Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man...

Yes, I am currently reading the book, "Life's Daughter/ Death's Bride," by Kathie Carlson, which was loaned to me by Suzannah.  Like all myths, the kidnapping of the maiden Persephone by Hades, is a simple story that, upon closer examination, becomes complicated by its layers of fragmentation - both of linear history and the changing currents of culture and psychology.

When I was young, I always dreamed of myself as a man.  I admired my father's instinct for poetry and philosophy.  I read the writings of the great men of history and wondered with 'enry 'iggins,"Why can't a woman be more like a man?"

If I saw a picture of a man engaged in an activity that I thought I might like, I imagined myself as a man doing that activity.  Nothing felt wrong or distasteful about using the masculine "he" to indicate the indefinite pronoun and feminists who claimed that "History" should be changed to "Herstory" seemed extreme in their emphasis on details.

It was quite awhile until I began to notice the presence of my mother in my life and realize that we were related in more than a biological sense.  In the 13 years since my father has passed, my mother has become center stage for me.  And all my relationships with women have taken on a radiance that not only lights the road before me, but illuminates the past as well.

There is so much to discover!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fascinating discussion. I wonder if women go through similar stages in their relationships with their mother. For a start, I can see taking my mother for granted as part of my child universe (well, actually there's a lot of taking for granted throughout), then butting heads as I/we got older, being annoyed by her imperfections, then becoming the caretaker, with a combination of gratitude for the opportunity and frustration with my shortcomings, and after her death, discovering through old letters and photos, her as a person, a woman I would have loved to have as a friend. (We did spend a lot of time as friends, but it was different.) I believe everyone we meet becomes a part of us, so I hope somewhere her strengths are in me.