Just a very quick post to draw your attention to a magnificent piece by Venessa Miemis on the blog/website Emergent by Design. Reacting to the book: The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin she writes an insightful and impassioned essay on the challenge of trying to change the world while avoiding the traps set by the rules and ethics of those who currently hold power. There is so much that is good here. Powerful Sunday morning reading. Here are one of several sections I just love:
...it feels like every time I empower myself a little further, gain a little more confidence, I find myself being tested. Dark forces show up to misguide, manipulate, confuse, divert. It seems all too easy to be pulled off my path, to be convinced of the value of some shiny object or another, to be told who I am or what I should want, all which lead to a loss of clarity of my own reality. (And by “dark forces” I don’t necessarily mean other people, but the darkness inside that is designed to derail – impatience, martyrdom, self deprecation, arrogance.)
There is wonderful advice here for all humans. She does take a couple of shots against guys. For me, men seem to suffer most from the current system. Because the system cannot survive without them, it traps men with many subtle chains. "You can't behave that way because it's not manly." When I read about the current brouhaha concerning Secret Service officers behaving very badly in Colombia, sure, I think they showed horrible judgment but I also think that in some respects men get trapped by system expectations about how they should behave.