Elon Musk’s heartache is Shackled to patriarchal Storytelling

Okay, here’s a perspective you probably weren’t expecting from me today (but hey, expect the unexpected if you plan to stick around. 😉)

Yesterday, someone in my extended circle on Facebook shared this meme (originally posted by Elon Musk on Twitter) of a woman hugging a bear and a rather misogynist text. (Heartbreak much, Mr. Musk?)

The woman who shared this was annoyed with her husband for finding it funny. “…it perpetuates the idea that women are more dangerous than grizzly bears. […] ‘The slightest thing…’ perpetuates the myth that women are hysterical (from the Greek word for uterus),” she exclaimed.

And lots of people commented (mostly women, agreeing).

It reminded me of a favorite podcast of mine (Myter & Mysterier in Swedish) hosted by a historian and a journalist who connect various aspects of society to moments in history. They did a whole series on religion and how woman and the feminine have been chastised and demonized in the last 2+ millennia, and how human belief systems have changed over time from cherishing and even worshiping the female (think fertility goddesses and Mother Earth associated with abundance, provision, etc) to belittling and even despising her.

They brought up a very specific event, which I unfortunately can’t remember the exact time of, but it was a massive eruption that wiped out a whole society (Atlantis is poking at the back of my mind, but I might be mixing things up). Either way, the thesis here is that since this unexpected and deadly eruption came from the very Mother Earth herself, she suddenly went from being a haven to a volatile, uncontrollable, and unreliable source of deadly power… Whether this thesis is correct or not, I find it incredibly interesting and think it makes a lot of sense.

The patriarchal society that springs from our modern day religions (yes, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all new belief systems 🫣) has bound and even amputated the Feminine into a perverted form, only accepting the good-tempered and gentle, the caregiver, the submissive follower, the sexualized, soft and supple receiver. She is no longer perceived or allowed to be the empowered creator, the magical and mystical link between the worlds of existence and non-existence, the force of nature fully capable and righteous in her own power to regulate herself… So whenever a woman opposes this insular stereotype, she is called “masculine”, “unnatural”, “out of line”, and yes, even “hysteric”.

Meanwhile, not-all-men like to lift how they are the ones truly suffering in society. How they have to carry the burden of “masculinity”, i.e. being leaders, providers, protectors, always strong, rational, reliable, and ready to give their lives for “the right cause”. But they usually fail to realize that they too are painted into this corner due to the narrowness of patriarchy.

If you read this far (hats off!) and are wondering where this is going — why the conversion copywriter is talking about limited worldviews and their consequences, it’s to make the point that the patriarchal story is one (of many) we’ve been told and have been telling our individual versions of for many generations, and so we have come to mistake it for a truth.

But the only truth is this: the truth becomes whatever story we consistently share.

Once you are aware of this, you can start telling better stories. 🦋

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