Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tudors - where were the feminists?

Photo by Lisa Weidmeier, MYWANA

By the end of Season 2, when Anne Boleyn meets her grim death, I really hate Henry VIII. I hate looking at him, I hate listening to him, I despise his every moment on screen. I suppose that really, that's as it should be. But I feel the show has sucked a lot of joy out of me to in the process. I won't be watching season 3, or any following ones. I'm done. D-o-n-e done.

In a way, the whole history of Henry VIII and his hapless - or headless - wives rankles me in a very pro-feminist way. No, I'm not going to get on a feminist soapbox - well, maybe just a little - but what really irritates me about the show is 1. Margaret Tudor and 2. Jane Seymour. We can talk about the male characters later. Those two women really embody what's wrong with women today. Yes, I said today, for really, we haven't changed much, have we?

In the Showtime version of The Tudors, Margaret Tudor (also see historical inaccuracy section of the wikii here  is married off to King Louis XII, a much older man. While it's not to her liking and arranged marriages deny women choice, she would have had a very comfortable life as queen. However, in the show she suffocates the king - committing an act of murder most unwholesome she shows no remorse for. Then, when she finally has what she so desperately wants - CHOICE - what does she do with it?

She picks another man.

*Head slap*

On the one hand, yes, I do feel sorry for any woman used merely as a political pawn and forced into a marriage not of their choosing. I understand that would be unpleasant. However, instead of either accepting her fate and choosing to focus on her own growth within the marriage, she again tosses away any hope of self-realization when she shackles herself to the Duke of Suffolk. For in doing so, is she not imprisoning herself in just the same way as Henry VIII had? Her actions break down like this:

* No, I don't want to marry him, I want to be free
* I've killed him, now I'm free
* Now that I'm free, I desire most of all to become fettered
* I hand over my freedom to a different man

Later, she realizes she's hastily married a playboy and dies unhappily of consumption. Nice choice, right? But women had no choice in those days, you say. Well, the Showtime portrayal of several of the characters was not quite accurate. However, in this, I think one can see in Margaret Tudor a bit of ourselves, no? How many of us believe that we are incomplete without a man? How many of us would sell our soul for the "right" man who'll make us "happy"? How long do we go through life believing the fantasy to be true - that only someone else can make us happy and whole? Too many of us, and for too long, I say. Margaret would have been better off becoming the full woman she could have been rather than yet again the man's woman.

And that brings us to Jane Seymour, who obviously had a touch of FUCKING NUTCASE about her. I mean, picture this:

Your intended - again, the man - has just chopped off the head of his wife's brother, several of her supposed lovers, and imprisoned her family. To add to the horror, he's just cut of his wife's head. A woman he once supposedly LOVED so much he stood against the Roman Church and demanded he be allowed to marry her. But now, she's missing a head, and oh, Jane, does he ever want to kiss you.


I mean, really. How sexy is the guy who made lovey-dovey eyes to his former wife only to later cut off her noodle? The fact he cut off a woman's head should have her running away - gagging - at the cold brutality of it. But when she was kissing him, when he was wooing her, didn't she ever picture in her mind's eye her father and her brother's heads rolling down the street? Listen, the girl could have thought a little harder is all I'm saying. If she'd searched her heart and soul she'd never have let Henry VIII court her.

Of course, you say, there's power and money involved. Heh. Yeah. We're not like that today at all, are we? Every woman wants to live comfortably, but how few of them want to be their true selves? How many of us ever dive into that pool and disassociate ourselves  from the role of men's playthings long enough to even hear the voice of our true self? The fact that in every story version I've seen, Anne Boleyn's father is the one who egged her on to garner the king's appreciation in order for the family to gain power and fortune only makes the whole story worse for me. Sadder. Depressing.

It's a worthless folly that should not be repeated. Ever. But I fear it already has been, countless times in our short, all too human history. Enough girls. Enough!

More later,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who are your friends?

It seems that every few years friends get swept in and swept out of my life like a wave coming through. Total changes occur, sometimes without much warning. I used to think this only happened to me. Maybe it really does!

Photo courtesy of Jenny Kazorowksi, MYWANA

I also was often confused by it, but now I think it's just personal growth. If everyone around you is standing still, refusing to grow but you are -- well, that's not a sustainable arrangement. You see, the people around you are called to be part of your life and represent parts of you.

I'm simply not the same person I was three or four years ago. I won't be the same a few years from now either. Likely I'll have different friends then. Or maybe none at all. In a way it doesn't matter. Not for me, not at this point in my life.

Yes, I know you can only "see" parts of yourself via relationships. But after having been the queen of relationships - maybe I got to the one the finally broke the last straw - I no longer feel called to do them. And look out. When a Libra is done with something, they're just "done." Stick a fork in it, throw it in the bin.

That's kind of how I feel about writing romance right now. Or erotica for that matter. Boom! It's done. Fini. Yesterday's news. I hardly have the urge to continue on that line. Internally, I'm being pulled into new directions and my tastes and interests have changed. Bam! They're all different. 

So maybe at this point a few friends have already or will drop off to continue on their path and I'll find new mirrors that reflect back to me the "new" me, whoever that is. 

Too damn early to say.

More later,


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Have you talked to your inner child today?

Do you talk to your inner child and your inner teenager every day? If  not, you might want to check out this blog post here from Family Tree Counseling:

It seems strange to say, I'm an adult and I'm also a child, or, I'm an adult and I'm also a teenager, but in fact we all are. All of us walking around in fully-grown human bodies still carry the original, innermost parts of ourselves as well as all of our learned behaviours. The inner child is just us - our youngest selves - the feeling, easily hurt, innocent piece of childhood we all think we left behind so very long ago. But even though we're in adult bodies now with adult minds, we never did lose our childhood self. Sadly, we just learned over time to ignore it like many of our parents did.

Photo courtesy of KB Owen, MYWANA

We all think we've discovered how to deal with our little child, how to protect it from harm in our own way. We've built walls, amassed weapons, honed our skills. That's great, right? We are now the our inner child's protectors. Except for one thing. That protector most likely formed during a period of maturing we all call teenage years. Yep. The protector out there slashing away, making sure nothing harms the little girl or boy again is making all its decisions based upon A TEENAGE UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE. Whoa, baby.

I don't know if you remember the teenage years very well. The pain and suffering, the hormones slamming through you, the lost, confused, agonizing vulnerability. Let's just go out on a limb here and say that intellectually, those were not our best years. We were beset by too much to handle and believe me, looking for any rope to grab onto in the storm.

Some of us choose drugs.
Or alcohol.
Or sex.
Or buying things.
Or food.
Or we run away via traveling.
Anything, to get us through the rough times so we don't have to deal with the hurt head on.
In doing so, we inadvertently set the program for what will become the way we deal with every issue that life throws at us. Because it feels right, no? We're protecting ourselves, we're dealing with our pain in the only way know how.
Again, based on a teenager's understanding of life.

So ask yourself. Right now in life when shitty things happen to you and you fly off the handle and end up in a very familiar place AGAIN: Who's driving bus? I'd wager it's not your adult self.  I'll bet you a million bucks and be a millionaire by morning. When you slip into the passion of trying to make yourself FEEL BETTER it's the teenager driving the bus, and your inner child providing the fuel. The inner child doesn't want to be hurt. It hurts to get hurt! Especially when there's no relief in sight, or the parents you grew up with never showed you how to take care of your feelings. Instead, the wrathful teenager lashes out in a very teenage minded way, grabs the crutch/weapon/drink of choice that you've fashioned so many years ago and dives right into the abyss while the adult takes a nap.

Then what happens? The adult wakes up, sees there's a problem and doesn't know how it got there and has a big fucking mess to clean up. But then, if we start to wake up even a little we start to realize we have some problems inside of us we're not taking care of. What to do about them becomes our next course of action. In a way, I think that's why the song Demons resonates with many people. It's about our inner demons and the struggle to deal with them.

So how do we deal with them?

We recognize the problem and begin to dig in. Into our selves. To listen and learn from our child and teenager, to value their input and to adapt it to our adult lives. We learn to see where the adult is falling asleep and WHY. We learn those hurt feelings inside of us aren't going to be fixed by that new drug, that new lover or that new car. Guess what? That leaves the responsibility solely on our shoulders. At first, it feels new but it's not. It's always been our job to deal with our emotions. We've just been letting a teenager try to fix things, over and over again, and finally realized that doesn't work.

Welcome to the adult world.

So I'm going to ask you again, have you talked to your inner child today? Have you told it, hey, I know they hurt you, but I'm here now. I'm not going to ignore you anymore. And have you recognized your inner teenager saying, I'll fix this, let me bash something for you. And have you told it, just a second. Let me think on that plan....

Good luck!