A few days ago I wrote a post on one aspect that seems to be noteworthy in our world at this time. I entitled it, ‘Women Rising…?’.
At the same time as noting what had taken place with Jacinda Ardern and then with Nicola Sturgeon something parallel has been taking place in the Tech world. The CEO of YouTube, a woman who had travelled with Google since the early days resigned. Her place to be taken by a man; her resignation has been one of many women who have resigned in the Tech industry and the majority of those who have replaced them have been men.
I then read an interview with the Scottish poet, Em Strang, who commented that
I utterly think that right now we’re living through a time of incredible misogyny.
She acknowledged that it has always been present, but at the current time of ‘collapse’ it has become yet more intense.
In these past days I have been writing on the nature of transition, both from a personal aspect, what is experienced and how we respond, and also at a corporate level. There is one aspect I have not written about and could only hazzard a few guesses at so will avoid it: it is that of global transitions.
Something global is shifting; the end of an era is here. It is parallel to the phase that takes place at a corporate level that I term ‘dusk or dawn’. Is it the end of a day and the dark night is coming, or is the end of the night and day is breaking? In reality when a major transition comes to the corporate setting it is both dusk and dawn, and I suspect that in the same way that is where things are at globally.
I wrote in the section on dusk and dawn the following yesterday:
Voices calling for a return to the old ways will continue. And there will be those who push for a re-inventing of what has been.
However, there is no going back. There has been too much movement for there to be a return to the former thing. For those who are courageous and willing to take a risk (or for those who cannot do anything else!) there is another stage to come. It will not, and must not, come quickly for there has to be an effective detoxification from the old ways.
In the collapse I suspect this is what is happening. It is my take (and my take is so important!!!) on a voice such as Jordan Peterson. Voices such as his are essentially calling for what they understand has been ‘lost’, that is threatened, and add to that ‘Christian faith’ and we have something that is very persuasive. (And in what I write I am not suggesting that what these people are saying that they do not have a contribution into the conversation… simply that (for me) the appeal is to the past and to a way of being in society that relates to what was.)
The vision of the NT seems to me to be one that seeks to pull the present up into the future, something that Martin Luther King did with his ‘dream speech’. He spoke of a new social order that would transform the present. There would be work involved but the power of the imagination would itself do something to pull the present up into the future. Time can be measured by the clock and the calendar, but the future cannot be measured in such a way. Time can pass but the past (in the sense of past realities) can simply be present in yet a greater way than before. Time moves forward, it is uni-directional; kairos (qualitative time) is bi-directional; we can regress.
Such is the time we live in.
A time of unprecedented misogyny, with social media being a highly accessible means to launch the missiles of slander (think of Sanna Marin being criticised for dancing and drinking at a Christmas party… and how many males have done so and not been criticised?). Perhaps also it is not simply slander but in measure blasphemy – in the root sense of speaking with an authority that claims to represent truth (God being the ultimate reality; hence Paul righteous when viewed from the past looking forward, but a blasphemer when viewing the past from the future).
Collapse is present. How it will increasingly manifest might be unknown, but in this phase of the ‘in-between’ we have a choice to go slow and not fight chaos… if the chaotic space is controlled then in the collapse will come the call to restore former values. And with it comes slander.
[A footnote to consider: the language of the new testament is not primarily of a new ‘world’ but of a new ‘creation’. This is why the imagination must be ignited by the future.]
4 thoughts on “Women Rising: an addendum”
I think personally, that for the most part there is far less misogyny than in the past. Women hold senior positions in all areas of work and government and most men are fine with it. However as you say there are certain more ‘toxic’ voices coming out against it and they hold a strong but vocal minority. I think we live in an age of unparalleled hatred and division between the ‘other’ on many issues. In fact such vitriol would not have been levelled at women even by misogynists in the later decades of the 20th century. Social media allows for this hate to be easily perpetrated and I believe misrepresents the majority of sane opinions. The whole issue is highly complex though. Jordan Peterson is not saying that women should be in the home but that there are differences between men and women and that they have to do more and work harder because of potential family commitments etc. Whilst I disagree with him on almost aspects of his political leanings and affiliations he’s not wrong about everything. He is not an Andrew Tate! The misogyny thing does not fit into a progressive box either as JK Rowling, a feminist speaking out against the transgender issue as possibly putting women at risk has caused a whole lot of hateful misogynistic abuse not by toxic men but by trans activists and some elements of the LGBTQ+ groups and almost all progressives fail to defend her! There are massive complexities for women these days and so many camps it’s ridiculous. I try to stay out of all of them and not to jump on any bandwagons (because that is so limiting) but it’s very hard and very lonely. I have one friend who thinks the way I do and he and I can talk about this stuff for hours. I think society, the church, men, other women and political groups need to stop telling women what choices they ‘should’ make and not consider motherhood without a career as being necessarily a capitulation to male ideals of being female. equally If women want to work and not have a family that is valuable too and everything in between. Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’ looks very distant right now but I pray we will return to it because therein lies a kingdom way. The more we divide the further we will fall and ultimately be destroyed. Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks Joanna… Gayle challenged me (and of course my defence is ‘I am only quoting from an article’) about the unprecedented levels of misogyny… And if we look back through history and e.g. also the witch trials we have to say ‘WOW… what levels of hatred toward and bias against the feminine’.
I think though in the current climate there is a resurgence, a refocus and a verbalisation that is currently kicking in. I found the interview with Em Strange provoke me to think about the current time being a time of ‘collapse’ – ecologically, economically, politically etc., and maybe with the added element of the time we are in the misogyny might not be at the highest in history from an ‘objective’ point of view, but from a contextual perspective. Maybe?
Nailed it Martin. This could be one of your most important posts.
We have no choice but to move forward. Every action to restore the past will fail. But we will count a cost in terms of the environment, peoples’ lives and that of other species. So we must move forward, shape the space creatively, rightly, and with much humility. Like moving into a new home, we don’t know how to arrange the furniture or what color the walls will be. But we will learn in time as we go along and settle in. We need to settle into the future and learn how to live well there.
Yes I think you are right everything seems to be drawn into sharp focus right now?
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