What do you feel our current social and political climate around sexual assault is inviting you to do? What is it asking of you? Whether or not you’re acknowledging that or taking action on it yet, hear, feel, and know what’s percolating in your body and in your consciousness as Eva Clay and Tobin Zivon turn the concept of “polarity” on its head. You might be surprised, provoked, and even a little pissed off as we explore the oftentimes taboo, controversial, and all important art of dancing with inner masculine and feminine roles.
158: Six Conversations 4.4 – Forget What You Know About Masculine/Feminine Polarity with Eva Clay and Tobin Zivon
We’re beginning our episode on Feminine Rage and the Shadow. We feel like this is a very timely topic. I’m here with Tobin Zivon.
It’s powerful to be here.
We’re getting a couple of things set up and then we’re going to launch into a super hot conversation. Tobin and I are fired up about this and hopefully, you are too. We want to right away solicit your participation in this. We are Tobin Zivon and Eva Clay. We are talking about Feminine Rage and the Shadow. It’s a super timely topic with what’s going on in our country and in our culture right now around sexual assaults. The #MeToo Movement, Why I Didn’t Report Movement. We want to invite your comments, your opinions and your experiences because we want to take your questions and dip our toe into the collective here and be of service.
Thanks for bringing this up. Thanks for inviting me, Eva. It’s such an honor. We originally scheduled this as part of a six-talk series called Vulnerable Topics. This for me is very vulnerable as a man to step into this conversation and to speak on behalf of what I’m experiencing, what I’m tuning into and the people that I work with and then the collective. This is as vulnerable as it gets and as hot as it gets. I’m honored to be here and grateful. I feel you’re in the driver’s seat though and I’ll be the copilot. I love being on the ride with you and all of these topics, but this one is especially juicy and especially fruitful.
For everyone who’s willing to meet it well, this can become a portal to a completely new existence in each of our individual lives and hopefully on the planet. This is a portal to a whole new paradigm. It’s a paradigm shift. At the very least it can be a paradigm shift for us individually if we know how to meet those. That’s true for not just women but men too. This is an invitation of epic proportions that’s happening right now energetically everywhere and the whole planet is feeling it.
Thank you so much for your words, Tobin. I love you to pieces. This is an invitation of epic proportions. Let’s frame this as an opportunity and an invitation of epic proportions. I want to ask you, what do you feel our current climate around sexual assault and our current political climate is inviting you to do? What is it asking of you? Whether or not you’re acknowledging that or taking action on it yet, I want to hear and feel and know what’s percolating in your body and in your consciousness.
Bring the questions and bring the comments. We want this to be as interactive as possible, as helpful as possible, and as vulnerable and sincere as possible. Individually, we’re asking the exact same questions. We’re in the culture ourselves. We’re cooking like everybody else. Hopefully, we’re meeting that invitation well. I feel like when I tune into you, Eva, you are as well as any human being can. I feel the same in my existence, in my current cooking. It’s bringing a lot of alchemy, a lot of transformation and a lot of openings. I don’t even know what the word is, but it is like a paradigm shift. It’s like revelations that go through and through. They change you if you meet these difficult questions and conundrums. If you meet that well, it is literally a transformational culture. I want everybody to feel like this is us inviting any and all skillful questions and feedback so we can all up-level this thing together as well as humanly possible.
If you have ever watched Tobin and I do things live, you might already have a sense of this. If you haven’t, I want to say that he and I represent such different polarities in many ways. I’m very pragmatic and very practical and Tobin is very etheric and esoteric. I love the poetry that this man spiels and sometimes I don’t understand what you mean. When you say to meet this well, what does that mean on the ground? How can we as a culture, as a collective, meet this crisis?
As a collective, to meet it well, we as individuals have to meet it well. The first and foremost invitation is always how do I meet it well? To me, pragmatically, practically that means being willing to feel the uncomfortable feelings, being able and capable to let the volcanoes of experience that might be bubbling through you right now on a daily basis, on an hourly basis, on a minute by minute basis. How do you feel that stuff in a way that doesn’t have it overwhelm you? It doesn’t have you become part of a backwash chaotic thing that ends up polarizing masculine and feminine even more than it already is. How we feel it, transmute it, express it and become conduits of love, skillfulness, empowerment, clarity, and wisdom instead of more and more reactivity going back and forth. That’s what I mean by feeling it. That’s the first and foremost thing is feel it well. Invite it in. Be capable and willing.
If you don’t have those skills left to your own devices, you might need to get some good support. There are people out here who are very masterful at helping you meet the current waves of emotion that are bubbling through you, which could be massive. They are massive for most people who are even at all in touch with yourself. Even if you don’t have sexual abuse in your history, if you’re sensitive and in touch, you’re going to have massive feelings bubbling through you right now. If you do have sexual abuse in your history, if you have been taken advantage or your boundaries had been overridden. There’s going to be even more powerful volcanoes of feelings coming through right now of anger, rage, brief fear, and all sorts of things. First and foremost, we have to have the capacity to feel that, allow that and then transmute it into skillful, healthy, empowered and loving action.
To me the key word here is action. I want to out a little bit of my experience here. One thing that Tobin and I agreed on is that we both feel this roar in the collective, especially the feminine collective. I’m going to be specific around that. We feel it’s more than a primal scream. It’s like a terrible roar. It feels like it’s coming from the bellows of the Earth itself and it is fierce. That’s what I’m tapped into empathically as a mouthpiece, as a voice for women. I do not have sexual trauma or sexual assault in my history. I’m one of the very few women who can say that. For some reason, my lifetime has been appointed to be a champion and a protector of women. This is what I’ve done my entire adult life.
My background is as a clinical social worker and for twenty years, I’ve run a rape treatment clinic. For ten years, I ran a battered women’s shelter. I ran an HIV clinic for women in South Central and Watts. I ran a clinic for South American refugee women and their children. This is what I’ve done with my whole life. What I’m doing now in a more visible way looks very different than what I did up until three years ago. I want to speak to how this has re-awoken me. When the Kavanaugh hearing and even #MeToo, when that came out, I have been dealing with deep, severe, vicarious trauma for the last several years. From being a trauma advocate, psychotherapist and community activist in sexual trauma for so many years that I numbed out.
I had to tune out and not even watch what was going on. I had to unplug. I was away in the forest on retreat. My mom died this year. I just couldn’t deal. I can only imagine the droves of other women who became overwhelmed by this and had to numb out or tune out completely because their own trauma is getting triggered. It was a few weeks ago that I felt resourced enough and grounded enough to start tuning into what’s happening. Now, I feel that roar and I feel like I cannot go a single day without speaking this publicly because this is my Dharma. This is part and parcel to what we want to talk about. Tobin, what’s going on for men?
For men, the collective male psyche or masculine psyche, when I tune into it both in my own system and in the collective at large, the most prevalent vibration is fear. That can show up in one of two ways, depending on that man’s propensity. A more sensitive and heartful and in touch man is on edge. He is extra attuned like, “I’m a little afraid to step on anybody’s toes. I’m cautious right now,” just tiptoeing around and that’s very alive right now. There are the other men who are a little bit harder in their hearts, conditioned with a thicker layer of ice in their conditioning body. Those men are a little bit even counter-reactive to that fear that’s bubbling in them.
There’s almost a little bit of a pushback like, “It’s dangerous to be a white man in America right now. Who are these people to come at us? I’m innocent.” It’s a pushback of vibration of feeling this wave of the rage, of counterbalance. I feel it as thousands of years of energy and right on top of that, it’s whatever lifetime each individual person is in. The feminine is coming strongly powerful. It’s like a backlash of epic proportion. That collective roar is strong. The men and the masculine emotional body is feeling that like, “The reckoning is coming.” Even if I feel like I’m innocent, “I’m in a male body, this is scary times.” Guys are doing different things with that depending on their personal wiring.One of the most vulnerable things in the world for a man is to sit in the face of feminine volcanoes. Click To Tweet
What do you recommend?
I recommend the same thing across the board. Feel, get sensitive, get in touch, get attuned, get subtle, get willing, get vulnerable to whatever’s flowing through you. The word vulnerable is often used to mean like, “I’m sensitive and vulnerable like a flower petal,” which is one beautiful use of the word vulnerable. Another way that I translate the word vulnerable is I am vulnerable to that which is flowing through me. I am impactable and I am touchable. I am willing to be with that which is alive in me and as me. For certain people right now, it’s an intensity and a potency, and lioness roar that wants to bite some heads off right now. Be with that, feel that, get adept at being vulnerable to that wave of energy that’s moving. For a lot of men, it gets vulnerable to that impact of fear and not to mention whatever degree of guilt, remorse, terror or shame you might be feeling. There are all these wavelengths that are going to come up because of this energy that’s impacting me.
The invitation is to feel well or to meet this well. For each and every one of us, the ability to be vulnerable to shame, that is a big one for most men, “Maybe I did mess up back then and maybe I’m feeling some shame and some guilt and some terror of what that could mean for me. I feel an incredible sense of remorse, a tragic sense of hurt for what I have done that has been innocently passed into me from my lineage and from thousands and thousands of years of being a male on planet Earth. I did some crap.” To be vulnerable to that is the doorway to healing for that particular man. That’s where you have to start. Every single place is a start with this subtle, paradoxical, art form to feel and to take responsibility for those feelings without going into some of the collective stories that want to get put on top of those feelings. That’s true in all directions.
If we get caught in the collective stories, it’s right and wrong, innocent victims and perpetrators who should be punished. That’s old paradigm and the new paradigm that I feel we’re being invited into is much more nuanced than that. It’s much more mysterious than that. The way through is to embrace and allow for all of these very human energies and very human feeling. To meet them so elegantly that we do get catapulted to a new place where it’s like, “We’re all in it together, we’re all human and we’re all being invited to up level.” That’s going to take everyone. In order to do that well, it’s going to take everyone meeting what’s in you in a way that gets transmitted such that you can emerge as a man or a woman, a human being who sees and feels this whole thing in a different way than you ever have before.
The one word that feels most potent to me that you said was to remain impactable. If I can distill all of the brilliance that you shared into one word, it’s remained impactable. Do not let yourself go unimpacted by what’s happening right now.
That’s one of the biggest keys.
I have to be vulnerable and I’ve got to confess something since this is Vulnerable Conversations. I’m finding myself man-hating. This is not an unusual occurrence in my life. It happens almost daily, but there have been several times that I either don’t get out of my car because I see a group of men walking by. I want to wait until they pass or I crossed the street to avoid passing a group of men. I feel incredibly unsafe and vulnerable because a group of men is staring at me as I walk down the sidewalk. I am seething with hatred for this reality for myself and for all women around the world that we live constantly day in and day out under threat. This is one reason why I had to leave my career of twenty years as a trauma specialist and social worker and community activist. It was because it was coloring my worldview in the way that I saw myself and the way I see the world. I feel it rushing back and I know that in part it’s not just mine.
I’m carrying the collective, which is something that I do as an empath and I know how to work with that. I know what’s mine and what’s not, but I imagine that there are a lot of other women out there who are feeling similarly. If that is true for you, I’d love to hear from you because I want to address this. What do we do with this rage? I think, Tobin, you’re giving so many great guide points for men about remaining impactable. There’s another tidbit I want to offer to men in this as well, and that is to keep listening. Perhaps what this moment in history is calling for in manhood is for you to get still and listen to what women need, to listen to our stories and to believe us. That’s the starting point.
From there, we can begin to construct what this paradigm looks like, but right now we’re in the outing process. All of this is hurdling forward and you have no idea how often I hear men say to me like, “I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know how prevalent this was. I didn’t know how scared you feel or how often.” Right now it’s a big downloading of information, the floodgates have been released. More than anything, women need to feel heard on it on a deep soul level and it’s wired into our biochemistry. Women face in part our value to the tribe on how well we’re listened to and believed. We’re reclaiming that for ourselves. Men, the more that you can listen to us, the better and the faster we all progress.
That’s step one. The biggest and most important is women feel the volcano. Let the volcano come. If I can add one little extra nuance of artful invitation, which I know is maybe coming from a man, you don’t even want to hear anything. If I can sneak it in there, from the place in my consciousness that can see much bigger levels and can read what serves us both individually and collectively in the subtle ways I’ve come into. The one thing you want to add to letting these volcanoes happen, letting that rage come, having it move through you is key. Having some iota of perspective that it is a way that the kernels of truth in it will come as you let it flow. Let it flow without buying into some part of the shadow. This was where we started with the feminine shadow. I feel that the feminine shadow, when feelings come up, then they’re strong, it wraps around those and says, “This is the end all be all and I’m justified in being mean, righteous, blaming. The bottom line, in some way that’s a little bit distorted from what would ultimately be the most healthy, empowered, and clean action that would come on the tail of a lot of intense rage, a lot of intense feelings.
It’s in there, your power, your wisdom, your masterful way of showing up, the way that you can come into your own life and into our culture and into history in a way that’s going to serve the whole is based on action. It’s based not a reaction and a lot of the energy in the rage is a reaction. Embedded in it is a healthy action that wants to happen that didn’t happen back then. We’re looking to extract that kernel of gold from the flames, from the volcano that wants to occur. Let the volcano occur and stay with the process so much that it re-calibrates you cellularly and molecularly to be a woman who could have acted in the way you wish you had back then. Starting now and from now on, going forward until time immemorial. That’s the invitation of these volcanoes.
The invitation for the masculine is to stay right there, come and let it happen. In order to do that, we have to be willing to be super vulnerable. That is one of the most vulnerable things in the world for a man is to sit in the face of feminine volcanoes. It’s scary for us. Most guys don’t want to admit that. They squirm off or they blame back or they justify or they numb in whatever way they do. If we want to transcend collectively as a whole, we as men need to sit there and go, “I don’t like it. I don’t like what’s coming up in me,” which could be shame, guilt, defensiveness, all these feelings of, “I’m going to be asked to be feeling and finding the kernels of truth,” as we stay with this process that can take time. It’s a time-based process. It’s not a flip of a switch.
Maybe we use different vernacular to describe this. You’re talking about the subtlety, like alchemizing the golden nugget. That feels down the road right now. I want to look back at history. I want to look at this from a perspective of social change and social justice. Let’s widen the aperture and look at this from a bird’s eye view. The greatest movements that have catalyzed the greatest change have happened in a fit and a fury of anger. That energy is vital momentum that we need to keep rolling forward. If you’re a woman right now and you’re feeling this rage, your trauma is getting triggered. This whole thing has got me flipping back to high school and in times when I drank too much or whatever. I don’t call it trauma, but somebody took advantage of me and that rage is surging in my body. What somebody with trauma needs to do in order to find healing is to complete the impulse that they didn’t get to exert to protect themselves when the event happened before, during or after the event that happened.
I see a lot of women right now completing impulse. I want to say to you, stay mad, do not swallow this. Stay active. What I do want to encourage you to do is that when sexual material, when trauma gets stirred in the pelvis from an esoteric and energetic perspective, we must marry that second chakra center with our Ajna at the seat of discernment. We must marry these centers and this is central to what I teach women in sexual empowerment, is making smart choices for yourself. We must leave the intellect into our sexuality or else we’re going to get ourselves in a big mess. I’m sure many of us have been there before. In marrying this, whatever is getting stirred in you in your trauma centers, can you point the energy of that anger intelligently for a change? This is maybe similar to what you’re saying, Tobin. Point it intelligently towards social change. Make meaning out of it.
This is an important piece of healing trauma is to move the traumatic material through the different centers of the brain, through the hippocampus, which is the meaning-making part of your brain. When a trauma survivor or sexual assault survivor then starts an organization or goes into the rally or starts to collect funds for somebody else’s healing, this is an intelligent and constructive use of the anger energy. I have a list of eleven things you can do to intelligently channel the trauma that’s getting triggered in you. This is true for both men and for women.Listen for the truth even when it means burning on the proverbial stake for what you've done in the past. Click To Tweet
That’s a beautiful and elegant way of saying what I’m trying to say, which is that energy has a kernel of truth in it that channeled with what you’re calling is the higher center, that discernment. That’s a masterful use of that energy. This is subtle stuff. The discrimination between rage and really on fire person who’s in touch with that and channeling it out, we maybe couldn’t even see it from the outside, but it’s a world apart. That’s basically what I’m saying. Is to hold that one little curiosity and awareness for where is the most truly healthy evolved channel for this beautiful power of yours. That wants to come through and wants to act socially for sure. Personally, where does it want to show up in your life? Like the guy next door or whatever it is. It’s an art form and it takes a little bit of this higher awareness that you’re inviting in the way you are and I’m inviting in the way I am. Getting somebody somewhere to be full yes with all this energy, meeting it with this other part of myself that then makes this whole thing and evolved an evolution of your own personal existence and the collective. That’s what we’re inviting.
Blow it up. Patriarchy, you’re going down.
If this energy does keep moving, we’re talking a breaking down of the old way of being complete and I do feel that happening.
Thank you, Tobin. We were talking before and I was remarking on how there’s this whole reassignment. I feel the shifting of the tectonic plates beneath us globally and shifting of our climate and now everything is coming up in crisis. At the same time, we are still embodied human beings. We are still in human form and the human form longs to love. The human form still wants to have sex. We are sexual beings and we still want to be in a relationship. How is this informing our relatedness as men and women and regardless of your orientation or your sexual identity, regardless of that? We are at an auspicious moment in history where we’re watching the structures topple and it’s important that we start to construct what’s going to take its place.
How are we architecting the way that men and women relate to each other, not just sexually or romantically? As you said, the guy next door, what’s going on with the guy next door or the person you pulled to a stoplight next to and you’re looking. Let’s talk about some guideposts for how to begin rewriting the narrative between men and women. I’m going to post that question to the audience. What comes through for you? How is this current climate redefining and reshaping the way that you relate to the opposite sex?
How can we invite that end product of that new dance between us all to end up being something better than it’s ever been? Not just a new version of stuckness where I’m scared and you’re a little bit mad and you get to be pissed because I messed up for centuries as a man. Let’s find that new way forward where men get up leveled by the feedback that’s coming our way and vice versa. It’s like a positive feedback loop.
How do we address or how do we relate to toxic masculinity? The factions of our global population who are still very much entrenched in toxic masculinity. How do we confront that in a way that will be productive?
The answers that come to me right now is to call it out consistently all the time. Find the place in you that knows that what you’re seeing and saying is fact like, “This orange is gold.” I don’t have to fight for that, “This is this.” The more I fight for it, the more the collective goes into backlash. The more we push it down and don’t say this is gold, “We need to make this blue, gold is not okay.” We do need to call it out consistently thoroughly, but in grounded and consistent and it can be in passion. I’m telling you that the shadow wraps itself around this reality, this truth that needs to be called out. As soon as the shadow wraps around it, all we do is polarize the whole thing and we keep it stuck.
Even if you’re right, when the shadows wrapped around it, it creates a contracted energetic through which it’s then being spoken or calling out the person over there. It’s like those old Chinese finger handcuff things. You put your fingers in. The more you do it in this way, the more we’re stuck in the old paradigm, but we have to find a new way. It’s not just being quiet and being nice and saying, “They’re all innocent on some level.” No, call it out consistently. Call it out from the wisest, most healthy, discerning, grounded woman you can ever become. The more that that’s happening and the more men start to come in alignment with that calling out too of their brothers who are off, the more this whole thing is going to come up.
If it’s done from the shadow, it’s done from shaming, it’s done from the inability to feel well on either side, the more we’re going to stay stuck. That’s my experience. That’s my answer to that question. You need to call it out. Brothers need to call out brothers. We need to call out their neighbor. We need to call out our bosses. We need to call out everybody. It’s not okay what’s been going down, not at all. It’s got to stop. If you feel it in one of your friends, as difficult and vulnerable and scary as it is to say, “Bro, that is not cool. The way you speak about my women friends, I can’t even tolerate that. Here’s why I think it’s wrong. Here’s what I’m sensing. Here’s where I think you’re off. Here’s what I think you can do to change that. Here’s why I think it’s a good idea to change it. Even for you, you’re going to have a way better life once you change this. You’re going to have better relationships, a better world, everything.” You educate and call people on it in a way that at the same exact time, paradoxically.
I know this is probably premature to even talk about given the stage we’re in, but if we are going to get there, we have to have some iota of a willingness to see that we all are at the mercy of thousands and thousands of years of a momentum that made men the way men are and made women the way women are. There’s an embedded innocence in the whole thing. Not that this guy shouldn’t paradoxically be called on the crap that he’s doing and said “No,” and even go to jail for it. Even all sorts of things about how guilty he is. If we can do that seeing like, “There’s something in there that was twisted and innocent at some point because he was messed with as a boy.” Then we have this capacity to start meeting the whole thing, not from shadow meeting shadow but up-leveled human consciousness embodied in you in a new way. That’s why I always pointed back to us because that’s the leverage point, that’s the power point. We each have the capacity to affect the collective. I’m not saying don’t go work for the collective too, but first start here. If there’s shadow fully informing everything that’s coming through you, you’re basically creating more of the same ultimately, I believe.
Healing is the first step and an important step. Getting active and gathering is an important aspect of it.
Calling it out, 100%. It’s this weird paradox where on the one hand, we’re taking a stand and we let that rage flow. On the other hand, we’re seeing the subtle nuanced vibration at which the whole thing can start to move to a new level.
The structures can break down and it’s inevitable. I want to share something that somebody wrote to us, “Patriarchy isn’t about men. It’s expressed through men and women alike. I’m done giving my energy to my own toxic enablement, done with silence, done with appeasement, done with the division as much as I possibly can be, as I shed the habits of patriarchal relating.” I love that and I love the conviction in her voice and this is what I want to continue to hear in women.
That to me is an example of what I’m talking about. There’s this holding of a higher perspective where it’s not just, “I was a victim and I’m going to get back at it.” It’s like, “I’m ready to be done with the old and pop into something impossible to put into words where we’re all different after I make this shift in the way I now show up.” That’s what I hear in how she’s speaking.We must leave the intellect into our sexuality or else we're going to get ourselves in a big mess. Click To Tweet
For women, possibly the most important thing that we can do right now or anytime that we’re seeking to heal a traumatic experience is to gather. For women, it’s all about to tend and befriend. This is how we heal. Men are wired slightly differently. I am going to make that generalization because we have different brains and we process trauma differently. If you’re in a female body, female anatomy, then the most important thing for you to do will be to gather with other women whether or not they’re survivors so that you have that sense of belonging and protection within the tribe.
This is why there are people like me in the world who are not sexual assault survivors but for whatever reason, my divine assignment is to make a stand for women who are. I can do that and I can be the guard dog. I can be the junkyard dog, which is what I call myself and what I’ve always been. I’ve been a protector of women and we need more of this. We need more of me and we need more women who are willing to make a stand for each other. Women who are maybe further along on their path of healing, who maybe are not coming from that reactive shadow place. Who can weave the discernment and the Ajna into making intelligent activism to make a stand for those women, who are maybe just realizing and beginning to become embodied and informed on their trauma?
We also need men. We need male protectors. We need men who are willing to stand up and say, “This has to stop now.” Men, I want to call you forward. That’s one of the things on my list of things that you can do to make an impact now. It’s imperative at this time that we keep the momentum going and you make a step in that direction. I want to call everybody to action. I want to challenge you to make a step toward informed action and not just watching the news and listening and being informed. That’s great. We need to do that, but I need you taking two hours a week or being aware of where you spend your dollars and where those dollars are going. Being aware of how you speak to women, how you relate to them, little euphemisms that have become ingrained in our vernacular.
I’ve been calling out fitness teachers. This drives me crazy when fitness teachers address a room full of women as guys. We’re not men. When is it ever okay to call a room full of men, ladies? Can you imagine if your fitness instructor came out and said, “Okay, ladies.” Every man in the room would be horribly offended. This is how we can begin making that stand. What needs to happen is not just a political shift. Obviously, we’re very politically divided. There are a lot these that happen on that level, but this is a cultural shift in the way that we fundamentally see the value of the feminine.
Things that you can do, since I’m calling you out in challenging you to step forward, I want to give you some pointers. The first thing you can do is across the board believe survivors who come forward with their story. I was watching a late-night news show on mainstream TV, which I never watched. I’m hacking into the mainframe just to see what’s going on out there. They run the numbers. We have statistical data of how many men are incorrectly or inappropriately accused, unfairly accused of sexual assault. It’s very low. It’s minuscule, tiny, compared to the number of women, the percentage of women who have endured sexual assaults and survived it. Please believe survivors.
Please donate to women’s organizations and shelters. I worked on the ground for twenty years in nonprofit organization serving women. They are poor, they are broke and they are struggling. We need clothing. We need toothpaste. We need paperclips. I founded a women’s sexual health clinic in The Jungle. If you’re not familiar where The Jungle is, it’s at the projects in Los Angeles. It has the highest murder rate per capita of anywhere else in the country. I started a women’s sexual health clinic and we were doing pap smears on the ground, on the floor because we didn’t have furniture. Please donate to women’s organizations and I’m happy to provide a list of those nationally and locally.
Start a fundraiser for these organizations. Do a GoFundMe, throw a party and make it amazing. Do an event and raise money for these organizations. Call out men in your community. I made a post about what men can do. I suggested that if every man called at least one woman in his community and said, “I’m here for you. Anything you need. I’ll make a stand for your safety. I’m here for you.” That post went viral because people want to know what to do and women need protectors. We’re calling noble men forward who want to make a difference and they’re there and they want to help. Let’s give them an assignment, that’s what they need. Give them something to do.
There are a couple of other ideas. Donate your cellphone. You have no idea how important this is. Domestic violence survivors, sexual assault survivors often don’t have cellphones or they’ve been taken by their perpetrator or they can’t afford it. Cellphones are very expensive. They have to pay monthly data fees. These women often, their credit has been destroyed by an abuser. It’s very common in domestic violence for the women to be financially abused. Donating your old cell phone instead of that going into some landfill somewhere. There are organizations and I will provide links for that where you can drop your cell phone or you can mail it in. Lastly, become a visible supporter. What’s emerging now are these pins that maybe one would wear for aids or for breast cancer awareness.
If you can visibly demonstrate your support for sexual assault survivors and for the prevention and the ending of sexual assault, the more widespread this becomes and the more it enters our everyday language and our everyday awareness. On the political level, please remember we have power, we can vote, stay abreast of the politics that are going on for you locally. Get your face out of Instagram and social media and start looking at what’s happening with your representatives. You can lobby your representatives, make your voice heard, and let your representatives know that sexual assault is important to you and that you want to see change. This is how change happens at the policy level, but they have to know that your vote is going to go in the direction of representatives who carry your voice and your concern. I will leave a link in this post when we’re done here on how to find your local representatives and where to write them, where to email them and where to call them. Keep talking about this, everybody.
I love feeling your passion and your power. Seeing you as an embodiment of a channel for what has been kept down power. It flows through you and then it flows through your passion. These invitations are all just an expression of that power untethered. Then it can skillfully move and that’s a huge part of this era.
I’m in a privileged position to do this and to lead a charge. This is a privilege and a calling that I get to do this. I have led a privileged-enough life and somehow evaded sexual trauma that I can lead this with maybe some clarity. Please message me, reach out to me and find my website, EvaClay.com. If you have questions or you want to know more, I’m happy to connect with you and keep sharing resources. This is grassroots and this is how we do it.Whatever you're called to do, you got to keep it real. Click To Tweet
I’ll add a couple of things to the list of what we can do. We’ll start with the men. I’ll highlight what you said. Start with the willingness to listen. There’s no need to get into a debate or have your opinion come right now, it’s listening. I love this Facebook post that I read. This guy said, “Why do we as men need to just listen right now? Shut up.” At first, you thought he was going to be a stupid man and say, “No, because we shouldn’t have to just listen.” He said the analogy is like if you’re at a funeral and the person whose mom just died is crying and giving a little speech and is up there burying her feelings, then some guy in the back of the crowd says, “My dad died two years ago too.” To me, this is the most beautiful metaphor of how true communication can occur. Especially when it’s this volcanic and it’s this understandable, it’s this right, and it’s this important, you just listen. You listen for the truth in everything that comes your way. Listen for the truth even when it means burning on the proverbial stake for what you’ve done in the past. We’ve all done some crap. We’ve all done some. Thank God I’m blessed too, there’s very little, and yet to whatever degree, I have done that. I need to find that place in myself that has been really off. Diminishing of my fellow human beings in a way that’s not okay and I have to burn with that.
Any man right now, our job is to listen and find it and be willing to burn so that that burning can uplevel you into a man who can say, “I’m sorry. I did that. I was a guy who used to be able to do that. I am so sorry. I am going to devote myself to never being like that again. I’m going to do what it takes to change myself going forward so I can create a planet where women don’t have to walk around scared all the time and have men doing all this infantile idiotic stuff that they do. I’m going to be a man who stands for the change going forward. I apologize for the part of me that did that back then. I can’t even believe I did it. I am so sorry.”
We’ve got to be willing to sit in that, feel it, find it, speak it. I think similarly to what you said, Eva, it’s good to have brothers around. Get in bands of guys who were at least halfway conscious and halfway ready to do this work and talk it out because this is rich material. This is nuanced, rich and difficult for every single person who’s willing to face it right now. I’ll add one other potential to do, and this is for men and women. If this is big for you, if it’s up, get support. There are guides on this journey. There are modern-day shamans. Eva is that. I don’t like to call myself a shaman at all but metaphorically speaking, there are people who can guide you through this territory in a way that culminates with empowered action and an evolved psyche. Better relationships than you’ve ever had in your life. Ultimately a planet that starts to go toward the directions that Eva is so eloquently describing is possible for us. That’s what I see and these are the steps I feel we can take personally right now in addition to what you’re saying. You’ve got to keep it real right here. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re called to do, you’ve got to keep it real and do some work right here.
Men, please give women permission to be angry. That’s it right there. In our title is Feminine Rage and the Shadow. What happens for women is that we’ve been acculturated, we’ve been socialized for millennia not to show anger. It’s so unattractive. It puts us in danger or we’re at risk. The statistics show that when women do fight back, when they’re being sexually assaulted, they’re much more likely to be murdered. This is the reality. What we need in our nervous system is men saying, “Bring it on. You’re safe. I got you. I hear you. You have every right to your anger.” This is what we need to hear from you right now. If you agree with me, leave a comment, let me know. If you disagree with me, leave a comment, let us know. This is what I know. Men, you can do us an incredible service just by giving us permission. Otherwise, that rage gets relegated to the shadow and then it leaks, it squirts.
It’s painful to the women, painful to the men. It divides us. This whole thing goes down. We’ve got to do that step one. There are few steps through this whole journey but one is let it flow. Volcanoes are coming. Let them happen. Men, be willing, just invite it. Stand in the face of it and do your best to distill the pieces of it that are yours to feel and the pieces of it that are yours to sit there and say, “This is thousands of years of energy. Let it come until we can all move forward together.”
I’m certainly hoping that this goes into larger circulation and we get more dialogue happening on the thread and get some of your feedback and your experiences. More women coming forward, more women reporting, more women banding together in circles of support. This is what I want to see. Men stepping forward and stepping up as our protectors. Tobin, I love and adore you so much. We need to disagree more.
I almost did. I’m sure I was saying the exact same thing you were, not just as eloquently and well. You always have this scientifically grounded thing and I’m like, “I’ve got to get more practical and less poetic.” As long as I have you around, I can stay poetic and you’re in the zone. Bless us all, God. Let’s all take deep breaths and love each other through this. Love ourselves and each other to the next level. Let it go.
About Eva Clay
Eva Clay, MSW, LCSW is an acclaimed sexologist, somatic psychotherapist and professional troublemaker whose mission for two decades has been to illuminate the ménage-a-trois of soul, sex and science. She’s helped thousands of people turn sex into a hot and holy practice. As a former professor of neuroscience, she bodaciously reminds us that smart is sexy. She offers sacred sexuality courses and coaching to women, men, and couples, and her work has been described as “an elegant marriage of the profound and the playful”. Eva’s work has been featured on media such as CBS, YogaWorks, Wanderlust, and many others. When she’s not teaching, you’ll find her making mayhem on a dance floor. See www.EvaClay.com
About Tobin Zivon
Tobin Zivon has been described as “The ultimate Guide… A rare, exquisite blend of spiritual teacher, therapist and Tantra master all wrapped into one.” His teachings are designed to not only help you access and experience your true essential/awakened nature in deeper and more fulfilling ways, but also to illuminate the nuances of what it means to actually LIVE and LOVE from this divinely infused center of your Being. He has been wholeheartedly dedicated to the path of embodied awakening for over 30 years. Tobin’s background includes five years working intimately with Adyashanti, 12 years in the Ridhwan School (under the direction of AH Almaas), 6 years in a Zen Center, a three- year apprenticeship with one of the foremost transpersonal psychotherapists in America, and training with the South African Tantra teacher Shakti Malan. He authored The Art of Mindful Living: “You Can’t Stop the Waves, But You Can Learn to Surf,” and has been teaching groups, couples, and individuals for 20 years. See www.tobinzivon.com