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The Woman Within

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'Although it is quite possible that many will consider this book irreverent or disrespectful of ideas or institutions, I am certain that they will also perceive it as a defender of women and their unquestionable transcendence throughout history. The main ideas I now share publicly, are ones I have considered for many years: the classification of the 'Eves', the masochistic character of women, the concept of giraffe women, etc.. Other ideas appeared afterwards, some at the last moment, as I enjoyed the company of friends, who frequently and generously lend their time to discuss with me their own opinions... I believe that there is a universal feminine principle just as there is a masculine one, the difference remains in the fact that, from the very beginning of creation, everything about man has already been said and nothing continues to be undisclosed, whereas woman, is an untold story yet to be discovered.' - From the Foreword.'Such feminine principle must be related with the socio-biological power of imprinting, with the guilt that such fatalistic puissance of imprinting induces, together with the apparent complication of an anatomically hidden sexuality. This essay will attempt to define aforementioned feminine principle, to evaluate the obstacles that obstruct woman's road towards self-illumination and to likewise consider, the real course woman ought to take in order to finally find her proper identity, the idiosyncrasy and authenticity that will define women of the future, perhaps many years from now: the "Vindicated Eve"'.- From the author's Foreword

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CHAPTER ONE: The complicity of Eve

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God created Adam lord of living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all.

Martin Luther

The central theme of this essay consists of an investigation, a true detective inquiry, into a crime perpetrated during the primeval era of mankind. The idea came to me after a careful examination of the myth of Genesis, the ancient history known by us all, of Adam and Eve, a common account shared by both Judaism and Christianity, a tale already present in Sumerian civilisation.

I think that the argument present in the myth of Adam and Eve renders a violent attack against women: God, a male, creates a man first, and then puts him to sleep in order to bring the woman into existence, an action which obviously reproduces a distorted representation of maternity. Furthermore, Eve thus created, guilty of a satanic seduction, induces an innocent man to sin, and in the end drags him away from the forever lost land of Paradise. There is no question that the myth of Genesis instils in women a very negative image of themselves. It is decided firstly that God is a male, and secondly that “he” created a man first in order to give birth to awoman, an absurd gesture which deprives woman of her biological reality, because it is only she who is capable of conception. Finally, a satanic and demonic role is attributed to her, because it is only she who tempts the innocent Adam and induces him to commit the Original Sin. Women of other times, heirs of Eve, have never voiced any complaint or word of disagreement about the veracity of such a myth; on the contrary, they have always been, and still are, more religious than men, meekly accepting the double aggression of being both deprived and accused.

 

CHAPTER TWO: The three phases of Eve

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Nature intended women to be our slaves … they are our property: we are not theirs. They belong to us, just as a tree that bears fruit belongs to a gardener. What a mad idea to demand equality for women! […] Women are nothing but machines for producing children.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Not long ago, surgeons could not rely on all the technical facilities we have available today. Chloroform, for instance, used as an anaesthetic, was applied directly over the face using a little mask, a method still known today as anaesthésie à la reine, because in the year 1853, Dr John Snow administered it to Queen Victoria during the birth of Prince Leopold, her eighth child. The experiment had been delayed since 1847, when James Simpson of Edinburgh used it for the first time; it had been attacked by the Church on the basis of Genesis 3:16, which states: “In pain you shall bring forth children” (my emphasis). In the end, however, Simpson and his followers were able to prevail, arguing that although the Bible was right, it was also true that God put Adam to sleep while he removed his rib in order to create Eve. But nothing close to thisover-fastidious controversy I have chosen as an example, or many others witnessed during the course of history, has ever defended the injustice perpetrated on woman in this same Genesis: robbing her of her maternity and declaring her to be in connivance with the demon. Nor did any layman or theologian ever defend women with the same wit as did James Simpson, in order to restore their biological right to motherhood or to ease the responsibility attributed to them for the Original Sin.

 

CHAPTER THREE: The antithesis as a defence

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Tell me what you boast of, and I will tell you what you lack.

Proverb

In the field of psychology and clinical psychiatry, it is common knowledge that a symptom may often be an expression of a hidden conflict which is diametrically its opposite. A patient who fears being contaminated by imaginary “germs” washes her hands continuously, often lacerating them, while at the same time, because she dreads contamination by clothes washed at home, she decides not to wash her bedclothes or her own underwear for at least ten months. Another patient who fears elevators does not seem to mind risking his life by performing aerobatics while parachute jumping. In psychiatry and psychoanalysis, this paradoxical behaviour is known as “reaction formation”, because the action performed is reactive to—or completely the opposite of—an idea unconsciously repressed: summarised, perhaps, by the adage above: “Tell me what you boast of, and I will tell you what you lack”.What did men, from the time of Genesis, fear so much about women that they changed biology's determinism to its opposite, taking maternity away from them and giving it to men, while at the same time slandering women by associating them with the devil? Nobody can deny a woman her transcendence as a mother. Since the time writing was invented, countless adjectives have been used to describe her multiple qualities: “Alma Mater”, “Mother Country”, “Mother Land”, “Mother Nature”, and so forth. There are also other unconscious motives—psychological and biological—which might help us understand what sort of things men fear so much about women, which have induced them to disarrange the facts. Could it be that men envied a woman's capacity to give birth, to create life, while they, regardless of how much they might have tried, produced none? Obviously, women and not men were “chosen by the gods” to be the real site of procreation. It is quite feasible that men at the time of Genesis, ignorant as they were, could devise no explanation, and out of envy, decided to deprive women of exactly the quality they so much admired. In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the word witness was represented by the male's sexual organs. In Latin, the word testis signified both witness and testicles; a root likewise found in the English words testify and testimony. We might think of at least two different explanations which are nevertheless interrelated: either that man was regarded as being the only one capable of testifying and a woman's credibility was never considered serious enough to qualify her to bear witness; or that men perceive themselves as mere witnesses to women's capacity to create new life.1

 

CHAPTER FOUR: Imprinting

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An old man once did say
Who could ever be so gay
On discovering some day
By which strange fl aws
By which mysterious laws
Princes are ruled by Kings
And on any occasion it seems
We are dragged more by a bosom
Than twenty large yoked oxen.

Spanish song

At the beginning of the 1930s, the German ethologist Konrad Lorenz, employing contributions from the end of the previous century, produced outstanding observations and a hypothesis about the social behaviour of birds. While working with the young of Canadian geese, Lorenz discovered that they developed a strong sense of attachment towards any randomly presented object, regardless of its shape or size, if it replaced the mother goose at a given moment of development, even for a short time. He experimented with all sorts of articles, as heterogeneous as a footballand an old shoe, and in all cases, when the goslings had attained adolescence, they always preferred to follow the old shoe or the football as if it were their own mother, despite the fact that the contact had been made very early in their life and for only a few hours. The magnitude of that impression, acquired in such a short period, implied that this phenomenon was more than just social learning. The memory, then, due to its permanent and indelible character, was thought to be a previously unrecognised experience, different from socialisation, and Lorenz baptised it with the name Pragung (imprinting).

 

CHAPTER FIVE: The power of women's bodies

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To men a man is but mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman's body is the woman.

Ambrose Bierce

Women, in general, want to be loved for what they are and men for what they accomplish. The fi rst for their looks and charm, the latter for their actions.

Theodor Reik

Everyone is aware of the importance given to young women's bodies in all printed advertising, regardless of the product in question. From cosmetics to cars, from travelling to food, or anything needing to be sold: it usually has nothing to do with women at all. Every minute the senses are inundated with sub-liminal—and sometimes not so subliminal—messages of beautiful young nameless bodies, fully or half undressed, with the sole purpose of reaching the primitive and biological core of our unconscious, to disturb the obscure forces of imprinting, and to induce consumers to prefer, sometimes without knowing, one kind of carto another, just as Lorenz's birds, in their ignorance, flocked to the absurdity of a rubber ball.

 

CHAPTER SIX: The "giraffe woman" or Latin American "Confused Eve"

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Women are animals of short mind and long hair.

Schopenhauer

One must have loved a woman of genius to comprehend the happiness of loving a fool.

Talleyrand

In summary, the central thesis presented in this essay states that both men and women are equally attached, by means of invisible biological ties, to the young mother's naked body. This memory strongly gesticulates from the hidden depths of our unconscious, determining without our awareness important aspects of our social and individual behaviour. Against this omnipotent impression an unconscious conspiracy is established, placing men and women on the same level: the former envious of women's natural powers; the latter fearful of those powers, choosing a masochistic outlet which throughout history has belittled their image.

For centuries, women have been deprived of their right to know, be aware of, and inquire freely within themselves about the truthof their sexuality. At the end of the nineteenth century, Vienna's social elite was shaken by Freud's great discovery that men could also be victims of hysteria, something completely inconceivable for doctors of that time because the word itself was etymologically derived from the Greek hystera (uoxepa), meaning uterus. How, they asked, can a man suffer from such a disease if he lacks the organ? Hippocrates, who coined the term, explained this psychological ailment as the product of unpredictable “:travelling”: of the womb inside a woman's abdomen.1

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Freudian woman

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The great question which has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is: What does a woman want?

Sigmund Freud (Jones, 1955, p. 421)

For Sigmund Freud, the basic or narcissistic injury par excellence was represented by the woman's lack of a penis, something which could be translated as a woman's phallic longing, with the purpose of repairing or fulfilling her biological “fault”. In men, on the other hand, the possibility of such a lack is perceived as a threat, as an admonition that his might be lost, a castration fear usually perceived as real by the small boy.

The Freudian conception is a phallocentric one, where women represent a sort of emasculated man, filled with an envious desire to possess a phallus which they had lost at some time in their lives, but could recover if circumstances were again favourable. Of course, no man has ever, in natural circumstances, lost his penis, and no woman has ever managed to make one grow. Such a statement has only symbolic value.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: The cloaca theory

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What makes learning to masturbate so diffi cult late in life is that we have been raised to believe that the area between our legs is untouchable, dirty.

Nancy Friday (1991, p. 44)

To assure himself of his sexual identity, contrary to woman, man only needs to look at the tangible evidence of the external genitalia which define him, right before his eyes. In woman, the genitalia are hidden and unseen, lost in the interior of the anatomy. Woman can only be conscious of her genitals through abstract thinking and as a consequence of previous knowledge, which permits her to recreate and envision in her mind organs which visually she seems to be lacking: to herself and others there appears to be more of an absence than a presence.

It is feasible that a woman—above all a little girl—may envy the concreteness of a man's genitals, easily visible and capable also of affording orgasmic pleasure. Woman's envy for the male penis is undoubtedly an authentic sentiment, but conditioned by a multitude of factors which define and determine the depth of such emotions.In a woman, in the Delinquent Eve, something exaggerates the sense of deficiency, of absence, in the presence of the male phallus: a damaging invalidity resulting from her inability to construct in her imagination the presence of her hidden genitals. Something more than its tangibility makes the phallus an object of envy. In the first place, it is difficult for her to desexualise her thoughts, to feel that she has the absolute right to her own body and all the pleasure she can derive from its stimulation, and thus to be able to fantasise freely and without self-imposed restrictions, in order to structure clearly within herself the absolute certainty of the presence of her genita-lia. Perhaps as an exaggeration of what I am trying to say, I recall the case of a psychotic patient who sexualised intensely all mental activity, to the point where he was about to abandon his engineering studies, because for him all theoretical instruction unfailingly became connected with activities of another description, generally with relations of a genital nature. In this way, for example, the theories of acceleration of bodies, pendular motion, attraction of masses, and so on, became sexually charged.

 

CHAPTER NINE: The basic injury

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Intimacy is transparent. Human beings are animals affl icted with consciousness.

Miguel de Unamuno

The most important characteristics of anality are the feelings of shame and disgust. Humans are fatalistically condemned to exist sheltering within the frame of their own biology, an activity which on the one hand is indispensable for their existence, but on the other hand constitutes the place of greatest abomination. Although the anal function is common to all living species, humans are different because of their feeling of shame and disgust towards their functions of excretion, which is completely absent in the rest of the animal kingdom.

From a phylogenetic point of view, we could think that the point of “hominisation”, mentioned by Teilhard de Chardin as the moment in evolution when the anthropoids (monkeys) changed into humans, must have been determined, among many other things, by a feeling of shame, which animals obviously do not experience. “Man is an animal afflicted with consciousness,” said Miguel de Unamuno. Onthe other hand, Ortega y Gasset (1961, vol. 7, p. 71) proposed to visit a zoo in order to watch the monkeys, and observed how their main concern is with the “Other”, with the people around them (in Latin the alter). They live continuously altered and at the same time find it impossible to become self-absorbed. They cannot, in other words, free themselves from the determining weight of being altered by the Other's presence. The monkeys mimic and replicate other people's behaviour without identifying with it, because the action remains foreign and is not at all imbibed. Contrary to animals, men are capable of assimilating whatever they imitate or learn, to steal it and change it into something of their own, to impregnate it with their own intimacy. It is perhaps this capacity of assimilation which determines the advent of consciousness, of moral consciousness, and shame as a consequence. Whatever determines the capacity human beings have to take over other people's behaviour as if it were really theirs, might be what also instigates feelings of shame, disgust and guilt: the monkey only imitates the other, the one who is really responsible for the action, but men, by identifying completely with the other, feel that they have done it; they feel responsible.

 

CHAPTER TEN: Anal space, uterine space

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How can he who is born of woman be clean?

Job 25:4

Alarge amount of sexual repression among women derives from the attitude displayed by their mothers. I say mothers rather than fathers for two reasons. In the first place, the natural closeness of the mother at that age secures more regular supervision by her than by the father. In the second place, mothers identify more with their daughters, and as a consequence, they feel they have the right to exercise a greater control. According to the orientation the mother chooses, she introduces two different possibilities: either differentiation, freedom, independence, high self-esteem and creativity, or, on the contrary, control, domination, dependency, fear, insecurity and symbiosis. She will manufacture within the depths of the unconscious the prospect of two directions, of two different worlds: one dominated by reality, the other by fantasy. I do not mean by this that fantasy is something we ought to disregard as bad and dangerous. What I am stressing is that fantasy can be used in order to change reality—if that is what we want,instead of remaining forever entangled in a desire or dream we have confused with reality, and persisting within that fantasy, thinking that it is in fact reality. I am aware that I am referring to extremes here; however, we all know that life is not just black and white, that there is a wide range of greys in between. Fantasies are just dreams, whereas reality is action. A world dominated mostly by daydreaming, for instance, is a world of paralysis, ruled by the unconscious, but powerful necessity to remain forever attached to our mother's desire; where growing, initiative, decision, a tendency to act and wish fulfilment are nothing but obscene intentions, dangerous and silently forbidden.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: The power of magic

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All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.

Kramer and Sprenger, Inquisitors (Malleus Maleficarum, 1486)

It is interesting to observe how the necessity to understand the world by means of magic induces men at large to search in ancient religious books for answers to modern needs and queries, as if no time had elapsed. I still remember when, several years ago, I decided to revive my own childhood experiences of “house magic” while playing with my eldest son, aged five or six years, who, very impressed, jumped for joy whenever I performed a new trick. However, when I decided at one point to reveal to him the true nature of the game, I was astounded to see him throwing himself on the floor, crying and dejected. It took a few times before I could understand that he was not in the least interested in understanding the hidden mechanisms of tricks or having any lessons in prestidigitation. His main enjoyment lay in thinking that his father had the unbelievable power to make things appear and disappear, that he was mighty and omnipotent. He was terrified of the threat of finding out that everything could have been just a lie.The feeling of this child is not completely unfamiliar to the rest of us human beings; as a resource, when we have to meet everyday anxieties and experience impotence in the face of life's continuous demands, the need for a special power which might allow us access to Nature's apathy or to God's indifference becomes very tempting. It is not possible to understand otherwise why an immense hunger for religion brings about a dangerous paradox where fanatics in search of immortality bring death instead: the never-ending wars between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland or between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. It seems that the fear induced by men's impotence, fragility or finiteness forces them to lose the only thing they posses, at least temporarily: their own life. Caracas, for instance, is a city with a high rate of delinquency and a great discrepancy between the indigent and the well-to-do living cheek by jowl, as in many other Latin American metropolises. There are at least two situations in which rich people really feel the need for help from the poor, up to the point that they are willing to risk their own lives (and they usually do): when they venture at forbidding hours inside the red zones of the city (poor and dangerous areas) in order to get either illegal drugs or magic, by visiting the pushers or the fashionable witches and sorcerers. It is also common to read, in very important newspapers, long letters or poems in the form of obituaries addressed to family members long dead, as if there were, in the mind of the relative, the fantasy that the deceased gets out of the tomb every morning in order to read the newspaper.

 

CHAPTER TWELVE: Alchemy

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Merit is not in the golden crown, but to have peace in our thoughts.

Lope de Vega

The control exercised by religious mysticism during the medieval Dark Ages not only restricted any possibility of scientific development, but also provoked and maintained the predominance of an esoteric milieu, pervaded with witchcraft and sorcery, where both magic and science were exercised and confused indiscriminately. In search of the philosopher's stone, men hidden in dark and humid castle cellars recited magic and ancient formulas while scorching and churning the “matter”, a mixture of metals and filth. They were capable of producing, without distinction, chemical amalgamations and compounds compatible with modern chemistry, as well as “marvellous” and “miraculous” elixirs powerful enough to subdue the most quarrelsome lover or the most dangerous enemy.

Although alchemy was a pseudo-science concerned with changing base metals such as lead or copper into silver or gold, it was also linked with the roots of chemistry itself. In a document from the Middle Ages, Francesc Eiximenis, a mid-fourteenth-century Catalanphilosopher, warned ingenuous people about the alchemist's art and the possibility of being deceived: “You have to escape from the alchemists, who are usually mad, deceivers, quick to spend what is not theirs, who never deliver what they promised and who never bring themselves to give up or to lose, and who have always been incarnate in that pestilence and can never move away from it”.1

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Totem and taboo: from God-man to God-woman

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And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and fl esh of my fl esh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Genesis 2:22–23

In 1913, Freud published his well-known contribution to the fields of anthropology and sociology under the title “Totem and Taboo”, in which he attempted to investigate the phylogenetic basis of the Oedipus complex as well as the sociological understanding of religion, based on observation of both animal behaviour and that of primitive people. Originally, he said, men organised themselves in a manner similar to mammals which live in groups (such as wild horses, buffaloes, monkeys or sea lions, among others), as they do today. They are patriarchal societies with a dominant male who not only protects the herd from any outside threat, but also acts as the absolute master of all the females, fiercely guarding his dominion from any younger male (usually his own offspring), who easily yields to his authority. But at a given moment, the most primitive and universal conspiracy takesplace—perhaps the expression of the most primeval revolution— when all the males get together and one of them, maybe the strongest and most courageous, challenges the dominant father to a life-or-death duel. After the previous incumbent's death or defeat, the victor becomes the new ruling male. In primitive societies, the death of the father produced terrible feelings of guilt and “paranoid anxiety”. After all, the father had not only given life to his progeny, but had provided for them and protected them as well. The guilt produced the fantasy that the father, after his death and from the “place where he dwells”, would take a dreadful revenge, inducing the need to pacify his soul by means of different rituals; these, according to Freud, became the basis for the origin of all religions. They would, for instance, incinerate his body to make certain that he would not return, and then ingest the ashes in a ceremony to make the dead father part of themselves. This could be associated with the principle implicit in the communion of the Christian faith as well as other religions. Not being completely convinced of Christ's death, they then glorified and venerated his memory, giving place in this manner to the origin of God. However, the magnitude of the guilt was such that their attempts to find a protective mechanism always failed, forcing them to search for other alternatives, such as the need to repeat forever all the details of the conspiracy, as a form of expiation. The dead father was then represented by a totem or by a certain animal, forbidden to be touched, hurt, or hunted except during a specific period of the year, when all the members of the tribe organised themselves in order to kill the animal, as a symbolic repetition of the original deed in which they did really murder their father. After the hunt, the ceremony was consummated with a “totemic meal” or communion, where they all ate the animal. Jews, for example, use the lamb, while Christians use the fish, representing Christ, as a food allowed (when meat is not) during the Lenten fast leading to the ceremonial of Easter, when his death and resurrection are commemorated.1

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Femininity

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Tiresias, who was both man and woman, was asked to mediate in a dispute between Jupiter and Juno over who, men or women, got more pleasure out of sex. He answered: “If orgasm could be divided into ten equal parts, nine would be for women and only one for men.”

Ovid (Metamorphoses 3)

Man has never been able to understand or accept completely two phases of humanity: the mystery of its beginning, and the dread of its end. The first is related to the origin of mankind, its capacity to beget, to bear life, or in other words, to perform sex. The second is connected with the end of men, their definite and final disappearance from life at the moment of death. Both dimensions are the expression of men's basic instinctive duality: Eros (love, creativity and life) and Thanatos (aggression, destruction and death).

The impossibility of ever getting used to sex, inciting us to witness it constantly as if we had never seen it before, and observe the repetitious execution of a coitus as if it were for the first time, guarantees not only procreation but also, as a complication, the existenceof pornography. The fear of death, on the other hand, as we never become accustomed to its reality, brings about the need for religion, always repetitive and dogmatic, which constantly applies ancient books and old cultures to a modern era, as if time had not elapsed. The ugly consequence of this fear is perpetual religious warfare for the supremacy of each group's particular God. This is why pornography and religion might have a common enemy: boredom and the monotonous repetition of always being absolutely the same.

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Confused Eve

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Women's advances and retreats are generally described in military terms: battles won, battles lost, points and territory gained and surrendered.

Susan Faludi

Ihave already stated in previous chapters that we might currently be experiencing the beginning of the Confused Eve's era. Even in Latin American countries, women no longer behave as they did in the past, and are fighting for their rights, trying to escape from the forced ignominy of previous centuries, and trying courageously to purify and modify their image as illegal, demonic and dangerous people. But it has not been an easy task, because in their pursuit of a universal feminine principle, women have been guided by the forces of chance, some biological, others cultural, which have fatalistically oriented them to the easiest way, towards the external appearance of men, to the fascination of the Other, of external masculinity, instead of the difficult quest for their own internal femininity. Confused Eve has fallen into the trap placed by biology, into the apparent idealised phallic domination, ignoring the more difficult but truthfulinvestigation of her own hidden identity; fascinated by the phallus and appalled by her natural vaginal “wound”, which she experiences more as an absence than as a presence.

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Adam

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I see the phenomenon of what I would call the “soft male” all over the country today. Sometimes when I look out at my audiences, perhaps half the young males are what I'd call soft.

Robert Bly

Man's superiority will be shown not in the fact that he has enslaved his wife, but that he has set her free.

Eugene V. Debs

It is highly significant that so many books have been written about femininity and rarely has anything been said about masculinity, as if the former required so much explanation and the latter so little. Masculinity is so obvious and visible, retaining no obscure enigma, while femininity is so obscure, hidden and mysterious that such a discrepancy in scientific as well as neophyte information is absolutely understandable; either male concreteness does not inspire the same curiosity, or female masochism induces many writers, male as well as female, to rescue women from their historical opprobrium.As I stated previously, men's tangible sexuality certainly influences their way of thinking, because they do not need any kind of abstraction to figure out their own identity. They also do not have to face the threats of menstruation, virginity, or pregnancy; and their sexuality is more openly exercised because it is supported by family and society. Women, on the other hand, are continuously repressed and accused. In Latin American society, for instance, this discrepancy is often expressed in the following argument: men are suspected of homosexuality unless they are heterosexually very active, while women, if they were to behave in a similar manner, would be suspected of prostitution. This is why women generally feel more responsible, more guilty and more dependent than men do, and as a consequence they are more inclined to suffer from depression. But this is only an apparent condition, because if we compare the psy-chosexual development of boys and girls, we see that there exists a discrepancy between what we might observe on the surface and what might exist internally.

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Vindicated Eve

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In my vision of the emerging Age of Aquarius, women will unfold our deepest spiritual potential and create egalitarian systems of political, economic and social well-being for all citizens of the world.

Char McKee

The central hypothesis introduced in this essay establishes that the social profile of humankind depends largely on the continuous transformation of woman's psychology, because she constitutes the beginning of life, the determining factor which decides, with her imprint and influence, the outcome of both men and women. Like a never-ending spiral, women will also be affected by science, by new advances and inventions, as happened in the past with the feeding bottle, for instance, or with new forms of contraceptive; these advances were largely responsible for the increase in their freedom during the twentieth century. Future discoveries will continue to influence women's psycho-social structure, changing other variables, biological as well as psychological, like menstruation and even maternity, as I stated in previous chapters.

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:Beyond imprinting

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… For Spirits when they please
Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their Essence …

John Milton (Paradise Lost)

In the years to come, most of the advances of humanity will hinge on the progress of four different domains: communication and transportation (electronics) in the first place; secondly, biology and medicine; thirdly, social entropy; and finally, women. Of all of these areas, entropy requires some explanation: in physics, it is a measure of the disorder of molecules in a system and is central to the second law of thermodynamics. The concept was also imported into the realms of biology and sociology in order to explain the successive degradation of matter, of energy as well as societies and cultures, currently existing or which have existed in the universe, to an ultimate state of uniformity and homogeneity. Recently, we witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, which had stood for more than forty-five years. Everyone believed it would be eternal, like the Great Wall of China, but the “work” needed by the communist authorities tomaintain such a division was so strenuous that it could no longer be sustained; like an old refrigerator, worn down by its continuous palpitating, facing the incessant beating of entropy, it finally collapsed. This is similar to many Third World country dictators who, like the Berlin Wall, threaten to stay in perpetuity. In the immediate future, we will see that the social organisation of former communist countries, such as Russia and its allies, will come to resemble the social structure of Canada or Sweden among many others, because neither a bamboo, nor an iron, nor a steel curtain could ever withstand the powerful fatalism of entropy: the whole world slowly moves towards uniformity, even in different matters such as nationality, skin colour, money, etc.

 

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