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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Just A Woman?

The title could be perceived as insulting if the motivation for choosing it is not explained. So explain I shall. Just the other day my older sister used this quote to describe a social situation she had found herself in. The very words bothered me straight off the bat; their implication being that she accepted herself as somehow less. I told her to cut that shit out. I told her she didn't get to play that card anymore. Now please do not misunderstand me. I know in the battle for equality we still have a way to go, but for a woman to self define in such negative terms is hardly going to move the project forward. I think it is so important that the prevailing mood music continues to change, and my particular gender has a massive part to play in this. I respect and admire the female gender, in many ways more so than I do my own. I see the contribution made to the planet by women and it seems overwhelmingly positive. Compare this with the erosion and destruction wrought by men, and it only adds to the urgent need to speed up the global trend of female empowerment. Parents need to be instiling in their daughters that they are powerhouses, forces to be reckoned with. And we need to be teaching our sons that they must have the deepest respect for the females in their lives. Mutual respect breeds mutual empowerment. Now of course I understand that individual relationship dynamics may differ; lets face it and acknowledge that there is usually a dominant partner within a relationship. Coup!es have to be free to choose how their respective dynamics work, but that's a separate issue from the wider panorama. I'm just saying that a society that cherishes women, that releases them to reach the highest personal altitude is going to be a better society for all. If I was going to venture one critique towards my fellow denizens with the two X chromosomes, it would be that you could sometimes be braver when it comes to expressing expectations and enforcing standards. A cursory glance at my Facebook feed will regularly contain the tearful complaints of women wronged, women who's partners have walked away, or failed them. All too often I read updates that evoke the victim mentality, and I quietly wonder whether these women have allowed themselves to be dictated to? Or just plain disrespected? I think ladies that you need to own that shit and take it upon yourself to impose yourselves more. You can be both feminine and powerful; in fact you might actually find that you become more beguiling to a smarter breed of partner. If you keep adopting the same behaviours you're going to be getting the same outcomes. Understand this. More than that, learn to harness and focus your own strengths. Don't be a victim. And don't adopt a victim mentality. To me that's plain self harm.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Beguiling

Can you see it? Can you perceive it? No image has effected me as much as this one for a very long time. Look at how they relate to each other. The eye contact, the acceptance, the inate way one perceives the other. As I appraise them the first word that comes to me is fortress. Their relationship is a stronghold, a bastion, a lighthouse facing an immense ocean. Beneath those lines, those etchings of timeless experience is something strong. Something deep and enduring. In their gaze I see victory, experience, deep knowledge and connection. More than that it inspires me, makes me dare to dream that a day may come in the deep distance when I can share such a glance with my Joy. What must it feel like to reach such an age having weathered life's slings and arrows? Emerging connected, bound, effectively a single organism comprising two parts. I do not fear death, but the men in my family are not particularly long lived. As such I may not be privileged enough to enter deep old age with my faculties intact. God forbid, I've spent most of this year coming to terms with the limitations of my own body. I'm struggling, to be quite honest, and there's some repairs needed to the hull. As Christopher Hitchins observed, it is only when it rebels against you that one learns that you don't so much as have a body, but rather that you are a body. Still, a man can dare to hope, can't he? And my hope is that Joy and I move into our vintage with a sustained desire to create and innovate when it comes to our relationship. We're good at discovering new elements within each other, and we're not afraid to step outside convention when we know it will make us richer. Isn't it the case that in any relationship the goal should be to seek to become the truest versions of ourselves? To shed the fear and hesitancy? To dare to be vulnerable?
As a man, being vulnerable before my lady hasn't always come naturally to me, yet when I do the rewards outweigh the risks so massively as to render trepidation sheer folly. Joy knows things about me that give her tremendous power, and I've had to trust her with this. But trust is the lifeblood of any relationship isn't it? Is it even possible to sustain a relationship without it? I don't see how? But as always I digress. When you finish reading this just look at that old couple again. They were young once, with appetites and inner conflicts and all the rest. Can you sense how far they've come? Can you comprehend the epic, sweeping scope of such a journey? I'm awestruck. I'm captivated. The image has seized me by the collar and it keeps drawing me in. And here's the thing; the more I look the more vibrant it becomes. Its sheer humanity compels me towards seeking to emulate it. At least to try. See the warmth, sense the enduring connection. And dare to dream.