Underneath all the complex and seemingly random currents and crosscurrents, is the struggle between two very different ways of relating, of viewing our world and living in it. It is the struggle between two underlying possibilities for relations: the partnership model and the domination model.
We all need to understand that personal transformation and cultural -- economic and political -- transformation are interconnected. For example, gender relationships, which are tough for people to deal with, are key to whether a society orients to domination or partnership in all its relations.
For what we are beginning to wake up to today ...is that we have for millennia structured our social institutions and our systems of values precisely in ways that serve to block, distort, and pervert our enormous human yearning for loving connections.
All over the ancient world populations were now set against populations, as men were set against women and against other men. Wandering over the width and breadth of this disintegrating world, masses of refugees were everywhere fleeing their homelands, desperately searching for a haven, for a safe place to go. But there was no such place left in their new world. For this was now a world where, having violently deprived the Goddess and the female half of humanity of all power, gods and men of war ruled. It was a world in which the Blade, and not the Chalice, would henceforth be supreme, a world in which peace and harmony would be found only in the myths and legends of a long lost past.
For most of recorded history, parental violence against children and men's violence against wives was explicitly or implicitly condoned. Those who had the power to prevent and/or punish this violence through religion, law, or custom, openly or tacitly approved it.
When children experience violence, or observe violence against their mothers, they learn it's acceptable--even moral--to use force to impose one's will on others. Indeed, the only way they can make sense of violence coming from those who are supposed to love them is that it must be moral.