Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Patriarchy’ Category

Beauty, a short story.

Woods, Autumn, Woman, Girl, Meeting

“Where will you go?” she asked, wrapping her cloak tightly around her.

“I don’t know,” she said.  “Does it really matter.  Anywhere is better than here.  When one isn’t beautiful, life is too difficult.  I will be better off alone.”

“You’re beautiful to me.”

“If only I were half as lovely as you, my friend.  I would be satisfied.”

“Please stay.”

“You cannot mean to make me stay where I am not wanted.  To spend each day hiding, hoping not to be noticed.  It’s too cruel.  Surely, you can’t want that for me.”

“You’re right.  Forgive me for my selfishness.  I hope you find a better life.  A life where you will be appreciated for who you are.”

The woman nodded.  “Then I have your blessing?”

“Indeed.  I want only happiness for you.   That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

“I will never forget you, or your beauty,” she said, smiling sadly, her red dress brilliant in the dim light.  Perhaps, one day I will have a cape like yours, and someone will think that I am beautiful as I am.”

“It’s is my dream.  Be safe as you travel.”

“I shall do my best.”

***

Beauty is always subjective.  It’s taught.  In a world of dichotomy, if there’s beauty, there has to be non-beauty.  The thing is, who gets to decide what is beautiful and what is not?  The thing is, who is punished because of the decision made by those who decide?  The thing is, why do people BELIEVE what they are told to believe, by others?  The thing is, beauty is just one more way to control people and create income and different classes.  The thing is, we are TOLD what is beautiful, we don’t always get to decide for ourselves.

Everything is always about…who gets to decide…who manipulates the masses.

What’s beautiful in one culture is not beautiful in another.  The reason for that is, as I said…beauty is subjective and what, and who, is beautiful CHANGES all the time, because it’s not real to begin with.  Beauty is PROFITABLE, and we are once again, being played.  Because beauty is profitable, it HAS to change, so that it constantly generates income…for someone else.  And someone else…well, that’s the person who tells us what is beautiful.

Okay, so…Quan Yin

Vietnam, Da Nang, Hero Corp

I like Quan Yin.  I have statues of her around my house.  She’s peaceful and keeps her eyes closed.  She keeps her eyes closed because she vowed to keep them shut, until all suffering on earth has ended.  In other words, she won’t open her eyes until we become extinct.

Here’s my problem with Quan Yin.  Keeping your eyes closed doesn’t really help anyone.  It’s kind of like fasting.  If you die from not eating, for whatever cause you’re fighting for, you just become a symbol and they make T-shirts with your face on them.  Sure people might get fired up in the beginning, but they’re alive and can actually do something, while the the other person is dead and can just relax and let other people handle the problem.  It’s pretty much the same with all the gods we make up.  It’s definitely time for Quan Yin to open her eyes and get to work.

How does sitting still, with your eyes closed, help ANYONE at all?  It doesn’t.  If she’s suffering because of the suffering going on on earth, how could she possibly believe that not looking, will help anyone, or anything?

I look at her face (there’s a statue right next to me), and she looks peaceful, I mean she’s a statue, but her appearance is peaceful.  It shouldn’t be.  She should be more like Kali, with  a necklace of skulls around her neck, I don’t see Kali helping the cause either but still, she’s at least vicious and with the program.  Maybe Kali does her thing at night, who knows.

I’ve known a lot of people who have gone through their lives with their eyes closed.  They caused a lot of harm to others, even to their own kids, but they thought it was easier not to look, rather than be present and act.

I guess Quan is from that school of thought.  It’s never easier to sit back and close your eyes, not in the long run.  If you do that, the bad guys will always win.  See, this is where it gets tricky.  WE might not win, but we can hold our ground.  I think that’s important when you’re fighting someone stronger than you are, richer, with an entire MILITARY MACHINE behind them and all the money in the world.  So, we, the little regular people, can’t just give up and close our eyes, or there will be nothing left.  Standing up to overwhelming odds still has to be done.  It’s only infants and tiny toddlers who believe that if they close their eyes, or put a diaper on their face, things really disappear.

Quan Yin needs to bloody well wake up and stand with us, with her eyes OPEN.  That’s the thing about gods, they are usually bystanders.  Well, that and the fact that we really don’t matter at all.  And the part about none of them being real to begin with…I mean surely THAT counts for them not showing up.  They don’t exist.  I think they’re metaphors, that’s all.

We need to stop making excuses for the gods we make up and face the fact that we’re in his, whatever it is, alone.  ALL the gods are pretend, that’s why they never do anything. They can’t, since they aren’t real. Made up gods are just the way men in costumes steal from people.  I’d like to know who made up Quan Yin.  I mean who makes up someone who won’t open their eyes?  Did the people who made her up think that people would feel sorry for her and suddenly become good, so she could see again?  And suffering comes in all kinds of forms, so good luck.

Having said that, we need Diana and her hounds, we need all of the Goddesses to give us, their daughters, the power to overcome male violence and inequality.  That’s really all I want for Christmas, an end to patriarchy.  That’s all I EVER want.   No one even has to wrap it.

Merry, merry and ho ho ho.

Okay, here’s the thing…once and for all.

When I write about sexism, I am NOT writing about individuals.  I am writing about institutionalized, systemic, ingrained sexism.  In a patriarchal society, men run everything.

When people write to me and try and defend men by saying there are terrible women out there as well, it has nothing at all to do with the issues at hand.  If you meet a horrible person, regardless of gender, they can only be terrible to the people around them.  The issues I bring up effect ALL WOMEN.  The horrible man, or woman, down the street cannot keep women underpaid or put them in jail for life, for having an abortion.  WOMEN have no say over what happens to THEIR OWN BODIES IN A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY.    The individual people that others write about HAVE NO POWER OVER ALL WOMEN.  They have nothing to do with the issue.

It’s not strange to me that WOMEN are the defenders of men, protecting them and turning on other women, because that’s part of living in a male dominated society.   Part of what patriarchy does is turn women against each other.  But individuals are not part of the discussion, when we’re talking about the laws that govern how women live.  When women have no voice, have no rights that cannot be TAKEN AWAY from them by men, whenever they feel like it, they have no freedom.  Men control how much money we make and it’s always less than what men make for the same work.  Minority women are hurt so much more.

My granddaughter (in college) and her boyfriend both got jobs at a pet store.  She HAD EXPERIENCE, he had none.  He made .50 more an hour than she did because he was male.  She asked around and all the other women found out they were making less than the BOYS.  That’s sexism and it hurts ALL WOMEN.

The laws protect men, not women.  They write them, we don’t.  Women are forced into dependency, or forced to struggle to raise children, often without child support, and they make less money just because they’re women.  Children are raised with less because they are raised by women.

No matter what men do, some women will defend them to the bitter end.  As if individual men aren’t nice, or they will tell you about all the horrible women they have ever met.  None of that matters.   Horrible people exist, but normally those individuals don’t make the laws that tell all women what they can or can’t do.

Women are punished for being women and they have no power to fight back because they are not allowed to hold positions that give them a voice in their own lives.  Men control the lives of women and that includes the violence that’s ALLOWED to continue to keep us in place.

I’m not sure why people don’t understand this issue,  but I wanted to try and clarify it once and for all.  I hope that does it.  It’s not about individuals, it’s about a male dominated system that oppresses women in every way, at all costs, and destroys lives by dong so.  And it tries to be invisible by shoving it down our throats from the moment we’re born.

 

Okay, so…

Vintage, Doll, Hurricane Harvey, Ruin

I went to Barnes today and many of the magazines were about the nightmares being caused by Global Warming and Climate Change.  So many articles were about crumbling governments, countries and people trying to escape death and misery.  It’s terrible and it’s all there, in full color.  The pictures are brutal.  People trying to escape, their children, terrified.  Animals hanging on by a thread.  AD BUSTERS screaming that we have to ACT now.  Mother Jones is still there, doing her thing, and Hedgehog is telling us what’s going on, as well.  Even Time, which is not a liberal mag, had someone important (don’t remember who, so not too important to me, I guess), on the cover, wearing a suit, standing in water almost to his knees.

Next to that are the music magazines, with QUEEN, Bowie, and all the rest, including Nirvana, and travel mags.  On the other side are magazines that cost $26, filled with pictures of the inside of homes.  Luxury magazines, for some, and regular flea market magazines, for others. Craft magazines and calming magazines too. Fun things, amid the death and destruction, but strict shelving to keep them far enough apart so as not to mess up their vibe.

I didn’t look at the war, gun and HUNTING things, I didn’t even look at the poetry or art magazines.  I was too tired from the onslaught of death and destruction.

I picked up a couple of things and finally just left.  I went to Noodles where I had a great lunch, followed by one of their giant chocolate chip cookies.   Then I felt a little better.  I felt even better after I got home and ate more chocolate and more cookies.  I eat that instead of food.  Food isn’t as tasty as chocolate and cookies.  At least not to me.  I did have tofu at Noodles, so I’m good.

I feel as if EVERYTHING is out of balance.  As if we are teetering on the brink of something we won’t be able to come back from.  Like we are going to be rebooted.  I don’t know how to close my eyes and just live my nice little life, when other people can’t.  I don’t know how to stop what’s going on…how to save polar bears.  I don’t know how to make things that aren’t okay…be okay.  I don’t know how we, as a culture/world, can allow inner cities and slums to exist.  How we can let race or gender matter. How we can allow poverty and hungry, starving children to NOT matter.   How we can let men beat, rape, control and kill women.  How we can have war and let the government kill our children and the children of other mother’s and father’s.  I don’t understand why people are greedy and hateful. I don’t get why fathers refuse to support their own children. Why people wear and eat animals, or kill them for fun.

It doesn’t help when people say, “That’s just the way things are,” because that just means no one cares.  Nothing is, “just the way things are.”  WE MAKE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE.   We are driving ourselves to extinction.  I’m so okay with that.  What a wonderful world this will be without us.  No more mass killings of species, no more destruction of habitats, oceans, air, earth.  All the bad things will be gone, when we aren’t here any longer.  We ARE the bad thing.

But, at the moment, we still exist.  We still have a chance to change a few things.  And we still aren’t doing it.  We won’t do it either…not until the water is in our own homes. And maybe not even then.   That’s a sure sign that we deserve what we get.  Inaction.  Still using plastic bags, fracking, killing, blowing things up, fighting, hating, poisoning our water, our food, the bees, and taking from others.  That’s not the way to live, and to prove that, I think Mother Nature will kick our asses to the curb of the universe and that will be the end of us, once and for all.

Okay, so…

We live in a completely patriarchal world.   Everything we think, see, or even believe, is male.  They run the show and…if you’re thinking...here she goes again…that’s exactly what patriarchy wants you to think.  Women have been brainwashed into thinking that what they’ve been told is real, when it’s NOT.  They have been taught to believe that what people like me say about THEM, makes me a bitch, or a nagging bitch, for even bringing this up…again.

When I write short stories where a woman stabs a man, I can assume that at least one, or two, women frowns upon it, or think that I’m bitter, a man hater, or any number of things, and that’s fine with me. I’ve been called a lot worse, believe me.

The thing is, women have been taught to protect men, to let them get away with beating, raping, and killing us, and even putting us in houses to work and raise kids, while they enjoy the world outside and have all the freedom they want.  But hey…that’s what THEY want us to do, and they have made the world in such a way, that women believe that’s what we’re SUPPOSED to do too.  It’s NOT.  We get the jobs they don’t want.  Remember that.

As for writers, take poet Charles Bukowski (he’s dead now).  He’s vile and treats women like GARBAGE, things to be used and called disgusting names.  He’s pretty much a moron.  People read him.  They love him, especially men.  But what female poets write about men the same way?  See, women aren’t SUPPOSED to do that to men.  They aren’t ALLOWED to write that way.  When they do, the punishment can be severe.  Their career destroyed, name calling shows up immediately…man hater (which I love because no one calls male writers, women haters…EVER).  And, critics will pretty much destroy women with words.  Women cannot hate men the way men can freely hate women.  It’s simply not allowed.

Men do the most horrendous things to women in real life, in books, in films, in VIDEO GAMES, pretty much everywhere they can, but women, are supposed to be NICE, or at least SHUT THE FUCK UP!

We really aren’t  ALL nice.  We’ve simply been silenced, written out of history, and pretty much ERASED.  That might be okay with you, but it’s not okay with me.

Men are in control and they don’t want us to have any power at all.  So, they make sure we don’t have it.  You can tell because you can name the handful of women whose names you might recognize (most of them will be ancient).  Even Mary Cassatt, the only female, American Impressionist, isn’t mentioned 99% of the time for even BEING THERE, let alone working the same way the MEN were.   The MEN get all the credit and MUSUEM SPACE.

So, if I kill off a few men, now and then, I think it’s only fair.  I don’t torture them, lock them in a room in a basement, beat them, chain them to anything, rape or cut them, I don’t do all the things men do to women, so I think I’m allowed to stab a guy who won’t let a woman have her tea in a cafe, at least once in awhile.

Women are just now learning about their own herstory.  It’s sketchy because a lot of information was lost, or never written down.  Plus women’s names have been lost, having taken the names of their husband.  ERASED.

Here’s the thing.  Women writers are locked into two positions.  They can write stories that are acceptable to patriarchy, or they can write how they feel and be condemned as a shrew, and destroyed.  See, that’s how men have us shut us up, with no way out.  Fortunately, there are more options for women today, but it’s still difficult and most women won’t read what other women are writing, if it’s about serious issues, instead of novels, romance and otherwise.  Women don’t want to know, or else they just don’t care.  Maybe, they just don’t want to deal with the fact that their lives have been stolen from them and they didn’t even realize it.  And, most women just won’t believe it.  They also won’t believe that things could be, or should be, any different.

The overwhelming majority of men do not read books written by women.  They don’t have to.  Boys don’t want to read books they believe are written for girls.  That’s because females don’t matter, don’t count, and are despised.  Believe it or not, it’s still true.  Girls and women read books written by men all the time.  We should stop that.   We should support women authors and see what happens to male authors, when WOMEN STOP READING THEM.  Maybe that will wake them up a little, since more women than men actually read.  I very rarely buy books written by men, unless they are about science, or a particular artist.  I always buy books written by women.  I wish I could get women to stop supporting men, so they could see what kind of power we actually have in the marketplace.  But see, patriarchy has taught us that male is better, more intelligent, blah, blah, blah…but it’s NOT.  Women are ALWAYS taught to support men, especially over other women.  Gag!

Anyway, no one will care.  They rarely do.  Try getting a man in your life to read your favorite female author.  Not a romance novel, or Pride and Prejudice, something violent and fast. Good luck.

Oh, and it’s not just female writers, it’s artists too.  It’s in everything.  Including how we dress, stand POSE, smile, talk and look.

So, that’s what I’ve been thinking about today.  How about you?

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: