Saturday, November 24, 2012

Images of women

Tomorrow is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, referred to as White Ribbon Day in some English-speaking countries.

The Nouvel Observateur weekly in France has been carrying out a big operation aimed at highlighting the evil of rape, still rampant in French society. A manifesto entitled I declare that I've been raped has been signed by 343 women.

Certain males (all too many) continue to act like prehistoric cavemen when aroused sexually by the vision of enticing females. The phenomenon of rape persists because the caveman simply clobbers his desired female object on the head (in a psychological sense) with his massive prick. He doesn't bother to examine the reality of the authentic human individual behind the seductive image screen.

Often, I've been fascinated by the huge discrepancy that can exist between our primary impression of such-and-such a woman and her real identity. Once upon a time, I liked to imagine that, behind the image of every mundane wife of a village baker, there's an angel.

In our perception of the image of a woman, an underlying problem is the existence and persistence of stereotypes. We are tempted constantly to judge the book by its cover, and to place it immediately in a convenient librarian's category. I'm aware, alas, that I myself tend to do this constantly...


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