April 17, 2003
SHANTI MANGALA calls the "women are peaceful" argument "sexist, idiotic drivel:"
I think it is mainly a very Western point of view, or at least the view of a person who is wilfully ignoring or trying to gloss over the complexities of a woman's nature.
I read somewhere the saying, "the most dangerous place in the world is between a mother and her baby". In Indian culture, women have never shied away from battle and there is absolutely no proof that they were ever more reconciliatory than their male counterparts. Rani Rudrama Devi, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai and others come to mind. Even our mythology is full of women warriors - Kali, Durga, Satyabhama. We also use the term "Mother Nature", which denotes not just the gentle, loving, calm face of nature, but also the nature that floods, blows away and destroys human life.
There is both a life-giving energy and a destructive force in a woman. I find it very simplistic for people to ignore one thing or the other to further agendas or to make points. I don't like to call myself a feminist in the "NOW" sense of the word, but the traditional sense of the war-mongering man and a softly nurturing woman is as distateful me as is the effort by people of some religions to subvert womens' freedoms by deeming too fragile to take care of themselves.
There's nothing gentle about this post, that's for sure!
UPDATE: Check out this blog, by an (almost) 26-year-old Muslim woman who's struggling with a different kind of sexism.