Thursday, August 22, 2013

Patriarchal worldview reeks with danger

“In feminist spirituality, power is an instrument for social good. The patriarchal mind sees power as a way to accumulate space and time and services and money for the self. The feminist mind understands power only as a way to mitigate the burdens of the other. To the feminist mind, power does not rule in splendid isolation; power stands in the midst of the proud poor to listen and to serve.

The models of power that arise out of the narrow perspective of patriarchal worldview reek with danger. In systems in which power is more a commodity than an instrument for good, getting power and keeping it become the overriding functions of every decision. The need to keep control leads to secrecy, to manipulation, to tokenism, to ruthless disregard for others, to the carving out of unreal worlds.

Patriarchalpower keeps information to itself so that others have no material out of which to fashion alternative decisions. Skewing of information, disinformation, manipulation of data, spin-doctoring become the bedrock of communication in a system that assumes itself to be the first and last word on every decision.” ~Joan Chittister, Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

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