God the Father, Patriarchy, Religion, Spirituality, Women's Spirituality

The Second Sex

holy_trinityMaureen Murdock writes in her book The Heroine’s Journey: Women’s Quest for Wholeness, “If women see themselves through a male lens and continuously measure themselves by standards of male-defined culture, they will find themselves deficient or lacking in the qualities that men value. Women will never be men, and many women who are trying to be “as good as men” are injuring their feminine nature.”

Has this been true for you? I have found that in my life, quite without knowing it, I grew up deeming myself deficient. From the time I was small, I was very spiritual, I wanted to please God. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with cancer, the event that shook my world enough to shake me awake, that I realized I could not in any form, relate to God the Father. Suddenly, I could hear the denial of my gender in the sermons and liturgy, I could see its absence from the written text, and I felt its absence from the Trinity of supreme beings that I worshiped. There was a father, a son, and a ghost (who I assumed was male also). Where was the feminine?

She was obscured. Buried under thousands of years of patriarchal doctrine that denied her presence. Quite without knowing or understanding, I had grown up feeling as if there was something missing from my soul. I was what feminist Simone de Beauvoir called ‘The Second Sex“. I had striven my whole life to reach a goal that ultimately, was unreachable.

This realization is not uncommon. Women come to understand that they cannot be God-like, because the God they know is male. They are spiritual orphans, denied a mother. They forever define themselves by what they are not. They are not male. Their entire feminine experience is deemed as missing the mark.

I would love to hear from you. Is this true for you? In what ways did a lack of a feminine presence in the divine shape who you thought you were?

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