Woman can’t live with them…can you?
That’s a joke, on the occasion of Women’s Day.
Before you accuse me of being crude, or misogynistic, let me tell you this joke finds its basis in Freudian psychological theory. And I’m not talking about why we find jokes funny (repressed sexual urges, taboos, etc.). I’m talking about men not being able to live with women, and vice versa. If you believe Freud, men and women simply can’t get along. Freud wasn’t a romantic, far from it.
It’s like this.
We were all once women. We were part of one, therefore we essentially were one. Then woman threw us out onto the streets, and plunged us into a hostile, cold world. Understandably this rejection hurt, in fact it hurt so much it sculpted our view of the world. We became insecure, a little bit resentful, men were jealous of their dads, and were consumed by something you might call a separation complex.
At one time we are sitting back on our little rumps enjoying the peace and tranquility of a velvet lined, air-conditioned womb, and then we are spat out like unwanted pips. It’s no surprise we enter the world screaming. It’s equally no surprise that we want back in the womb, but unfortunately we are going to spend what might seem like an eternity queuing up at a club where we are forever persona non grata. We can’t even get in the back entrance (crude). Our best holiday, nine months of sublime relaxation, is over and we will never have a holiday as good as that again. And from here on in, it’s just work, work, work.
I used to love hiding in dark spaces as a child, or covering myself up with blankets and blacking out the outside world. I may have been recreating a womb-like environment, as many children do. You may also think Freud’s hypotheses are insane, or that I am after that admission. But one thing you can say about Freud is that he was never boring, and that our world, our lives and relations are certainly, insanely complex.
Freudian psychology seems homocentric, he’s always going on about the man, and the man’s struggle, and to top it off he says girls have penis envy – they want a dick but obviously can’t have one. Maybe he thinks women are not as troubled by the big eviction because they have a womb, and instead of trying to get back into one, they can spend their time trying to put something in theirs, whether a baby, or a fully grown man, in a sense.
Men apparently really struggle with the loss of the mother. They will never fulfill this lifelong task of finding the mother and finding their way back into the womb. They’ll find mother replacements – other women – but will always be a little bit disappointed and often reject those women, or suffer tremendously from a rejection that reminds the man about his greatest love and how she kicked him to the curb. There can be only one, so unfortunately no gal will fill mum’s shoes. Nonetheless we spend an entire life on a fruitless search of the mother, and screaming little boys will remain wrestling for true love in a mass grave of repressed memories and self-delusions. All this sometimes leads to upsets, divorces, torn ties, kicked dogs, burned passports…and sometimes it gets really serious.
We’re told – national statistics – that about half the women in Thailand will suffer physical abuse in their spousal relationships, but we don’t need statistics to see that women here do often live with a threat of the violence if they talk out of turn, or dare to get cocky with men. This violence, many critics have written, has been normalized, it’s cultural, and women accept it as much as the men. The picture below caused some controversy as many people who saw it asked what was amusing. The scene shows an aged rapist symbolizing his virility with a flexed muscle in front of seemingly highly amused police. A suitable caption might have been “Boys will be boys.” The scene looks awfully resentful to womankind given the crime. It supports Freud’s hypothesis.
Men have never come to terms with the power of the pussy, as Bongwater once said, or sang. A lot of men don’t deal well with this undercurrent of desire that lasts a lifetime, just as they didn’t deal well with the biggest rejection of their life when they were born. I reported numerous cases last year where spurned or jealous men killed their lovers, their pseudo-mothers, and then turned the gun on themselves in many cases. These men might have been overwhelmed by a fact of life, women rule, and men are often needy, insatiable pussies. The umbilical cord is never quite severed, there remains a phantom connection, and so men remain heavily under the influence of women all their lives. I like to think I have a semblance of autonomy, I’m self-sufficient, I’m my own man, but the fact is I have about as much independence as an iPod.
Thailand is what you might call a patriarchal culture, meaning that men work in most of the big jobs, they discuss the price of seeds at the temple, while women are often said to only have sufficient acumen to cook, clean and talk about hair. Men say women are fragile, over-emotional (who does all the shooting?), fickle, and so can’t be trusted to do a man’s job. Men call them things like bitches, hoes, and talk about how they did this one or that one, but all the time every man knows he’s powerless. He can’t accept this and so sometimes represses his feelings, or he tries to oppress her, beats her down with his figurative stick. Man muscles in on relationships when he can’t make things go his way, but still even the violent abusive babies are screaming for their mothers. I have friends who would deny this, but they likely walk around in their girlfriend’s, or even mother’s underwear because they are so scared of being seperated.
With less muscle power, women might exploit the power of their pussies, making men do all kinds of undignified and dangerous things. It’s the quintessential love/hate relationship. There’s a battle of the sexes raging all over the world, men and women exploiting each other’s weaknesses. While men are so desperately searching for the one, women have the keys to the most precious commodity on the planet, the body commodity. This is universal, arguably more prevalent in less developed societies. Men objectify women, and women in turn give them what they want, at a price. Our romantic alternative to the cold transactions are this thing we call true love, or what others call mutual recognition, a better understanding of our embattled interconnectedness.
To celebrate this Women’s Day, I am going to crawl into a sleeping bag head first and dream about that beautiful nine month sabbatical that changed my life, and I will try to remember that I was once her, we were inseparable, we were madly in love. She rejected me, but I forgive her. I want to make things right.