Ive taken sometime to watch one of my favourite predators in the wild- The wolf and the shark. I also take a moment to reflect on the predator that exists within our society as a comparison to expand my understanding of this topic. I actually think a lot about predators in our day and age, first and foremost because Im a woman and I think that if more women were aware of how the predator both appears and conceals itself in our society we would be much safer . I feel that the more aware we become.. the more prepared we would be to protect ourselves from abusive instances and more extreme cases such as rape.
First off let me just begin by sharing the ways in which I feel our society and culture have been cultivated to be a ripe predatorily lair.
1. (First) Competition, without the awareness that there is actually much abundance available to us.
In the wild BOTH wolves and sharks take into account that there is indeed an abundance of food and resources. Often times they will coexist with a herd of species that they are preying on. Scanning to see if any among the group that are of these THREE criteria: Weak, Sick, or Young. Why? because these are the most vulnerable but also for a much higher purpose. By sifting through the group this way and focussing in on the weak links in the group, predators in the wild actually strengthen the gene pull of the groups that they come in contact with. By leaving the strong to continue and taking away that which lags the group behind, they allow the group to move on in a stronger alliance rather than attacking just anyone and everyone.
However for us humans today, given the competitive nature of our society, everyone seems to be a potential prey. And so as it turns out, people either allow themselves to be preyed upon or become predators themselves in order to survive. When the higher awareness that this world is abundant and that there is more than enough to go around for everyone, the higher aspect of strengthening the gene pull no longer manifests or applies itself. And more harm than good manifests.
Another reason why the predator is so prevalent in our culture has a lot to do with the media and the subliminal messages that we take in on a daily basis. Through what we see on T.V, how we hear others speak (like president elect- Donald Trump), the lack of boundary awareness (See my post on cultivating healthy boundaries) , who we often see getting rewarded for predatorial traits and to be honest, its just sickening at this point.
The media has successfully normalized predatorial traits and this has pretty much desensitized especially women from acting on their natural instincts when they feel rightfully triggered by what they are exposed to.
When it comes to the topic of Predators in our society, I always quote, share and highly recommend ‘Women who run with the wolves’ by Clarrisa Pinkola Estes. If you read most of my stuff nowadays, I quote her a lot! (the book is kind of my Lady bible) Today is no exception… here are some of my favourites by her on predators:
“All creatures must learn that there exist predators. Without this knowing, a woman will be unable to negotiate safely within her own forest without being devoured. To understand the predator is to become a mature animal who is not vulnerable out of naiveté, inexperience, or foolishness.”
“Young women before the age of five years are taught not to see, and instead to “make pretty” all manner of grotesqueries whether they are lovely or not. This early training causes women to over-ride their intuitions. And in that sense they are actually purposely taught to submit to the predator.”
“We dismantle the assaults of the natural predator by taking to heart and working with what is truthful in what the predator says and discard the rest. Women find that as they vanquish the predator, take from it what is useful and leaving the rest, they are filled with intensity, vitality and drive. They have rendered what was stolen from them – vigour and substance.”
“Scientists speculated that when a creature is exposed to violence, It will tend to adapt to that disturbance, so that when the violence ceases or the creature is allowed its freedom, the healthy instinct to flee is hugely diminished and the creature stays put instead. We try to be good while normalizing the abnormal. As a result, we lose our power to flee. We lose our power to lobby for the elements of soul and life we find most valuable. In terms of the wildest nature of women, it is this normalization of violence and what scientists subsequently termed “learned helplessness” that influences women to not only stay with drunken mates, abusive employers and groups that exploit and harass them but causes them to feel unable to rise up and support the things they believe in with all their hearts: their art, their loves, their lifestyles, their politics.”
*** All quotes collected from “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pnkola Estes. ***
The more I examine this issue, the more I am convinced that it is a collective issue that affects everyone in our culture today. On Both genders- male and female. And we all need to become increasingly aware of how we have been personally programmed by our society to entertain the predator but also, instances where we may have acted as predators ourselves in the name of competition, control, or a desire to dominate.
What do some of the quotes shared by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, here bring up for you in relation to the topic of predators ?