i think there is something to me not feeling the right to be in my body and the fact that after 5th grade, i started going to a christian school. i think there is something about me not feeling safe in my body and the statistical figures of the amount of women raped or the sheer fact that people still say when a woman is raped, “what was she wearing” – as if what a woman wears warrants someone raping her. there is something to me not feeling safe in my unique expression as a woman-doing-what-she-pleases, the witch hunts are buried in our cultural story, in our dna, after all.
i’m not sure if i’ve ever been to this planet before. sometimes i feel that i am a star sent here for a time to shine bright (and as i type that my body lights up in truth). but i do know that i stepped into some whacky stuff concerning the way females are treated currently on this planet. that (some) men feel the right to have possession over their bodies- the right to “have a say” in any regard in their lives. as if anyone can speak for another person. last time i checked we all have vocal chords (yeah and some people’s don’t work normally, but that’s not the point). the point is that i didn’t feel a right to my body because i was taught that it wasn’t safe to be expressive, to be in my skin. the old slut-shaming- yeah i caught wind of that one too. but it was worse, or in the least, pervasive, at my christian school because we were told that even if we showed some skin that we were causing our christian brothers to sin- no shorts, no tank tops, no low cuts, no backs-showing-when-we-leaned-forward in class. that we were causing their naturally-roving eyes to stumble – which, again, leads it back to the sexuality of men (and their choices of what to do or not do with their eyes, hands, words, thoughts) being our problem. the boys would have chapels about pornography at least once every year- where a speaker would come in and talk about how to beat this old bastion of sexual urge and about how pornography hurts everybody, while the girls would have chapels about eating disorders (because we all know what the high standards of the media, social fashion, gossip, and the general jealousy and horrible competition between high school –but does it ever really end in high school?– girls leads to – BODY INSECURITY, shame and a horrible and pervasive non-acceptance of everybody’s body no matter what the fuck it looks like).
this is wrong & i am calling out my christian upbringing for this. i have a lot to say about christianity and whoever needs to can use whatever rhetoric to speak up against me. i don’t care. did you know at one point i was even going to be a christian missionary- i was so brainwashed in the message? i know the bible so don’t try to use it against me. the culture of christianity and how it uses the bible today is much different than the message of the christ who says love god, love one another– i think that’s a good enough place to start working, and never stop. and in my way, this is me loving my neighbor and exposing the dis-eases of a huge part of our cultural consciousness of which i grew up a part.
no one except my best friend knew i masturbated all throughout high school. i felt so ashamed and like it was written on my forehead that i felt like everyone would know i masturbated and that someone would blurt it out when i was in public spaces. my boyfriends and i tried really hard to be pure and WE BEAT OURSELVES UP OVER IT (i’m talking crying & repentance & continual verbal and written re-pledges to never do it again!) if we made out too much or too long or touched parts that we weren’t supposed to touch. this greatly skewed my sexuality. this greatly skewed any semblance of the phrase: i have a right to what i do with my own body. safe sex? no we weren’t taught that- only abstinence, which did not help me at all once i started actually having sex with people later in my life. i had to self-educate and empower on ALL OF MY SEX EDUCATION. i am sharing this so that this little kitty can come out of the bag. i am stilll healing from my christian upbringing, which is not all about christ’s love, people, it is (naturally, as we are all humans in bodies after all) about CULTURE, SOCIAL DYNAMICS, CONTROL. i have no problem with christ’s message. in fact, i get a lot of connection from it. after all, i believe all of our little i’s are here to make union with the divine spark of life. but to create a culture of control which takes over people’s chakra system and effectively shames, guilts, brainwashes them into their belief system of how to act & be a “good” human on this earth- which I’ll add again IS NOT BASED ON THE ACTUAL CHRIST’S WORDS BUT ON A SOCIAL SET OF NORMS– is wrong and hurtful.
some people don’t have this experience of christianity. ini is one — he grew up hearing God is Love. they never talked about hell in his church. there was no evangelizing. they preached on a principle of no war. i have nothing against this. if people want to gather together under a title-head name of a christian denomination or under the name of a certain person and get a building and share their good non-violent messages with other people I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THIS. but when people start to say who gets to go to heaven & gay-bash & make women and people (cuz let’s be honest here, it’s dubious weather christian patriarchy even serves the men here in the final hour) wrong in who they are I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS. and i can speak acutely about it because i used to be a part of it. i used to evangelize as a part of it!!!
there are people with good hearts within the christian church, but i need to call out this christian culture for which it stands. it’s time to step up from out of this skewed second and first chakra trapping i grew up in and speak about my experiences. i understand that many people are a part of this group because the value system creates a modicum of safety and i understand that in a world of free-for-all and unstructured chaos outside of the structure which we have the control to create for ourselves or join (as in a church, ecovillage or other organization), it can be scary to exist, to raise a family and it can feel scary and lonely to be alone, on your own, etc. but this form of the christian church i was raised in and went to middle school and high school in is not safe and it perpetuates and represents a very pervasive and sneaky form of evil in our world.
i write this 1. because i need to say it and 2. because i know there are other people still healing from christian culture upbringing and it may help to connect the dots & create a sense of solidarity and space for them/us and 3. because i’ve been storing & analyzing and healing from within all this data from my life & i’m finally coming out as a modern socio-cultural critic/artist. can you relate? what does this bring up for you?