Love and Oppression

“Truth is on the side of the oppresed.”–Malcom X

I am an oppressor. I did not choose this position; it was given to me at birth. Ignorant of my privilege, I have abused this undeserved power throughout my life. Not until one of the oppressed loved and forgave me was I able to see the massive power structure that I inherited with my Y chromosome.

On this Valentine’s Day while a billion people are dancing to end violence against women, I want to call out to all other male oppressors to lay down their weapons and commence dismantling this Patriarchy the empowers us. The dismantling will not be easy because the system is entrenched in everything we know.

  • It is in the language we speak. How we use “love” to satisfy lust. I even thought that some readers might criticize me as being a “pussy” for publishing this post. I guess that proves the point.
  • It is in the unions we sanctify. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22-23)
  • It is in our professions. Women still earn $8000 less than males a year after college graduation.
  • It is in our politics. In 236 years as a nation, the United States has had 44 presidents including a disabled man, a black man, and a few adulterers, but no hint of a woman.
  • It is in our music. From “It’s Britney Bitch” to “Baby Got Back.”
  • It is in our children. From “The Princess Obsession” to “Boys don’t cry.”

Face it men, we’ve been exploiting and abusing this stacked deck for far too long. So on this day of love in 2013, I’m going to start to bring things back into balance. Isn’t that what love is all about? Equality, Selflessness, and unconditional giving.

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”–Aung San Suu Kyi

Here are my baby steps to dismantle Patriarchy:

  • Become aware of any thoughts, words, jokes, or actions that demean women. No more “bitches and hos,” blonde jokes, in-and-out ideas, MILF comments, or middle finger gestures.
  • Listen, really listen, to what stresses my wife out. Don’t ignore her when she says that she feels taken for granted even if she can’t specifically point to something concrete I did or said. Women have been fighting against this Patriarchy their entire lives. And when they get married, they realize that they have let the enemy inside their house and in their hearts. I vow to be my wife’s ally rather than the enemy within. I want to publicly apologize to my wife for all the times I called her crazy or said that she was over-reacting.
  • Begin educating my sons in a counter-patriarchal manner. I remember when I got upset at my wife for buying my sons dolls for Christmas. (Pretty ironic considering I’m a Manny/male caretaker of the children.) I’m going to encourage my sons to value and honor femininity in all its forms.
  • Be thankful for my wife and every other woman who has the patience to continue trying to teach me how to empathize with the oppressed.
  • Be the “bigger man” and surrender in any arguments or conflicts involving women. Men have been the victors and historians for far too long. Time to shut up and see the world from a different perspective.
  • Continue reading, researching, and listening to women’s voices in all forms. I am so grateful for that a majority of my Blogging Best Friends are women. I cherish your posts and comments that help me understand your struggle, your talents, your vision, and your godliness/goddessness.
  • Love my wife the way that she deserves to be loved–like the Goddess that she is.

I wish you love, peace, and equality on this February 14th, 2013.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

What other ways can I empathize with women? Please share.

P.S.

Happy Valentine’s Day, HoneyBee. I love you.

 

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82 comments on “Love and Oppression

  1. Oh I loved it, Kozo!

    I was just writing to CardsCastlesInTheSky that i’v been ignoring Valentine today, like i do every year ;p
    cause i simply don’t want any sweet words and postcards flying my way just on this “special day” and then what, we’ll forget loving each other up until next Valentine?.. :)

    So i had business meetings today instead of romantic ones, and finished my day with a tea chat at my divorcing girlfriend’s.. ;)

    But then i came back home, opened WP for updates and saw these two posts, one lovely love-spreading note by CardsCastles and the second one – from you.

    Now i know i close this Valentine with a smile and I do feel a great deal of love was sent today my way!..

    I luv you, guys! And my deep respect to you, Kozo, for writing about this subject!
    You are by far the one among few rare men I know who had enough courage to step up and say “Hey, dudes, we are actually being more men when we treat women the opposite of the notion of what ‘a real man’ should be!

    Many {{{Hugs}}} to you there!

      • Kozo says:

        I commented on your blog, but let me repeat. Let love fill your day. You can tell that I read your post before I composed mine, DDiW. Thank you for being a BBF, confidante, and guide. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • I rest easy knowing there are people like you in this world of ours, Kozo.
        Always stay the beautiful soul that you are. ;)
        I’m honored and privileged to have you as not just a BBF, but a very real friend.

    • Kozo says:

      I completely agree with you about the superficial nature of this “holiday,” Sofia. I didn’t just want to buy my wife a heart-shaped box of chocolate. I wanted to give her something that would keep giving for the rest of our lives.
      I thank you so much for being a guide, teacher, and BBF, Sofia. You can tell by the pingback that many of my ideas come from your inspirational posts. I am learning everyday how to be a better husband, father, lover, and person. Thanks to you and my other BBFs, I have one-on-one coaching. I love you guys. {{{Extended Hugs}}} to you on this special day.

      • We are each other’s inspiration, really. I learn so many things from you too and our BBFs out there!
        We should introduce a BBFs holiday once a year ;))

      • Kozo says:

        You are reading my mind again, Sofia. I was just thinking about a time and place where I can give you guys a real {{{Hug}}}. Do you want to be on the planning committee?
        Love, Kozo

      • Haha we should think about it :) Something like “International Blogger’s Day” :D

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        LOL, DJ Kozo, spin those Love Songs, International blogger’s day, woohoo! Hope u’r feeling better today Kozo, Life’s just practice right? Sofia will patch U right up with magik QT vibes!
        *Whispers* It’s called ❤. Hang in there buddy, we’ll never stop luvin’ ya big lug. :D

      • Kozo says:

        Maddy,
        You are an angel. How did you know that I was having a tough day? I feel so much better knowing you guys are out there sending me healing energy. I am so blessed.
        P.S.
        We are going to have a runway at the International Blogger’s Day so we can all strut our stuff with our blog homepages in the background. :)

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        :D Kozo, that’s why U’r the Man! ❤ lol, doing our little turn on the catwalk… ♫ I’m 2 sexy 4 my webpage, 2 sexy 4 my blog, 2 sexy by farrr ♫ – Right Said Maddy!

      • Kozo says:

        That is so funny, Maddy. I was thinking of that same song. Can’t wait to strut. :)

  2. Lady Lovely says:

    This is a fantastic post! Love it! It’s powerful and moving.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Lady Lovely. I hope to continue this transformation. I really believe that the world needs to recognize this inequality if we ever want to have lasting peace. I appreciate your support, comment, love, and retweet. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  3. Zen Doe says:

    This is courage. This is strength. Bravo! And thank you.

    • Kozo says:

      Thank you, Zen Doe. I am so glad we bumped into each other in the blogosphere. I look forward to learning from you about writing, life, and love. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. Kozo, I bow to you. Powerful amazing post. Cheers and {{{hugs}}}

  5. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    On this day of love, rise up and dance with the billion women who dance today to resist oppression. We are sisters. We are one.

  6. Women have a huge job. We need to teach men how to be equal partners in love. We need courage and faith. I am dancing today will my sisters. God bless eveyone of you. Hugs, Barbara

    • Kozo says:

      I am dancing as well, Barbara. The One Billion Rising inspired me to do something to stop this oppression. I agree that women have a huge job. I thank you for your work and patience. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.”–Malcom X
    Beautiful Post everyday gurus. Thank you.

  8. Tracy says:

    Great post Kozo, you empathise when you recognise the ongoing inequality and call for it to stop. You empathise when you read our posts and comment from the heart with love and understanding. Being willing to write about this shows you’re wiling things to change for the better and I’m convinced it will be better for us all – men, women and children. Sending you hugs and thanks for being a rare and dignified crusader.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Tracy. I know that empathy is one of the area I have to work on, so any advice is always welcome. I am trying to make a change. We will see what happens. Thank you for being a supporter, guide, and BBF. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  9. As far as empathizing with women, just listen. TRULY listen and you’ll feel. ;)
    Everything else… you’re already doing.
    If you slip up, you have enough women to slap you back in line. :P

    • Kozo says:

      I am hoping that you guys will slap me back in line when I slip up. haha. I am also going to try to truly listen. Thank you for the advice and slaps, DDiW. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. Sarah says:

    You do great honour for your gender, Kozo. Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend! Hugs to you! :)

    • Kozo says:

      My gender has already had too much honor, Sarah It is time to honor your gender. :) Thank you for your support and guidance,Sarah. Wish I would have learned all this back in Fremont. haha.
      {{{{Hugs}}}} Kozo

  11. This is excellent Kozo, and I echo Sarah’s statement that you do honour for your gender. Thank you for all you are doing to help dismantle the Patriarchy. Indeed world peace beginning within the household is the groundwork of peace! And as we find balance within our own selves and our relationships, the world will regain its balance as well. Here’s to empowered and healthy women and men! Hooray! Cheers!! Go Kozo Go! Big happy {hugs} of love to you my friend, love Gina

    • Kozo says:

      Gina,
      How can I not be open and honest when I have amazing support and CHEERS from BBFs like you? Thank you so much for “getting me.” Your statement “Indeed world peace beginning within the household is the groundwork of peace! And as we find balance within our own selves and our relationships, the world will regain its balance as well” sums up my goals, vision, and aspirations perfectly.
      You are my shelter in the storm, my oasis of peace in the desert of confusion, my BBF. Love you, Kozo

  12. leazengage says:

    Reblogged this on AUTHENTIC TALK and commented:
    An example of empathy and compassion as a man expresses his love for his wife. Very powerful.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Julie. I love that I can communicate with West Oz. It gives me hope that we can change love all around the world. Thank you for commenting, so I could discover your wonderful family. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  13. Sandy says:

    Wow, so very beautiful Kozo. Thank you for being you!
    Much Love

    • Kozo says:

      Just trying to do the best I can, Sandy. Thank you for noticing. I get so much support from my loving Blog sisters that I figured it is time to give back. {{{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  14. Alison says:

    Thank you kozo so much for this. You are a Prince among men! For your awareness alone. And then for your willingness to do something about it.
    Hugs
    Alison

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Alison. I think I’m taking your strategy. My blog may seem like a spiritual/self-help blog, but it is actually an all-out attack on patriarchy. sssshhh. Don’t tell anybody. Like Gina said above, we can’t have world peace if we don’t have peace at home. Although your home is the world, so you can work on both at the same time. haha {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  15. diannegray says:

    Beautifully stated, Kozo! You are courageous, compassionate and caring (hey – I think I just created three ‘C’s that everyone should live by!) :D

    You’ve certainly made my day (and it’s been a stinker to this point!) My computer keeps throwing up the blue screen of death so if I vanish from the blogosphere for a while you’ll know why.

    I wish for a world where men’s eyes are open to your words and the pendulum swings neither one way nor the other. This world needs your balance! {{{hugs}}} to you my dear friend :D

    • Kozo says:

      Hahah. The three C’s of life. I’m going to add a fourth that you inspire in me, Dianne–Creativity. Courageous, compassionate, creative, and caring. That about covers it. Do you want to co-author your first self-help book? haha
      Sorry, you are having a stinker or as we used to say in surfing “a shocker.” Hope the RUC is moving along.
      I wish for the same world, Dianne. The trouble is how to reach those men. Notice that all the replies to this post are from women.
      Thanks for your love and support as usual. Please don’t disappear from the blogosphere. I will go through heroin-like withdrawals. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  16. grandmalin says:

    Excellent quote about power and fear. We all should be taking whatever baby steps we can to stop the power struggles. I think you’ve just taken a giant one though. Best Valentine post I’ve read all day. Or maybe in my entire life. {{{Hugs}}} :-D

    • Kozo says:

      Wow, Grandmalin, that is a huge compliment coming from you who reads everything and knows what true love is.
      Just so you know, I’m going to be using a lot of your material to dismantle this power struggle. Your blog, humor, and insight inspire my quest. {{{Big Hugs}}} Kozo

  17. smallpebbles says:

    And Namaste….bowing to that light within and the courage to voice and face those thoughts that keep us believing in separation. shanti…

  18. Kozo says:

    Thank you so much for commenting, Kai/Chris. I just discovered your blog. Your images and words about South India bring back memories of when I visited Amma at her ashram. Thank you for sending love and light from the beauty that is South India. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  19. T says:

    Thanks for the pingback! The last guy who shared my blog post was an open misogynist, so this is really refreshing! :P Love this post too. I might not agree with everything on your list (surrendering all arguments involving women seems unnecessary, for example), but it provides a great counterbalance to all the men angrily defending their privileges in the patriarchy.
    Gives me hope for the future!

    • Kozo says:

      T.
      I had to re-read your post after seeing that comment and reblog. I thought I had misunderstood. So happy that he was the one who did not “listen” to your words. Sarcasm can be hard for some.
      I love your term “counterbalance” which explains my step to surrender all arguments. A huge shift has to happen. Since I am one man facing a deeply entrenched Patriarchy I have to be extreme in my measures. I also believe in the saying, “Better to be happy, than right.”
      Thank you for your inspirational post and insightful comment. I, too, have hope for the future.

  20. KM Huber says:

    This is such a thoughtful and courageous post, Kozo, a true Valentine for true love. I so admire this post as equality has always been about both sexes, at least for this aging, hippie-feminist. Your words give us the path to equality and love for all, without qualification. Thank you for being brave; it gives the rest of courage.

    Karen

    • Kozo says:

      Thank you, Karen. Like I said before, it is easy to be courageous and vulnerable when you have loving blogging friends like you. I am starting to realize that patriarchy plays a large role in the lack of peace. I am grateful to have wonderful hippie-feminist friends like you to help guide me. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  21. The Hook says:

    This was powerful and moving.
    This is exactly the sort of post that should be Freshly Pressed on a regualr basis.
    Thank you.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Hook. I am so thrilled that some men read and supported this post.I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  22. Eileen says:

    Perhaps becoming more aware of whether you relate to older or unattractive women like they are people of value would be worth some effort. I’m 75 and after spending time with some gay men, I realized that they treat women, even old women, very differently than heteosexual men do. They actually see us and relate to us as interesting people, without patronizing us.

    • Kozo says:

      That is such a powerful point, Eileen. We are so mesmerized by standards of beauty (which tend to be racist, ageist, and unhealthy) that we tend to ignore those who don’t meet those standards. I have definitely given more attention to “pretty women.” I can’t say that I have too many older women friends outside of blogging. Obviously, this is not a coincidence.

      Thank you so much for pointing out this blind spot. I will try to be more aware of how I am marginalizing not just women, but also women who look a certain way. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have wise women like you on my path. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • kartikasays says:

      Great points Eileen! As a women over 60, I agree we need to see each other as people and fellow humans of equal worth and importance regardless of age and external factors! :)

  23. 1EarthUnited says:

    Another awesome post Kozo, being a humanist – I’m all for equality, which extends to everyone, not just for women. On this (belated) Valentines Day of Love, I beseech women to empower ourselves. We need to feel this inner strength not to show that we’re “superior” or “deserve” more, but to reinforce our partnership with men. To be truly equal, we much step up and show/ share our own unique and powerful gifts to the world. Only then can we be respected, trusted enough to play our part without prejudice or oppression. This patriarchal shift will occur naturally, but not by force or guilt. We must unite through love, compassion, respect, this is the Tao. ❤

    As the lyrics go for Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Power of Equality”:
    The power of equality
    Is not yet what it ought to be
    It fills me up like a hollow tree
    This power of equality

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/redhotchilipeppers/thepowerofequality.html

    Have a wonderful and blessed evening everyone. :D

    • Kozo says:

      Maddy, You overflow with love and understanding. I have no doubt that the patriarchal shift will occur with you leading the way. I agree that guilt and force are not the way. We need to have passive resistance to this unjust power.
      Love the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s lyrics. (Your musical tastes are so diverse which makes sense, Miss 1EarthUnited.)
      Thank you for being there for me. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Lead the way chief, we’re all in it together. RHCP’s one of those bands that just gets it, livin’, lovin’ & everything in between. Well, that and Flea’s funky ass bass lines. :D

  24. vision5d2012 says:

    Today, My Brother, you have planted a seed of peace. Not only within your family, but within the human race. Now, comes the task of diligently watering it, feeding it, smiling your heart’s love upon it, resisting the temptation to “pull it up to see if it’s growing yet.” Your boys are more in tune with their Divine Feminine perhaps than you are. So just don’t un-teach them what they already understand. Let them show you about how to love and honor their mother. And hold them to a new standard of respect if they don’t. But know that today you planted a seed of peace. Help another brother to do the same. We are all tired of the war between the sexes. Let us learn to sow and tend the seeds of peace together. Men and women, working side by side — equally, in love.

    • Kozo says:

      I love this metaphor, Alia. I will tend these seeds as best as I can. Please feel free to let me know how to make them grow. I am venturing into new lands. I feel blessed that I have two beautiful sons and lots of gracious friends like you to help me tend the land. Let peace grow. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • vision5d2012 says:

        Your intention to be aware of the behavior you wish to change is key. Ask your wife or a close friend to “call you on it” when they see you reverting back to that which you intend to change. Create a code word, so there is neutrality in these communications. Ask your guides and angels to help you release the underlying reasons why you developed the behavior in the first place. You’ve probably outgrown the reasons but the old habits may continue if the “program” is still running. I’ve hosted a virus and fungus combination in my physical body for over 30 years. I have made great progress in “cleaning it up.” But recently, I asked my Med Team to work with me at night to clear the underlying emotions and programs that are still holding the last remnants of it in place. When I wake int he morning, I can feel the difference. The last bits are finally going. That’s all for now. You’re on your way and will do great. Your wife and your boys will keep you straight. what a blessing! Love, Alia

  25. Dieu says:

    I once went on a date with a guy who thought that women have it easier in life. I found it really delusional and self-pitying of him to say that. Kudos to you Kozo for reminding people that this mentality is sadly too common.

    • Kozo says:

      What is more disturbing is that he would mention this to you on a first date. He probably thought he was paying you a compliment. I agree that this mentality is too common, but like Alia said above, I am going to patiently plant my seeds and watch them grow. Hopefully, more men will catch on. I know that my boys will think first before making such sexist statements. Too bad they are too young for you, Dieu–I would love for them to date someone as thoughtful and creative as you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  26. Kudos to you, My Brother! Alia and I watched quite a few of the video clips from all over the world of 1 Billion Rising and I was just moved to tears to see this finally happening! If you haven’t read it yet, try to get a hold of Lucia Rene’s book “Unplugging the Patriarchy” – reads like a sci-fi thriller, is based on true happenings and is very enlightening as to the real energetic character of the patriarchy (of which the likes of you and me were of course just the unknowing pawns). Yes, the buck stops here with you and me and our Brothers!
    with Love, Tomas

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks for the great book suggestion, Tomas. And thank you for being another man who supports this movement. Funny, I was just thinking about emailing a friend to get a reading list for patriarchy. Guess the Universe heard me.
      I like the phrase “unknowing pawns.” I feel like I have absorbed too many ideologies uncritically. Time to take control and lift myself and my sisters. I sure could use your help, Tomas. Thank you for being an understanding brother for peace. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  27. kartikasays says:

    Thank you Kozo, for the beautiful post from the heart. In Fairfield, we did have people come together to join in the dance – I think it is powerful for us to put our attention on raising consciousness about the abuse of women worldwide – it also helps get people engaged and talking, and then figuring out how to make a difference. >3 I

    • Kozo says:

      Glad Fairfield joined the movement, Kartika. I’m afraid we need to do a lot more work to stop violence against women and to deconstruct patriarchy. I just heard a story on the BBC about the acceptance of domestic violence in China. It was horrifying. One step at a time.
      Thanks for your comment and concern. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  28. [...] Love and Oppression (everydaygurus.com) [...]

  29. Sunshine says:

    you ain’t heavy…you be my brother! :)
    it all starts with a small gesture…like this message you write about and you send it out to grow and reach its potential. keep going my friend…you are on a roll. i love your work and your beautiful heart. ♥
    peace + love.

    • Kozo says:

      I’m so grateful to be your brother, Sunshine. I hope to roll out some real strategies on how to end patriarchy in the future. Thank you for all the love and support, Sunshine. “The road is long..but I’m strong enough” because of friends like you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  30. kirkykoo79 says:

    Just found this great post while exploring your blog for the first time. I definitely agree with the sentiment, though I’ve often thought that patriarchy oppresses men too, by forcing them into roles and attitudes that they might not want but feel obliged to adopt. What do you think? Perhaps it’s time to liberate us all…

    • Kozo says:

      I completely agree. We are unconscious pawns at the hands of Patriarchy. Dismantling patriarchy will set us all free.
      Anyone forced into a box cannot become who they were meant to be.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this post. I hope you join hands with me in questioning the authority that is patriarchy. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  31. karenwoodall says:

    when you grow up you will realise that men and women do not live in a world that is haunted by men in masks called Patriarchy..its a construct, an idea, someone else’s ideology.

    If you don’t want to be part of that – well fine – but stop pretending that this so called Patriarchy is something objective with a capital P because it isn’t and neither can it be dismantled nor can you be set free from it.

    Its a projection onto you by other people, if you choose to accept it, bow down to it and belittle yourself because of it that’s your choice but get real, grow up and be honest about it.

    though I can see it gets you the attention of lots of young women out there.

    You should be proud of who you are, and there is nothing you need do to change yourself.

    Too many young men lives have been made to feel ashamed by the inculcation of the idea that they are somehow wrong or to be blamed for the sins of generations past.

    Young women around the western world are more liberated, more free, more empowered than they have ever been. Yes there are some in some countries that need more help to become more liberated and more free. But it serves no purpose whatsoever for young men to emasculate themselves in their own land in order to do that.

    There is a crisis in the western world and young men are at the heart of it. Dying, self harming, being killed and being harmed in much larger numbers than young women. We do not hear about it because governments are bombarded with statistics about women.

    I was one of those women who was at the heart of second wave feminism and I am ashamed at what we have done to men.

    Get off your knees young man and be proud of who you are, Malcolm X, if he were around today, would be aghast at what has happened to half of the human race.

    • Kozo says:

      Karen,
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate constructive criticism that will aid me on my journey. I’m not sure where you got some of your ideas about me or my position, but I will respond.

      First, I am aware that Patriarchy is an ideology which makes it all the more powerful. I agree with you that one cannot be “set free” from ideology. As Louis Althusser states in “Ideology and Ideological Stat Apparatuses” we are “always already in ideology.”
      Your view that one can simply choose to accept or reject ideology reveals a naivete which is quite frankly frightening. What also scares me is your view that men don’t need to change anything. Although patriarchy is a mental construct it has real world consequences that hurt real men, women, and children.
      I agree that men are dying and being killed in large numbers due to wars that are fought mostly by men, but I don’t believe there is a conspiracy of governments to “bombarding statistics about women” in order to cover up these deaths.
      I thank you for being part of the feminism’s second wave and am sorry you are ashamed at what you have done to men, but I’m not sure feminism is to blame. You claim that “young women around the western world are more liberated, more free, more empowered than they have ever been.” I would venture to guess that feminism had a large role in this change of status.Yes, the empowerment of women has caused men to lose some power, but that is the nature of equality, not some retaliation by feminists.
      As far as Malcolm X being aghast at what has happened to men, since Malcolm X disagreed with Martin Luther King and Gandhi when he was alive, I honor the idea that he might disagree with my actions.

      I welcome any healthy debate on the topic and respect your views and personal history. I would, however, humbly ask you to refrain from condescension and telling me to “grow up.” We are all grown adults here, so I beg you to treat others with respect and kindness.

      Sincerely,
      Kozo

      • karenwoodall says:

        oh for goodness sake, you are a human being with every right to feelings and expression of them as anyone else. Stop being humble, stop being grateful and find some fire in your heart and soul, nothing, but nothing ever changed by people being nice to each other. I accept that my world is not your world but honestly, I despair sometimes at the way in which young people simply accept what is dished out to them. My naivete is frankly frightening? Try living on the planet for several more decades and then tell me who is naive. Get off your knees and do something different, feminism/patriarchy/ the whole darned thing is just an illusion and you are as big a part of that as you want to be.

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Karen, thanks for sharing your honest feelings, wisdom and life experience. I understand that the life we live shapes our worldview. Although we can not change the world, we can certainly shift our worldview for the better. Yes the world may be a grand illusion, but it’s up to each of us to create our own reality, so what do you want to experience with the life you still have?
        I know Kozo is doing something very special, he’s transforming himself to be exactly what he envisions his ultimate potential as a human being should be. His quest for love and world peace is admirable and life changing.
        You may view his ideas as “naive”, but I see great power and direction in his actions, certainly not a man who’s cowering “on his knees” begging for forgiveness as you’ve alluded to.
        Karen, I beseech you to read this post of his and let me know what you think, Ok dear?
        http://everydaygurus.com/2012/11/14/free-hugs-hug-for-freedom/ ♥♥♥

        Much love to all and free your mind, save everyone from suffering. ☼

    • 1EarthUnited says:

      Karen, I understand what u’r saying, please don’t mistake men’s sensitivity and awareness for weakness, there’s no shame or guilt involved for someone to acknowledge mistakes of the past – that’s our collective history. What Kozo’s saying is we should all learn from these Patriarchal injustices, so we don’t repeat history and perhaps evolve and redefine our roles as human beings – working together rather than blindly accepting antiquated notions from that bygone “battle of the sexes” era.
      When men empower women, it does not necessarily mean they are disempowering themselves. Quite the contrary, there’s dignity and respect in helping each other regardless of sex – it’s called cooperation and true leadership.
      As you’ve mentioned, “Young women around the western world are more liberated, more free, more empowered than they have ever been…” and that’s true to a certain extent. So why would Martin Luther, Malcolm X, Gandhi or any other civil rights leader object to women taking back their power? Did they not fight for the same power of equality and justice? Doesn’t it stand to reason that their struggles for freedom extend beyond racism, imperialism, sexism, and every facet of HUMAN tyranny. Certainly their “martyrdom” was not in vain. Change is inevitable, so going forward I’d choose to be a co-creating participant of this peaceful loving evolution of human consciousness.
      It’s only natural that ideologies and artificial constructs fall by the wayside when they fail to serve us as a people. I’d like to believe we have some control over our collective destiny, otherwise what’s the point of continuing?
      Buckminster Fuller once stated, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
      To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

      I couldn’t agree more. So karenwoodall, if you would like to offer a rational, reasonable solution to help reform our social ills, i’m all for it. Thanks kindly for your time. ♥

  32. karenwoodall says:

    I don’t imagine any of those freedom fighters would object to women taking back their power but I reckon all of them would object to women taking back their power at the expense of men around the world. What I object to is this idea that young men are somehow doing a great thing by showing the world that they are ashamed of themselves simply for being men. You have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to reprove yourself for and nothing whatsoever to make amends for. You were born a perfect human being and, just because other people in the world (men and women) behave badly towards each other, doesn’t mean you have to wear sack cloth and ashes to atone for other people’s sins. I loathe what feminism has done to young men (and women) and this constant self blame is part of what I despise the most.

    A new model is being built, people around the world are working together, men and women, both strong in their confidence and their self belief and belief in each other for the different things they bring to the planet. I accept that my way is the older persons way, I have lived a few decades on this planet and know that young people do things differently but please, do not accept the mantle of shame that is not yours to carry. Do not. Be as you state above – a co-creating participant – but be proud of being a man, you are a wonderful human being just as you are. Nothing about you is wrong and nothing about you oppresses others. Just be, who you are. Nothing could be more revolutionary.

  33. karenwoodall says:

    and one last thing – I do not mistake what this young man is saying for weakness, I do not think he is weak, I think he is misguided and in danger of damaging his self esteem. I have only written on here because I see in this writing, echoes of words from young men that I knew in the seventies and eighties, who felt equally ashamed of being ‘an oppressor’ just because they were born male. When you are young it doesn’t matter so much, but when you grow into your full adulthood and become men and women it does matter. I have known many men who have, because they were made to feel wrong because they were born male, struggled all their lives and some have died because their shame weighed so heavy upon them. Feminism is an illusion, an ideology, someone else’s wounded soul telling you what you should believe about yourselves. All men and all women are born equal and fighting for the right to be so is a positive thing. But beating yourself up and feeling ashamed for being born male is not and neither is welcoming that kind of behaviour in men either. Men and women are born different and our struggle is about ensuring that that difference is recognised and celebrated as equal. It is not about men making themselves into people that please women, or feeling shame for being born male. That is about flipping the power from men to women and its wrong, it does deep damage and causes generational trauma. As young women, support your young men to be the best men they can be, in all of their testosterone driven power. Yes, argue for respect between the sexes and yes, fight for equality, but when your young men put on the mantle of shame, take it off them and lay it down. Support your young men to be proud of who they are and they will return that a thousand fold.

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