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The fear of women

February 23, 2018
Shepherdstown Chronicle

How can I put this without turning away at least half of the population? Women have openly admitted fear of men forever. Many studies have demonstrated that rape or abuse is woman's greatest fear, and that man's greatest fear is being laughed at. There can be no comparison here.

I want to quote from The Magus, a book by John Fowles, in Chapter 52:

"Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because they imagine it is the one thing that stops women laughing at them. In it they can reduce women to the status of objects. That is the great distinction between the sexes. Men see objects, women see the relationship between objects. Whether the objects need each other, love each other, match each other. It is an extra dimension of feeling we men are without and one that makes war abhorrent to all real women - and absurd. I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellow men. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness. To death."

Women know what it is to be open - physically, emotionally and biologically - in ways that men cannot. Women allow their bodies to accept a foreign body to live inside of them for months, to embrace that life with protective arms, and then again, to let go. Men know nothing of this experience, and can't be expected to know. They can, however, be asked or even demanded to understand.

I find myself thinking and feeling, because I haven't had children, how it must feel for a father to fully experience the miracle of birth. As it is awesome, it can also be - bear with me here - disempowering, because men can't do that. On a very primitive and very unconscious level, there has to be envy and some fear.

When you look at life objectively in this era, there's nothing a man can do that a woman can't. Men will never be able to give birth, and that's more than a simple comparison - much more. I believe we need a new word: femalephobia. Strong women have been awakening this fear now more than ever, and try as they might - and this includes frightened women as well as men - others can't kill off our strong women leaders, much as they may want to.

What we need now is egalarchy; not patriarchy, not matriarchy. There's no need to sequester anyone by gender. We can be more enlightened than that, if we choose; it's all about choice. If we don't open our vision and our awareness, and educate ourselves, we will continue the raping in many forms; rape and pillaging is war. There's nothing to be afraid of except being stuck in systems that don't work. I'm reminded of an old favorite of mine, by William Hughes Mearns:

Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn't there.

He wasn't there again today,

I wish, I wish he'd go away...

- Donna Lee Graham, MSW, CSW




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