of despair and destruction. Let’s embrace the virtues of both the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine and bring our world back to a state of dynamic balance. Honour and acknowledge what each of us brings. We are all here for a reason. Let’s get to it and heal ourselves, our planet and each other. Harmony has got to be more fun than discord.