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I was sitting in a circle discussion on the Sunday morning of a recent Buddhist retreat when the word 'aggression' came up and was decried as a thing that ought to be scoured out of our minds if we want to create an enlightened society. I disagreed and reclaimed the word 'aggression' with a liberal dose of straightforward humor, whereupon it was suggested to me that (1) 'aggression' was the wrong word for what I was describing, and (2) I'd 'get it' eventually if I just kept working on myself. This while one of the men in the circle tittered and exchanged sidelong glances with another man as I spoke. Of course these responses were problematic, especially since much of the conversation was about the aggression, assertiveness and strength of women. But I understood them, coming as they did from basically good people at a Buddhist retreat who were working toward peace. Still, they reminded me of the reasons why I'm not a Buddhist.

Let me stir the pot a bit before I continue. This is a poem I wrote in 2008, which was published by Goblin Fruit and later appeared in The Ruin of Beltany Ring:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Robyn Ryan
    Robyn Ryan says #
    The suppression of women in European culture is so absolute, I suspect it must have pre-euro-Christian roots. The seminal 'the ki
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Possibly, though there are accounts of women who had status and myths (especially Celtic) that feature women of power. Still, I th
  • Robyn Ryan
    Robyn Ryan says #
    Logically, if women were the makers of things and life and shelter, they controlled society. I suspect men and semi-domesticated d
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Gee - that's what strong American women tell their men now!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Once again, Ceallaigh, you have blown me away with the power and utter clarity of your writing. This is the best article on the u

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