BLOG 1 OF 6 – IGNORANCE

I was triggered by that provocative interview with Fay Weldon in Belgian magazine HUMO the other day (it also appeared in De Volkskrant)… Obviously, there are two parts to her reputation: first that she is a feminist writer of the most brilliant kind, and second that she is a very funny one. And now she’s in the news because of her new book (Death of a She Devil) and some interview quotes; we learn she dislikes the #MeToo campaign and that she feels too many young women flirt with feeling a victim. Hurrah, me too!

As revelations about the sexual abuse by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and those in countries closer around us, including in our own capital of Amsterdam and the TV-capital of Hilversum, continue to surface, I’ve found myself reflecting not only on how common abuse in the workplace still is, but how it found its stage in the world of media. The more the spotlights are already in place, the more perverse in its acts, expressions and reactions? I observe it as the scholar in Gender & Media I’ve always been. (A bit of decency, please, why all this exhibitionism!)

Do not suspect me of snobbish showing off literacy, but I had to think of one of Shakespeare’s most frequently quoted passages:
‘All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant…’

I don’t need to repeat all, but it continuous with the unmasking of..:
‘… the schoolboy…
then the lover…
then the soldier….
then the bubble reputation….
Then the justice…
For his shrunk shank…
Sans teeth, sans taste, sans everything.’

You probably get the picture… Hilarious, no?! (And note this ‘seven ages‘: as in the seven sins…)

The thing is, also 400 years after Shakespeare’s theatre company, despite feminism, back stage nothing has changed, really: Sexual harassment is still a pest and so many men remain caricatures of themselves. Worse perhaps, as that stage now has become the world (full of role models) by influence of the ruling media – and while all contextual surroundings only play a role in the alleged suspect’s defense sideshow and basically does not get much attention by the main media.

My reason for discomfort, or worries, and I assume equally Mrs. Weldon’s, is the more MeToo J’accuse hashtag messages are posted, the more it renews the battle of the sexes. That should be over by now, that could be over by now as women nowadays have so many other ways to act and address their abusers.

It turns out again to an out-loud cry of women stating they require ‘special treatment and protection’. I hate that because that cry is over the top as there are so many other ways women can act besides posting an ethereal float of shallow hashtags.

And for the rest I would like to point out that men whose sexual desires are out of control also prey on men; and it can happen, too, that women in positions of power will take advantage of men.

For all counts the same; the real solution lies within the opportunity where women can address abusers and their behaviour on the spot and directly and effectively – and in always keep the discussion going, a real discussion.

To be continued…

PS. I would love to read your comments so leave them below or send me an email info@kaouthar.com. And remember to share this with the special ones in your life because Sharing is Caring

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    14 thoughts on “Kaouthar on #MeToo, the need for more feminine & erotic capital, curiosity, adventure and compassion

    1. Avatar
      Claudia Duffield says:

      Hi dear Kaouthar
      I’ve been feeling the same way about the #meetoo movement and have been looking for the right words to articulate my view of. I couldn’t join it and searched high and low in my feelings why that is the case. I detest putting myself as a victim and perhaps that is why this movement bothers me.

      I look forward to part 2 of your blog and let’s keep this conversation going my dear!
      XOXO

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Claudia,
        Merci for sharing. I have a double feeling about #metoo, on one hand I think it’s necessary to put this ‘dirty’ stuff outside, the whole world MUST know about this oldest form of patriarcal abuse towards women (& men). But the victim part is so subtil in it… So the art is how to adress this issue as lionesses and not kittens… read my next blog about it.

    2. Avatar
      Claudia Duffield says:

      Hi dear Kaouthar
      I’ve been feeling the same way about the #meetoo movement and have been looking for the right words to articulate my view of. I couldn’t join it and searched high and low in my feelings why that is the case. I detest putting myself as a victim and perhaps that is why this movement bothers me.

      I look forward to part 2 of your blog and let’s keep this conversation going my dear!
      XOXO

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Claudia,
        Merci for sharing. I have a double feeling about #metoo, on one hand I think it’s necessary to put this ‘dirty’ stuff outside, the whole world MUST know about this oldest form of patriarcal abuse towards women (& men). But the victim part is so subtil in it… So the art is how to adress this issue as lionesses and not kittens… read my next blog about it.

    3. Avatar
      Sandra Voigt says:

      Dear sister, goddesses,
      dear Kaouthar,

      I’m looking forward to sections 2-6 of this blog, hoping that you, Kaouthar, will present some examples from your experience how women can act differently. We need to create a vision together and reconnect to the forgotten feminine field of conciousness.

      I myself felt that there was something missing, I was lacking something for several years but I couldn’t define what it clearly was. Because there was no woman around me showing me what this could be. I started to become a seeker. Now I’m slowly getting an idea of it. And for me this started because of women like Kaouthar who help me remember in a practical, very concrete way what the feminine energy is.

      So personally, I try to give all my attention to the new that I wan’t to experience in this future world. And to think and talk next to nothing about the things I don’t want. In this sense I’m looking forward to find inspiring thoughts in the following parts of the blog – for myself and to share with my sisters around me.

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Sandra,
        Merci for sharing.
        We do indeed need to gather our forces and create a vision about:
        – how to stop/correct this epidemic & ancient patriarcal sexual abuse
        – how to heal the Feminine Erotic/sexual Wound
        – how to forgive and move on… lighter and lighter…
        To realize that this vision must be found and carried on together, also with men. Without engaging men the problem won’t be solved. Adressing the male responsability is crucial… without shaming and blaming… because women are also responsable of how men are and were once educated.

    4. Avatar
      Sandra Voigt says:

      Dear sister, goddesses,
      dear Kaouthar,

      I’m looking forward to sections 2-6 of this blog, hoping that you, Kaouthar, will present some examples from your experience how women can act differently. We need to create a vision together and reconnect to the forgotten feminine field of conciousness.

      I myself felt that there was something missing, I was lacking something for several years but I couldn’t define what it clearly was. Because there was no woman around me showing me what this could be. I started to become a seeker. Now I’m slowly getting an idea of it. And for me this started because of women like Kaouthar who help me remember in a practical, very concrete way what the feminine energy is.

      So personally, I try to give all my attention to the new that I wan’t to experience in this future world. And to think and talk next to nothing about the things I don’t want. In this sense I’m looking forward to find inspiring thoughts in the following parts of the blog – for myself and to share with my sisters around me.

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Sandra,
        Merci for sharing.
        We do indeed need to gather our forces and create a vision about:
        – how to stop/correct this epidemic & ancient patriarcal sexual abuse
        – how to heal the Feminine Erotic/sexual Wound
        – how to forgive and move on… lighter and lighter…
        To realize that this vision must be found and carried on together, also with men. Without engaging men the problem won’t be solved. Adressing the male responsability is crucial… without shaming and blaming… because women are also responsable of how men are and were once educated.

    5. Avatar
      Ava says:

      Young victims often do not have the ability – given psychological damage, lack of self-esteem, due to the abuse – to go to the police in time. Speaking for myself and my sister, the 20 years legal period for punishment was passed before we had the courage to even speak with each other about this.
      All that was left for us to recover our self-esteem and hopefully protect the grand-daughters of this awful man was a “j’accuse”. Yes, in person, not in the media.
      However, the need for a cultural shift that there is no shame in this, that abuse can be openly discussed, that women and men do not need to keep their mouth shut, fearing disbelief or negative impacts on their personal life – this is why I applaud #MeToo.

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Ava,
        Merci for sharing.
        And special thanks for your openess.
        I see Sexual abuse as a ‘crime against humanity’ and the worst of these crimes are against children. Any means to put this out are allowed.
        Thanks to my work I have the honour to regularly work with women who were subject to incest and rapes when children.

        I can tell you after having the privilege to work and help heal the sexual wounds of an innumerable amount of incest women, the biggest wound, the real ‘J’accuse’ was not towards what the male family member did (mostly the father), which was horrible enough. The real ‘J’accuse’ was towards the female family members, especially the mother (Demeter, archetype of the Goddess Mother), who watched and did nothing. These women who did not protect the little helpless innocent child. I can tell you that That matriarcal wound is deeper and more painful than the patriarcal wound. This is what Carl Jung (the psychiatrist and father of archetypes) call ‘the collective unconscious’, it’s our unconscious collective wound coming now to the surface and becoming a conscious one.

        But I do beleive based on my own experience that sexual abuse towards women, and especially children, can persist only because of the cooperation, or silence, of women-mothers.

        Based on my work with women about healing sexual traumas through my dance, I observe two categories of women:

        – the ones that stay forever in the victim role, what I call in my work The Shadow Dance of Persephone (the Child Goddess), which is understandable when you are a child because you feel so helpless. But which is very harmful when you are a grown up woman.

        My whole work is to take them to the other side of Persephone: to heal the ‘Victim Wound’ of the shadow and enter the light of Persephone. Most come with me, and very few cannot/don’t want to.

        – the other category are the ones who passionatly want to change the victim dance: we dance to heal the victim wound and we engage by dancing the archetype of Sekhmet/Artemis, I call her ‘Warrior of the heart’, to move from the Victim to the Warrior. And when we make the conscious choice to enter that space, we regain our voice, our power, our joy and the innocent pleasure of being a sensual erotic woman! and then #metoo becomes a detail…

    6. Avatar
      Ava says:

      Young victims often do not have the ability – given psychological damage, lack of self-esteem, due to the abuse – to go to the police in time. Speaking for myself and my sister, the 20 years legal period for punishment was passed before we had the courage to even speak with each other about this.
      All that was left for us to recover our self-esteem and hopefully protect the grand-daughters of this awful man was a “j’accuse”. Yes, in person, not in the media.
      However, the need for a cultural shift that there is no shame in this, that abuse can be openly discussed, that women and men do not need to keep their mouth shut, fearing disbelief or negative impacts on their personal life – this is why I applaud #MeToo.

    7. Avatar
      Joy says:

      Love your work Kaouthar. However,I’m always very concerned about any woman who weighs in trying to ‘balance’ the argument to get women to sympathize with men because this is what women ALWAYS do. It’s another way women undermine each other. Furthermore, it assumes that women HAVEN’T already been accommodating the feelings of men since time immemorial, much less the over the #MeToo stories.

      I see the #MeToo movement as finally stripping away all the wishy washy, sweet-talking, ‘it’s for your own sake’ kinda messages about male aggression and oppression and getting to the core message – that ALL women are affected by this toxic masculinity – since there’s NO way to know which men are predatory – and ALL men are either explicitly responsible for their own predatory actions OR complicit by their silence and privilege. Don’t even get me started with the fact that an overwhelming number of men consume violent, degrading porn which is teaching them that women WANT to be treated this way.

      Unless and until women get REALLY clear with men HOW their collective behaviour as a sex destroys women’s sense of well-being at best, physical freedom and autonomy at worst, women cannot EVER hope things will change. That’s why the #MeToo movement is so powerful. So, as painful and uncomfortable as it is for BOTH men and women, I’m hoping we can all step up to the plate and feel free to speak our truth and have it respected. Women’s voices have been violently, brutally suppressed for millennia for long enough. One only need look at the horrific direction of the pornography and sex trafficking industries and where it’s going. Ultimately, patriarchy serves nobody – not men, not women, not the planet.

    8. Avatar
      Joy says:

      Love your work Kaouthar. However,I’m always very concerned about any woman who weighs in trying to ‘balance’ the argument to get women to sympathize with men because this is what women ALWAYS do. It’s another way women undermine each other. Furthermore, it assumes that women HAVEN’T already been accommodating the feelings of men since time immemorial, much less the over the #MeToo stories.

      I see the #MeToo movement as finally stripping away all the wishy washy, sweet-talking, ‘it’s for your own sake’ kinda messages about male aggression and oppression and getting to the core message – that ALL women are affected by this toxic masculinity – since there’s NO way to know which men are predatory – and ALL men are either explicitly responsible for their own predatory actions OR complicit by their silence and privilege. Don’t even get me started with the fact that an overwhelming number of men consume violent, degrading porn which is teaching them that women WANT to be treated this way.

      Unless and until women get REALLY clear with men HOW their collective behaviour as a sex destroys women’s sense of well-being at best, physical freedom and autonomy at worst, women cannot EVER hope things will change. That’s why the #MeToo movement is so powerful. So, as painful and uncomfortable as it is for BOTH men and women, I’m hoping we can all step up to the plate and feel free to speak our truth and have it respected. Women’s voices have been violently, brutally suppressed for millennia for long enough. One only need look at the horrific direction of the pornography and sex trafficking industries and where it’s going. Ultimately, patriarchy serves nobody – not men, not women, not the planet.

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