How Men View Women

How men view women. A topic hardly narrow enough to be discussed in a short little journal entry. And yet, I was reading The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels, and came across a passage that seemed to encapsulate the subject perfectly, as follows. From the gnostic poem Thunder, Perfect Mind, as spoken by a “feminine power”:

I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore, and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am (the mother) and the daughter…. I am she whose wedding is great, and I have not taken a husband…. I am knowledge, and ignorance…. I am shameless; I am ashamed. I am strength, and I am fear…. I am foolish, and I am wise…. I am godless, and I am one whose God is great.

The interesting aspect here is the dichotomy. Always the dichotomy. This and that. This or that. But never a mixing or shading of traits. It seems that throughout history men have viewed women this way, one extreme or another. And not just men, but too many women have also cast their sisters in these terms. In removing subtlety, individuality is obliterated.

The “feminine power” is, of course, saying that she is all of these things, both sides of the dichotomies. Not one or the other. And yet, the dichotomies remain, even in her. I am this and that, this and that. Not, I am simply a wonderfully complex me.

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