Reality TV is not my favourite genre but I have become quite a fan of a show called Sister Wives. You may have watched it yourselves. It reflects the life of a polygamist family in America and the way in which the four wives work together to provide the most amazing framework of love and support for their children and each other. The whole process is fascinating and has really changed my ill-informed view of this way of life.
Kody, the husband, has his work cut out accommodating the four distinct personalities, strengths and challenges of his ‘wives’. Of course he is only married in law to one wife and has religious dedications to all of them, which in his eyes is the most binding. Their children are supportive of each other, have a sense of community, are articulate, confident and intelligent.
This family has been hounded out of their home state at the risk of being torn apart by the law. Whilst this is not a lifestyle for me, I do not understand why they are considered to be breaking any law. Surely, Kody is not practicing bigamy, as in the eyes of the law he is only married to one wife. It seems that is would be acceptable if he had one wife but was having relationships with three others behind his wife’s back and creating numerous children for the state to fund. They have four homes for which he pays taxes, they have income as they all work – taxes again – and, from the happiness displayed by all concerned he appears to be an attentive husband and a supportive father.
My fascination is the way in which the sister wives are so supportive of each other; they have a united focus – the family – and each are fulfilled in their own way. This to me is the gentle powerful strength available to all women. It is hard to define at what point in history women lost their standing in society. All old cultures had women as the wise ones, the Oracle was always a female, the Druids and many other ancient religions had priests and priestess as equals. So when did it all change and why?
Change it did but we do not need to engage in ‘man bashing’ or be anti-men as it was in the late 1950’s when I was growing towards adulthood. As the movement for ‘equality’ began, I never felt it was the correct wording; women are equal to men, they are one half of a whole. The discrepancy was actually ‘equal opportunity’ and at the time that was most definitely lacking. Germaine Greer did a great job for the time because it really was a male oriented society; she needed to bring the inequality of opportunity to public awareness and help women to step out of, what for some, amounted to prison in the most powerful way and she became despised and judged for it by women and ridiculed by men. Women had no rights in law, rape was always considered the woman’s fault so rarely came to court and if it did, it was presided over by an all male system, abuse was swept under the carpet, children would be taken from the mother if she attempted to leave her marriage and returned to the father, irrespective of the type of life they would endure with him, as she would have no money to support them and so on…
Because of this lack of equality in opportunity, mother’s taught their daughters both openly and covertly that this was the way it was, this is how you kept a man in your life so ‘suck it up’, it couldn’t change. And there was the trap – the belief that it could not change handed down through generations. My own mother would jump to the word of any man, except my father of course! If a man spoke it, then it had to be true, if she was required to jump she would ask ‘how high?’ Yet she was fiercely independent and a business woman to boot so it didn’t match, but her mother did a great number on her belief system. However, she came a bit unstuck in passing it on to me; thank goodness for the 1960’s!
The World of Women has Changed
The result of Ms Greer and others was that the world for women has changed; not 100% yet as female graduates coming out from professional training often get paid less than their male counterparts – amazing that with such strict politically correct frameworks in place that this is still allowed and women don’t challenge it . However, now at least women can have education towards their chosen careers, can leave a bad marriage with support of the law, can have children without actually involving the father and have an unprecedented level of freedom.
So let us stop referring to men as the ‘bad guys’ because over generations women have played their part in the process. Fear of abandonment and starvation, of public opinion – women are pretty talented at judging other women – and the belief that ‘we need a man in our life to feel whole, complete, fulfilled – whatever the buzz word is at the time. all of it has created the situation and now we are in the best position to balance it out. Let us remember the ancient feminine wisdom encoded within us
We are constantly told to balance our male/female energies and for some this wording may create misunderstanding but we do have within us the potential behaviour of both; all human beings have the potential to be gentle, loving and caring, the traditional female stereotype, but we can also be forceful, driven and ambitious, often seen as the male preserve. By bring it all together we balance it out to compassion and understanding; no-one in control, no situations seen as women’s work or the man’s job, just balance and harmony.
As Kody, the plural marriage husband, indicates in his interviews, it is not easy to balance his time, love and support between his wives but it is not impossible; it just requires the desire to try. So instead of looking at the people in our lives as male or female let us understand them as individuals with their own fears, needs, hopes and dreams. Let us pull together in sisterhood.
Our own Catherine Bullard says :-
‘Sisterhood is not an exclusive group or an anti-men symposium. It is a way of being. It is a celebration of all that is gloriously and potently feminine. It is foremost a choice to be alive and luscious in your female mystery and it is a path of the heart. Sisterhood is a movement of kindness’.
It is time to celebrate our Sisterhood so join Catherine for her Feminine Wisdom Circle and tap into that part within that holds our ancient wisdom. The group is held monthly at the time of the New Moon to maximise its creative energy as with the wise women of ancient times.
Join us to share, support, nurture and take some time to be with like-minded souls for ceremony, reflection and connection and let us step into that gentle feminine power with love and understanding together. Visit our calendar to book into the next Feminine Wisdom Circle workshop
Jane G Offer
The Purple Dragonfly
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