This is something that needs to keep being said until it is finally widely heard and understood! I think a substantial part of this dynamic is our social structure (both in churches and in wider society) that is rooted in a dominance-based hierarchy. We are trained (particularly men) to defer to who has more power and to exert dominance over those who have less. Because it is a system that is maintained through coercion and fear, empathy is not typically a part of the equation. Social stratification is seen as natural and inevitable. This is what patriarchy truly means — not just a power differential between men and women.

Moving towards a more partnership-oriented society, both in and out of organized religion, would allow for more feelings of true connection and love for our neighbors, because we do not need to compare where we are in relationship to them on the pyramid of power and privilege. We can see them as members of our community, and the family of human beings.

When someone with less power speaks out against someone with more, they face many inherent obstacles- being believed, avoiding retaliation and isolation, and potentially losing their place in their community or vocation.” This is especially true in the patriarchal hierarchies of most churches, which is why the more closely you are aligned with religion, the more likely you are to be passive-aggressive.

Hierarchies of actualization are employed in partnership-oriented structures to create cohesion and order in a way that is not based in intimidation or for the purposes of maintaining top-down rankings. “Egalitarian and equitable adult relations are the norm. Parenting is not authoritarian but authoritative. Beliefs and stories present empathic, mutually beneficial, nonviolent relations as normal, moral, and desirable.” This is in contrast to the domination stories that “justify and idealize domination and violence, which are deemed inevitable, moral, and desirable.” Such is the case in the state, the family and the workplace, as well as all other aspects of society. The Center for Partnership Studies

The appeal of Trump is that he stands for the maintenance and rightness of the dominance hierarchy.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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