Yesterday I spoke with Mary, my mentor, about the last piece that I wrote: the OpEd where I was positioning men as the first victims of our system.

I do believe on that; which doesn’t mean that women are not victims too. We are, indeed, but years ago I am trying to search for the root of the violence. Not to blame anyone, but to find those elements in our culture that are condemning us into this non-ending circle of cruelty and dead.

Are men enemies of women? Are we against each other? For me, the answer is NO. We love men (partners, husbands, sons, and fathers) men love us, we are their mothers, sisters, wives…

What is a man without a woman? Who are we without them? We need each other. They love us too… that’s why this fight is so difficult, because we are having a war with our allies, that’s why it hurt us so much what is happening.

We are the actors, but behind the scene is our culture. The actual system: this old, unfair and cruel patriarchal system, managing us like puppets.

It is true. Patriarchal culture was invented for men. Years ago… I do not know if once it was functional, but actually, today, it doesn’t matter anymore, that’s history and my point is that today, we must –really, we must- start to create something different, and we will not able to do it if we still thinking and acting according to the rules of something that it is not working anymore for the humanity.

Men –our men, the men of today- are trapped in their own invention; and we, the women, we still playing the rules of that sickness. We can continue by walking that road without any change for years, or even for centuries… is that what we want!?

Men of today have been playing the rules of cruelty for eras. Maybe violence (not aggressiveness which is different) is now marked in their genetic… it is a possibility, I don’t know, but the truth is that deeply talking, we (as society) are not really searching to find the root of our destruction, and when you don’t know the origin of problems, you cannot solve them.

If they (men) are the problem of this civilization, then, why we are not creating ministries, special programs, groups of help, and any kind of organizations to try to transform them!?

In the opposite, we (women) still trying to get the solution by ourselves, feeling alone, trying to be listened by knowing (or thinking) since the beginning that they are not ready to hear us

We still hating and loving them at the same time, we still fighting for their respect, but playing the same old game of seduction with the ancient rules of patriarchy.

And by the other side, we still perceiving us as victims… since I see this, victims are not powerful. For me, a victim is a poor human being who has not any kind of defense… and women we have the total power: to give life … Now it is time to take the options and to use that power. Not only physically, because we also have the power to give life psychologically and spiritually.

Searching for guilty, -and to continue to be subversive- let me ask here to all of you a very hard question that I use to do to myself often:

“Why a patriarchal system still alive if it supposes that we (the women) are in charge of the education of our boys and young men?”

How men could be more compressive (and less aggressive) if this system is asking from them (and from us) precisely for more aggressive attitudes and less reflexive? How we can expect that a man who spend all day “being violent”, -as modern life requires-, being even awarded for that, could be “heart open and lovely” at the moment he back home?

Yes, I am proposing the thesis that they are victims of this system. Just like us. So we are not enemies. The system is.

I am not proposing a fool pardon. I am proposing to start a REAL change, by trying to understand what exactly is tormenting men … and why are tormenting themselves and women, and children.

If we find some answers to that, we will have found at least (at least) one of the roots of the violence NOT AGAINST WOMEN, but against humanity.

Let’s understand that this system is playing with women perceptions by creating a separation. That’s another trap and we (the women) we still playing with the rules of patriarchy, where (by the way, and being sincere-, also some women of history have participated.

This system is not trying to understand where the violence comes from. System is only punishing some (but not all and nor always) acts of violence, and just when the evidence of its inner failure of the structure remains shown…

But, to punish is not trying to understand nothing. Punishment does not stop violence; in the opposite, even worst: sometimes, it only enlarges hate, resentment and revenge.

We need justice. For real, and that’s true. But what exactly means that? Eye for an eye?

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind” (Gandhi said once…) for me, real justice means that I try to put myself in the other’s situation, to try (at least to try) to understand their motivations to do something.

We need, we pray for peace. I totally agree. And I am completely convinced that “the key” is in women’s hands, but not because we are better, or stronger, or superior than men.

The key is in our hands, because although we have spend all these years –centuries- under suppression and diminution of our exterior power, the truth is that we preserved our inner connection with feelings like: tenderness, forgiveness, creativity and reflection.

In a word: we preserved our soul open, because, at the end of the day, we are made to give life, and maybe that is why we understand better the value of our specie.

I am afraid that men lost that connection. I am not saying that they have no soul; they actually have it, but I am afraid that men’s soul (as specie) is sick, it is dull.

They fell in the dream of the exterior power, and they still living there, even if they don’t want to. They really lost their inner freedom, by trying to get the outer kingdom; while the women face the opposite situation: we lost over there, but we won over here.

So, the “enemy” is the system; that false dream that every day is making empty promises of richness. The enemy is this patriarchal culture, which has been playing a dirty game to all of us, by stealing men soul, by make them believe that feelings are “things of woman” and a sign of weakness.

That is why the changes of look that I am proposing, is to awake men, and bring them back to our territories… I am proposing to stop our idea of separation, and heal what is sick in our society.

Let’s understand that if we continue thinking in terms of separation, this “violent system” will also continue its road of perversion, by stealing men souls and taking women lives.

The first definition of Peace is unification. We need to start to understand that differences are our strength as humanity. We are all different but we are equal, and in that sense, I don’t really believe that men wants to kill “just because”, without any reason; because we are made with the same feelings, even if often men don't notice that. Even if they can not recognize that they feel pain, fear, tenderness or love, just in the same way that women are not always ready to recognize that they feel hate, resentment or internal violence able to kill someone.

Men they need our help, and we the women must stop to fight in the same arena, trying to have the same privileges that them, in a world which is not working for none.

I don’t want any more to choose between Israelis and Palestinian: I prefer to think in a land where people live; I don’t want to qualify black or white, I prefer to think in many colors; I don’t want to choose between mother or father, I prefer to have a family; I don’t need to fight with women against men, I need to find soul mates, and walk together toward one direction: a world living in peace, a world commanded by the human essence.

So, the change that I am proposing is that women could realize that “real power, the power of soul” never abandoned us despite all these centuries of pain.

We can offer forgiveness, because we never forgot how to forgive. I say this from my soul which is working every day to find a different way to act, a peaceful one, with myself, for my own, for my gender history and for the entire world.

Xthina " )

Comment on this Post


One Peaceful World is the name of a book from Michio Kushi. You reminded me of him when I read your piece. I didn't know we shared this value of one peaceful world! We come from such amazing cultures dear Xthina, that sometimes we don't see there is more in us alike than different.

There is more than one way to achieve one peaceful world, and we need a lot of women working together in each different area to go further in the job. Michio Kushi has a way: healthy eating. You have a way: being a peace correspondent. I have a way: the ecology of societies (please read more about it in my recent posts). And I am sure that each of us does have an astounding way of working to get ahead in achieving One Peaceful World..

What do we need then? The next step is to replicate. Replicate our job and the job of the many that gather here to share stories. We need to take that step further: replication. This is what will make the world stop being silent.

Thanks for making me wake up into seeing how much alike we all are.

A big hug to you,


Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America

Dear Xthina,

Thank you for pursing this topic and clarifying some of our questions about your first article. I was really inspired after reading the updated version because it is indeed so much more efficient if we join together with men to overcome the repressive and violent aspects of the system in which we live. If we pool our individual skills, then we are twice as strong, but I believe that your encouragement that we approach the Other with compassion and embracing our differences is the key to discovering our commonality.

I guess the source of inspiration was in the reminder your article gives us that we have to make a real effort to cross the divide of all the dichotomies that exist. This should be something we integrate into our daily lives and I'm thankful for the reminder that your article brings to look at all interactions as an opportunity to build bridges. As Jackie said, it is a good wake up call.

Perhaps you should put a link to the original article that you refer to at the beginning of this article, so readers can see your first thoughts?

with kindness, carly

I am intrigued by these thoughts and agree that seeking the root of violence in our societies is key to unifying our communities again. In so doing, we need to also look at the needs of the subgroups in our communities, as well as the needs of the groups they interact with, so that there is a compassionate consciousness of the interdependence of our well being. Work together empathically— whether it be men and women, black and white, Israelis and Palestinian — we can work to meet the needs of all concerned as compassion is the motivation for action rather than fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion, threat or justification for punishment.

Instead of interpretations and judgments, we need to observe each other and connect with the underlying needs/values. Then we can look to working together to meet those needs. I'm not sure that the system is the enemy but do know that as individuals, we have bought into the system by making certain choices and it is up to us to take a stand to change the system to meet our needs.

I look forward to reading more from you on this, Xthina. It's an interesting and provocative topic.


This was wonderful to read. I enjoyed reading your Op-Ed the first time around, but this piece was so much more conversational and clear. I really feel that you've captured a critical piece of the work ahead of all of us.

And, Jackie, "One Peaceful World" sounds like an interesting book. I love to think of all the people around the world working on different pieces of this puzzle. I like to visualize these small-scale actions sending out waves of peaceful change, replicating and spreading like a "Love Virus" (see Majora Carter's video here:, and most importantly connecting, sharing and learning from each we're doing here on PulseWire. There are so many different roads leading to the same place, we need to help each other get there!

Men generally have a long way to go on this road. But, small choices add up, like Janice says. Maybe a system is stealing our souls, but maybe we can take them back. I think that we've got to, somehow. There's a lot of healing to be done on so many levels. Men are often taught to not admit pain, physical or emotional. Breaking this silence, and others around an incomplete idea of masculinity, is an ongoing project.

Anyway, thanks for re-posting your ideas. It's a lively conversation topic that I'm happy you've brought up. :-)

Wishing you well on your Feature Story! Scott

Scott Beck

You write with a fervor and passion that bleeds truth. It's brilliant and incredibly powerful. Your words move me and my eyes seem to open a little wider! Thank you for this. paz Y amor -Gabriela