As someone with a liberal head and very traditional heart, I worry where the seemingly redundant idea of old school, chivalrous masculinity is going. I appreciate it. Few things are sexier than old fashioned manners like opening the car door and walking to the other side, paying bills, pulling out chairs. Traditional gentlemanliness is hot. It is usually indicative of someone who has been raised well. I make a mental note when I see a man doing these things, sadly it happens less and less these days. As much as this saddens me, I worry far more about gender inequality affecting my 18 year old brother. Men in the UK today have it really tough…
Feminist – funny word isn’t it? The “femin” part, linguistically referring to female or feminine, and “ist” meaning one that is. This word excludes men entirely. It’s easy to see why, at face value, some men disassociate themselves with this word.
Whilst watching a man with his lover I noticed his hand firmly wedged into his crotch. Not in an erotic way, he was kissing his partner, but it was some expression of comfort. It is a common sight among men. One that has provoked discussion about the contrasts between men and women who are said to behave differently. As my daydream-filled-train-journey continued my mind was filled with the vision and impossibility of a woman doing the same.
The negative space of a woman’s sexual organs and even the space between her legs appeared as a sacred space. A vacuum into which it seemed impossible to to place another object without violating the sanctity of the place. The absurdity of this vision struck me, as a person who is well aware of the basic functions of the female organ, why would I create such a fantastical narrative around the biology of a woman. I was reminded of one of those many discussions about boys holding onto their penises and the words of a female friend, “for a girl, there is nothing there.”
Nothing is a silly thing to be contained within a person,but my own daydreams lead me to create a space within women that was beyond understanding. This falsehood come from a long history of creating ‘sacred spaces’ around misunderstood, abused and manipulated subjects.
As I dreamt of a woman’s sacred voids inside and outside of her body she was first turned into a god and then into an object to be controlled and “worshiped.” There must be laws and regulations; conventions and codes of conduct to respect. But who does such a “space” belong to? Could it possibly be left in charge of the body that carries it. Surely not.
As long as we continue to create these fallacies and to encourage them through laws against abortion, through “the gap between her thighs” culture, we are debasing women and depriving them of their self determination and of their personhood. When a person becomes sacred and untouchable they are then exposed to another form of abuse. They no longer fit within the confines of our definition of humanity and cannot be protected. Women in countries where abortion is illegal are forced to have illegal abortions. All women are victims of sexualisation if they succeed in conforming to expectations or not and as they have become objects through their sacred status they are abused.
It is evident from my own little daydream that these issues are culturally endemic. They are ideas that we carry as a culture and that makes them harder to call out and destroy. So remember, Feminist Man, your theory might be on point but that doesn’t mean you have overcome the cultural education that we all have to fight against.
If like me, you feel that society has wrongly decided menstruation is an awkward taboo… then watch this woman and prepare to laugh, clap and share with everyone you know. Because that’s exactly what I did. Enter Dominique Christina – ultimate disturber of the peace and Grand Slam winning, breathtaking poet.