Rites of Passage and our blessed patriarchy

Been having a conversation with a friend lately in regards to men’s rites of passage and patriarchy and what I am doing through bridgeWORKS. The conversation goes as follows…


Help me understand more about the male rites of passage as you understand them. i looked on Richard Rohr’s website… is that what you are working with?

I like what he has to say. how will this change some of the patriarchy that is so much part of evangelical christianity?

My response:

Thanks for the note. Hmmm… rites of passage… the historic traditions of local communities that help men make the transition from boyhood to manhood. i suppose it varies based on the tradition… but much of it involves the release of the son from the care of the father and mother to the care of the male elders of the “village.” There is a recognition of place in the society. Fathers cannot do all the raising of a man. there is too much unrealistic expectation. In our western world, the majority of fathers are not all that present. It has to do with the sons not seeing their fathers working or working alongside them… in this situation rites of passage are even more important.

Women traditionally did not have rites of passage… at least there is not as much of a need for them. They have more physical transitions into womanhood.

I am not sure how this will affect the patriarchy problem. I am a believer in men and women coming to a more firm grasp on their masculinity and femininity (all of us experiencing both… sometimes men preferring the feminine and women preferring the masculine… either is ok), but not finding some equal balance in the middle. The most dynamic relationship is when there is a polarity between the two. Patriarchy is a problem when men become stubborn and don’t listen to the women voices. There needs to be room to hear the masculine AND feminine voice. Problems arise, however, when the women who fight for a voice simply express the masculine voice. The grasping or pursuit of power and control is really a masculine thing. Not something that is restricted to men, but definitely a masculine thing. So I am not necessarily trying to find a different way to look at the patriarchy as I am trying to help men be better men… more willing to pay very close attention to the feminine voices. If this happens, patriarchy will be changed. Check out David Deida’s stuff. Read Way of the Superior man or Blue Truth. This is what i’m talking about.

Thanks for the questions.