A Dissident DaughterSeptember 12, 2011
In The Dance of the Dissident Daughter Sue Monk Kidd describes her journey of embracing the sacred feminine – recognizing the feminine aspect of God in fullness of divinity, not as a secondary aspect.
She comes to believe that, “exclusive male imagery of the divine not only instilled an imbalance within human consciousness, it legitimized patriarchal power in the culture at large.” She examines this from her own perspective and includes references from scholars and other writers. She embraces the vision to restore dignity, value and power to women that a patriarchal society tends to diminish consistently and subtly.
Women have always been seen as creators, healers, and nurturers. Those values are sorely needed in leadership at every level. It particularly applies to stewardship of our world – Mother Nature, Mother Earth. I believe we are all connected. The earth is alive and sacred and we long to connect to nature and recharge. I know I do, which is why I enjoy spending time outdoors and being near water.
It seems so natural to think there is a divine mother and a divine father. How could the divine not be both when we consider the essence of creation?
I appreciate how open and honest Kidd is in describing her growing awareness about the suppression of the feminine in Christianity. It takes courage to examine your current beliefs and accept you are challenging deeply held ideas. She struggles with how it affects her marriage, her career and her religious alignment. She points out that women can be the wounder, the wounded and the healer. Through her progress, she finds acceptance among friends, deeper connections to her family and success as a fiction writer. She follows her own wisdom and taps her inner strength.
This book made me think about what I have been taught and shown directly and indirectly about women and femininity. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about this book years ago but it’s just another confirmation of the Buddhist saying: when the student is ready the master appears.
Here’s another post I wrote, Equality, with more of my comments about the book.