Our culture is now one of masculine triumphalism, in which transhistorically feminine expressions – empathy, sweetness, volubility, warmth – are seen as impediments to a woman’s professional trajectory in many sectors.
― Antonella Gambotto-Burke, Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love
Femininity is depicted as weakness, the sapping of strength, yet masculinity is so fragile that apparently even the slightest brush with the feminine destroys it.
― Gwen Sharpe, “Policing Masculinity in Slim Jim’s ‘Spice Loss’ Ads,” Sociological Images, August 21, 2012
She has been missed. I looked for evidence of her somewhere in old documents, a remnant left behind, something, but she’s not there. Yet still, when the mistral winds blow cool the stale heat of summer lifts, and there is a scent that reminds me she existed, but there’s no tangible sign. I focus, concentrate, try to remember what she was like, the memory is vaporous, haunting, and then gone. What’s left behind is a feeling. A feeling like something more is possible than this if only she were here.
A feeling reminds me again that she was our collective compassion. She was our gentleness. She was our softer side, the empathetic parts that urged us to let things go, to emotionally connect in the moment, to accept, to forgive. She was our Gaian heart. And I remember this with perfect clarity, she didn’t leave on her own, we got together and plotted her removal, burned her at the stake, and…