Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Melania Trump and Her Dignified Silence

I have a long history of "studying" and, as a female, "living" women's issues. I suppose you could say I was "radicalized" in my early/mid-twenties. After I graduated from college with an accounting degree and landed in the cubicle of a major oil company, I found myself bored to death and was BOMBARDED on a moment-by-moment basis with the question: "Is this all there is?" You see, I was not interested, at all, in getting married or in having children, i.e. another brick in the wall, another cog in the machine, another consumer ... In those days, I was considered a bit on the fringe ... (No longer, lol.) (Also, please note that among the many supposed contradictory aspects of my evolving understandings, while I've never had children, I totally honor those brave enough to take on the role of mothering!)
Stumbling on the works of the old school feminists, Friedan's Feminine Mystique, Millett's Sexual Politics, and, of course, Beauvoir's Second Sex was quite an AWAKENING, but not more so than the art installation on A Woman's Period I viewed on the last day I spent on the campus of the West Texas university I graduated from. Throw in Alice Milller's For Your Own Good, a diatribe against pedagogy in general, and I had a personal revolution in the works. I went on to read Woolf's A Room of Her Own, Chopin's Awakening, Wharton's House of Mirth and became much enamored of Atwood's works, including, yes, The Handmaid's Tale. Then I signed up for the first Women's Studies class at the first majority-minority university in Texas. Cool, huh? (Remember this was all decades ago... ) I continued thinking and writing and reading on the subject of women's place in the world: from Wolf's The Beauty Myth to Dworkin's Women Hating. Dworkin was both intriguing and disturbing. By the time I finished Intercouse, I felt like I was going to have to become a lesbian if I was ever going to be able to count myself a bonafide passenger on the Feminist Bandwagon in the direction it was rolling. And though all my relationships with men and males at the time were troubled, I had to face the fact that on the sexuality continuum I'm simply on the left if left is heterosexual and right is homosexual. SIGH.
The Feminine Mystique, Sexual Politics, the Second Sex, The Beauty Myth, A room of One's Own, the House of Wrath, Kate Chopin
My next big shift occurred when I realized that "all man are not oppressors" and "all women are not saints." Another big SIGH. I know, when you're in the process of being indoctrinated, nuances and reality are the first things that must go! What a blessing, relief, breath of fresh air when snippets of the truth and real life experience begin to seep back into the mental box/metal ideological container you find yourself trapped in. Because, yes, all dogma ... political, psychological, religious, social ... builds boxes and containers, metaphorical prisons and cells: Essentially cages, and of course we're "whipped" by obliging dominatrices when we stray. Is that why S&M is breaking into the mainstream? So many of us living as SUBS to the ideological DOMS of the day?
sadomasochism, fifty shades of gray, bondage
I finally began choosing my own books to delve into. I loved Mary Daly's Beyond God the Father and salivated over Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Run With the Wolves was her breakout hit but I treasured one of her audio recordings, The Red Shoes: On Torment and the Recovery of Soul Life. (Whose specular influence I wrote about in the short story The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes—the second story in The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales). So, I became tired of being a victim—just got sick of everything being about my own personal grievances—broke out of my Dogma Dungeon and began seeing myself as an individual who lives on a globe with billions of other individuals.
global population, world population
Since then, I've continued to grow and change, transform and transcend, have troubles and triumphs, and, basically, live my life with (more) joy. (Maybe it's just "with joy" not "with more joy" because when you're living in the DOGMA DUNGEON, you're so focused on not getting whipped, and policing, and interrogating, etc. well, not much time left for joy ... or beauty... )

Certain things are TIMELESS. They really are. TRUTH. BEAUTY. Oh, and SILENCE. Which would—could—entail knowing when to Shut Up, Stop Talking ...
timeless universe
I'm a fan of Melania Trump. I love her SILENCE. When she talks—in any one of those five or six languages!—she actually says fabulous things, but her SILENCE in a world where everyone else is competing for more and more oxygen, well, her silence is ... Stunning, welcomed, and inspiring.
Because, in the end, life is not about women—or anyone—being a certain way as opposed to being ANOTHER certain way, whatever those ways are; it's about everyone fully realizing their Self as they see fit. Where America does that, where her constitution protects the rights of her citizens to be their True Selves, that's where America becomes "that city shining on a hill". Because LIFE creates novelty and variety to evolve, thus we're in harmony with LIFE—as an individual and as a culture and a nation—whenever and wherever we allow novelty and variety to flourish in all their marvelous and unpredictable ways. 
first lady of the united states, melania trump