on taking things for granted…

it’s striking for me how i take things for granted… i watched “kingdom of heaven” by ridley scott the other night and i told my friends i was happy i wasn’t born in the 12th century… i was thinking more of the health care issues:))) silly me, no? i mean really? people were born into this world to eat, poop, shag and fight each other or some sort of a silly disease.. death was like… cake or death? (eddie izzard :) )) and women? i get the goosebumps just thinking about it… i would have died at an early age just for opening my mouth to say something, i’m sure of it…

and then i caught a cold, and besides teas and lemons, it seems it’s advisable to laugh a lot, because that helps your body produce whatever good chemicals it needs to feel better. and i chose sense and sensibility by ang lee with emma thompson and hugh grant (it’s the best cure ever); the reason i thought about jane austen has to do actually with a piece on friendship i recently found which was written by a guy named William Deresiewicz, who, i later found out, wrote a wonderful book called “A Jane Austen Education”, which I ob-viously bought on amazon and read in two days’ time. to cut the story short, i read the book and decided to see the movie again. My mom used to say it takes a special gift to be able to see the same movies over and over again. what I would argue in my defense is that sometimes you just need more time to absorb all that a movie has to offer: the story, the characters, the actors and then the people who are the actors who impersonate the characters, the setting, the music, the lines… i need more to grasp all of this if the movie has to offer; Sense and sensibility is just delightful, emma thompson is one of my favorite actresses, hugh grant has bluer eyes than ever and alan rickman is simply alan rickman. there is however a narrative in jane austen’s books that due to my Disney education (the endless love story between a prince and a princess), I was
completely oblivious to: the gender story. as Deresiewicz so wonderfully explains in his book, and as the movie shows if you care to look beyond grant’s blue eyes, late 18th and early 19th century women were just a little bit better off than those in the Kingdom of Heaven. Marriage was a matter of money and social position, a quantitative transaction, a deal. I’m not saying it’s good or bad despite the fact that the same Disney education taught me that unless it’s pure love, the one and the only, you should never marry and any reason for marriage which is not love, can only be despicable. Again, if one wants to talk about love I would gladly refer them not to Disney who got it all wrong but to Darwin and Miller (the mating mind ) but what I am concerned with is that I think that again, I would have died probably not at such an early age as in the 12th century, but nevertheless.. i would have died… suffocated probably.

today (late 19th century and what I would add, all the way to the beginning of the 21st century), the same Mister William Deresiewicz argues, feminism shaped a new deal: “The New Woman was intelligent, well read, strong-willed, idealistic, unconventional and outspoken. For her, relationships with men, whether or not they involved sex, had to involve mental companionship, freedom of choice, equality and mutual respect. They had, in short, to be friendships. Just as suffrage represented feminism’s vision of the political future, friendship represented its vision of the personal future, the central term of a renegotiated sexual contract.” which means, today I won’t die neither for opening my mouth, neither because someone else forces a certain life upon me, neither for being proud of what I am: a woman!

i know all of these are trivialities, I know there are tons of studies to document women’s history and their role in the society, i’ve read many of them myself; my point is that i was born in one of the most equalitarian gender systems in the world: i was born in communist romania with a great-grandmother that became a single parent when my great-grandfather died in the war and that even though she was a single mom, she managed to become a trade union leader and then moved into politics and became mayor and head of county. i have had just as much attention, care and love from my parents as my little brother had. i had access to free education and if anything, there were more women professors and more women colleagues than men in my high school or in college. my first real job was under a woman manager who is absolutely brilliant both as manager and person. why would i ever be concerned with gender issues? what’s that all about? who would afford the luxury to deny me?

and yet… i look around me and i realize how much i’m taking things for granted…

About Guvidissima

I love writing stuff on pieces of paper. My little brother thought I should write this stuff down on pieces of cyberspace. He gave me my own little website. I discovered blank cyberspace looks just as frightening as a blank piece of paper and I decided to take it slowly. The title came after a while, as I was taking a test on numbers, dates and personalities. Yes, I am an enthusiast. I like to believe there’s more to it than what we think there is. And I made a quest out of this. One of my friends a while ago told me I have a serious case of colorblindness, I can only see pink for some reason. Even if that’s not as true as I’d like it to be, this blog is written in a pinkish light: there is something magic about us and life, it might not be the holy truth, nor Darwin, nor the politics or the economics of demand and offer; as a very inspired Indian writer put it, I think it is the God of small things.
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