Behind the Blog...
"Write a book!" "Teach a class!" "Lead a tour!" "Create a workshop!" These are all requests from former students that prompted me to create this website, "In-sight: Exploring the Feminine Principle"--a forum that I hope will bring forward the breadth and depth of the wisdom within the Feminine Principle.
My name is Mary Ellen Carne. My academic credentials include a PhD in Adult Education with an emphasis in Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin...but more importantly I have been a self-directed student of the Feminine Principle since my feminist consciousness awakening in 1971. I remember it well since it came right after the birth of my daughter, Meg--the same daughter who, forty-five years later, will also be a contributor to this site.
That epiphany moment in embedded in my body memory for as I sat in my chair reading Betty Friedan's book, "The Feminine Mystique," while newborn Meg lay asleep in her bassinette, my life's purpose shifted. From that point on I have pursued the questions: "What is the Feminine Principle?" and "How does it affect my life?" The quest to find answers has taken me in many directions!
My intent with this blog is to share all of the responses and knowledge that have come to me in the ensuing years of research and learning. I also consider this a safe place to pool everyone's wisdom and experience regarding the Feminine Principle and how it affects the lives of all humanity.
The subject is universal in size. Our challenge: to create organized content that explores this universe starting with a definition of the Feminine Principle and by, relationship, the Masculine Principle as well. Our aim is to stimulate curiosity, dialogue, scholarship and celebration of the Feminine Principle among its readers. We will offer:
Books and articles to read
Questions to ponder with encouragement to share your process and findings here on our blogs
Knowledgeable people who will share their expertise about topics ranging from the historical perspective of the Feminine Principle, body wisdom, the environment, spirituality, psychology, art, politics, dreams, economics and more.
I'm Pat McDonald, Mary Ellen's sister-in-law and friend in feminism, who will work on the technical side as well as contribute to the discussion. For 29 years I was an elementary school teacher and library media specialist while raising my family.
In college I had a discussion with my father about my desire to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer. He discouraged me saying that since I was a woman, they would make me the librarian which I wouldn't enjoy--I still remember how dispiriting his lack of belief in me felt. Ironically I did become a librarian years later--in the most joyful place--and felt fortunate perhaps that I hadn't chosen law school. One "Aha" moment of awakening came while I was home raising my two young children in Connecticut in the early 1970s and reading a psychology book by a male author who made a statement and then noted "even a housewife could understand this." And I thought I'm a "housewife" and I'm smarter than most men I know--what do you mean by that?--and I woke up a little bit.
Meanwhile, of course, Mary Ellen and I became close sisters and her journey greatly influenced me as did the workshops we attended together at Omega House in Chicago. About 30 years ago, my friends and I in Ann Arbor, Michigan, formed a women's group that has been meeting ever since--we jokingly called it our "Bridge" group to deflect our husbands' concerns about why we were gathering--although actually I don't think they realized how revolutionary we were. We have discussed many books including "Women Who Run with the Wolves," "The Dance of Anger," "The Heroine's Journey," "When God was a Woman," "An Altar in the World," and "The New Earth."
Mary Ellen came to lead sessions for us on special weekends. I still remember the impact of her first presentation about an archeological site where more than 1000 female figures were found amid a small number of male ones. The male scientists reported 1000 icons and 24 God figures. This made the concept of "Patriarchy" come to life in a a concrete ways and we all began to look for evidence of the imbalance in our society and how it was affecting our lives. Mary Ellen teaches through experiential exercises so that we didn't just read about the feminine principle, but participated in activities that made the learning come alive in our bodies, minds and souls. At the same time, most of us were educators who were attempting to teach our children at school in a similar way so there was certainly synergy operating.
Now that I have two granddaughters and two grandsons, I would like to leave a legacy for them by offering a way of viewing the world through the lens of the Yin/Yang balance. When I marched in the Women's March last year, I saw so many signs that basically said, "I never thought I'd be marching again 45 years later for the radical idea that women are complete equal human beings." "Information is power" is the slogan of professional librarians. I believe the powerful insights of the feminine principle that we are sharing on “In-Sight” can help these young people and all of us create a more balanced society in the next 45 years.