At the risk of being crude and vulgar, I want to tell you that a few nights ago I had a dream that I possessed the male reproductive organ. I dreamt that I was an hermaphrodite. I assure you that is wasn’t a sexual dream, I just happened to have both female and male reproductive organs.
On discovering my new addition in the dream, I felt powerful and strong. And I think the reason I had this dream was my subconscious processing some things. I’m currently reading a selection of essays by Arthur Schopenhauer for my next review for Soapbox Press; one of these essays is entitled, ‘On Women’.
Here, he begins by quoting Schiller and Byron, saying that “both indicate the correct viewpoint for estimating the value of women” both writers having praised women, stating that women are caring and loving. As Schopenhauer progresses, he describes women as big children, not built for great mental or physical labour; that we are beautiful and charming only in our youth in order to snag a man, after marriage and children, we lose our beauty and charm, just like a female ant loses her wings after mating.
Schopenhauer seems to respect women, we are life-givers after all, but states they are lesser than men; “fundamentally women exist solely for the propagation of the race”. Women are silly, and not capable of great thinking; we’d never contribute anything of significance to mankind.
It may be extremely sexist but considering the time period that Schopenhauer was writing in, it is just an outdated opinion.
Outdated maybe in the society I live in, where more women are in the workplace and breaking through metaphorical glass ceilings, belting out Beyoncé songs, but still current in some societies. For instance, India.
Whilst I was reading Schopenhauer’s essay about women, the news was on in the background, reporting the death of the woman in India who was a victim of gang rape. I think this was the other factor my subconscious was processing when I had the aforementioned dream.
The on-going coverage has been about marches and protests by Indian women, wanting more respect. Have you heard that in Delhi, a woman is raped every 14 hours? Horrible isn’t it? These men are treating women as second-class citizens, it seems forgetting that they exist in this world because of a woman.
I definately count myself lucky that I am in a country where women are at the very least respected if not complete equals with men; but it doesn’t make what is happening in India any better. I just can’t get my head around why in some countries women aren’t even given a basic level of respect, and why violence against women, fellow human-beings is so acceptable.
To me, my phallic dream represents that men are more powerful than women, but considering that in the dream, I still had my female parts, it suggests that women can be equal to men. It just depends on what country you live in. So let’s hope that these protests in India set our sisters on the road to better rights.