A matter of principle

No art again today. I’m working on the next color journals but I’m consumed with creating and so haven’t taken any photos or scans yet. In any case, I’m feeling verbal lately, so I’ll indulge myself with spouting off a bit more again today.

I don’t particularly care about physical beauty. I think, perhaps, I would feel differently about it if I felt that I *had* physical beauty… or any to maintain. However, I’m sure that as some sort of karmic lesson that I must have needed to learn in this lifetime, I have put on weight that simply refuses to come off, and has put me amongst the ranks of the obese. And as society continually reminds us, there is NOthing quite as UNbeautiful as being too fat.

I’ve been having this back and forth email dialog regarding a piece that was selected for publication for the ezine that I donate time to. I expressed my concern regarding the piece which in my opinion misrepresented (or exaggerated the effects of) the product produced by the company I work for. What bothered me the most is how the female character was portrayed in the story-superficial, though just as she was about to reclaim herself, she was once again coherced into believing her lack of worth by a husband who was playing the closet misogynist. In any case, in the end it was decided that the piece was satiric in nature, and that due to this it was obvious that the portrayal of the product was not meant maliciously but rather was poking fun at the foibles of human nature. I made my pitch and it was rebuffed, but the reasoning startled me. The main reason for the go-ahead was that the publisher felt that her publication was established in order to publish works that otherwise would not get published elsewhere, due to their potential “controversial” nature. Okay, I can accept that as good enough reasoning. A woman who sticks to her principles-I can dig that.

Somewhere during this flurry of email activity between the two of us, a discussion began on beauty and aging, and society’s perception of both of these seemingly abstract concepts. The letter was signed with her name and “who’s earned every wrinkle she’s got and is proud of them.”

I feel the same way about aging. I love that I am approaching crone-hood. I may have been “beautiful” in my late teens and early twenties, but never was I more insecure and unsure of who I really was. Living made me “become” and I believe that is a beautiful thing. Of course, being at the “middle” of my life, I certainly have a different paradigm on all of this. Youth seems incredibly young and old age is much closer now than then, but is still a foreign concept. Aches and pains whisper their occasional presence but they can be swept away with some pain meds and a concentrated effort at indulging myself in beloved past times.

I think that the *value* of aging women in society is largely overlooked (and not necessarily the 70-yr old grandmother but the 45 year old powerhouse of a woman who has money, experience and some measure of power that she is able to wield).

I went to see Star Wars III last weekend and while I liked the movie overall, I was pissed that Padme was killed off to tie off the loose ends. She didn’t die of medical complications during childbirth… she died because “she lost the will to live.” Oh come ON! We’re talking about a young woman who was a warrior, trained in combat and groomed since childhood to become head of state (a role which she stepped into just barely at puberty)… how is such a change in fundamental character even believable?!

Anyway… I’m ranting about something that is totally on a tangent, but somehow oddly related to this whole woman bashing thing.

As an aside, while I work for this huge corporation, I don’t ally myself with its affiliations or its politics, or those of the majority of its employees. When looking at where the company’s charitable donations would be heading, it isn’t a huge stretch to figure out which color they lean toward. Would you believe that the legal department nixed selecting Starbuck’s coffee for our coffee brand not because the marjority didn’t like the coffee but because they didn’t like the political affiliation of the company, and didn’t want to support its business. Well…. I’m a socialist liberal… doesn’t sit too well with me, because I think what Starbuck’s is doing for the world is hats off. They are being a socially responsible company… can’t say that for most of ’em. And they have an excellent product to boot.

Oh… and in a weird, perhaps indirect way, Anakin turning to the dark side of the force can almost be perceived as being Padme’s fault… because he wanted to save her from certain death (which he foresaw in visions), he felt he needed be able to wield the power to overcome death–to SAVE her, and in order to do so had to turn to the dark side of the force… and in doing so lost the very thing he cherished the most.

But… is there really a dark side, or is it simply an opposite side… not good or bad, just a different and necessary part of the whole? This is what I’ve learnt to embrace about myself. That my shadow side, though not as appealing and/or socially acceptable as my light side, is an important and integral component of the whole of who I am, and to love all parts of myself is necessary for transcendence.

Again… off on a tangent… seemingly unrelated but oddly fits into this puzzle somehow. This strange and twisted puzzle of woman’s place in the world (and we really should count ourselves lucky, I suppose, that we are part of a “Western” culture, because in many other parts of the world-Middle East, Asia-women are not only NOT revered… they are vilified). I think we need to make good, strong medicine for this world… I’m just trying to figure out what the brew should be and how to dispense it.

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One thought on “A matter of principle

  1. grouchmuffin

    I really enjoyed your blog-especially this entry. Women have come a long way, but I think society has quite a ways to go yet. Loved your artwork too! Happy Day, grouchy

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