This post is provoked by the fact that I am constantly asked if i have a boyfriend or a man in my life or i have met somebody exciting. By my friends, my family, the media and everybody else and their uncle-I am getting so paranoid and annoyed about being asked this question that yesterday I was convinced my dogs cupcake and muffin were asking me the question too as was the parrot that perched on my window sill! No No No! Stop! Stop! Stop! i wanted to scream but decided to blog instead :-)))
Is it compulsory to seek comanionship of the opposite gender? Since I am always seen around town in the company of my girlfriends ,a while ago a journalist had the gall to ask me if i was lesbian which is why i am not interested in men.
Dont you feel attracted to people you meet? You meet so many people in your lines of work…” I’m asked over and over again-
“Ofcourse i do-so? Attraction is a biological impulse-a chemical reaction. Acting on it is a choice of the human mind”
“Dont you feel lonely?…
“who has the time to feel lonely?”
“surely you want to fall in love again?
“Ofcourse i do, but for that i have to figure out what love is and what love means before that ever hapens again”
“you’ve become cynical”
“no I’ve become practical. Its a survival skill”
“What are the qualities you look for in a man?”
“Everything that is lacking in me!”
That much is true. Because the fact of the matter is that I am emotionally attracted to all the things that are unabashedely and unapolegetically male… -or atleast my notion of male. My shadow self as i like to call it. The other face of the coin. I love all things macho and cunning and bold and hard and self absorbed and fiercely driven.. Qualities i am enticed and seduced by -but only as an observer. Like a scientist observing a specimen in a laboratory-there is so much to learn. But would one bring a laboratory rat home? Nah Nah
Because what i am attracted to and what i seek in real life are different. In real life I would want someone kind, gentle, compassionate and most of all honest.
My friends laugh at me. Tell me that I am actually looking for a girlfriend with a penis and i should get real. Men are just not like that.
They are probably right. But I only think of these things under the pressure of questions by the nosey parkers in the outside world. Most other times I am just too busy. I also think i am perfectly capable of looking after myself and my daughter. Who wants someone to come and mess up your head again? I can be my own man…
Remember the scene from the movie-The first wives club? A bunch of supposedly wronged helpless women sitting around consoling themselves and telling each other that the way out of the situation and to survive in life is to “Be the man” I saw the film after ages and it rung so true
Then the other day i met a friend of mine after a longish while-i used to call him ‘machoman’ in jest because he, this friend of mine was so whatchmacallit -male. Or atleast my definition of male. But i was surprised to see that he had changed so much. He seemed softer, gentler, the agressive edge had blunted “are you okay” i asked- “business not doing good? “I’m trying to develop the woman side of me” he said. He wanted to quit his trade and get into something more gentle ,creative, give back to society blah blah. Coming from him it was a shocker…
He told me i seemed different to him too “you seem to have got more agressive and edgy-the softness is missing” he said dissapointedly “you dont seem so girlie anymore. Whats the matter?”
The world is a changing we both agreed
And this got me thinking all over again. So what defines a male and female?
Does being a woman mean soft and yielding? Dumb and docile? Homely and adjusting? Were these not survival skills imbibed over a period of time-where women stayed home or inside the cave, menstruated, had babies and waited for the men to bring the food home? ? Do these skills work in todays times? What are the charecteristics she needs to develop to survive in todays world? Who is going to tell her what is the right and practial way to be?
And on the other hand what is a man supposed to do or be like? Fierce and protective? Hard and go getting? Ruthless and aggressive? Like from the times when he had to go out of his cave and fight other beasts to bring his family some food. What he did outside the cave was never questioned-it was too dark in the cave and the women never stepped into the light. Too dangerous you see. They stayed in and chatted with the other women and fed the babies
The worlds of the men and women were clearly demarcated.
They have been erased now -but only metaphorically. Because in truth, all of us-male and female-collectively carry the consciousness and burden of all those earleir years -when our emotional climate was determined by geography and nature and old age science . Our physical and scientific enviornment today is completely different -but our emotional selves are still grappling with the change at an almost primordial level.
I have girl friends my age wo are still single, deliriuosly absorbed in rich succesful careers all over the world, not necessarily looking for love. What is love they ask- If love is self fulfilment surely it cannot come from anybody but themselves. They have realized that they themselves are probably the best thing that ever happened to them… and so they end up spending holdays by themsleves, bingeing on pizza and watching romantic movies on TV all alone or with their girlfriends. Men are just not comfortable around their success and independance they say. So better to keep them away. “I want kids too but I cant be the kind of woman he wants me to be-so he goes”
While on the other hand I have male friends who are looking to find the perfect mate-after they are done with sowing the wild seed-someone they can start a family and have kids with. They are also very clear that while they are happy with taking paternity leave as the new age man is likely to do as and when the kids come along-its obvious that the woman will have to be the primary care giver while he goes out and works and is the provider. Isnt that what men are supposed to do?
“but what if the woman is earning more than you and it makes more sense for you to chuck up your job ?”
That notion is totally repulsive to them-such women do not enter their lives-except for a casual affair or a one night stand. So he ends up drinking beer with his male friends and probably watching porn – Or dates women who do not threaten his fragile notion of his own masculinity.
And so the battle between the sexes rages on. One is trying to grab power for themselves and the other reluctant to relinquish his… Will the twain ever meet?… except within ourselves perhaps?
I discuss this with my friends often. Male and female. And i have reached the conclusion that we are all equally confused. Nobody knows what they are supposed to be like or think like or behave like any more. Our notions of masculinity and feminity need to be redefined in a way that works for both of us,concurrent with todays times
I also think the day we discover a way to balance the yin and yang in ourselves all need, dependance and friction will cease. And the need for each other will diminish all together.
We will be a planet of like minded hermophrodites. And then… how boring would that be… where would the conflicts and great dramatic stories come from?
So just for now, forget all this ying yang balance. I’m going to revel in being a woman all over again… I’m going to have a good pms cry, call up my father to help organize my life for me and go binge on pizza chocolate and banana chips
Bella Ciao my dears. Until my next