My Brother Rape Cultured Me

My lil’ bro and I each have our own businesses — he’s a DJ in NYC, and I’m a women’s self-actualization and relationship coach in California.

Aside from his industry and choice of culture, my brother, aka CFLO, is one of my favorite people on Earth.

He’s truly a stand-up guy. He’s loyal, compassionate, trustworthy, and is highly receptive to feedback.

That being said, his brand objectifies the fuck out of women.

Objectification of human beings is, at its best, the lowest form of compliment: “Damn, gurl, you lookin’ fine.” “He is so fucking HOT!” “Those are some tig ol’ bitties.” “Because he’s got a big dick.”

Objectification of human beings, at its worst, leads to emotional, mental, and physical violence, including rape, war, and murder. Turning people into objects is dehumanizing, which makes it a whole lot easier for people to see “it” (a single person) or “them” (a group of people, a culture, a movement) as something to be controlled.

While I was in college, I danced in a bikini bar.

During this time in my life, I consciously chose to make money off my body. I had fun. It was a great learning experience. What I did not realize at the time was that although my intention was to let this experience serve me at that moment in my life, it would later offer valuable perspective. By objectifying myself for so many years (well before and well after dancing in a bikini bar), and having “fun” in that kind of way, I unintentionally created a disassociation between my body and my inner self.

I learned that the way I appeared to others was what I was worth — that my physical body was my most valued body.

Compartmentalization of the emotional body, the physical body, the spiritual body, and the mental body resonates throughout our culture. It is what stifles our self-growth, prohibits authentic connection with others, and perpetuates the individual and collective wounds.

When we cannot connect with ourselves, we cannot connect with each other.

This separation of our bodies is mirrored throughout the world and perpetuates a duality mentality, trapping us in the framework of “us vs. them.” So what are we to do? How can we unite the parts of ourselves with each other, and consequently unify humankind? It’s actually quite simple.

Our best first step is to use the people that trigger us as mirrors to reveal our inner conflict.

For example, setting aside moral judgment, I could look at this photo my brother posted to his Facebook wall…

CFLO’s caption: “sometimes I can’t. most of the time i can.” @djcflo

… and realize that the image triggered a wound within me. I’d then ask myself specifically what wound, and discover the root of the wound is cultural — that when he posts an image like this, I feel the collective pain of oppressed females for centuries, and that his “brand” continues such oppression. I also see the two women in the photo. I feel their “fun,” their “empowered sexiness,” their compartmentalization accepted as a norm. And I see my brother. I see the disservice he’s doing to the future (and current) generations of men, and the message he’s sending to them about what it means to “be a man” — to get the hottie, to be a baller, a pimp, a woman objectifier.

But in this image, all I see in him is a boy.

When my brother goes out of his way to give love to the animals (as seen on his Instagram @djcflo), I see compassion, connection with life, and integration of inner child and adult-self… I see a man.

When my brother calls me multiple times per week to talk about how he can best handle complex relationship situations in a high-integrity way, so as not to take advantage of the women he’s with, or hurt anyone… I see a man.

When my brother sees my response on Facebook, and chooses to engage in conversation, taking it over to twitter (@djcflo) and encouraging me to write this piece for Medium, opening himself, his brand, and the doors of our culture to raising awareness about the objectification of women… I see a man.

And when the day comes where all pop-culture stars like my brother choose to stop compartmentalizing their businesses and their authentic selves, cease using their marketing to reach the unconscious masses, and instead use technology to raise awareness of greater social issues and start shifting their messaging to uplift all genders and species, we will all then see humans worldwide as men and women.

My brother and his image have inspired me to state my belief:

It is time for us to rise to our evolutionary challenge of shifting from this old paradigm to one that encourages women and men both to see themselves and each other as whole beings, valuing the integrated life-systems that lead to honoring the interdependence of all living beings on Earth.

So thank you, CFLO, for posting the picture that let me look in my culturally wounded mirror. Thank you for encouraging me to write this article, for being open to hearing my battle cry, and for risking your branding to support your sister.

I love you, lil’ bro. And if you’ve got anything to add to this, feel free. ❤


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Photo by Oliver Hallmann

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