Serving the male gaze

A woman is supposed to be seen, gazed upon, and the seer that matters the most , is a man. She fits the standards of aesthetic that appeals to a man. She is a woman, and she is written by a man. She moves carefreely, with the playfulness of a child and sensuality of a woman. She is supposed to be looked at, and that’s her value. She is a fantasy, a male fantasy. She exists, only to be seen and admired by him.

She is a representation of his fantasy, and he finds her in every woman. And when there is  demand, there has to be supply, hence she was and is constructed by many of us. Many of us, have created a version of her, that exists only to serve that male gaze, stare almost. I don’t know how many of us would accept it, I definitely am hesitant and was bit ashamed to accept that there is a version of her in me. Because how could I give in to this singular version of a woman that is accepted as ‘the woman” by a man.

Vygotsky’s theory of social development in social relationships, proposed that children develop on the basis of social interaction. He suggested that we are born with four elementary mental function, attention, sensation, perception and memory.  Our social and cultural environment allows us to use these elementary functions to develop higher cognitive functions. The zone of proximal development happens when we are helped by others. If we assume a community where boys are expected to learn and succedd while girls are expected to be pretty and mainly to be aesthetically appealing.
Both are in zone of proximal development to walk, yet the boy is provided with opportunities to practice and develop in a playroom, he is encouraged to use and explore the equipments and eventually learn to stand and walk by using those equipments. The girl also has the potential to walk but does not receive any support or encouragement to learn and explore the playroom, she is not expected by her environment to, instead she is encouraged to be looked at and encouraged to understand her role to be pretty.

Vygotsky also suggested that, Inner speech develops from external speech, by gradual process of internalization. Thought itself is developed by conversation. This would mean that the internalization of the normalization to be looked at by others, mainly the main character, a male, a patriarch, by a woman can be tracked back to a kind of outer speech and narrative, she was exposed to, at a younger age.

This theory does give the answer to my why,  yet leaves me unsettled by the manifestation of that internalization by me and by so many other women, girls.

It is unsettling because, it reduces a woman to her body parts, to an object, to a possession, an inferior secondary character, who is acceptable, as long as she is appealing to the male gaze, as long as she acts as if her purpose is to be looked at, as long as she is passively pleasing and fits the parameter of beauty set by him, as long as she is serving his gaze.

Mirror, Mirror in the Lake…

In the worlds and words of Myths,

A story of love still holds;

The Greek Myth of Echo who loved Narcissus,

But Narcissus who fell in love with himself.

Its been said that they both were cursed,

Echo could only repeat the words she heard,

It was a retribution for her lies and deceits,

And Narcissus got a taste of his own medicine.

People who loved him were never good enough for him;

One day he saw his reflection in a lake,

And got enamored of his own image ;

After breaking too many hearts, Narcissus fell in love with himself.

As often as it does, it turned into an agony,

Just like those who loved him, he could never reach and touch his reflection;

His love too was incomplete.

It was a Poetic Justice crafted by Nemesis, The Goddess of Vengeance,

Reap what You Sow,

She saw to it.


In Ancient Greek Mythology, looking at one’s reflection for too long was considered a bad omen (It does make sense as it makes you more vain).

In the next part,

Let us see what is means now to look at our own reflections, Shall we?


Norma Jeane

What would she say, if she saw it

If she saw, how she was perceived, is the way she is still perceived

Would she laugh it off, or be deeply disturbed

She is an icon, a symbol of something so fictional, that she is a fiction now

Would she be happy to be idolized, to be lusted after, to be the image, everyone wants and to be

The way one looks at her, is the only way allowed now

One might think, to look at her differently,
but who will be the true advocate for her

All that we know, is what sold and sells still,
Yet She was much more than we think her to be.

Cradle

When this world becomes too overwhelming,
I find my way back, to my original lover.
I take a bowl out of its ancient soup and realize how I had been starved.
It reconnects me back to my original source.

When I become too attached to this world, everything collapse on itself.
From a nightmarish dream, I awaken, shaken up,  into the universe’s cradle;
with a knowing, I won’t be harmed and touched,
by this world’s filthy hands.

XoXo

How trapped was I!

I bless you, to know that.

I write it, breathing,

especially, when I am out of the blue,

I am grateful that I am,

I am hopeful that I am.

These words come out easy,

now that I am not imprisoned.

I am in celebration since I cut off, since I walked away, since I said No.

I celebrate, that the time with you, is over,

I celebrate the death of our time.

I am free of you, from you,

and I would die peacefully, when I do,

Knowing I got rid of you.

🙂

A tree

I saw a tree, under the morning sky
It shimmered peacefully, front of the colors of dawn
It moved quickly enough, to create the shimmering effect
But graceful enough, for the eyes to perceive, when it did
The dark green leaves,
Moving and taking space for a moment, then emptying it later, to do it all again.
I don’t see anything so beautiful nowadays,
That is just beautiful, without the purpose for others, to look at and validate it.
I will never be able to express, what I saw,
And it very well might be, part of its extraordinary charm.

Till they cover me in daisies

The flower that grows through the cracks of the concrete,

It’s just same, that voice, that inkling, which keeps itching you from inside.
The itch that can feel like a nudge, a shake or despair.

When you accept, less than you deserve,
You feel that itch

When you are treated with less dignity than a human being,
You feel that itch

You think, you can’t stop the outside forces, and you can’t as well stop yourself, from accepting less.

It is that itch, that comes back again and again, it is like that flower growing through the concrete.

That inkling, when arrives, can make you feel bad, but it’s your friend.

It’s you, some part of you, resilient as that flower, which keeps on growing, keeps on flourishing, keeps on taking space.

It nudges you, it reminds you, that you deserve better,
especially, when you think, you don’t have enough self love, to stand up for yourself.

If you didn’t have love in you for yourself, you would feel fine, when treated poorly;
But you don’t feel fine.

It’s that flower in you, reminding you of your worth.
It is standing up for you, so you can stand up for yourself.

P. S

When our part of body aches, it’s a mechanism, so that we pay attention and take care of it.

When you feel hurt, when you feel something is not right,
it’s a sign for you, to pay attention to it.

Feeling bad is not a punishment, it’s a protective mechanism of our mind,

Paying attention to the root of the feeling is the purpose of that feeling.

Grace

One of things I think about, are the memories of the time, when I was very little and in a very big situation.

I remember that I would feel very calm and composed even if everything around me felt so wrong and strange. I vividly remember those moments, and even as I grow older, I haven’t found more strength in anyone, even in myself, as I do in that person I was.

I find warmth, protection and cosmic calmness in that person, who could hold herself with grace.

I am grateful that she is part of me, or I am hers.

Sahasrara

“Can you stand people who treat their friends with complete neglect and then mourn them to distraction, never caring about anyone unless they have lost him?”

Letters from a stoic – Seneca

I am grateful for each and every one of you, whom I have met and known.
Apologies for the times, I was not able to give you my best version. And regret for the times, where I could not explore the depth and beauty of your being. It’s more of my loss, to have missed getting enriched by your existence, to get glimpse of this occurance of a life as your perception. Yet I have become more myself by knowing you, even a little. I am so very grateful that I could experience you. It has been my privilege.

To survive in this world, the way I have known, one must have a well developed ego, they say. With that respect, I know with many of you, I have burned bridges. Even if it was not so volatile everytime, sometimes our paths just diverged away. In that case too, you have added something to my life. I see it now, if not yet, I will see it soon. No matter how we left off, you matter as well, you made my life more dear to me, made me realize that how rare of an occurrence it is, for people to meet, connect and last together.

We are connected to each other through collective unconscious, it’s believed. Whatever all has been said and done so far, if I ever think about you, I want to send you blessings only.

I have my reasons to love few of you just from far away and not have you in my life, but its a consequence of my existence in the body-spirit dimension.

I know when this will be over, whenever it does today, next week or in years; I have an intuition that we will find each other in the, as the, secrets of universe.

It’s alright if you don’t understand, but if you do, :)

To live is to be anxious,

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

It is the realization of our life’s finitude. It is that realization, which becomes the cause of our anxiety. We realize, we are free to do anything, we can do something, experience something, but to what end.
Note: Remember this word ‘end’, for later on.
We are free to do anything, and what if we like it, what if we like it too much!!

The anxiety is because of the finitude. We feel that this, what we experience as ‘us’, will be taken from us, which under certain better circumstances would have been always ours to keep. But is it possible that it was given along with what was already there.

Cannot know the answer to that, untill I am I. It’s just a speculation which is not worst case scenario. Maybe we, humans, tend to align towards the worst case scenario because we know that ‘we’ as we understand, is going to end, considering the meaning we have assigned to the word ‘end’.

Due to that impending ‘end’, we do think that, this all is just a doomed inbetween in an already destined doomed ending.

What if the end is not a bad thing, if we knew that the end as we know it, is a good thing, will we live the portion from now and the end more joyfully?
Knowing that the joy will continue after the end.

What if I replace the word ‘End’ with ‘Paris’. I am here and then I will reach Paris. Paris will change me into something else, as all the things goes through change with experience and time. After Paris, I will be something else, is that too bad to be something else?