I read John Gray's revolutionary Men are from Mars … Women are from Venus many years ago but for some reason I never tire of reading that book. Yesterday I started reading it again for the twentieth time and I dozed off after the introductory chapter where John Gray was describing how women lived on Venus and how men lived on Mars; women were leading a life of comfort, nurturing, and emotional openness, and men were leading a pathetic cold and dry life with business and numbers to keep them company. I closed my eyes and I saw a beautiful world; I was on Venus. It was a place that smelled good, felt good, looked good, tasted good, and sounded good – I was happy. Life on Venus was so healthy; we did not need to hunt for we ate vegetables and fruits. We walked naked and felt great about our bodies. We had lovely little houses with cute little gardens. We spent the day grooming ourselves, talking, visiting, and enjoying the sun, the sea, and the fresh air.
Suddenly, all the women ran to the shore and screamed "Alien"! A boat docked on our beach and out came a hairy deformed creature that had ape-like features; his hair was tousled, his breath stunk, he had fungus under his armpits and in other hairy places, his teeth had a yellowish brownish tint, his eyes looked puffy and evil, his voice echoed the toads in the lake, he had a bulging belly, odd legs, rough hands, dirty nails, hairy ears, hairy nostrils, coarse skin, and an extra piece of meat that seemed so out of place. His manners were not any better than his looks; once he saw us on the shore, he began rubbing what seemed to be an itchy dangling piece of meat, grabbing whoever was closer to him, invading our velvety world, and sweating like a pig. We were in shock, yet our caring nature forgave his ignorance and we made the mistake of our lives; we welcomed the outcast millions of years ago and are still suffering the consequences today.
In my dream, I watched as my fellow sisters took him home, fed him, cleaned him, taught him manners, and gave him home in our beautiful world. He slept and the ladies took turns cooking for him, bathing him, grooming him, and caring for him. They took around the clock shifts to make sure that their guest is entertained and pampered. He began spreading his evil immediately and a month later, the ladies were competing over who would serve him, who would rub that itch, who would take him out, who would talk to him, who would stay with him longer, and eventually who would own him. Our peaceful world was disturbed, we all lost, and he was the only winner. For the first time on Venus, there were friends who were not talking and ladies who were scheming against one another. The crime rate jumped from none to infinity. Curses and bad names replaced praise and compliments. Life on Venus changed forever.
One morning the alien, whom we named MAN, took a walk and when he came back he was carrying a dead animal. He tore the poor thing to pieces and set it to fire. It smelled weird, but when MAN invited us to taste it, we could not be rude and turn down his invitation. We ate, we drank, and for the first time some ladies tasted meat; meat in their mouths and meat inside of them. They were cursed immediately; blood ran down their legs, morning sickness, bad temper, their bodies changed, and nine months later they were screaming in pain as a little creature came out of them. Being the nurturing creatures they were, the baby became the focus of their attention and MAN continued feeding more ladies with meat. At times he called it food and at other times he called it sex, but for us Venusians they were the same thing. More ladies were cursed and Venus became MAN's home – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
One night MAN held a meeting and invited all the Venusians. After a few welcoming words, MAN started his speech by telling us that we should all be ashamed of ourselves; he threw a few leaves at us, asked us to sew them into something that would cover our ugly bodies and called it modesty. We looked at ourselves and at one another, and suddenly we felt shame. We were crying as we gathered and sewed the leaves. MAN began dictating his rules on our land and we obeyed him willingly. He called it protection. "Cover your bodies, stay home, cook for me, wash my leaves, clean my house, rub my itch, have my seed, and say yes to whatever orders I give you" he said, and "yes master" we replied. MAN was smart, he convinced us that our land is no longer a safe place to live on and that if we ventured outside his territories or disobeyed him all the mythical creatures will devour us, and we believed him – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
One morning MAN woke up and announced that only tall women are welcomed in his company; the tall women cheered and the not so tall women grieved. On another morning MAN declared his love for skinny women, and again all the chubby women exerted relentless effort to become skinny. He played the same game, and named it fashion, with the dark-skinned and the fair-skinned ladies, those with big bosoms and those with small bosoms – he even gave them ratings (A, B, C, D …etc) He played us to his advantage and we no longer were happy with who we were. Our lives revolved around this one creature that invaded our privacy and turned our inner peace into an eternity of hell. We experienced jealousy of one another; we coveted bodies and cast spells on souls – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
I thought that was the end of his tyranny until, in another meeting, MAN again told us that we should be ashamed of ourselves, and again we began crying immediately. He told us that we are possessed by the demon of lust and that we need surgical intervention. MAN was kind enough to operate on us; he cut pieces of our bodies, claimed that it was for our best interest and called it chastity. Those who survived the trauma had one on one counseling sessions with MAN where he calmly guided our poor souls into utter submission and called it social code for "good girls". His following commandments were basically that we, women, were the root of all evil and that our desires are a curse. MAN stood tall next to a board and he carved the following letters into our traumatized minds: SIN; "S" stands for Stupidity, "I" stands for Ignorance, and "N" stands for Nothingness. Months after repeating this lesson to cover all the female population, MAN no longer explained what SIN stood for; he just pointed his nasty dirty finger at any one of us and said SIN to signify that she is stupid, ignorant, and is a big nothing. We all sunk in a deep well of shame and guilt, and have lived there ever since – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
MAN died and many of the women I knew died, one generation after the other still followed his teachings and applied his rules with avid precision. No one ever questioned them and no one dared disobey them. On another sad morning MAN Junior went to sea and he came back with a wicked victorious smile on his face. Like his ancestor, MAN Junior got off his boat, women screamed, and he rubbed his itch, then he pulled a few women onto his boat, shackled their feet and hands, and we watched as his boat vanished in the deep blue. He came back a month later with the same ominous smile, no women, and what he called money. More trips followed, more women disappeared, and more money was seen. The Venusians who were not sold when he went to sea stayed to serve him on a land that was once ours. We have descended from being goddesses and divas to being slaves and mistresses; we were denied the right to any pleasure, as though we were created for the sole purpose of enjoying the delighted smile on the face of MAN Junior when we rubbed his itch or nourished his seed into childbirth; MAN Junior was a sexist by nature, if the seed blossomed into a Venusian, he called her a disgrace and killed her and if the seed blossomed into one of his own kind, he called him pride and celebrated the newborn – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
I woke up with tears in my eyes – tears like the ones that rolled down my cheeks many a time over worthless men. I know that the metal shackles are long gone but I also know that our mindsets still believe that we are the root of all evil; that any woman who dares express her desires is a SIN; that men should decide how we dress, what we eat, where we go, and why we exist; that men dictate who is a bombshell and who is a nutcase; that men still use us to rub their itch and bring their seed to life; that men still label us and that we still submit to their judgment; that men still sell us, or buy us, in the name of marriage; that men still lock us in dark dungeons of fear of the future; that men still cut pieces of our bodies to deny us pleasure, and those who do not literally do it, cut pieces of our minds and common sense for the same purpose; that women still fight over men; that women still compete to please men; that women still bear the pains inflicted upon their bodies, minds, and souls by men – and it all started with the damn piece of meat he fed us the day he went hunting.
When I was a little girl of ten, my father asked me what kind of man I would want to marry, and innocently I said in a dreamy voice that I wanted him to be strong to carry my schoolbag, with a license and a car to drive me to places I wanted to go, clean to look good in my house, handsome so I can have pretty children, and living somewhere else so I can spend more time doing fun stuff. At the age of sixteen I wanted him to sleep in a separate bedroom and understand me, at the age of twenty I wanted him to be exclusively mine and to love me, at the age of twenty five I wanted him to change diapers and do his own laundry, at the age of twenty eight I wanted him to improve his grooming standards because I cannot tolerate his stink, at the age of thirty I wanted him to have a career and not to be the usual male drag species, and at the age of thirty two I am still single and fighting for everything I wanted since I was ten. For me it is all or nothing … and who wants men!
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