Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

I am troubled with one dilemma: should I be hating all the bad men, or should I be hating the women who support the bad men? When I parallel the core moral of The Handmaid’s Tale to reality today, I find myself realising that evil is in fact plural. Like the paradox of the Beast in the Book of Revelations, a monster who is both controlled by the whore of Babylon while at the same time giving her the power, are people evil only when they are together?

The Handmaid’s Tale is disturbing, disturbingly real and made me, as a woman, feel incredibly uncomfortable. It reminded me of my own experiences and that of so many women, encountering those men who threaten and insult, who made me feel the need to defend or question myself, men who saw me as a sexual object to use for one or two weeks until satisfied, men who made assumptions about me that they turned into fact, men who lie and such men defended by foolish women.

The series is more real than meets the eye.

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Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Pity

I have made a terrible mistake.

There is a difference between self-compassion and self-pity. It is easy to mistaken our egocentric self-pity as justifiable when we act out and behave inappropriately. These theatrical responses are generated because we feel we are not being heard or seen, just like we yell when we think no one is listening. Anger – even sadness – both enable a sense of empowerment when we feel confused and isolated. Read More

Belgian Chocolate… and other things

Worming my way through the crowds, the night now well and truly ready for the fireworks planned during the Flower Carpet festival. The theme? Mexico. The beautiful colours of yellow and orange light up the cobblestone centre of Grand-Place or Grote Markt in Brussels, where I had spent earlier that morning having breakfast observing the numerous trucks beeping in and out and unloading shipments of flowers.

I squirm my way past men holding their DSLRs and women tightly gripping the hands of their children, some holding beers and others eating. I look up at the City Hall balcony full of people, the building lit up with blue and green and pink and I don’t know how to get up there. They look unordinary; delegates, wealthy businessmen, women wearing gowns, that sort of thing, but the view from up there would be incredible. There is just too many people and I think that if the fireworks don’t start soon, I may want to head back out of the crowds and to the Le Comptoir de Mathilde for some Noix Noisettes, hot chocolate prepared in little square pieces with a spoon stuck inside that you simply dip into warm milk and mix so the chocolate melts into it. Read More

The Death of Love?

I believe that romantic love does not exist. Our interpretation of love is socially constructed and re-imagines co-dependency to be synonymous with a deep, intimate connection. For me, there is only one type of love and that is moral consciousness, the ability to give love to all things.

Capitalism has commodified love, marketing the idea that selling ourselves will enable us to receive love and attention, but selling is not the same as giving ourselves to love. Selling ourselves does require us to give – our time and energy, our efforts to be patient and tolerant under unhappy circumstances – so there is indeed an element of moral goodness since one is being dutiful, but the underlying intent is to receive from that effort and thus entirely dependent on the reciprocal exchange.

These socially constructed archetypes breed an efficient network of mindless drones who all believe in the same thing and who act in the same way enabling this sense of familiarity and unity, but all entirely founded on narcissism. Is this exchange ever real? Is there such a thing as romantic love? Read More

Tired

It feels like my heart is tied to a braided jute rope,
Like a broken cleat left dangling off the boat,
And the propellers speeding out of control through the liquid enclave,
As my heart slaps to and fro over the transverse waves.

My crystalline mind lying gently on the surface of the ocean,
Whistling eerie echoes of ice, gentle tunes, harmonic motion,
The cosmetic shimmer glistening over it from the sunset gleam,
Now assaulted by the pollution of this maritime machinery. Read More

Understanding Asexuality

There is a level of stigma on the subject of asexuality. It is ‘funny’ and almost irrelevant, often confused with celibacy and thus a religious experience where no clear distinction between sexuality and sexual desire is explained; celibacy articulates abstention from sexual activity, but it does not preclude an absence of a sexual orientation or identity.

Anthony Bogaert is a Canadian psychologist that wrote on sexuality and his book Understanding Asexuality stated that the architecture of relationships is founded on our need for bonding with our mother and this cognitive process built into us is transferred later in life to our partners. This bonding is channelled as romance and incorrectly used synonymously with sex, which is formed biologically rather than neuro-psychologically.

Romance is therefore psychological whereas our sexual inclinations are biological, but we often confuse the two as being one and the same thing. This is because of the role of our subjectivity with sexual attraction and that our subjectivity is the psychological  core of our experience with our sexual orientation. This orientation from heterosexual, homosexual, and asexual finds each individual uniquely designated somewhere along that spectrum. Depending on where they are, asexual persons can form romantic relationships – this innate need to bond – but do not actively seek sexual partners.

spectrum

Bogaert clarifies that asexual individuals who masturbate do not view pornography or paraphernalia because there is no subjective ‘target’ and thus a disconnect between the subjective relationship of physical arousal and our sexual orientation. They see the experience as only physical in nature and any need is related to something like a release of tension following their menstrual cycle much the same as one maternally driven to children. There is a distinction between behaviour and attraction.

Attachment theory models this explanation of how we form interpersonal relationships and our experiences during early childhood may have some connection with how we understand romance; a person who may have experienced some trauma or neglect could become promiscuous or detached from any bonding, irrelevant to their sexual identity. The influence of parent-child experiences may have an impact on the anxieties and challenges of romantic relationships later in life including our comfort levels with closeness and intimacy, threshold to experiences of loss and abandonment, and our vicarious learning with the relationship dynamic between our parents among other indicators.

To further perpetuate the confusion, we categorise identities into archetypes of “normalcy” that may, in one way, help designate an explanation of relationships that are considered stable – trophy wife, white picket fence – but it mostly alienates our ability to identify and introspect on how we are feeling authentically. This has been my greatest challenge, since I was left when young feeling quite isolated and confused because I simply deviated so much from the norm and did not understand why.

But the way that I see it, it is almost like real logic without the subjective and imaginary elements that attract people to sexual intercourse and why for me a deep bond is first needed as it logically follows that such a bond explains an authenticity in the connection.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Amelie-English-Subtitled-Audrey-Tautou/dp/B006LXQID8