Wednesday, 6 November 2013

I want to be old

I wished he would not always treat me as a child, rather spoilt, rather irresponsible, someone to be petted from time to time when the mood came upon him, but more often forgotten, more often patted on the shoulder and told to run away and play.  I wished something would happen to make me look wiser, more mature.  Was it always going to be like this?  He away ahead of me, with his own moods that I did not share, his secret troubles that I did not know?  Would we never be together, he a man and I a woman, standing shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, with no gulf between us?  I did not want to be a child.  I wanted to be his wife, his mother.  I wanted to be old.

Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca)

7 comments:

  1. Sometimes a man does not mean to treat his woman like a child at all.. What a lover does may often be perceived as an act of spoiling, or petting... but the lover may simply be caring in nature...

    Would you never like someone who is so caring??

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    1. I love this quote because it voices Rebecca's thoughts toward Maxim at that time. You can't take it out of context, but I expect people from both sexes may yet be able to relate, but I took it in relation to the book. The private thoughts captured in the book are what I admire it most for, thoughts we all share at some point or another yet don't voice very often.

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  2. I wonder what Rebecca meant about wanting to be his mother as well? She said she wants to be his wife, but his mother as well. What do you think she means by that?
    Does she want to care for him the way a mother cares for her child?

    That reminds me of Westerners who move here in the Philippines and marry a Filipina woman. When asked why do they want to marry Filipina women, they usually answer that they are not satisfied with Western women because Western women are more into looking for independence. They said that they want to marry Filipina women because most Filipina women are willing to stay at home and serve the husband like cooking meals for him and preparing his things, things that a housewife does. They complain that Western women would mostly refuse to be at home most of the times, and instead would look for work and pursue their own careers, and be less financially dependent on the husband.

    I wonder what's your opinion, Joanna? Which way of life for a woman do you like better, the Western woman's life, or the Eastern woman's life?

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    1. Daphne Du Maurier had a complex relationship with her father, and the characters are some what based upon her own experiences and relationships. That and also, perhaps she wanted anything other than being like a child to Maxim, a mother has power and respect above her son.

      As for European men going to the Philippines to find wives that will be subservient is a ghastly and terrible thing to do! Women should have a purpose beyond the kitchen, it is only a cultural construct that put women there in the first place. I think the western woman is very blessed with the choices she has now, but these choices are not gifts, they are her rights.

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  3. I wish the time would come when all husbands would consider their wives as having power and respect above them. A classmate once told me that he thought it was not appropriate for husbands to lose dominance over their wives because it is "not manly." Most men always say that being "man enough" is not being frail and weak in body, being tough emotionally and not sensitive, and could never be "dominated" by his wife.
    But I have a different idea of what's "man enough." For me, being man enough is having enough strength to compromise and be on equal terms with his wife even if he could easily dominate if he would want to.

    I agree with you about women's choices being their right instead of a gift. But the sad thing here in the Philippines (and also for most of the non-Western world) is that women who are "in the kitchen" do not even feel caged, they even feel that they accept such cultural construct, and they seem to think that it's the husband's "prerogative" to have her at home, attending to his and the family's needs. (Of course the rich women here are independent, but the poor women are not. And most people here are poor) :(

    Do you think it is okay for women here as long as they accept such social construct and are happy with it? Or you'd still prefer them to be independent despite the fact that some of them may even refuse such independence because it is too hectic for them, and they'd rather stay at home?

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    1. Neither sex should be 'above' the other, they should be equal. 'manliness' or masculinity' is also a cultural construct, one that is placed over a boy the moment he is born, it is not 'natural' because it has been placed by man. Man makes social rules and then the older they get, the more people think they are natural, but they are not. There is not one thing in fact a human can do that is natural, because we are all shaped and moulded and influenced whether we realise or not or whether we like it or not, we are all made by the society/culture we live in. So what is it to be an 'man' it is different in each culture. The sad thing here to realise is that women you have mentioned feel it is 'right' for them to be in the kitchen because 'it has always been that way'. That doesn't mean it's right for a human being, to be made to do something because you feel you must else you are doing wrong, it only means it is right for the ruling social order taking hold of your country. There are issues here of course and all over the world where this happens. We must be aware of how and why not just saying 'its right because its always been that way'. I wouldn't force my thoughts onto others but I will certainly lay them down so others can look at them and see if there is any truth that applies to them or not.

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  4. Thank you for your beautiful words! I've never thought of it before.. I've never thought that there is nothing natural that a human can do. All my beliefs was that there is always something natural inherent in a person..that of course a person is shaped and moulded by the culture she lives in, but there are always natural things in her , that if in conflict with the standards of the culture she's grown up in, it could defy the culture. .. Because that's me. I defy the culture I've grown up in That's why I'm not like most people here(both males and females) who think it is the male's prerogative to have more dominant influence over wives.

    BUT when you told me your own beliefs about there's nothing that humans can naturally do, I pondered about it...and I realized that in my case, maybe I do not have the natural feelings of promoting women's equality with men. And that what I experience is a kind of "counter-culture." It may be the fact that I do not like what I'm witnessing here, that's why I started feeling more concern for women.

    How about you? I wonder how did you start with your feelings of concern for women's rights? Of course you were brought up in the Western world where conditions of women are on a little level higher compared to conditions of women in non-Western countries. What sparked the counter-culture feeling in you?
    Maybe you are simply a person who could look beyond and, as one author said, "reject the mechanisms of social control that restrict human potential."

    I do look up to you for your ideas, dear friend :) especially the beautiful words you wrote at the end of your reply which suggest that you're a person who never wants to impose your ideas upon others, but instead make ideas available for others to ponder on. :)

    But that's the BIG QUESTION... If you really know that the time-honored ideas and ways of life of a people are really bad for them (even though they like such ideas, because as you said, "it has always been that way") do you think it is better if you would try to force them into adopting the ideas which you know is for their own good, and would surely benefit them in the long run, OR you'd just let them keep their ideas and go on with such ways of life?
    Maybe you'd say you'd never force people into an idea even if it's for their own good, but would you ever feel guilty because they keep their bad ways, while they could actually be having a much better existence?

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