My office space is sacred, especially for my patients and especially since it’s bodywork. The lack of sacred space provided in the massage therapy profession is glaring, especially given the fact that many times it crosses into prostitution given the status of women in our society. *Note* the boundary I’ve had to set on my website. The link is below. When a man enters my office, my energy is challenged to hold sacred space for me with him in the room, even though it’s my home and my office! Males have a sense of property and entitlement, even privilege when they are around a woman’s body and her space. It needs to stop and they need to be respectful and stay centered within themselves. I do succeed in holding my space but it’s challenging.
Personally, I’ve tried to be formal with clients but I can barely get away with it because I’m a woman. Women and men expect warmth from a female and are put off by one that is formal. I’m not complaining. I accept our society as it is and that is, women are pulled on and expected to be compassionate and nurturing. One could ask, “Are you sure it’s not just you that was raised to be that way since you are female?” My own mother was not very nurturing. My grandmothers were though. I’d have to say no because I waited until I was thirty-six to heed my biological clock and desire to have a child. I had no domestic care-taking fantasies or desire to marry at all when I was younger. I am a mother now but I doubt my son would say I was a chicken soup let’s bake cookies Mom. I didn’t sink my identity into him and his father at all and I’m very happy to be single now.
I have my own licensed professional business, just as many therapists do, but there are different standards and expectations for women. I have very, very firm boundaries with women and men and I’m confident in my work but it never ceases to amaze me that they try to cross them; especially the men, because I’m a woman. The women hardly ever do but they want friendship and tend to compete as far as appearance. It all gets old.
There are two different standards for women and men who are serious and I have to wonder how long it’s going to take before men respect professional boundaries with women in practice. The bodyworkers needs to follow suit.