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20 February 2001

Read a book: A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson. Dreadful. 141 pages of repetitious monologue on why women have had their "magic" and power repressed, and how they ought not to let it happen, et cetera. Very annoying. Badly written...

An exercise in pouring out emotion, nothing more. And her assertions were completely unsupported by reason or fact— not that the woman is wrong, mind you. It's just that she's expressed herself in exactly the way that has made rational creatures look down on "emotional" women since the dawn of time. And, to top it off, she has used the fact that women have been repressed to validate and justify this emotional outpouring. (Never mind that the repression was brought on in the first place precisely because women were not being taught to reason or think or govern their emotions. Adult women were being being treated as children and only taught to believe that this was right and just as they were incapable of more. Tell me, do you argue or reason with a three-year-old, or do you merely send the child off to bed?)

But the author was right about a couple of things. Women, because of who and what they are perceived to be by society/culture— precisely because of what they have been made into by society/culture, are repressed and undervalued by society/culture. And many, many women are mired in these stereotypical beliefs. These women are often doomed to repeat the same life mistakes over and over.

But it is also true that women can rise above this repression, though it often takes them a long time. Women who are fortunate enough to learn that they are valuable human beings, women who can learn to accept and love themselves, these women have a beauty and a power that is recognized. These women are forces of good, and will attract good things into their lives.

And the author is right that all women deserve to know their worth and have it recognized. All women.

How unfortunate it is that the majority of women who read this book will feel that the author is right, only to discover that they lack the education and emotional control necessary to master themselves and rise above the repressions. Emotion is not enough. Feeling is not enough.

What really bothers me is that this book perpetuates the falacy that reason and emotion can not be balanced, and do not need to be balanced. What is more powerful, raw emotion or reason? Think about that. Reason has brought about great things, but sometimes these things seem cold, alienating. Tantrums can be impressive, but what do they accomplish? Now, imagine what could be accomplished by directing and controlling raw emotion with reason... Mind blowing.

We need both emotion and reason. Emotion tells us what we need and what is right; reason allows us to act upon the emotions to achieve greatness.

It is so unfortunate for all of humanity that women— in general— are not and have not been taught to think, to master their emotions.

How unfortunate for all of us that men— in general— have been taught not to listen to their feelings.

Seek the balance, people. Make yourselves whole.


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