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Transforming Patriarchy: The Role of the Sexually Sovereign Woman

“There was a cut between Woman’s vagina and heart… A slice so deep that the Bridge was almost broken... A cut through her diaphragm, bandaged with corsets and lies, a deep gash infected with fear and doubt saying— “you must choose security over radiance,” “nobility over pleasure,” “external validation over inner wisdom...” -the Amant Sutras

It’s fair to say that the rise of the patriarchy depended on controlling women’s sexual freedom. Specifically women’s freedom to choose; freedom to choose sex and love partners (how many, how often), freedom to choose reproduction, freedom to choose where to wield influence — as the species’ life givers, according to their innate embodied power. This influence, and all the varying ways to choose exercising this influence and other freedoms, gradually (or in some instances suddenly) became stripped from women, who were domesticated alongside barn animals. No really. Look at the 10th commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” — Exodus 20:17.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact timing of patriarchy becoming the dominant power structure, many scholars would say the process began roughly 6,000 years ago (and continues to this day).[1] Evidence of women’s subordination under patriarchy can be traced back in the Ancient Near East to 3100BCE, with control of women’s reproductive rights and being left out of "the process of representing or the construction of history."[2]

One of the main mechanisms in establishing the patriarchy involved stripping women of receiving pleasure. Women must be “Givers”, and those who actively receive, especially pleasure, are likely seen as whores, sluts, or simply just the women you don’t want to marry. Think about it: how many women are conditioned to self- identify as “Givers” (and be proud of it!), yet feel guilty about receiving pleasure or taking care of their own needs? But as receivers of pleasure, including carnal, reproductive pleasure, do women not give the greatest gift of Life, naturally, simply through the design of being a Woman? Is it true that we must be cut off from receiving pleasure in order to give as a mother, as a good woman of “integrity”? I would say this is one of the greatest tricks ever played on Woman, and All People of modern humanity. For anyone — man, child, or especially Woman — to believe she is getting a good deal when she is cut off from her own pleasure center, her natural impulse to self-nurture first (as a life-giving tree would), her own intuitive guidance system, and her own direct communication with the rhythms of the earth, has been thoroughly duped.

The system has been broken for far too long, and it’s time for a change.

Enter the sexually sovereign woman.

The sexually sovereign woman is one who has, and actively continues to, liberate herself, celebrating pleasure and cleansing all shame, fear, guilt, and control from her system. She dismantles any allegiances to external power structures (or inner beliefs) that would seek to control her pleasure, consciousness, and vulva.

The sexually sovereign woman dismantles false beliefs (such as placing security outside of herself,) that would have her use her sexuality to manipulate, control, or cause harm in any way. She offers her sexual liberation as a gift according to her desires and meets her own needs from a place of integrity, responsibility, and joy.

Witnessing the personal transformation a woman experiences and the richness of life that’s unlocked when she finally feels safe enough to embody the fullness of her sensual nature inspires beyond the erotic. She feels fundamentally more beautiful, empowered, inspired, creative, confident, and able to be in service. But why these multi-layered shifts? It’s because a woman’s sexuality is a doorway to the entire woman. Science even now shows us that a woman’s vagina and brain are part of the same neural network. So, not only is it impossible to remove a woman’s consciousness, sense of self, creative impulse, and connection to the world around her, from her vagina—it turns out that each woman’s pelvic neural wiring, affecting how and where she has orgasms, is completely unique.[3] It’s not just about having orgasms, it’s about transforming the fear that’s been keeping women timid and demure, uncovering new pathways of self love, including (and often beginning with) making love to oneself.

Being a deliberately embodied, sexually empowered, creative, compassionate woman is a lifelong practice. I’ve been on this path for more than 15 years, yet even today, in this moment, I am feeling the repercussions of what can happen when our inner experience of sexual sovereignty clashes up against external power structures.

Recently I was at a remarkable event in upstate New York that intends to be a bridge to global and sustainable systemic change. An event that brings forth a diverse group of healers, entrepreneurs, investors, politicians, artists, environmental experts, and more, in an attempt to have radical conversations that will truly transform what’s broken in the old paradigm and birth the new. And what’s one topic not addressed in the larger community? The one topic, that from my vantage point, may actually hold the most direct key to liberating human beings as the dreamers and creators we were born to be?

Women’s sexuality.

A subject that not only was avoided, but created discomfort in some attendees and whispers of judgement and fear simply by having sexually sovereign women present in the room. I give the organizers credit for even inviting sexually sovereign women to the event -- since for the better part of history, they have been cast out of circles of influence, unless of course they are present merely to delight, titillate, or somehow play into the power structure at hand. But still, being brought to the party but not invited to dance, shows how much further we still have to go.

So what’s the sexually sovereign woman to do? Retreat away from the world of influence preemptively before she’s blatantly kicked out? Is she to shut off her radiance and contort herself into fitting a system that was never created to benefit her in the first place? Should she cause raucous and riot in the streets, just to prove a point about the injustices created daily by a dominant culture that squelches beauty, denies pleasure, and scoffs at radiance?

Or perhaps embodied, self-sourced women have a unique opportunity and responsibility to build bridges of change and inspiration to shift the current dominant paradigm, and thus arises a delicate balance. How to be true, and fully claim who you are in the world while simultaneously being compassionate and sensitive to the environments you enter, so that you can inspire others to take a step forward out of fear and into love—rather than creating ripples of alienation for those who can’t relate.

You must be able to determine: where do you value change enough to do the heavy lifting in building bridges to understanding, past others’ judgments, back into the heart of connection vs. where are you simply going to show up as you are, however you want, regardless of the stir it may cause? And in the instance of bridge building, you need to connect with those around you empathetically, feeling their unspoken fears as you offer presence, without compromising the core of who you are. A core that is already free.

While calling forth a post patriarchal world — it’s important to recognize that many folks calling forth global change are still firmly ignoring the importance of healing love and sexuality on the planet — and that’s why, I believe, it is the sexually sovereign woman’s role to, as gracefully as possible, inspire revolution and transform the patriarchy.

“…But the Bridge was not broken… And She rebuilt. Not in a day, but over generations of women, daughters and sisters, lovers mothers (and the men who loved them), aunties and grandmothers, who were willing to burn in the passion of true Liberation.” -the Amant Sutras

[1] “Patriarchy.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Last updated (13 March 2016) Web. Date accessed (15 March 2016).

[2] Strozier, Robert M. Foucault, Subjectivity, and Identity: Historical Constructions of Subject and Self. Detroit: Wayne State, 2002. p.46

[3] Wolf, Naomi. Vagina: A New Biography. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. p.3, p.18

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