Date of Degree

6-2023

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Advisor

Jean Halley

Keywords

patriarchy, gender, western, buddhism, masculinities, healing

Abstract

Western patriarchal socialization trains men and male-conditioned people to express dominance and power-over self and other. The particularly vicious expression of cis-hetero-white-patriarchal masculinity is a delusional force that continues to uphold all systems of domination, subjugating marginalized bodies and the earth herself. For those of us who have bought in to what bell hooks calls the “patriarchal ideal,” there is much work to be done to heal from the momentum of our conditioning for the well-being and sustainability of the collective. With an awareness of the untenable nature of perpetuating patriarchal dominance, efforts to unpack and uproot this internalization have grown. Over the past several years, communities of Western Buddhist practitioners and teachers have taken on this work. This essay is a meditation and dialogue on patriarchal socialization, gender, masculinities, and healing through practices taught in various lineages of Buddhism, such as mindful awareness, compassion, wisdom, and the relative and absolute/ultimate truths. Through conversation, autoethnography, and theory, this paper explores the work of uprooting patriarchal dominance and cultivating authenticity for collective liberation. Without an intention to resolve, this paper seeks to illuminate a path of self- inquiry on behalf of the collective. Following a prompt offered by the late Grace Lee Boggs, we must transform ourselves to transform the world.

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