I was browsing Facebook this morning while trying to figure out what to blog about, and I came across this image:
Woman on a pedestal.
To me it looks like she's struggling, pushing up against the weight of expectations and ideals, her image melting away the more the viewer becomes familiar with her; becomes acquainted with the truth that was there all along - she's only human after all. That might be my experience talking, but this beautiful piece of art seems quite sad to me.
I have observed that a not very small number of men have a tendency to put all women up on a pedestal. All women are relegated to the roles and behaviours that fit on this pedestal - soft, kind, generous, giving (often to her own detriment), care-taker, virginal, mother, angel.
Should any woman deviate from the roles and behaviours upon that pedestal, if they stand up and demand to be counted as human beings rather than mythical winged creatures from God, they're met with unfathomable rage.
Expectations were not met, and it is easier to rage than it is to adjust the perception of women.
The fact of the matter is, women are only human. We are subject to all the same base emotions, at mercy of our own troubled histories, and even at the mercy of perfectly normal human body issues. Bowel movements. We have them too.
I have had long, serious discussion with men about this phenomena, this putting of women onto pedestals, creating images of them; facsimiles of people who aren't quite allowed to just be people. I have read about women who refrain from going to the wash room at all in their own homes in an effort to avoid offending their spouses (really? Really?!). Yes. Really.
The pressure to conform to those beautiful winged creatures of hazy mythology is killing women - either they destroy their own bodies, or their dreams, trying to contort themselves into the inhuman image of that woman on the pedestal, or their enraged lovers do it for them.
This is a genuine problem.
It's time that we see women for what women are - human beings; as messy and twisted, hard and soft, frail and powerful as the rest of humanity. Get rid of the pedestals. They're not good for anyone.
And on that note, today is the last day to pre-register for CanCon. Do so here.