(Content warning: contains references to sexual assault and violence.)
Apocalypse and authenticity is an intriguing connection that stimulates a deep sense of curiosity. Now that I think about the words and the root meaning of apocalypse, the unveiling of embodied and relational reality is a more authentic way to think about the topic.
As I was meditating on the topic of apocalypse, I was asking what is being revealed through this moment in time?
An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, literally meaning “an uncovering”) is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, “A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.”
I was just listening to a Homebrewed Christianity podcast episode, featuring a conversation between Tripp Fuller and Helene Russell on the topic of Trauma Sensitive Theology. They are exploring the topic of process and relational theology and the differences in the way that men and women come to this way of articulating a more embodied and less cognitively-centred approach to understanding what it means to be human in relation to the divine, beyond language, connected to our bodies through action and movement.
In one part of the conversation, they were reflecting on the insurrection that had just occurred in the U.S. Capitol as a violation. What this brought to mind for me was an image of the white, male-dominated Republican Party in the role of a domineering abuser in a relationship, who had just violently violated a female partner. The first thing the abuser does is make excuses for his behaviour, trying to convince the partner that the violent episode is over and that it won’t happen again.
The woman in this situation knows that this is only the most recent conflict in a consistent pattern of violent, abusive behaviour. Separation or divorce is not something that they are considering, because there is an imbalance in power. The man has threatened the life of the woman. The relationship has reached a point of crisis in which there is a sense that only one of the partners can come out of the conflict alive. Have you seen the film, Sleeping with the Enemy?
Now, the man has just been fired from his job for sexual misconduct. The woman has just found a new job and will gain social influence, economic capacity, and political agency that shifts the balance of power. How will these two partners negotiate their relationship together?
Realistically, the relationship has reached an impasse. There is no viable path forward together. If there is any hope for the relationship, the man would need a complete change of heart: admission of a problem, remorse, contrition, a commitment to therapy and behavioural change. Even then, is there any hope for the relationship when trust has been breached with a life-threatening violation?
From this outsider’s perspective, the relationship is over. There is no way back. There is a restraining order, legal separation, and divorce. There is also a trial that ends in the man’s conviction for rape and attempted murder. However, this is a world where the rate of conviction for rape is less than 1%.
In a world dominated by patriarchal white supremacy that has continued without any real change in colonial, extractive, exploitative, and genocidal behaviour, there is no solution other than the end of white supremacy. Canada is a white supremacist apartheid state. Neither Canada nor the United States of America have reckoned with the roots of their social, economic, and political systems, built upon the foundation of genocide, land theft, and slavery.