Friday, 17 October 2014

To Be A Woman

This is a piece I wrote six years ago in a creative writing workshop. 

To be a woman is to be everything and nothing, Woman is nurturer, healer, spiritual guardian, provider of life, the all-seeing and all-doing. Women are essential to the flow of life - the cycles, the actualities, the happenings, they make the social, the civilised, the cultural possible.

And yet, it is too easy to exclude women from the elevated conversation, the lofty, the ethereal. The world of the sublime can continue quite happily on the bedrock of women but without requiring their contribution.

Is this fair or true in the twenty first century?

It should not be. But biology is undeniable and irrefutable. As lofty as women become, smashing glass ceilings as they soar upwards, cracking their heads in the process, they must organise, strategise, juggle. Woman is a circus performer - walking on a wire, leaping onto a swinging trapeze, hurling flaming batons into the air and catching one in her mouth.

This display is not appreciated by an audience with "oohs" and "aaahs", the crescendo of applause. This goes on in a back room, while the pale men, politicians and theorists, focus on one elusive element, spin around it, grasping but never clinching the deal.

Even enlightened as we are, can we ever see woman away from the baby, the hissing iron and the bubbling pot? For any assistance with these perceived feminine responsibilities, women are grateful.

Is there more choice for women now? Is lofty conversation compatible with endless loads of washing? Is it too much for anyone to organise, to arrange, to co-ordinate and attempt to take the time to muse on life?

Perhaps it is better not to muse, reflect or cogitate - immersion in the daily moments of life brings its own joys and rewards and insights. If anyone was interested enough to hear them. What value love, life, laughter, care and nurturing?

If there be room for creativity and conversation and new adventures, then taking care of the realities, the endless responsibilities, need not be a cage, a silken web that tightens as the boredom and drudgery draw in.

Time for productive work and time for self-nurturing are precious and women and men deserve both.

Thanks for reading! Would love your thoughts on this. I wrote this pre-kids but I seem to have had an inkling what life might be like as a mum. Does this ring true for you or does it feel out of date?

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