Of all those many taboos that lurk behind the brittle whiteness of the New Age smile, I think one of the most fascinating is the failure of female leadership.
It was fashionable in the eighties (and remains so in the most dull circles today), for folks dismayed at the fiasco of leadership on most every level in modern society to wail… “if only the women were in power…”. A generation of us were trained by angry lesbians at University to understand the Horrors inflicted on female potential by men, and the likes of angry Australian writer Germaine Greer poisoned us with their weird viciousness related to being born female. We were whipped into silly tempers by nasty feminists who, while appearing to want to champion good things for girls, never seemed to really like anything about being a girl themselves.
The feminists wore Doc Martins and scowls. They told us we were inferior and that we should take revenge on the men who persecuted us, while we all secretly knew from playground politics that it was a million times more dangerous, in fact, to piss off a chick than any of the boys. Dangerous too, to be prettier, wittier or in any way vulnerable in the view of those most lethal of organised high school mafias; the popular girls.
Meanwhile, the lesbians and feminists encouraged a confused generation of girls into business suits, with shoulder pads, and told us that the boys were getting a better deal, more cash dollar and yummy power by spending their whole lives chained to desks in glittery castles in the city, and that we should invade that territory forthwith and partake in the spoils of that glorious thing known as a career.
They said it was about female empowerment. They said femininity was a construct forced on us by evil men who liked perving and jerking off over less hairy bodies. They turned off Bewitched, and tuned into a frequency that continues to lead hundreds of thousands of girls and women away from the healthy voluptuous symbols of female grace, beauty, sweetness and grandeur toward epidemics of anorexia, bullemia, abortion, alcoholism, loneliness, cosmetic surgery and hollow mortgages as the goddess image is eclipsed in favour of that of the hardfaced corporate bitch as a role model for women.
The feminists were not people who understood femininity. They were not people who understood masculinity either. They were seething bullies who wanted power and decided to bust into the boys club where they thought it was kept. And they still are. They were women twisted up the by the notion that men, already bewitched by the corporate delusion, were actually having fun in that vicious slave market, the workplace.. they were brittle with jealousy and rage. They wanted power and influence. They resented the magical arts and the mysteries of the female form. They sent fleets of us out to earn our share of the living, and ended up spawning a generation of female wage slaves, unmothered infants and broken marriages all acted out in lonely homes and empty gardens.
They were impatient with what became the ‘petty arts’ of home making, house keeping, gardening, cooking, healing, braiding, darning socks, mothering etc. They did not want the ‘shackles’ of the home and hearth to limit their potential to be rich or famous or powerful. They betrayed the ancient feminine arts of fertility, nurturing and nourishing, they shrugged off the notion of home as something that could be bought from Ikea on a Sunday, and did not wear ribbons or floaty garments or garlands of jasmine. Women’s work was no longer that which nature prescribed. Women’s work was violently severed from tending the living bonds of land and family – we left strangers and institutions in charge of the cradle and the hearth while we commuted in pearl necklaces and suit jackets.
In short, the feminists had no idea how to be women and they encouraged the rest of us to give it up as a dead end. They took positions of leadership and influence, scratching with a wild fury at every limit, bitching about glass ceilings and bullying their way up the corporate ladder and out of the kitchen with a brutality that took out anybody in their way – men, women and children. They loved to allude to the notion that they were bringing a ‘feminine balance’ to patriarchal structures as they took their seats on the board, in government, as editors and captains of industry, but mostly ended up as twisted role models that lent the stench of greed, self-importance, manipulation, cruelty and powerlust to the already sketchy archetype of the Good Woman.
Here in Vilcabamba one ex-patriot American woman has built a cult and a business on the thesis that the entire state of affairs on Earth can be blamed on men, and that angels and avatars have been assisting her miraculous quest through a series of reincarnations to de-throne the wicked male elite all over the planet so that the poor down-trodden Sheilas can get all that delicious power and make it a better world. http://www.unplugfromthepatriarchy.com/
I am not excited about this idea. Not one little bit.
Firstly, I think the logic is worse than off. I have found, in my own lifetime, that women who get fixed ideas related to the generalised corruption of the male principle tend toward being not much fun to hang out with. Everybody knows by now that putting all-female teams in positions of power so very often returns the most sour of all cocktails. Take a look at women in positions of public leadership and notice their hair, their eyes, their lipstick, their collars. Surely it’s time to admit what we already know; that ambitious women are the wrong women to have influence if you value the notion of calm, collaborative movement toward achieving harmonious goals in a friendly and rewarding manner. If you value femininity.
At work, in play, in the kitchen, the boardroom and across the thorny spindles of small town politics, it is all too often exactly the women that want to be seen as leaders who turn against each other with an almost audible electrical fizzle as rivalry, jealousy, the will to dominate and a million other hysterical fears and petty skirmishes over territory, beauty, influence and control eclipse the much-ranted-on-about benevolence of the feminine.
Secondly, I do not subscribe to the idiotic view that men are responsible for the mess we are in. I do not attribute the problems of the human world to a so-called patriarchy. And if I consider the likes of Hillary Clinton, Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and the latest addition to the counterfeit list of female leaders and mentors currently on offer, one Dr Kerryn Phelps, recently announced as Australia’s best archetype for the symbol of Motherhood, I am liable to become ill with rage and despair.
This weekend, when I saw that Ms Phelps was announced as Ambassador for the Mother of the Year pantomime in Australia I was so stricken with anguish I had to throw myself in the river to turn off my adrenals. It was an over-reaction, to be sure. And a spectacle to observe as I chain smoked my way through a fury that lashed and snarled inside me like a Medusa. For six hours I fretted and raved at the grotesque coverage of this woman, allowing herself to be drawn as the very image of Good Mothering.
This is a parent estranged from her daughter, who has feasted publicly on the trauma and dysfunction she created after abandoning her marriage and young children. Who is notoriously litigious, yaps spitefully about gay rights wherever it can get her a column inch and invests thousands of hours of her time ranting and clattering on about her gay marriage.. which has spawned two irritating poodles and plenty of liquid cash. Phelps has turned a profit from the pathetic tale of her sad divorce and its effects on her children by publishing not one, but two books about the ongoing misery caused by her pursuit of happiness while carving a niche for herself as a flatulently wealthy, flagrantly aggressive, notoriously mean and selfish successful lesbian. Her own family engaged lawyers to protect themselves at the publication of the second book, which was published without their having read it, and the turmoil goes on.
The big question about Kerryn Phelps is WHO CARES?????????? Dr Phelps, who made part of her fortune medically enlarging penises for who-knows-what-kind-of sad and desperate men across Australia, and the rest from exploiting every possible media opportunity for a gay doctor, was my neighbour for a year in the little hamlet of Bundeena near Sydney, where she distinguished herself as a complete bitch. What she actually has to offer as a public figure is a mystery to me, since she makes a clear personal profit from all of her activities.
As an icon for mothers, she is an imposter. And witnessing her over-shadow the powerful seat of Motherhood as a national icon makes my stomach turn. But let me make this vividly clear, because I know how hysterical lesbians can get: IT IS NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEX WITH A WOMAN THAT YOU ARE AN UNFIT ROLE MODEL AND A RIDICULOUS CHOICE FOR THIS POSITION. I couldn’t care if Phelps had sex with a smurf, even if it was smurfette. What I care about is that women who do not reflect the virtues, graces, beauty or power of the actual feminine aspect do not deserve to serve as icons for femininity.
And when they do connive their way into these positions of influence they not only corrupt the beauty of the archetype, but are dangerously misleading to the public upon whom the confusing spectacle of their leadership is shoved.
Putting Kerryn Phelps into the seat of Motherhood in Australia is like using Cruela de vil as the patron for animal rescue.
In a nation possibly deeply autistic in its notion of maternity due to its gruesome birth and arguably abusive parenting by Mother England, whoever thought it was a good idea for a lesbian child-abandoning gay rights activist matron to be a symbol of female parenting to the people must have been hypnotised by Phelps’ notoriously cunning publicist.
Because surely there is a fee involved? And surely this is an excellent marketing platform for Phelps’ real ambitions, which do not include mothering anything or anybody other than her wildly unstable wife, and her annoying dogs.