Overall, I really enjoyed Ensler’s talk; I thought that its heart was clearly in the right place, and her experience with compassion more prominent than even her experience with the opposite (a miracle in itself). It makes me weary to critique her at all, knowing that she must have been made to consider all these qualms before. Nevertheless, I think that a fundamental misunderstanding is happening on one of our sides, though we both be on the same side, and thus we owe it to the concept itself to flesh it out.
She begins by establishing the basic, and I would say linear, feng-shui-esque binary of that which is womenly being: compassion, empathy, passion, self vulnerability, openness, intensity, association(?) relationships, intuitive… But, by doing this, claiming this set of societally established natural virtues for women, she is also propagating the same conflict she fights. Now, I hate the “over-masculinzation” of society as much if not more than the next guy, and obviously the correlating objectification of women, but is the answer really to make men more womanly and women more manly? Is the answer really to embrace females for their “inherently emotional beingness”? Just where is the emphasis when she repeats that women are emotional creatures? Does creatures imply species or gender? I don’t know, but its got me all fuddled up. But – I don’t think saying “its a girl thing,” or referring to this thing as the “remaining memory,” presumably of our species, able to “take us back” to some unknown time, is the right way to do it. In itself, I don’t think theres really anything wrong with it, but on a philosophically applicable level it may be polarizing to those who don’t really yet understand the origins of this strange/alchemically/mythically based value system.
AGAIN: Why it is about making men more manly makes them evil? And why does this in turn somehow make women more… (not good? but:) victimized? The only way for me to assimilate this contradicting confusion is to go back to the beginning of her talk when she mentions the girl cell, or what Jung would call the anima. This (semi)perceivable feminine principle of the world, its not a girl thing, this “’girl’ thing” is it; just so, the masculine principle is not to blame, nor even men, but the nature-in-general that happens to produce this all. If women are the future, and they are (and so are men), then they must teach men, but not fall into the same mistake of assigning such nigh astrological associations to biology. We must all be logical, and all be emotional, not one more than the other, or some more than the other; actually, none of us can be logical or emotional, on second thought, we all simply are, and we’re all simply gonna cut all this bullshit out of what it means to be a man/women/person, hopefully, by simply being humans.
Oh, and Porter? Sorry, man, you rocked in a heart touching way, and I liked the whole man-box thing, I guess, and the stories, but you really didn’t give too much in way of a new solution. We’ve been teaching our men to try to be gentlemen for years. Its sort of worked? According to “The Better Angels of our Nature” apparently crimes been getting better, but yeah thats no reason to regress now; I just don’t want to generalize on the whole of human history all over the globe, or even within a single city block; still,: shit.