Ok so, it's the end of semester, I'm run off my feet, lotsa things to do. Assignments to finish (well... Start...), Mario-kart to play, strange mission expos to go to, so I haven't really kept up with either my reading or my blogging. Apologies.
But you shouldn't be surprised I'm flagging so soon you know? I'm Gen Y! We're all about instant gratification, not drawing out every experience until we've wrung each sweet drop of... Um... What was I saying?
Ooh, isn't that strange, I just pulled a super-curly blonde hair out of my....
Sorry... What was it...?
Oh that's right. Stop with the guilt trip ok?!! I'll get to it! I know I haven't said anything for a few days, but I've certainly been thinking about the blog.
Which is why, partly in response to Soph's demand for actual Shakespearean material, I want to return to a second for Adriana's well of anxiety...
In my last post I analysed most of Adriana's freakout about her husband being late home to lunch in classic 2nd Wave Feminism terms. I attributed her anxiety to lack of education, empowerment and occupation, combined with patriachal exploitation of women in Graeco-Roman society.
Now I still reckon all that's a pretty fair assessment. Each of those elements of her situation would have a massive impact on her mental well-being and behaviour, as they have had on millions of women... But I don't think that's all there is to it...
We had a fantastic sermon on worry at church on Sunday night, and it's reminded me of a few things...
Many people in our country struggle with anxiety and depression. It's serious and devestating, but also creates many everyday heroes and heroines.
But what looking at worry reminded me of is that for many people, worry, anxiety, is built into their world view.
"Whilst I at home starve for a merry look,
Hath homely age th' alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it."
In Adriana's world, she worries that her value will only be high while her external beauty lasts.
She also asks,
"Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault; he's master of my state.
What ruins are in me that can be found
By him not ruin'd? Then he is the ground
Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair.
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale."
I think basically what she's wondering is if the very way she speaks and interacts displeases him, and that if that's the reason he's run off and left her (which he hasn't at all)...
Now, a lot of the guys I know say women worry too much. Can I just say though, it is freaking hard to be a woman!!
I spent at least half an hour the other day feeling totally depressed about the fact that I don't have lady fingers, but thick, square man fingers... And that that is yet another thing about my body that not just falls short of, but is pretty much the opposite of our society's ideal of feminine beauty...
Now scoff all you like boys, but when your value as a woman is defined by how pretty you are, it's difficult not to feel anxious all the time about how pretty you are (or aren't!!).
So the 2nd Wave Feminist response is pretty much to say, well, society's standards of beauty are screwed, so screw them! Violate the rules, grow your body hair, stop wearing make up and find your value elsewhere.
And I say, hear hear!
But there's still gotta be more to it than that. Rejecting beauty as the standard doesn't fix the problem. Adriana moves from her looks onto her identity and the way she expresses it to her husband. She's now anxious about her behaviour as a woman...
And even if she moves on from that, there'll always be something else!
Some Feminists have fixed Adriana's problem by telling her she doesn't need men, and just shouldn't bother entering into relationship with one...
I think as long as Adriana is looking for any human, either herself or others, to provide total secure value for herself as a person, she's going to be anxious...
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body... Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" And "I am the bread of life. The person who comes to me will never go hungry, and any person who believes in me will never be thirsty."