WHAT MEN SAY *ABOUT* WOMAN
How Did It Get This Way?
Remember, if you grew up in the 1950's, the article shared in part one of this three part exploration into what men say about "woman" shows what is more likely the road Dad took to rule his 'head of the house' status in marriage. Oral contraception, ie the pill, developed and marketed by women for women, is what spoke *to* wmn's true and deep concern: unequal citizenship status under the law. For there is a myth of woman in lieu of a history of women already on record.
|The time is past due to uncover the covering. -stephanie pope|
PANDORA & POLIS
The concern in woman and women for *wmn* and *mnwmn* is age-old and is an inheritance in antiquity through both Christian and Greek mythic patterns of thought (one-god/many gods) in relation to one side of the divine, *wmn* and its treatment in the religious and social imagination shaping the racial archetype.
In Greek antiquity in Athens, in the story shaping polis, (polis means ancient Greek citystate) the myth of Pandora indicates in lieu of equality “women were given” *marriage*; given in marriage is one thing but given to marriage, often to settle disputes fought over in war, obscures, blurs and collapses a necessary distinction made between *her sex* and the good with female sex as “the goods.” Her sex, now objectified as “the goods” settles distracting yet ideological disputes when it come to the business of the state in the statement operating in self-paternalism.
Placed behind a symbol, the veil, she is her sex, an object of trade ― the veil given woman appropriates her voice and does away with her right to speak otherwise. Standing in for her, the veil is a means in speaking *about her* while not speaking *to her*. There is an avoidance of unveiling what "she” embodies. Her "space" is thrown into negation in the very supposed act of speaking "on her behalf". In other words, her “vagina speak” is placed in a stoppered condition. You don't see what it embodies and represents and this "right of representation" is appropriated. She is spoken *about* in speaking *for* her without representing her point of view about herself. If you think I am kidding, you can trace the three meanings for the Greek term, "veil" just as did I in an earlier essay. Hidden behind the veil and by looking at the Greek term for “veil”, krêdemnon, I uncover three meanings at work. This manner of uncovering a covering is aletheia. Aletheia is truth revealed by unsealing a seal intending to conceal. Let me borrow a quote from that essay to unveil this insight.
Although the image, woman is at once caught between the fantasy birth and the historically crafted image of autochthony, I begin to note that our deepest inheritance as ‘woman’ is not erased when it is silenced in the allegorical memory of our history as a people—nay planet! It is handed down in the down-handed symbolic hand-me-down mneme contained within the belly of the human story that simultaneously names woman in an ‘us’ which does not represent her. The Athenians had a word that expressed this symbolic image-idea which inheres woman to culture thusly. It is krêdemnon and it means ‘veil’. The term signifies a “headbinder,” and in as much as the body of a woman represents the polis itself, the veil signifies the battlements that crown the city and fortifying the city against invasion. So the krêdemnon that means veil or ‘headbinder’ also means the battlements that protect a city against invasion.
Her own face and body are made to hide and be the hide itself covering over that which is unrepresentable, the existence of *wmn*. Thusly, the third sense the early Athenians had for the veil is likened to the stopper of a bottle, a ‘cap”, capping the volcanic force and tapping its energy…her “sexuality”, seizing her “property”, the sexual energies proper to her person.
Among these 'energetics' would be her own mind's mythic pattern, its own style of being present in determining family planning, gynacological care, care of the health of bodily processes, etc., in essence, her self-determined, self-paternal, citizen status. This status is the right to life that is being violated in Todd Akins comment suggesting there is a form of legitimate rape. It is the rape of womb rights. How so?
Inherent in the psyche of this thinking is the metaphorical recognition how rape-- the rape of "wmn", the feminine face of the divine formation of *us* justifies as moral this religious imagination in its even more insidious assault on polis. It cannot be just today, not at least since the 18thC, the way it once lays claim in antiquity. Not if the Constitution is still the law of the land. Life, representable as it is, female and citizen challenges that it is never right to rape that which is representable as it is, her equal status as an American citizen. the individually female individual is guaranteed by the Constitution the equally inalienable right to determine her own life's well-being. Her own "representation" suffers a tyranny of paternalism if, in being spoken for, she is cut out of self-representation in polis.
Now it seems to me what has been going on since 2010 in Congress when Congress speaks has more to do with silencing the variant and individualy female citizenry of women's voices speaking "wmn" for itself. It also seems to me these folks are messin' where they've not got the right. That is a misuse of public trust. Sadly, female citizen status itself now lacks equality in representation under current law reform when it comes to womb rights, one of which is the right to an abortion. In her currency of exchange, woman has been spoken *about* not *to*.
That is a heads up to you my American fellowhood of lass and lad dealing with the so-called well-meaning todd akin type folk trying to put you in *your* place. They are as good as saying you are to be governed and are not fit to self-govern in shaping polis. They are denying you the right to participate in consensual self-paternalism. Now go a step further. Apply that to this big attempt today by the Christian social conservative thrust to redefine *marriage* as that between a *man* and a *woman*. Think about to whom and to what special interests this (self) is in service. It is about sex. It is about dumbing-down meanings related to citizen status.
Alas, once more Mr. Speaker! You don't speak *to* my vagina, you can only speak *about* it. Vagina-speak knows better than you how no means no.
Such no-ing is a big *NO*, too, because what operates in the social rule when one's majority rule passes into law laws without respect for individual rights as equal rights can do so only by appropriating toward its own citizen status privilege. This is how paternalism gets out and reigns. This is how its currents destroy democracy in the name of “god” who is not *gd*.