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Ending Male Domination in Melbourne, Australia

We changed our weekly leaders’ class this year, after Diane Balser’s1 Australian visit. We decided to try having the men counsel with the men, and the women counsel with the women. Also, for a few months, only the women had the chance to discharge in front of the class.

Louisa2 refused to be distracted by the men in the room. She counseled the women with inspiring love and precision. She refused to allow women to be blamed for the effects of male domination. She reminded us all to discharge about our own parents growing up in a world of male domination.

The men in our class have been a limiting factor, because of sexism. It is to everyone’s benefit that we are getting to where there is no more comforting of us men and to where we take up much less space. What a redeemed world: men occupying no more space than other humans, and women backing3 each other to have bigger lives!

If it is left to women to point out where men’s sexism is stinking up the place or to make us men feel the discomfort and confusion of admitting to our privilege, it will be easy for us to keep blaming women and remain stupid. We need to challenge each other in the safety of our men’s groups. We need to discharge about where we can’t think, where we feel criticised, and where we feel that men are “beyond criticism.”

We remain well thought about, well loved, and in admiring orbit around the mighty women who are reclaiming their lives and cleaning up the effects of male domination.

Louisa said that we women are not confused. This truth is a big contradiction to male domination. Mistakenly believing that I am confused when I have lots of feelings is a result of male domination. When I was small, I knew what I wanted. I was interrupted and distracted by sexism and male domination. Taking the direction “I am not confused” gives me much more access to my intelligence.

It was a challenge to realise how much my father’s distress has run my family yet my mother has been the one who is blamed.

I’ve been noticing the “anyways” that I and other women throw in when we attempt to discharge something that has been trivialized.

My attention for older women has grown. I now embrace complaining, grumpy women as my allies. They haven’t given up.

I’ve decided never to criticize. Criticism was a way male domination got internalized for me. Dad judged everything, including himself. I chose to identify with Dad’s oppressor patterns, preferring them over the victim ones. (I got both.) I’ve been discharging from the oppressor position the very patterns I most vehemently hated as a teen, with one foot in remembering that this stuff just got stuck to me. None of us choose our patterns, yet we get to clean them up. That is great.

I moved from thinking that male domination has nothing to do with me to realising and accepting that male domination has everything to do with me—yes, poor and marginalized me! It was modeled for me by my father and grandfather.

My grandfather was the absolute ruler of the household and would sometimes act with great cruelty to reinforce his authority over my grandmother. And it was passed on down through the generations—all innocently come by,4 as Louisa kept reminding both sexes.

It’s difficult for me to own my behaviours related to revenge, uncooperativeness, passive aggression, and lack of generosity. It is all good grist for the discharge mill. Thanks for a life-changing series of classes.

I was taught to ignore sexism and just try and go around it. As a result, I have been bitter about and toward men, as well as bitter and harsh toward myself and other women. In our class, I have reopened my eyes to many aspects of my life. Outside of class, I’ve shared my thoughts about sexism more openly and lightly with colleagues, friends, and family and in a way that is more relevant to their lives. I’ve found that most people are pleased to notice and think about the issues. They are not as defensive as I thought they might be. This is all very hopeful.

Vicky Grosser

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, RC Community

Reprinted from the newsletter of the

(Present Time 171, April 2013)


Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00