May 26, 2004

Women (and men)

In order to improve my conversational French (which is not so great, believe me!), I am taking out videos in French (with English subtitles so I donít miss too much). The last three were two by Francois Truffout, The Bride Wore Black and The Man Who Loved Women, and Claude Chabrolís The Story of Women with Isabelle Huppert. Lots of women. In every imaginable role. Wife, mother, prostitute, widow, murderer. And beautiful films. They were all, in their individual ways, about love and loss and maybe that is what women are about. We love we lose we love we lose and we love again. But donít men do the same?

I like being female. I like loving. I love loving. Iíve learned, I hope, to live with losing. Itís part of life, of loving. Perhaps men feel the same sense of loss in their lives, but I am not a man and canít really say. But I am always fascinated by what men see when they write about or portray in films their view of women. At least in a film, the woman acts the part and imparts feminine qualities to a woman.

Teaching figure drawing, I see lots of naked bodies, male and female. The physical structure is different. Besides the obvious, menís hips are narrower, chests broader, their legs set into their hips differently, womenís arms hang from their shoulders to be able to carry babies and laundry.

I used to read a lot of self-help books: Men are from Mars, Men Who Hate Women (a very upsetting book), and such. Iíve researched men in life and in books. I work in a profession dominated by men for centuries. Iíve never dwelled there, think that the work itself will transcend cultural gender prejudice. Most of my female friends say there are few good men. I personally think that there are as many good men as there are good women. Good people. Maybe we act and react differently to some emotions and events. I do think men are wired differently, have different expectations and needs in certain areas, but we are both (men and women) people and we all want love and (at times) suffer loss.

Posted by leya at May 26, 2004 08:48 AM