Monday, January 4

Do I Scare the SH*T Out of You?

This should have been a post for Halloween. Sorry I missed it. Been dealing with my own ghosts and stuff. But, no matter where I turn, I can't help but notice the amount of horror that a free , intellectual woman is greeted with in our society. Sometimes, it's too hilarious.. However, other times the defense mechanism which is automatically triggered at such a moment causes its beholder to turn offensive. Now, this is indeed pathetic, yet unacceptable.. and should not be tolerated.

Alright, check this out. Independent women in our society are constantly under attack. It's fine if you have a job, but it is not fine at all if you've really got career ambitions and professional goals. It's not fine at all if you're seeking financial security. It's not fine at all if you're planning to hold a high position one day. It's not fine at all to seek to be really competent and perfect your work. Why? Because you're a woman! For God's sake, you're created to be dependent! You're the pet of our human world! What the hell are you thinking? Career? Ambitions? Money? You wanna make your own money? that is not inherited or bestowed upon you by a generous husband? How can you call yourself a woman?

Women here don't get jobs to work or become productive. They have jobs so that society can indulge in the lie that women are enjoying their full rights. The majority of women have jobs that are not mentally challenging. Their employers always keep in mind that they won't stay long enough to hold any managerial position. Some workplaces cut the crap and make it clear they are employing men only. They don't even care what "a few" would think about that. They are putting the blame on women for being so unreliable.

If, however, they come across a woman who has got clear goals, who is career oriented, and has got what it takes to really succeed.. the applause doesn't last for long.

Somehow a woman cannot be separated from her personal life. She carries it with her everywhere.. you name it.. the office, the street, the club, the hair salon, the mall.. anywhere on earth. It's always the same old story.. Are you single? Why? Don't you intend to get married? What? You want a post-graduate degree? What for? You have career ambitions? You are I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T??!! What does that mean?

Let's say she gets married.. All expectations then revolve somewhere around her regaining her sanity and forgetting all about this independence crap. You're a wife and a mother, and you're not allowed to ask questions about the husband/father thing. We're not kidding here. You're a WOMAN.. remember?

Yeah, hell I do. I do remember when I took driving lessons. Everybody was asking my father (not even me) why he was allowing such a thing. "Do you really intend to let her have her own car?" they would ask. And when I traveled alone for the first time, it was like "Wow! How could she live on her own?" No rationale whatsoever. They expect you to be responsible for a whole family, yet they can't trust that you can take care of yourself!! And if you ask simple logical questions, like how do you expect me to be naive, weak, ignorant, vulnerable and yet at the same time become a super wife and mom? you get anything except what could be classified under "answer".

Men have always feared women. It is part of who they are. There is a whole culture built on this ancient instinctive fear.. it is manifested in myths, legend, fairy tales, traditional practices, religions, literature, language, art.. all possible forms. A very good read on this issue is Wolfgang Lederer's Fear of Women, published in 1968. It is a pity that libraries all over the world are so lacking when it comes to this subject.

In this book, the author argues that women have always been mysterious. Their body functions perform miracles that were beyond men's abilities to understand. The fact that the continuity of the whole human race lay in the wombs of women was indeed scary. Giving birth, a human coming out of another human, this oneness that splits into two.. that was also scary. The male's exterior genitals made him so vulnerable and insecure. While women have their genitals and all their 'magical powers' intact. They are tough in handling pain, yet they are smooth, delicate and charming. That's why a woman was often associated with the serpent, smooth yet deadly.

I'll just quote a few lines here. Lederer says:

"We have forgotten, or tried to forget, how much we are in awe of woman's biological functions, her menstruating and her child-bearing, and how much we abhor the smelly fluids of her organicity, the many secret folds and wrinkles of her inevitable decay. We are trying to deny her threat to our manhood, her serpent's tongue and the sharp teeth in her two bloody mouths. We refuse to believe in the lure of her depths, and the infinite demandingness of her void. We belittle her sexual challenge and deride, uneasily, her fighting strength..."

Another interesting read, which also draws on the serpent imagery, is Youssef Zeidan's novel Shadow of the Serpent (Zil al-Af’a). In a series of letters from an anthropologist to her adult daughter, the author unravels many episodes of human history and the factors which shaped this complex relationship between the sexes. Fear, is man's most instinctive and deeply hidden emotion towards women.. it is indeed which kept this huge snowball rolling. And, through those letters, the daughter is learning how she, as a female, has fallen from grace.

It seems that whoever refuses to become a fallen queen.. whoever attempts to regain her throne.. rekindles this dormant volcano. It seems the traditional wisdom goes along those lines: women cannot be contained.. unless enslaved, they turn into goddesses.

To be continued....


Tears said...

Yes, we are suffering but still we can do much.We have to raise our voices and insist to protect our rights.

EFT Video said...

This picture reminds of the movie the grudge.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde