Facing the Abyss and Loving It

I hate to be a downer, but sometimes I could care less about what’s going on in the world. Same old sexist, fundie nonsense on the news. Same old wars. Same politics. Same people ranting and arguing with each other. We’ve got the world police telling people how to live, what to eat, what not to wear, how you should not live on this planet except to make yourself the smallest possible person with the least amount of emissions possible. In other words, most people want everyone else to disappear. Most people think they and they alone should be making all the decisions for the rest of us. You know what? I say fuck ’em. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Why should I define my life by another’s pinpoint, pinheaded view of the world? As we march through life in lockstep, taking the drugs they tell us to take for the rest of our lives (even though they are proven ineffective and dangerous) and generally feeling very badly about ourselves, what gets done? Nothing. Nada. Zip. We are at a standstill. Half the people are going forward and the other half are running desperately backward. How did we get here? By believing the lies patriarchy tells us. By refusing to explore our own wants and needs and creating our own myths. By literally “buying” into what television shows us; those damaging images that enjoin you to make yourself smaller and smaller because pre-pubescent and controllable is sexier to patriarchal men than full grown women with real bodies and healthy uncontrollable minds. Patriarchal men want us GONE or so sexualized that we are mere toys made for pleasure. We got here by watching the political machine during an election season; the one pitting an historic female candidate against a black one and hoping that by focusing exclusively on sex and race rather than issues, both will self-destruct and leave the “obvious” choice; a privileged white “christian” male. YET AGAIN.

As a feminist, I’m obligated to think radically and differently whether I feel like it or not. Thinking inside the box never got anyone anywhere, especially women. No area is exempt. So, anyone outside and challenging the status quo of “letting men be men” and “women in their place” is sheer genius. One of my favorite writers is French feminist Helene Cixous. She is powerful. She is potent. Her work is the antidote to the modern cult of smallness and female castration wrought by a patriarchy scared out of their wits at the power of women. Her writings about the legendary Medusa is priceless. Medusa embodies all that patriarchy fears about women. See her and turn to stone. Much like the fundie and republican fear of Hillary Clinton this election season. My goodness, how they hate her! Therefore, the quote of the day is as follows:

By endowing Medusa with a voice, Cixous allows Medusa to speak against the lies and falsehoods introduced by men in an attempt to scare women from exploring their own power. Cixous explains that men have “riveted us between two horrifying myths: between the Medusa and the abyss.” The myth of the abyss was created when men made women believe that the questions surrounding the male-created myths were “too dark to be explorable…and we believed.” By believing and therefore failing to question the validity of the myths, women allowed the male-created fear to continue. If women would simply look farther into the myths they would discover there is nothing to fear, that there is no validity to what they have been previously told. Cixous explains this point when she says that men “haven’t changed a thing: they’ve theorized their desire for reality.” Men have done nothing aside from create a faulty impression, an impression women have believed without question for so long. If women would question these myths, if they would “look at the Medusa straight on,” they would find out “she’s not deadly. She’s beautiful and she’s laughing.”

In this age where the fear of women and the “other” are at hysterical peaks, wouldn’t it be more conducive to reason and common sense if more of us stopped listening to everyone else and faced our own dark abyss, our own despair that nothing will ever change, our own ugly prejudices and fear-mongering? Shouldn’t we face it and move on into more constructive lives? I know I’m going to have to. I despair of it. That Catholic sin. That state of mind that nothing works any longer. That despair that men and women are going backwards. Systems no longer work. Religions are just another system. Politics are just another system. It all drives the patriarchal engine. So is it any wonder that I don’t care any longer? Should you? Nope. So, go ahead, question the myths. Delve into the darkness. Come on in. The “water’s” fine! What’s the matter, are you scared? I’m not. There’s nothing to lose.

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2 thoughts on “Facing the Abyss and Loving It

  1. “As we march through life in lockstep.”

    You have embodied what I have a great tendency to feel. I feel as if we are all willing participants in the Truman Show most days.

  2. SE,

    Ahh the Truman Show. I love that movie. I feel like Truman most days. I “wake up” and find people staring at me for no reason or rushing around coordinating “events” to look natural and I wonder like you…Are we willing participants in our own dramas? Methinks yes.

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