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1st January 2020

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It’s very unfashionable and, perhaps, even considered primitive to assume that any wisdom resides in the ordinary and not in the exceptions to rules. However, the situation right now in reality is that any well-adjusted, ordinary adult woman rejoices in herself. She loves her body and how she looks. Not being a member of a species that reproduces by asexual fission, budding or fragmentation or even by spontaneous generation her identity is tied up with her sense of her sexual attractiveness. She will probably love pampering herself with baths with scented candles. She will enjoy ‘girly’ nights out with her female friends. She will enjoy choosing and buying cosmetics, coiffure, perfume, jewellery, and lingerie (often at parties arranged for the purpose as enjoyable social events). She will give and receive compliments which are highly gratifying to her from her female friends on social media about how ‘stunning’, ‘gorgeous’ or ‘lovely’ she looks. She will like the sense that she turns male heads. She may even enjoy popular music where female singers sing about their relationships with men and being loved by men. She would see it as insanity to consider herself above being ‘limited’ or defined by her nature preferring to celebrate it and enjoy it.

And, by extension, given that we are a sexually reproducing species, the outcome of all of this – motherhood, will be celebrated on social media and in society by mothers in exactly the same ways. Many women will also prize their wedding photographs.

The fact that the situation described above obviously obtains in present reality (just take a glance at social media or study photos of uniformly penguin-suited men amongst the arrivals at the Oscar ceremony in sharp contrast with the array of expensive coiffures, make-up, accessories and colourful and sequinned designer gowns and shoes sported by their consorts) is usually ascribed to two things. The first explanation is that a patriarchal Magisterium has, with thinly veiled menace, decreed that it should be so. The second is that such female behaviour emerges spontaneously from Nature and from female nature and that to pretend otherwise is a form of insanity.

And yet……most of the very same women described above, if quizzed about their views on their sexuality and sexual role would obediently pay lip service to decrying the wickedness of the patriarchy, to the evils of the ‘objectification of women’ and the ‘male gaze’, to the need to escape from their female nature and behave in the same ways that men do as a route to ‘empowerment’ and freedom. In doing this they would show an almost liturgical orthodoxy in giving the proper responses. That they do this so uniformly and so predictably derives from the fact that the thinly veiled menace is really exhibited by an intimidating ideological regime under which she lives that requires a woman to think certain things about herself and about men.

All of this gives rise to the phenomenon of Schrödinger’s Woman. In the sphere of simple natural being she will be one thing. In the mental sphere she will affect to be something else entirely at odds and even mutually exclusive to the former thing. She will be these things simultaneously throughout her life, living with a kind of ongoing cognitive dissonance in two parallel universes, each one being evoked as and when the need arises depending on whose company she finds herself in or what forum she is frequenting at the time.

Prince Hamlet knew that, ultimately, it was impossible to be and not to be for any length of time and that his predicament in the Court of Denmark needed to be resolved even, as it turned out, at the cost of his own life. He weighed up the relative attractions of suicide and action. Modern women are invited (not to say compelled) by modern feminist gospels to commit a kind of suicide of their own being. Most of them are too frightened to resolve the issue as it would require a drastic Hamlet-like confounding of expectations and a rebellion against the feminist rather than the patriarchal orthodoxies. As a result they live in a perpetual state of contradiction as Schrödinger’s Women with their minds in conflict with their instincts. It is a painful, unenviable and unhealthy condition.

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