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Fundamentally there was no real change to the bottom-line that a womens’ essential value lay in being wife and nurturer.
Next in this thin and volatile thread of women’s march to development came the cultural revolution that exploded in the 60’s.
For independent, free-thinking postmodern women, this is a hard pill to swallow! However, endeavoring to unearth the reasons for this phenomenon has led us to actively examine not only the external conditions that have contributed to this state of affairs, but also the structures of our own internal psyche as women.
Consciously identifying and transcending outdated inner structures, and forging a felt connection to what my spiritual sister, Elizabeth Debold, beautifully articulated in her blog as Eros, (thereby becoming truly effective partners with each other and with men) is our bond, our passion, and mission!
Like many other women interested in the evolution of women’s consciousness we recognize the powerful defining influence of our primary role and biological function as mothers and caretakers throughout history.
However, unlike many women today, we do not share the view that elevating this primordial role and its incumbent capacity for nurturance and care, the liberating next step for women. But for any woman who has or is experiencing motherhood, the all consuming focus–physically, emotionally and mentally is almost incomparable to any other occupation, and leaves little room, or energy for other matters.
Hildegarde’s conviction and authority came from her visions and alleged direct instructions from God.
What is fascinating in Lerner’s work is that throughout history, despite the dominance of our maternal wiring, and the paucity of life choices available outside of marriage and domesticity for millennia, there has been a thin unbroken line of pioneering heroic women, through whom Eros, the creative impulse, has manifested in ways other than child bearing–women with brilliant, creative minds and courageous hearts, driven to make a mark at their time…So why is there so little cumulative effect in consciousness, in culture?Here was a very conscious effort by feminists to create a paradigmatic shift in women’s consciousness.For those of us who experienced the extraordinary surge of Eros (the Creative Impulse) at this time, there was an unthinkable sense of limitlessness.With these notable forbears to 20 century feminist consciousness-raising groups, why did women still not become more culturally visible and impactful beyond their time?Here the well-worn factor of patriarchal values is not the whole picture for although talented women literary giants emerged at this time, many, especially amongst the Romantic women who married, ended up either abandoning their writing or devoting their talents to supporting their husbands.