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Dark Side of Woman

If women have been excluded from credit for attainments judged positive by history, they have similarly avoided blame for history’s parade of moral and social catastrophes. By keeping a low profile, so to speak, women have remained largely bystanders to the fray of historical process, though often becoming its victims. They have sometimes been spared the evils suffered regularly by men—combat, violent or stressful competition, assassination, hard labor, the rigors of adventure—though at the price, perhaps, of infantalizing themselves through keeping the company of children and becoming the sort of docile company many men prefer. To be sure, they have played their part behind the scenes, occasionally coming to the fore to reveal characters as ruthless as the most aggressive males. Think of Lady Macbeth and Queen Elizabeth I; or of the bloodthirsty Maori women who, though they may not have partaken directly of cannibal feasts or clubbed enemies into slavery, heartily encouraged and profited by the savageness of their men. Think of the matrons of societies involved in ethnic feuds the world over and in every time, calling for revenge of their slain husbands, sons and brothers. And think of the cliché of the upwardly mobile housewife who lives through her husband’s career, presses him for ever more luxuries, and grooms her sons to follow in his footsteps. Just as the masculine mentality has a positive and a negative side, so the feminine has its dark aspects along with its potential.

RELATED TAGS: [invisible women, the power behind the throne, victimization of women, Maori women, ethnic feud, upwardly mobile housewife, masculine mentality, dark side of feminine/woman, woman as nurturer, infantilization of woman(en)]

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