We celebrate International Women's Day in times of a strong feminist movement around the world. Women might have different reasons to fight for their rights, but their united effort will pay out to reach equality on the long run. There is no short cut to human‘s rights in the human family, as we all have to understand and practice them together. We have to navigate through conflict and find solutions for uneasy situations.
We might argue historically, religiously, culturally, biologically, geographically to justify or to understand the oppression of women on the globe, but there has never been a reason to oppress; there have just been interests to do so. Any misogynies argument protects a certain societal order that we do not agree on anymore and supports few privileged ones relying on the suffering of others.
In Norse mythology there are gods and goddesses, warriors and Valkyries, female and male elves, giants and giantesses and many more. They are evil or good creatures and often the impact of their actions was not intended: the installed order changes because encounters between the different species challenge the rules of their world and the destiny of the heroes involved. In old mythology we find not solely duality, but rather power grids that change transversally, beings in all shapes and forms, beings changing their gender, their appearance, their message and intention and a world fighting against, but accepting destruction as a necessary determinant for renewal.
Why does a man hit his wife, but not his boss? Let us think about the impact of laws and economy on our society rather than only focussing on testosterone and a so-called biological status quo. Let us also think between the lines, about our foundation and the quality of our relationships. Does real beauty make us still happy? Why do we prefer measured style and beauty conform to a luxury brand? Isn’t it curious that caring for someone became nearly a swearword and joyful flourishing is perceived as embarrassing chaos; that a female act of kindness is understood as a „must do“ here and as a sexual invitation there? We live in a world where one calls love obscene and sells seduction as love. Why?
In our contemporary world detached from spirit and truth, we are empty creatures violating Mother Nature and humankind for a glorious moment of superiority; for a quick fix to heal our own human condition because it always includes suffering. Any knowledge in the world, as valuable as it is, couldn‘t help us to acquire wisdom and long-lasting inner and outer peace; in fact, it seems that experiences, learning, humility and compassion teach our own hearts to grow; that the detachment of ego guides us better than the denial of our soul. Doesn’t life teach us that we cannot run away from our human condition and our broken connection with nature? Suffering and chaos are part of our human existence and the climate change will be devastating. So considering the inner and outer pressure for change, we need strategies to live peacefully together and to face injustice and suffering provoked by other humans.
Because in this trembling world we stand: in a world that utilises spirituality and religion to legitimate inhuman political frameworks, manipulates a culture and society with profit-oriented goals, creates the illusion of individuality and superiority in order to kill animals, people of another culture or gender, separates the thinking from the feeling, uses fear and hatred to sabotage communication between people and undermine human contact: in this trembling world we stand, knowing deep down that we gravitate towards destruction and that there is no way out. That we are being eaten by our own demons we nourished so that they would not remind us of our own mortality and tininess.
Norse mythology‘s Ragnarok is an apocalypse destroying gods, humans, animals, planets and all beings in between. Ragnarok is not stoppable, but despite of the destruction of the entire Norse world by the evil, there is a light of hope. The sun „will have had a daughter no less beautiful than she, and this daughter will follow the path of her mother.“
is born to Alfrodul [Sun]
before Fenrir destroys her.
When the gods die
this maid shall ride
her mother‘s paths.“
(The Lay of Vafthrudnir. 47 in Sturlusson, Snorri “The Prose Edda”, Penguin Classics: London, p.78)
May any new-born girl be the sun we need to hope. May any new-born girl in this world be blessed and protected. May any woman be love and loved.