Tag Archive | femininity

Resisting Economic Oppression – The Role of Holidays as an Indicator of Social Domination

NO SHOPPING

You can use your social media presence as a powerful form of storytelling and self-expression. When you post images or like pages on Facebook – or even when you use Twitter hash tags from ads or TV – you make a statement that contributes to the economy and world you live in. And you help advertisers enhance their ability to create a sense of deprivation and need – even when it does not exist. Case and point – forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving due to “consumer demand that stores are open.” Image source: Reason for the Season Facebook Community.

When you support a business that forces employees to work on this sacred holiday – which is intended to remind us of our blessings and abundance – you support and encourage a philosophy of economic oppression. Thank those who devote their lives to service all year round by not asking them to leave their families to serve you.

This practice is directly in violation of our most revered Constitutional right – freedom of religion – as it represents absolute irreverence for the concept of a holiday, or “HOLY DAY.” Irreverence for holidays is a form of social domination, which attempts to remove the very last vestiges of sacred and spiritual life. It is a historically devastating phenomenon, that has impacted the spiritual practices of cultures across the globe.

If people are forced to exchange the rituals and traditions of their cultural heritage and spirituality for economic stability, their connection with the sacred is slowly lost – and their Gods, customs and treasured memories are essentially confiscated and rendered forbidden. In it’s place is a “false idol,” or connection to a superficial, materialistic version of reality.

  • As colonialists in North and South America began their oppression of native cultures, certain social and psychological measures were used to dilute and eventually replace the belief systems of the “host” culture.
  • Over time, interest in one’s own cultural heritage becomes secondary to one’s interest in the dominant culture. Like a parasite, the entire system is diverted to benefit the predatory culture’s growth. When no longer of use, native cultures are cruelly discarded or cast aside – after they have surrendered all of their gifts, innovations, wealth and future generations – to sustaining their oppressors.
  • Those who conform are rewarded and praised – as well as given more status and wealth than those who continue their traditional practices. In this deceptive sleight of hand, it is never revealed that these rewards fall short of fairness – offering only a meager increase in wealth and status to a select few “exemplary individuals” in the native culture – using this arrangement to destroy the internal cohesion of the culture’s people. It is particularly effective when those who had high status in the previous, traditional culture are rendered obsolete, low-status, or worse, burdensome.
  • Because those who conform are favored with resources – including education, food and healthcare – natural selection will begin to favor culturally detached individuals. That is, human control of resources – including intangible psychological constructs like prestige, praise, and acceptance – may be used to induce the same adaptive shifts in survival strategy that are normally evoked through environmental, seasonal and geological changes. This manifestation of natural selection results from social and economic manipulation – artificially inducing an impetus to evolve or change – even though there is abundance rather than scarcity of resorces and social roles.
  • The leadership roles of the native culture are marginalized. Indivisdal yearning for power is used to overthrow “outdated” elders, usurp important social roles, and convince the host culture that the colonialists are far more qualified and capable of assuming leadership positions.
  • Those who have lost power are repeatedly assured of their fortunate position – told they are now “free” of the “burdens” and “responsibilities” of leadership and government – and that their lives are now in the capable hands of “experts.”
  • At later stages, valuable social roles and occupations are withheld from those who have been historically marginalized – especially women, minorities, and any remaining descendants of native cultures.

    Harvest Goddess

    One of the most disorienting effects of spiritual suppression is the marginalization of the divine feminine, or mother goddess. Ironically monotheism seems to have originally intended to emphasize that ALL gods are one god – not that one version is superior. And the trinity is the residual symbol of a divine family – mother, father and child (i.e., ALL people, not just some) – male, female, and what is create between the two opposite energies. Harvest Goddess – Alphonse Mucha – Art-Nouveau Painter who frequently depicts godess-like women enshrouded in interwoven natural motifs. His work was popular in advertisements and posters.

  • New rituals are invented, that make leadership roles sacred positions – beyond the understanding and abilities of mere “laypersons.” Certifications, degrees, permits, and other official documentation are used to disguise economic oppression and discrimination – reinforcing the superiority of anyone who has the time and money to purchase these positions. Training in advanced skills is only given at a high cost, and any stray individual who crawls up the ladder from below is burdened with crushing debt and psychological intimidation.
  • People are often taught mythology that claims they will be rewarded later on in an “afterlife,” which allows greedy employers and institutions to postpone fair trade indefinitely. Cultures tend to be more susceptible to this line of reasoning when they are suffering, and feel forsaken by God, country or the “higher powers” that should be protecting them.

If people are forced to exchange the rituals and traditions of their cultural heritage and spirituality for economic stability, their ability to connect with the sacred is slowly lost. In it’s place is a “false idol,” or connection to a superficial, materialistic version of reality.

As we begin another holiday season, please take time to consider how your habits as a consumer influence and shape the lives of others. And consider what we lose when we indulge in ourselves, rather than our communities and in those who really need our help.

And when you consider the diverse beliefs of others, try to suspend disbelief. Even if a female goddess terrifies you, consider the fact that nature is not organized as a monopoly or order of important versus unimportant things. If we are ALL in God’s image, then all are partially divine. In Bhuddism, every stranger is considered a possible Bhudda, and thus revered as part of a divine energy that we all share.

Thus, reclaiming our freedom and stability involves coming to terms with our exclusionary spiritual tendencies. Not just for the divine feminine, but for the myriad of faces, names, and representations used to breathe life into a concept that we all share… In an infinite universe, one or many are both the same number – and there is no beginning nor end – just observable cycles that appear to signify these concepts.

Clarissa Cupcake Talk @ Teasecraft This Month!

Sugar & Spice…Naughty & Nice:
Burlesque-Inspired D.I.Y with Clarissa Cupcake

WHEN: March 21st, 7:30-9:30pm.

WHERE: Artisans Asylum (map) Multipurpose room.  Suggested donation $3-5.

Description~
Although rarely considered valid forms of technology – women’s contributions to fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, textiles, and the decorative arts serve as remarkable instances of innovation, technical prowess and skill – revealing the forgotten power of all seemingly trivial “decorative” techniques and practices.

Clarissa Cupcake will demonstrate the erotic potential of several surprising, unexpected genres – including scrapbooking, embroidery, beading and collage – and discuss the value of using feminine kitsche as a tool for psychological domination, power play, and humiliation. Fashion, jewelry, and cosmetics are explored as nuanced elements of erotic encounters, while themes of display, beauty and objectification are addressed. Emphasizing the role of gender as a powerful mental construct in erotic play, Clarissa will discuss how juxtaposing materials considered too cute, innocent and feminine for sex toys (e.g., lace, crystal, embroidery, ribbon, etc.) with more edgy, intimidating materials associated with masculine gender stereotypes (leather, metal, chain, etc.) can be used to elevate the experience of both dominance and submission. This effect is pronounced especially when stereotyped expectations do not match how an object or material is used – that is, when innocent materials inflict pain, and intimidating materials produce pleasure.

Examples from her burlesque costumes and props are used to visualize this tension between seemingly contradictory materials. She will show examples of her work as a visual artist and designer – along with her favorite tools and materials – finishing her talk with a short description of how color, texture and form can influence the power dynamic of any social interaction, concluding that erotic practices can enhance interactions in everyday social encounters, playing a key role in mental health and personal well being.

About~
Clarissa Cupcake is a cultural psychoanalyst, fashion/jewelry designer, inventor, and burlesque performance artist. She is the owner and founder of Lace Exoskeleton (lace-exoskeleton.com), and was recently awarded a provisional patent for her “Chain Reactions” modular jewelry and fashion design concept.

Lace Exoskeleton represents an artistic collective with the shared vision of empowering individuals to construct, enhance and assume artistic authorship over their identity and aesthetic persona. Specifically, Lace Exoskeleton encourages consumers to utilize sustainable, eco-friendly, and modular concepts to create their very own, personalized “exoskeleton” of collaged, appropriated, and collaborative fashion pieces that form a continuous artistic gesture we refer to as “identity”. By encouraging customers to think about body decoration as an art form, Clarissa hopes to empower people to see fashion as a deeply personal, meaningful collection of symbols, colors, textures and design details that capture the essence of deeply personal content – from actual memories and recollections to inner visions, fantasies, desires, and unrealized dreams. Through transforming everyday consumer choices into spiritually meaningful, artistic, and emotionally engaging collective experiences, she hopes to refocus consumer desire to favor sustainable, ethical, and artisan-made products and services. You can visit Clarissa Cupcake and her partner in crime, Pinkbeetle, in the following places:

Lace Exoskeleton Studios: The Artisans Asylum, Somerville, MAStudio #69 (no need for a
pneumonic device to remember this address!)

Website: Blog, D.I.Y. resource, upcoming events resource, & collective art
project: lace-exoskeleton.com

Facebook: Lace Exoskeleton, Clarissa Cupcake

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