by Chenue Colton Gill
After visiting the Salvador Dali museum in Monterrey California Thanksgiving weekend I am making analogies with what I saw and what is happening with the Lakota Indian Nation. Dali was seen by many as obscene – even a film in the museum was titled the “Dirty Dali.” Two back rooms of the gallery were reserved for the more fantastical and erotic works with a caution at the door warning of adult content.
Many of the works in these two rooms showed various images of huge phalluses originating from a man like creature or a curious fantasy animal of some sort, and various other phalluses roamed through the art some even with emissions spewing.
Even though Dali had a passionate love affair with his wife there was little in these works that portrayed images of the feminine, the soft and receptive, or the life-giving womb. It was mostly masculine aggression and lust and hunger for dominance and thrusting into the outer world.
And so we visit those at Standing Rock up against the phallic aggressive power of patriarchy in all its ugly reality. The “enforcers” use water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, batons and wave machine guns and rifles – all of which are phallic shape symbols needing to conquer with aggressive thrusting and penetration or spewing of force and power onto innocence. The Native Americans stand with arms open, written signs that state their defenselessness and lack of weapons. They – with eyes wide open – know they are at risk of rape and injury by the thrusting of the masculine culture and the masculine weapons being turned on them. They peacefully take a stand to protect the precious waters of Mother Earth flowing with life given freely by the mother to nurture and give life to her peoples. The Lakotas, along with others stand with the feminine against a violent and powerful masculine threat.
And the pipeline itself thrusts out in an obscene way to reach some unknown destination that will spew its oily emissions in some unknown destination. It originates like the Dali art from some masculine endeavor to take the mothers treasures out of her without concern for her well being and nastily drapes its phallic structure across sacred lands for miles and miles. We can almost see that if we traced it back to its unholy origins, we would see the male “thing” – man or monster – out of which it emerges.
Just how long are we going to let patriarchy take at will whatever it wants and in whatever way it desires simply because it is so primitive as to not consider other ways to achieve the energy it wants. And be sure that some corporate “man” owns this entire mess and is determined to put his phallus wherever he wants just because it pleases him to penetrate anything he desires. Is rape and violence really that pleasing to the “man” and does it really satisfy his need to conquer and put his phallus wherever and whenever he has urges. As Dali loved gold and coins (his words) so the “man” loves the gold and coins he gets with his phallus. At least Dali weaves his phalluses across a canvass unlike the scenes in Dakota where this phallus goes over and across Mother Earth and her waters.
Time to say no to the reality that keeps coming at us – masculine aggression – and to say yes to the feminine with her life giving Spirit. She births and he plunders – the fate of our planet depends on his keeping his pants zipped and changing his role to one of a father that does not plunder what is in front of him but loves and respects it and helps it to grow in a good way.