Middle-aged women & the BKWSU

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Pink Panther

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Middle-aged women & the BKWSU

Post25 Feb 2013

Admin wrote:Moved from: Why Celibacy ...?

ex-l wrote:Is this not another element? A religion attracting women of a certain age when their sex, hormones and perhaps childlessness comes to the fore?

How much of the infantilisation of their followers is due to their suppressed, denied or lack of real motherhood?

I think much of what motivates "women of a certain age when their sex, hormones and perhaps childlessness comes to the fore" is their backgrounds. Many BK westerners would come from a Roman Catholic background, I would hazard to suggest they make up a disproportionate number of Western BKs.

By that I mean if RC make up, say, 20% of a population in a Western country, then they should make up about 20% of background of BKs from that country (leaving aside Hindustani expats). My experience is that there seems to be a very large number of those from RC backgrounds, and many of the rest from a strict Christian background of other denominations (or family culture). I am talking about conservative types of Christianity/families/church & private schools which are hierarchical, down on sex itself, or down on any expression or discussion of it, so that it is always connected with "dirty". It is never celebrated or treated as a fundament of life.

As you've mentioned elsewhere on forum, ex-l, the BKs allow women from such backgrounds to live out their childhood conditioning (sex is bad) in an alternative, cool new-age way, as part of this groovy new meditation thing that's not mainstream, and is also "cool" because it's pseudo-feminist and a pseudo-liberation from patriarchal shackles (which if examined is actually one of the most disingenuous aspects of their public persona).

Simpler language: young Roman Catholic child grows up in religiously devoted family (or at least one parent is), this child attends mass regularly, goes to Catholic school and is taught by strict nuns. This child has no sex education from parents, is spanked if ever found to be touching genitals, particularly hard when they eventually discover masturbation. Maybe the mother complains about life and let's it be known that she should have chosen withdrawing to a convent? Imagine the psychological shaping taking place!

Teenage rebellion and peer influence sees them consciously abjure Christianity, but the child HAS been shaped. As the Jesuits say, "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man".

You can take the child out of the church after that, but harder to take the church out of the child!

My hope is that this wave of middle aged women is in decline. The influence of pre-Vatican II education is waining. But there is also a new wave of Christian conservatism and born-agains whose children may be seeking alternatives the way the baby boomers and Gen Y did. There always has been and always will be demand for the alternative religion industry.

Much of what is discussed here would also apply to Hindu families ...
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ex-l

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Re: Middle-aged women & the BKWSU

Post26 Feb 2013

I have never thought of this before. I guess in my time the majority of Western BKs were all younger and perhaps more open to the exotics ... many of them were typical travellers or 'early adopters'.

Apart from those younger BKs having now become middle aged and older, what does this signify about the BKWSU? Has it become a safer more middle of the road place? Is it a refuge from sex and grumpy husbands? Is 'soul-consciousness' a refuge from the body-consciousness of a world obsessed with perfect figures? Has the nature of middle women in the West changed? Does that mean Mike George and Anthony Strano have just become heart-throb New Age gurus for the blue rinse set?

I honestly don't know ... I suppose after having given one's family-making, child-bearing 20s and 30s to the BKs, and having become to old to procreate ... is there less of an attraction for older females to leave the BKWSU even if they start to question and doubt it?

Are there not also racialist problems within the BKWSU, of there being few positions of high status for non-Indians?

In the book "Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity", Sam Miller seems also to confirm this ...
Sam Miller wrote:Although the Brahma Kumari movement was founded by a man, most of its senior officials are women, and its beliefs and practices have proved particularly attractive to middle-aged Western women, who can be seen in large numbers at Mount Abu. For many ordinary members of the sect, meditation, chastity and the search for spiritual peace are the most important features of the Brahma Kumaris, and the movement's very strong millenarian beliefs are underplayed.

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