Reading Simone de Beauvoir

I am currently reading The second sex, the book. It’s also known as the feminist’s bible, the encyclopaedia of feminism, the women, their becoming of women. 

Here’s a picture of Simone de Beauvoir with Jean-Paul Sartre.

Sartre once said to Beauvoir that she had the intelligence of a man, which Beauvoir received as a compliment until she realised what it implied.

She says, it implied that the man is a human being and the woman is a female.

In her book, The second sex, she states that one is not born a woman, but one becomes a woman. She accuses the civilization for it. 

I have been trying get hold of her work for a while but too much of good literature (and also  non-literary stuff) gets in my way. As I finally lay my hands on this masterpiece, I promised to share what I feel would not be worth resisting to. 


So what’s my next obsession? Beauvoir’s work.

#SimonedeBeauvoir

#Thesecondsex

While you run… 

Running is arguably a great healer of those who face dilemma.

The run makes things disappear.

While running one can’t much see present recede into past, but trust anyone that it does. Present does recede into past. Pebbles and flowers are crushed alike. But you can’t see unless you stop a moment.

You can’t see them, whom once you walked with, sat with, laughed with disappear.

You can hear them but trying to understand what they say would be futile.

Those lotus that fills the ponds, the bougainvillea that grows in your rooftop, the bright yellow dress that your mother wears or the nee blue tile in your bathroom… You can’t see all this. You can’t much smell the wet clay, not can you hear the songs of those who sing to live. You keep running and the only thing you remember to check is how fast you’re running, how quick you need to reach before you begin again. But running will heal of the cries, the slap of dirt. Running will heal you by killing you. But running will heal you. For you will reach, whether it was your place or not. Somewhere. Nobody knows where it is. Keep running. But when you hear the sound of helpless breathlessness and you smell disgust and when your feet jump too high, stop a moment. For those feet might be weary of you.

Women and women who drink

The other day I was sitting in my office, listening to a girl reviewing for her friends, who were both male and female, food and drinks of a restaurant she went to. She uttered something good about the ambience but complained about the lack of options in non-alcoholic beverages, emphasizing loudly that she was a teetotaller. ‘I don’t drink,’ the words echoed once more. 

‘You don’t have to say that…’ I whispered to myself.

Time and fate had us interact more and I came to know of her love for cocktails later. But she kept stating that she didn’t drink. I couldn’t  sympathize towards her fears of being judged by a complex patriarchal society we live in. I felt rage, rage against an independent woman who had all the rights to be what she was and yet she refused to. And somehow, by refusing to exercise this right, she denied it to all women who might look at her for inspiration and motivation. 

At least I have not seen a man hiding about his drinking habits. So why do I see some women being so shy of it? Why are women afraid of freedom. Women who think disclosing such a detail might incur judgement of character or might get them into trouble are only fooling themselves. All it takes is courage to stand and tell the world who you are when you’re asked to.

It’s difficult to categorize it as a personal matter. If it’s personal, lets not speak about it. Why proclaim what is untrue? 

There are many such women who don’t have the courage of being to the world what they are. And by doing so they somehow paralyse their gender. 

I find a particular statement paradoxical in the way it is exercised. And that is: Women are talkative. In the 21st century that we live in, I have known young women who misunderstand modernism, and while they happily believe that they are driving their world, they are not. It’s their fear that’s driving them into the cage that the society has already unlocked. 

We can’t blame society for everything because we are society. There is, however, something that bothers me. Deep down inside I feel pity for women who lie in the name of reputation and grace and the fear of being judged. They are judging themselves. I am surprised by how much they speak and yet so stingily. The way they measure their words when they talk about themselves. I pity them because I see that either they are not proud of themselves or they are intimidated by the definition of a graceful woman they find hard to alter.

Women’s day just went by and I kept wondering why that was celebrated for in the first place. I did find myself googling it and the result was this: 

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Although I’m not sure how one can honour and celebrate women’s achievements in a day, I am confident that roses,  chocolates, freebies and discounts are absurdities that are not only trivial but absolutely unnecessary. There must be thousands but I know one way to celebrate it daily and that is by braving to speak the truth. Women who don’t stand for themselves by speaking the truth embarrass those women who have spoken truth for all of us to one day stand and look the world in the eyes and say nothing but truth,  be nothing but what they are and never be ashamed of it.

Being yourself is a hard task. It’s always true, for when you hide a part of yourself, you are being hideous—that’s yourself. To those who are desperate to come out, you will help all women a great deal by just speaking. It’s the revolutionary era we are living in. Have we thought of those countries where women are not allowed schooling ? Where having a dinner with friends is strange, forget about a drink. That is taboo. We are living a life of their dreams. Do not let them down by being ashamed of it. 

Women who proudly look at us with unaltered face and soul inspire the rest. They encourage others to stand for themselves. I am proud of such ladies, and I request all others to stand up and shut the devils who ask us to hide ourselves.

Here’s a powerful quote. 

We don’t know each other

With those intellect-drenched texts read,  those paintings stared at,  those strokes traced, those art pieces that pass off as vintage and occult and obscure studied with blank, awed eyes, who knows who knows what, really. Who knows, really, how many of us have managed to fool ourselves with the theory that we are trying to learn patience, that we have changed for good, that we did not hurt others, that hurting a certain person was justified because it served a purpose, that hurting can be for a noble cause, bah. Who gives it a moment of honest thought that we have lied to ourselves and chosen not to count. Who is willing to accept that we don’t like question marks and we omit them by choice.  Who has maintained that understanding others even in anger and grief is a choice one can make, even if it hurts to.   Does it ever bother us when we decide not to think because a small pain in our heart causes us to return it in multifold to others…Do we have so many people on earth… so many as to hurt and forget because being hurt is a sacrifice that entitles us to say whatsoever, act howsoever in the name of respect for self. That we read, talk, laugh but when it comes to living, we live to fulfil a great lie. 

P. S. I have omitted question mark  by choice. 

If you think you’re really cool, here’s something about you

I envy those whom expensive things excite, who dream of wearing that logo only to flaunt it, who feel faking accents sets them apart (oh, yes its does), who think success is about driving that car or paying for that grand tag, who believe they are classy and have their own glittery definition of it, who look for shortcuts, who look for results and not learning. The wannabes who never stop shouting. 

I envy them because their dreams are small and shallow. They are the parasites who thrive on an uneducated living, which is not to say they haven’t been to school. They have read for money. They have read for status quo.

I feel sorry for them because they are soulless, materialistic and ignorant unless you spot one with some sense of intellect, selflessness or compassion because for most of them social responsibility is another logo, a way of getting spotted.

The frivolity, the keenness on achieving popularity, the lack of compassion, and to be utterly blunt the loss of good cultural influence in the presence of all that bling. I understand we encourage this. 

I am fierce in writing this. I am almost convinced that they won’t read this and I am upset about this. If they did, they’d know themselves right away.

Why on earth am I writing about it? It saddens me that we are overpopulated with so many poor examples. Guess I could bear one or two here and there but imagine these are going to spread! 

Unearthing the answers

What is wrong with things that go haywire and situations that run out of control? Are they seeking something without knowing it? 

What is wrong with my attention? What is wrong with your patience? What is right about this day, if anything?

For all the my questions unanswered, yes, I did make up some lies. What was wrong with your mood and what is right with it now?

You think I can let you face my questions again. You think they are sitting around.

Even seasons don’t wait for the sun.

For it is not a question of honour, it is of trust. If the answers are any different, how do you think my heart will trust me ever again? 

This

A strange bird in Walter Sisulu,   South Africa. Strange because I can’t tell which.Apparently, I’m never going to be done with memories. 

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