So, why do I scare you so much? I do wonder!
Is it the divinity in me? Something that I cannot help being.
Was there no other possible way of getting even other than dragging me in the mud, dumping me into the whirlpools of shame, cutting off my throat, burning me, and scattering my remains in hell? Can't you see, you fool, that you're becoming my slave once more? You sure are, for you're dedicating your life to demonizing me, you idiot! And it's not doing you any good. It's not doing anybody any good. Look around you, the whole life lies in ruins.. wounded beyond healing. Just because of the stupidity of a bunch of psychotic idiots who started this machinery in motion.. your glorious grandfathers! Yeah, smile, sucker! You've inherited every bit of their chauvinism, bigotry and greed.
At the age of 9, I went on a field trip with my class to the Pharaonic Village in Giza. It is a living museum, a miniature of how life used to be like in Ancient Egypt. What a charming trip it was! We sailed down canals which go through the whole village, passing by replicas of tombs, temples, houses.. watching actors planting, making paper out of papyrus; women weaving and making perfumes. It all left me mesmerized. And that same year I would ask Santa to bring me a time machine! Imagine a kid experiencing this type of nostalgia. Life sucked back then, but definitely it wasn't anything like how it sucks right now.
*Sighs* OK, so we were on this boat, with a nice guide from the Village who told us all the stories behind what we were seeing. We stopped by many monuments of Pharaohs, gods and goddesses. Of all of them, I somehow got very attracted to the statue of the warrior goddess Sekhmet.
Back then I was still being introduced to the world of mythology. I had not known about the existence of similar goddesses in other cultures and found it so interesting that Pharaohs fought battles behind this female goddess. Why did the men choose a female to lead them in warship? It seemed a mystery to me. Why a lioness, not a lion? Certainly a lioness never comes to mind when words like bravery, heroism, fight, battle, glory or the likes are mentioned.. so I could not really understand it. I thought like Pharaohs too must have had their eccentricities.. lol.
So, we continued our trip, took photos and all. Then we went to the gift shop to collect some souvenirs . Mind you, at that time the Village was only a fraction of what it has become today. It has immensely expanded ever since. Yet, for us, what we'd seen was too much already. We'd never seen history come to life in such a way.
My friends started picking their favorite items. I had little money with me, and thought I'd better spend it wisely. It is no surprise that the only thing I thought to be worthy of purchase was the object which had inflamed my curiosity.. I bought a postcard with the image of Sekhmet.
On the bus, while on our way back to the school, I kept staring at her, almost talking to her and begging her to explain it to me. “So what is your story lady?” How have you managed to become the bravest of the brave; the invincible bloodthirsty warrior that you are?
It is amazing how my feelings towards this lady remained unchangeable when many years later I saw her dignified statues in the British Museum. I actually spent a lot of time by her side there, telling her memories of the good old days. I apparently still admire her, although I am a person who utterly denounces all sorts of violence. To me, though, she stood for much better things.
Now, you see how she gathered polar elements of cruelty and mercy, disease and healing, conflict and reconciliation... etc. Her rage was enough to evoke ultimate destruction. She had to be calmed down, and the only way to soothe her was through music! Music would keep her happy and relaxed.
I absolutely fell in love with this lady.. the lioness with a taste for music; the one who healed the sick and wounded coz she felt responsible for them. Other warrior goddesses wouldn't give a damn about the sufferings of those affected by their wrath. Maybe they deserved to be viewed as bitches in a way.. but certainly not the lioness! It seemed so fitting, though, that men would work around their fear of her by dragging her image into the lowest abyss of shame. Yeah, the same old scenario! Won't you try for once being more creative, dudes?? Just for change?
The 'Labua' Complex
OK.. For those of you who don't know, in Arabic, the worst name to be given to a female is that of 'lioness'.. that is, if a woman is said to be a 'labua' (which is the Arabic word for 'lioness',) it means she is the most disdained being to walk the face of earth.
When I first learned about the horrible implications of this “insult” I found it hard to understand what the metaphor was all about. The common explanation you'd receive was that a lioness sleeps around.. she ain't faithful to one sexual partner! This is just so stupid, isn't it?.. For one, what is the difference between a lioness and any other female – or male – animal in this respect?? Hello!! Anybody seen a giraffe who spends her life with one sex partner?? or even a fish??? WTF is this about?
That's exactly why today the lion became the icon of bravery and heroism! You see? Don't you just love our patriarchal societies? I mean, the guys hardly make any effort in identifying with the exact fitting types!.. Not forgetting, of course, to demonize their former goddesses who scared the sh*t out of them.