Friday, December 2, 2016

Phallic Friday - more rambling thoughts

I've been rambling on with thoughts about women and society for a few Phallic Fridays now. It's all because of the Dangerous Women Project posts, and Emmanuelle's interviews, and so many other things happening in the world and my life!

I don't understand my thoughts, or where they're going, so I'm rambling to work it out.

I read a Dangerous Woman post about the colour red. The author was Nepalese. In the post, she spoke of widows having to be stripped of the colour red, which they had adorned at marriage. But not only were they stripped of red, but they were not to wear colours, were not to participate in society or religious events, were not to wear jewellery. They were pushed to the fringes of society because they no longer had a husband, and therefore were no longer existing in their own right.

So many societies do this - the shunning of the widow. It's one of the things that really made me not want to get married - the fact that it's seen that the woman becomes a part of the man. It's in biblical references, a part of many religions, and even exists in society itself. I have ended up married, but I refused to change my surname because I would not be owned. That's caused some consternation in my family and friends. I get mail address as Mrs 'husband's initial', 'husband's surname'. He gets mail addressed as Mr 'my surname' but never my initial. Family don't know what name to call me.

Why should it be so difficult? I have a name, he has a name. Just because we married, doesn't mean we have to be grouped and classified as one entity. We can remain separate entities and still exist together. (Don't get me started on boxes and classifications that the world is so damn fond of! Linnaeus has a LOT to answer for.)

This male 'ownership' thing irks me no end. It's still so prevalent in society, although I hope it's improving. Twenty-five years ago, when I looked at getting a home loan, I was a single women and no bank would loan to me. They would loan to single men. When I complained about this double standard, I was told that women could end up pregnant and unable to pay the mortgage, whereas men couldn't have this happen. Dear God! I was appalled. They could default on their loan in myriad ways, except this one, and that was held against me - even though good, easy to purchase contraception had been around for years!

There are so many little discriminatory things we overlook, which all add up to big things in my head. Even the title of my Friday posts, I use "Phallic" because that denotes sexual. But hey, it's related to the male sexual organ. If I wanted to use a similar word that related to the female organs, is there one? I googled, and found vulvic and vulvate, which I have never heard of outside of scientific descriptions. In other languages there's Yonic (Sanskrit) and Pudendal (Spanish; although, in high school, without the 'l', this was a swear word meaning cunt, and puta/puda meant bitch, so maybe google is tricking me here!). Maybe I should be using one of these terms instead of the handy male term.

I worry too that the alt-right, or whatever they're called, are quite adept at putting women in their place. They may use women to help them, but they're kept in the background for the most part. I don't think this is something they address, just something that's a part of their psyche. Look at the President-elect and the way he referred to Hilary Clinton throughout the campaign - Secretary Clinton. It was said with just the hint of a sneer (in my head) which made it more the 'sitting on the bosses knee' secretary, and not a high powered political position secretary. That really got up my nose.

So I'm worried about the world. About society. About the place of women. The role of sexuality in society. I'm worried that women are making gains, but that's rocking the male-dominated bedrock of society, which is in part, causing this social backlash. And I'm concerned that I don't know where it's going, how it will affect me, or how I can fight it.

Anyway, maybe I'll go back to sex posts. Find some interesting sex terms and post about them. I have a Dictionary of Sex. Maybe I'll start opening a page and picking a random word each Friday and discussing that. It might stress my brain less :)


  1. Here comes a Lily random thought:
    "One of the books that left an impression on me growing up was the Jean M Auel series 'Earth's Children' set in Neanderthal times. One of the things I remember was how in that book, red was a sacred colour and one of the things that happened was that women who were sexually available to 'teach' boys about sex, used to have the soles of their feet painted red. Hence, the term 'red foot' and I think over the years as those boys who'd lost their virginity to a red-foot woman grew, the sight of a flash of red on a foot could still stimulate them.'

    Interesting what I bring to your discussions, huh?

    xx (Let's see if Blogger eats my comment!)

    1. Hey Lily,
      Blogger must have liked those books too :)

      Oh, yes, the flash of red. Now the favoured colour of lipstick and nail polish :) The universal colour for "sex". Cool :)

      Cate xox