Thursday, March 10, 2011

The 8th of March

Even one day late, it is still worthy saying: I hate the 8th of March.

It isn't that I don't love women and I don't want to celebrate them. But that is not the way.

Just to speak of "woman" doesn't say anything about what is there to celebrate. Nothing archetypical in it. There are good women and bad women, angels and bitches. Or normal women: but according to what a criterion defined?

You could answer: well, according to no criterion whatsoever. Because it doesn't matter. The 8th of March is for women as such.

Too bad that this "as such" is questionable.

Ancient Greek mythology knew at least four archetypes of women: Hera (in Latin, Juno), Aphrodite (Venus), Athena (Minerva), Artemis (Diana), etcetera. Each one of them personified some aspects of womanhood: like maternity, sex appeal, wisdom, virginal strength, or whatever. When that same mythology tells the story of Paris being called to choose among three of them (Hera, Aphrodite and Athena) thus unchaining the events that led to the war of Troy, it is as if it was telling us that we too have to make a choice:

To decide which traits of womanhood we want to celebrate. Because there is no celebration that isn't of archetypes.

Woman par excellence in the Christian tradition was Mary: embracing all the power of a virgin and all the realization of a mother. So, it would seem, we don't have to make a choice. And we could celebrate all women in her.

But still, her archetype was felt too strict a model. Because we wanted to add another type of woman: the active single, not virgin and only accidentally mother.

And I ask myself: what peculiarly feminine remains in the active single? And why should I celebrate it?

The answer is close to: nothing, and for no reason.

That's why I hate the 8th of March. Because I love women, and I'd like to celebrate them without having to make a disastrous choice (guess then where it goes my pick).


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