I’ve said this before, and will say it again and again and again, speaking in public is difficult for many people. And, while Kelly certainly has a handle on how to do it, I don’t believe it’s right to hold people to their spoken long-form discourse in the same way as we might hold that same person to their written word. Speaking in public will often involve a great deal of generalizations and misspeak that would otherwise be ironed out in a written piece with a second or third pair of eyes looking it over. (Case in point, Kelly’s miscalculation of 360 degrees [I believe she meant 180 degrees] at the beginning of the video).
However, since Kelly Morris considers herself to be a “public figure,” as her Facebook page states, and seeing as she positions herself as a “shaman,” what she says and how she says it in a public forum matters.
Below are some of the major themes and defined terms from Kelly’s most recent Wanderlust talk (posted yesterday) with, of course, our commentary. Here’s the video once again:
And, here’s our play-by-play:
(min. 3:44) “The feminine and Earth are synonymous.”
First, this is ridiculous and so base-level and unprocessed as to be utterly laughable. I mean, is this from the back of a cereal box? Based on Kelly’s own definition of what the feminine and masculine are (see below), the “Earth” would be a reflection of both the masculine and the feminine. The Earth “takes” what it “births.” It “holds” what it allows to “gush forth.” It “penetrates” what it “receives.” It “erects” what it “swallows.” Setting aside that these are largely human-centric readings of Earth, albeit ones I am not completely adverse to embracing, if anything, the Earth expresses the full range of dynamism found in overly simplistic readings of the mas/fem binary. To attempt to link it to one merely replicates the divisionism of masculinity Kelly speaks about later.
(min 4:40) Women engaging in one-night stands with “impunity” (that is, without punishment) leads to the degradation of the world we see today.
This is just silly, and sounds like most other bullshit Kelly posts on her Facebook page. While it may serve as some sort of “tough love,” it allows no room for the personal, human, or dynamic in growth. Not to mention, Kelly can go F– herself as a spokesperson for all women. We’ve spoken about this elsewhere in blissful color animation. Please watch if you have not).
(min 5:00) The balanced masculine is beautiful and about “dividing and separating and measuring. Distincting between this and that, you and me, us and them, Jew and Christian, black and white” etc.
This is a typical, if entirely dated, reading of masculinity, which pairs neatly with Kelly’s later definition of the feminine. It’s fine enough, if static and non-procreative. It leaves no room for grey area and begins to build the foundation upon which Kelly builds her own, very masculine, reading of the feminine. Other than that, it’s a total New Age cop out reworked in a far more nuanced manner by any number of better-versed pagans and dualists.
(min. 5:19) “The feminine enjoins you to embrace all things, to perceive all things as your very own…. There is no division in the feminine between nature and woman, woman and all creation….” etc.
Here we have the classic foil to the so-called masculine. I’m sure you’ve all heard this before. I get it. I’m well-verse in tarot and have an affinity for utilizing binaries as a means to break binaries. However, what’s most important to me is how Kelly sets this idea of the feminine up only to shit all over it by embracing only that which she deems appropriate, as opposed to “all things.”
(min. 5:42) As an aside Kelly mentions that she will use the terms “man” and “masculine” / “woman” and “feminine” interchangeably, because it’s “too long” to stick only to “masculine” and “feminine.”
Here begineth Kelly’s hidden admittance that what she is speaking about is beyond her scope of comprehension. Why in all of Earth’s name would a person so strongly advocating for a differentiation between “woman” and “The Feminine” fall back on using the terms interchangeably because she is too lazy to enunciate a couple extra syllables? To this I say in as much clarity as I possibly can: If you are too lazy to reflect your own teachings back to an audience, you are not in a position to speak on this subject.
(min. 6:59) Just before expressing her amazement at how awful and unaccepting “the Church” is, Kelly’s face struggles to let out a laugh about how she is speaking in a church.
Somehow the irony of the fact that a church would be “open” enough to “allow” Kelly to speak is lost on her. Why doesn’t this actually inform her understanding of the church, rather than evaporate?
(min 7:05) Kelly refers to rabbis and priests as “conduits” of the “Most High.”
Hmmm…. With the exception of ol’ messiah-to-be, Rabbi Schneerson, I don’t know any rabbi that sees himself as a “conduit” for God…. I think most see themselves as scholars of a text or two or three or four or five or six….
(min 8:20) “In the Western myth of Creation…in the Garden of Eden woman is cursed.”
This is a very simplistic view of one of the oldest creation stories on Earth, and fails to recognize the variety of ways in which this story has been interpreted and embraced by major populations of people. Even while there are plenty of Christian gnostic interpretations of the Garden of Eden that contradict the present iteration, in the Islamic retelling of the Garden of Eden both Adam and Eve ate the apple willfully. Both were also forgiven then and there. This is stated clearly in the Qur’an itself. As such, there is no “original sin,” nor is there any reference to Eve being a prototypical “cursed” female. But, who’s counting? It’s only 1.6 billion Muslims and their whacky stories?
[As an aside, what's most interesting about the Judeo-Christian creation story is that Adam, based on the root "ADM," is in some circles read as "humankind" or "earth," "red," "blood," (all pretty "feminine") suggesting that "Adam" was not the first "man," but rather the first human, becoming "male" only after a rib from "its" body was taken and made into woman. Woman, of course, being the first human. In a sense, this understanding relates almost perfectly to the creation myth as a whole, which is basically a story of how the "one" becomes many, both in the cosmos ("let there be light and dark") and on Earth (from "ADM" to "Adam" and "Eve").]
(min. 12:00) Circles are feminine. Rows are masculine.
Here is where Kelly really starts to expose the limits of her appreciation of what it actually means to embrace the feminine. Sitting in a circle is feminine? Sitting in a row is masculine? Fuck. Someone needs to tell all those Knights of the Round Table what a bunch of fairies they were! What’s also brilliant about this section is how Kelly seems incapable of challenging the masculine setup, as she herself is speaking “at” people sitting in rows. So, here we have the great speaker of the day, She That Embraceth Ye Olde Feminine, replicating a masculine dynamic. What exactly is the message again?
(min. 12:25) “The masculine says, ‘You’re down there. I’m up here.’ The feminine is the birth of total equality.”
I mean…. Do I really need to speak to this? Has Kelly actually bent the space time continuum and merged with some Sarah Lawrence kid on day one of The Feminine and Masculine 101???
(min. 15:00) “You [ladies] worship at the altar of what the male has prescribed as attractive.”
The idea that women dress in ways solely to attract men is a major oversimplification of how gender and performance play out in the world, and essentializes attraction as a whole to that of heterosexuality. It is more likely that women, like all people, dress to impress that which has power, embodied in another human or in one’s own mind. However, power is dynamic and is held by varying peoples in varying situations. Male-power only occurs in male-power dynamics and those informed by male-power dynamics. As a start, Kelly, you can read about women judging women as the guiding principle in women-centric circles here and here. This quote from the article “The Girlfriend Gaze” is part of a longer, much more insightful and complicated, piece on the subject:
“I want to focus on the role played by the “girlfriend gaze” in constructing contemporary mainstream femininity, which is increasingly written through the metaphors and language of friendship and girlhood…. This culture of girlfriendship places women’s relationships at the core of feminine identities, rather than relationships with men, or a search for male approval. The male gaze is thus rendered benign, and men are cast as an accessory in proving a girl’s worth to the most important people in her life – her circle of friends.”
(min. 15:15) Kelly refers to being skinny as something men demand from women.
Hmmm…. I’m thinking of every straight guy I know, and I can think of only one that desires a truly “skinny” woman. I know guys who like big girls, tall girls, dykey girls, waif girls, girls who look like they should be playing field hockey, JWOWW type girls, hijabi girls, you name it! Trying to pin down what kind of a body men are attracted to is a truly herculean task. Good place to start? Look at their mom.
[BREAK IN LIST: I need to stop. There's simply too much, and I can't bare to sit through another minute of this. I feel like I'm about to have a panic attack listening to this tight-mouthed nonsense. Will try and pick up again tomorrow. Babs reader, "the moment already came," did an even better job in yesterday's comments. Scroll down for the goods.]