Equity is what you share with the one you love. Equity which means fairness has to do with how you respond to your desires. A lack of equity for self-or-other undoes love and makes it impossible. Can’t have one without the other. Love can only happen between equals. Love erases boundaries. We both are giving and receiving, without beginning or end. Loving is respectful. Loving can’t happen if one is above and one below in terms of power. This is true even if the winner or the loser calls it love, and many do. They are covering up their misery as well as not knowing the true love state.
Often, people take an immiserated position as was done by their elders as well as the ones that went before. Each shapes the following generation. Families hand down a life policy and behavior which was way back then. They teach their children how to do it via speech: “don’t do that do this.” But more than by speaking they teach by doing. Children are great followers. They would put an adult mime to shame. Mimicry is an activity probably carried by our “genes” which means to follow the behavior or edicts of the protective elder in order to survive. You see it in the so-called animal kingdom from which we humans so vainly and incorrectly separate. We are animals too.
But as Joy Degruy (Leary) demonstrated in her Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, after several generations of being spoken of in a demeaning way, the parental habit becomes automatic and the children enact the description. The history of this unconscious shaping goes back to slavery. The black slave mother told her owner, colloquially known as “Massah,” that her child was stupid, lazy, sickly, weak so as to keep the child from being sold. Later non-slave black mothers downgrade their children without knowing why, as a habit. Their children comply and score poorly in academic tests but are allowed to sail ahead in sports for which they are adored and paid. Their low school scores support the frequently stated racist position that Negroes are inadequate.
Let’s look at another almost universally disrespected group, women. How long have they been consigned to a serving position? It was almost only yesterday in these United States that they couldn’t vote. In many areas of the world, they are sold. China had a huge female infant mortality rate since the family did not want to pay a bride price.
Women are hatred in politics; either described as soft and caring so she can’t lead or too aggressive, masculine, an embarrassment to other women. Women, so long consigned to child-bearing and to the kitchen, often fall into the I support you and take a back seat in the arena of making rules. They do not know why they are doing this or even that they do it and as such embody the kind of weakness which harms us all.
A woman told me of a fiercely paranoid man who got onto the Board of her apartment building. He stated, “I know you/they are talking about me and out to harm me” if you don’t agree with him. He didn’t like the way they arranged the new roof garden and fired the gardener without their even knowing about it although they were to work together. Three of the four women met with the man and then told the fourth that he was OK. They made up with him and surrendered their opinion. Now things could proceed under his anti-aesthetic and garden-ignorant control. The fourth woman could not understand why they did it.
Actually, neither did the women. They had retired to their long required woman-behind-the-man position who demanded authority and did not recognize it. They need to see and know and react against their self-abdication. They, you, all of us are allowed to change our mind after we recognize we have made a mistake. We are allowed to change our mind even if it upset the winner. Given his need that all grovel at his feet, there is no love between these women and this man despite how they women insist all is well.
Take the example of a black man who cannot sustain an aggressive position even as a leader of his firm. He leads from underneath and behind since the others recognize his ability and defer to it in order for the firm to succeed. He does the same with his wife. He supports her financially when she needs to get a job. His stance is all about acquiescence. She does not object to his supporting her and does not see how this fits into the larger pictures. She does object to his premature ejaculation when he overcomes his disinterest in sex.
He identifies sustaining his erection as an aggressive act. Way back in the history of black, aggression against the white especially the hallowed white women declared to be a rape, were reacted to by beating and burning the man to death on a public pyre, with cutting off his penis, balls (castration) ears, fingers, parts distributed to the crowd after his death as souvenirs. His body parts had monetary value and were sold.
This current professional man does not know the terror which fuels his enactment of inadequacy. His wife claims he does not love her and he insists he does. He moved out to her insistence but sticks to monogamy instead of exploring sexual contact with other women to see if it helps him overcome his tendency to surrender out of fear.
Does he really love her? One can call it a kind of love. But let us look at love as a state of trust and surrender, not only to the feelings one has towards the other but to one’s own feelings as a responsive animal. His animal is in chains. It cannot leap and roar. It cannot totally embrace.
His love is in chains. Love expressed is free. I’ll let you decide if he loves.
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