Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Living Caryatids

A caryatid is a sculpted female form used in place of a column to hold up a structure. They can be used as decorative elements, they represent the strength of women and the importance of female support in upholding a foundation. Caryatids can also represents eternal punishment and sacrifice. I can't think of a better comparison to the experience of women than a caryatid. We are decorative objects, we support and nurture and we sacrifice.

This past week a series of events have occurred to drive home the concept of the burden bearing woman. The nonstop news about the Tiger Woods cheating scandal prompted many, including myself to post an opinion about it on facebook. But it also brought out an amount of vitriol spewed toward his wife that I couldn't understand. Such harsh words were not used in describing the cheating husband or the several home wreckers he messed around with.

Next a rerun of Oprah aired that focused on the plight of women in third world countries. The lack of basic medical health care, the use of rape as a weapon and the stigma attached to it, the growing problem of sex trafficking.

It all seems so unfair. We have to get married before 30, have kids before we dry up, contribute financially, be the primary caretaker do the chores all while looking good!
Yet I still love being a woman. For many reasons I won't list.
I do believe a lot of problems in this world stem from the fact that for the past thousands of years we have been living in a patriarchal society that has sanctioned "masculine" principles such as aggression, assertiveness, dominance, strength and toughness and left no room for "feminine" concepts like sensitivity, compassion, supportiveness.
And no I'm not a feminist. I just like to see a bit more balance and mutual respect for the characteristics of both male and female
"Balance is not to make woman equal in strength to man but to regard her strengths as equal."
This is what the feminists missed. "Perhaps then our relationships can achieve a healthier balance and unity and restore wholeness within our religions, ourselves, our communities, and our earth."
A basic rule regarding the relationship of yin and yang is:

YANG (Men) protects YIN

YIN (Women) nurtures YANG

Together they form a complete whole.

Source: Amy Peck MA http://www.goddess-studio.com/default_files/writings.htm

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