July 29, 2009

What Else Is New?


Over the past few months I have witnessed a few couples getting  divorced; I've known them for a long time, have attended their weddings maybe ten or so years ago. Why are we inclined to embrace the joyful, histrionic pace of a wedding, but turn our face away and point fingers when it comes to divorce or separation? Because of course, it is socially unacceptable, the more hypocritical the group, the less prone to overlook the slippery roads...
After my first divorce, for almost 2 years my parents concealed this from their relatives in the country. "They cannot understand this, it was different in their days".
Some poor movie had a line I randomly recall - a couple was on the verge of separation; wife says - Darling, I thought our love would last a lifetime. Husband: My dear, lifelong love was likely to exist when life expectancy was 35.

I enjoy my moments of freedom; I demand them and I eagerly wait for them. And I certainly don't mean time at the hairstylist or shopping, or meeting and gossiping with a girlfriend. I mean the moments when I am alone, daydreaming or walking, my cell phone is off, my laptop is off, tv is off, internet is off. I need to be able to reconsider decisions, remember little things long forgotten, or make secret plans. It's nothing serious, I mean, come on!! What can really be serious in a virtual world?? But the possibilities are countless, and that makes the escape worth every minute spent out of daily routine. The truth has many facets, we move back and forth between our identities, trying to align the double, triple, multiple truths to match our desires.
Hanging on or letting go? I can only hope life outside remains more varied than my own existence; thus, I'll keep feeling adequate and completely indifferent to other people's societal trials and tribulations.
Just like the sound coming from inside a cave; it turns and twirls, and in the end it's impossible to identify or represent its origin.

July 08, 2009

I'm Not A Lesbian


I am a devoted "Seinfeld" fan; I have watched every episode a few times, and could quote endlessly... Of course I took many quizzes on "Which character of Seinfeld are you?" - and usually I end up being Elaine.
I remember the times when feminism was just a polite way of describing a 'woman of light morals'; living in a country where men have barely stepped outside of the cave ( and I am not inferring Plato's cave...) - I am so used to hearing the overly used cliche - feminists are ugly, sexually deprived women, with nothing better to do than rant about how man treat them badly.
A joke has seriously troubled my teenage years - "A husband comes home, with his buddy and without as much as a word, beats his wife. Buddy asks: Why did you do that for??? Husband replies: Don't worry, she knows why!!" To this day, I fail to understand why each and every living man I know laughs his head off at this joke. Statistics show that in my country, domestic violence is very high; guess the joke has served its purpose, transgressing metaphysics and turning into an all too convenient number.

I am privileged to have met a well-known feminist writer; I have read one of her books and followed her column in a weekly social science magazine; while we had a few cold beers, she confessed, in a light vein, about the hateful messages she is receiving - the labels go from "ugly lesbian", "fat cow", "repressed nymphomaniac", to who knows what. I wonder if awareness has by any chance increased since access to feminist theory is more available via media and literature. Judging by the sexist advertising videos, news or tv shows, I am tempted to say it's unlikely. I am appalled to visit the toys section in supermarkets - the girls shelves are packed with miniature kitchens, vacuum cleaners and grocery stores on the one side, and bimbo attires on the other - miniature beauty parlors, disco outfits and similar. Housewife or prostitute in the making? What happened to the good old "in-between"?

Anyway, back to Elaine.

Elaine: You know what your problem is? Your standards are too high.
Jerry: I went out with you.
Elaine: That's because my standards are too low.

Elaine: I'm not a lesbian. I hate men, but I'm not a lesbian.



*** To all women who can display a genuinely honest smile in a men's world.