- Politics and Social Issues
Sphinx under Pharaoh in the Twilight Zone; A woman will always be Laaila.
"I fall upon thorns of life; I bleed". (Shelley)
Desperately struggling, against the waves of oceans. Heading to, what seems like shores of peace and preservation. She saw a boat, a sign of life. She trusted what she saw, believed in, what she heard. All promises, all lies. All destined to be broken. The scratches left the scars on heart, she dreamt these, .....be the lines, .... the bridle of her destiny. But then they said that, "fools be never blessed".
Sadly, we will always be in a 'Coma' or 'Inertia'. We will always keep diverting attention from the problems, we cannot solve or even understand. Now, in fact, Most of us are against the idea of women's participation in the process of completion of the mentle faculty of mankind and the cosmos, in any form. That's the way our for-fathers evolved from the jungle-life to the civilized one; to keep women inferior and be ruled. We are against women's participation in the worldly activities, we are against Nature? A class of men want to rule them but without engaging in a compitition. What a pity, that, in this age of space and internet, women are still a thing chained to the ambitions of the powerful. When will these strong be ashamed of their strength? Why should life be worth living when all the heroic values in it have been permitted to decay? ........ " The gravel path has left me with the sour feet".
"Men reign the elephants and employee the tigers" is indeed the proof enough to prove that men are bigger than the elephants and stronger than the tigers. BUT "a 'Tigress' always rule the pinnacle of the brain of the tiger.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive". (Sir Walter scott) The problem started when men, in the pre-historic era, interested in taking control of the Universe, started to rule the 'Jungle' abusing the power-theory of strong and weak. They made the woman a "Princess". She was tricked and "traped".
The nuns who never take a bath without puting on a bathrobe, when asked why, reply: " Oh, but you forget the good God." Apparently they conceive of the diety as a Peeping Tom, whose omnipotence enables Him to see through bathroom walls, but whose vision can be obstructed by bathrobes. Aristotle, inspite of being a reputed philosopher, looks absurd, when he says that if people marry too young, their children will be female, that the blood of females is blacker than that of males; that women have fewer teeth than men. Plato says that, " men who do not persue wisdom in this life, will be reincarnated as women". Untill very recently, it was universally believed that men are congenitally more intelligent than women; even as enlightened a man as Spinoza decides against women's right to vote on this ground. But all these do not make one laugh any more, for we live in a world, full of nonsenses and things more intolerable.
Every advancement in civilization has been denounced as un-natural. This sort of absurdity always arises when one group of human beings is supposed to be, inherently, better than the other. A girl has always been convinced of male superiority; this male prestige is not a childish mirage; it has economical and social foundations; men are surely masters of the wild world. But one man's wilderness is another man's theme park, only, if the argument of the sophists is used against the Sophists. It's always easier to defeat a self-contradictory phenomena.
Up to the age of twelve, the little girl is as strong as her brothers, and she shows the same mental powers; there is no field where she is debarred from engaging in competitions with them. If well before puberty and sometimes even from early infancy, she seems to us to be already sexually determined, this is not because mysterious instincts directly doom her to passivity, coquetry, maternity; it is because the influence of social order upon the child is almost from the start and thus she is indoctrinated with her vocation from her earliest years.
This is just where the little girls first appear as privileged beings. A second weaning, less brutal and more gradual than the first, withdraws the mother's body from the child's embraces; but the boys, especially, are little by little denied the kisses and caresses they have been used to. As for the little girl, she continues to be cajoled, she is allowed to cling to her mother's skirts, her father takes her on his knee and strokes her hair. She wears sweet little dresses, her tears and caprices are viewed indulgently, her hair is carefully done, older people are amused at her expressions and coquetries - bodily contacts and agreeable glances protect her from the anguish of solitude.
The little boy, in contrast, is denied even coquetry; his efforts and enticements, his play-acting, are considered irritating. He is told that; A man does not ask to be kissed; A man does not look at himself in the mirrors; A man does not cry. He is urged to be a "Little Man". He will obtain adult approval by becoming independent of adults. He will please them by not appearing to seek to please them. People consider him superior; he is himself swallen with pride in his manhood; so the girl invites him and feel frustrated.
She is deprived of happy freedom, the carefree aspect of childhood. Having become preconsciously a woman, she learns all too soon the limitations this estate emposes upon a human being. And a child overburdened with work may well become prematurely a slave, doomed to a joyless existence. She enjoys sharing responsibility with adult women. "She, already, is a little woman". Because the sphere, to which she belongs, is limited and dominated, by the male universe; high as she may raise herself, far as she may venture, there will always be a ceiling over her head, walls that will block her way.
The boy has an ulter ego, in whome, he sees himself. The little boy can boldly assume an attitude of subjectivity; the very object, in to which he projects himself, becomes a symbol of autonomy, of transcendence, of power. He finds every thing for that in his own body which become ground for satisfaction and challenge. But the little girl can not incarnate herself in any part of herself. To compensate for this and to serve her alter ego, she is given a foreign object; a doll. She thinks of herself as a marvellous doll. By means of compliments and scolding, through images and words, she learns the meanings of the terms pretty and plain. She soon learns that in order to be pleasing, she must be "pretty as a picture"; she tries to make herself look like a lieless picture. She puts on fancy clothes, she studies herself in a mirror, she compares herself with princesses and fairies.
This narcissism enters so unconsciously in the little girl's mind that it plays a fundamental role in her later life as a woman, that it is easy to regard it as a mysterious feminine instinct. Thus the passivity that is the essential charachteristic of the 'feminine' woman is a trait that develops in her from the earliest years. It is a fate imposed upon her by her teachers and by society.
The great advantage, enjoyed by the boy, is that his mode of existence in relation to others leads him to assert his subjective freedom. His apprenticeship for life consists in free movement towards the outside world. Climbing trees, fighting with his companions, facing them in rough games, he is aware of his body as a means for dominating nature. He takes pride in his muscles as in his sex. In games, sports, fights, challenges, trials of strengths, he finds a balanced exercise of his powers. At the same time he absorbs the severe lessons of violence. He learns from an early age to take blows, to scorn pain, to keep back the tears. He undertakes, he invents, he dares.
In woman, on the contrary, there is a conflict between her autonomous existence and her objective self, her 'being the other'. She is taught that to be happy herself, she must try to please others. She must make herself object. She should, therefore, denounce her autonomy.
Among boys, climbing is a basis for challenge. But the little girl sees triumphant boys high above herself and feels that she is, body and soul, their inferior. She becomes a stranger to herself because she is a stranger to the rest of the world. At home, she sees clearly, that the father's wishes come first.
The culture, to which she belongs, the songs and legends with which she is lulled to sleep, are one long exaltation of man. It was man who built up Greece, the Roman Empire, France and all other nations, who have explored the world and invented the tools for its exploitation. Who have governed it. Who have filled it with sculptures, paintings, works of litrature. Eve was not created for her own sake but as a companion for Adam and she was made from his rib. There are few women in the Bible of really high renown; Ruth did no more than find herself a husband. Esther obtained favour for the Jews by kneeling before Ahasuerus. The godesses of Pagan mythology are frivolous or capricious and they all tremble before Jupiter. While Prometheus magnificantly steals fire from the sun, Pandora opens her box of evils upon the world.
In songs and stories the young man is seen departing adventurously in search of woman. He slays the dragon. He battles giants. She is locked in a tower, a palace, a garden, a cave. She is chained to a rock, a captive, sound asleep. She waits.
It is through the eyes of men that the little girl discovers the worlds and read therein her destiny. She learns that to be happy she must be loved. Thus a vicious circle is formed. For the less she exercises her freedom to understand and discover the world, the less resources will she find within herself, the less will she dare to affirm herself as subject. If she were encouraged in it, she could display the same lively exuberance, the same curiosity and the same initiative as a boy. It is noteworthy that this is the kind of education a father prefers to give his daughter that determines the attitude of a girl.
The traditional women folk play their role with same cruelty. The daughter is, for the mother, at once her duplicate and another person. The mother is at once over weeningly affectionate and hostile towards her daughter. She saddles her child with her own destiny; a way of proudly laying claim to her own femininity and also a way of revenging herself for it. So, when a child comes under their care, women apply themselves to changing her to a woman like themselves. Even a generous mother, who sincerely seeks her child's welfare, will as a rule think that it is wiser to make a "True Woman" of her. They forget that, "Tragedy is a tool for living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live". ~ Robert Kennedy
She is entrusted to female teachers, she lives among the older women as in the days of the Greek gymnasium. The treasures of feminine wisdom are poured in to her ears, feminine virtues are urged upon her. She is taught cooking, sewing and house keeping. She is told not to act like a would-be-boy. She is not allowed to fight. She must not loose her femininity.
Women, being the objects of the strongest emotions, have been viewed even more irrationally than the poor or the subject nations. I am talking not of what poets have to say but of the sober opinions of men who imagine themselves rational. Men like Aristotle and Plato, even, justified slavery so long as the master is Greek and the slave a barbarian. So it is difficult, indeed, for a woman to act on a plane of equality with men as long as this euality is not universally recognised and concretely realised. As long as complete economic equality is not realised in society and as long as the mores authorise women to benefit as wife or mistress from the privileges held by certain men, so long will her dream of unearned success remain and hamper her own accomplishment.
“Man...is a tame or civilized animal; never the less, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill- educated he is the most savage of earthly creatures.” ~(Plato)