Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"The Sin of Man Against Woman"

I didn't write yesterday because I was still heated. At times like that, it's usually best to steer clear from my blog to avoid saying something that I'd later announcing that I'm gay lol. Not true. Only sometimes. Anyway, after a cathartic workout at the gym, I can write again. So, no slander today:).

I'm taking a class called Women Writers in America. The course is taught by an eccentric Jewish woman named, "Most Dangerous Feminist" by the Wall Street Journal. She has a potty mouth, wild curly hair, and claims she merely "tolerates" her husband and twin boys--my kind of lady. I can already tell I'm going to love this class. I need a little institutionalized man-hating in my life.

I just finished our first assigned reading, a short story called Turned by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It's the story of a wealthy married couple who hires an 18 year old servant girl. She's got the body of a goddess and the face of an angel, but she's extremely naive and childlike. During her time there, the couple grows to love her like their own daughter, and treat her as such. While her husband was away on business, the wife finds out that the servant is pregnant. And who's baby is it? Her husband's. She at once orders the girl to leave, but after much reflection she tells her to stay. She realizes the girl, innocent and inexperienced, was the real victim, and that the husband was the one to be held accountable. The woman moved out, with the servant girl, leaving her husband to return to an empty house. Eventually she sends a letter simply saying, " I have gone. I will care for the girl. Good-bye." The husband decides to look for his wife, and plead her forgiveness. He's sure that he'll accept his indiscretions and take him back. Meanwhile, the wife helps the servant settle with her child on a cottage. When the husband comes looking for his wife, he finds the two women standing side by side, the servant holding her baby. The man stands there looking stupified and the wife says to him, "What have you to say to us?"

You can't help but have a got-his-ass! moment when you finish this story. But, then you're brought back to reality. Could this ever happen in real life?

You never see two women who are victims of infidelity band together. At best, you'll see them attack the man. At worst, you'll see them attack each other. But never do you see them conduct themselves calmly, recognize who's at fault, and leave karma to take care of it. In the story, the wife recognizes it as "the sin of man against woman". Though she is obviously hurt, she sees the bigger picture, which is a girl's naivete having been taken advantage of. Is it possible to be so clear-headed about betrayal that you can make such a distinction?

I think it's fiction for a reason.


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