Why the patriarchy likes to control

One of the most powerful things I've watched recently was the documentary 'I am Malala' - about Malala Yousafzai's story.

Although I had been following the news as it came through at the time, there was quite a lot about the family's Islamic faith and the history of the family that I hadn't been aware of.

I received it with some mixed feelings, seeing a young spiritual girl, who'd grown up within a patriarchal religion (albeit with a strong sense of self) standing up for equality, speaking her truth. I identified with some of her words and thoughts from my own experiences, other parts, way beyond my comprehension and experience.

The most potent moment for me was her father's response to the question: Who shot Malala?

He replied: 'It isn't a person. It's an ideology.'

Yes. Oh yes.

When I decided to leave the church, it wasn't because about the person, the people. Of course not.

It was about the impact of the ideology on the person, the community. And the ripples of impact that has throughout the lives of those whom it touches.

I saw that very starkly one day.

I knew it wasn't supposed to be like that.

A patriarchal religion is based on an ideology about control, not freedom. It's taught with fear because it's based in fear, not love.

And this reflects the wider 'wound' we experience - the fear of a women (or another minority group) being free to be themselves.

Free to receive and choose an education for themselves.

Free to question what they hear and choose for themselves what they believe.

Free to express themselves sexually without fear.

Free to make decisions about their bodies as they choose.

The patriarchal ideology seeks to control because it fears what will happen if it doesn't.

It fears a loss of power.

It fears a loss of self.

It fears abandonment.

It fears its own destruction.

The irony is that by letting go - releasing the need to control, often brings back the very thing you're afraid of losing.

I've bumped up against this wound so many times, in so many guises and ways. It takes courage to look it directly in the eye and speak truth in its face. I'm still learning.

Thank you Malala for such an example.