Thursday, 8 March 2012

Marya Mannes (14/11/04 - 13/09/90) - (extract from) Out of My Time.

American writer and lecturer

' . . .  life demands that the duality in men and women be freed to function, released from hate or guilt. All wars derive from lack of empathy: the incapacity of one to understand and accept the likeness or difference of another. Whether in nations or the encounters of race and sex, competition then replaces compassion; subjection excludes mutality.
Only through this duality in each can a man and a woman have empathy for each other. The best lovers are men who can imagine and even feel the specific pleasures of women; women who know the passions and vulnerabilities of the penis - triumphant or tender - in themselves.
Without empathy, men and women, husbands and wives, become tools of each other: competitors, rivals, master and slave, buyer and seller. In this war the aggressions of the wholly ' feminine' woman are just as destructive (mostly to the male) as the aggressions of the wholly 'masculine' man.
For centuries the need to prove this image of masculanity has lain at the root of death: the  killing of self and others in the wars of competition and conquest; the perversion of humanity itself.
We need each other's qualities if we are to understand each other in love amnd life. The beautiful difference of our biological selves will not diminish through this mutual fusion. It should indeed flower, expand; blow the mind as well as the flesh. When women can cherish the vulnerability of men as much as men can exult in the strength of women, anew breed could lift a ruinous yoke from both. We could both breathe free.

Reprinted from ' Out of my Time'

Victor Gollanz Ltd and David J. Blow.

Happy International Women's Day.

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