An Open Letter to Female Homo Sapiens

An Open Letter to Female Homo Sapiens

Hello! Greetings from a halfbreed. I call myself a halfbreed because, biologically I am a male and socially, in many ways, a heterosexual man. However, I find literally (and I mean, literally) everything most men do, think, and preach or practice, objectionable to various degrees. If that is not the definition of a halfbreed in your book, I sincerely apologize, but please bear with me. I hope by the end of this letter, you may find my offenses forgivable. Before proceeding any further, I must make a disclaimer – I am from a third world country, so what I am about to describe might sound Victorian in its essence, and perhaps obsolete. Though I wonder, how many kilometers or nautical miles separate the modern world from mine, especially when connectivity is the middle name of our age. I have a hypothesis though, albeit, completely unsupported and unverified so far; perhaps, every developing nation needs a queen Victoria and a Victorian society to advance to the next stage!?

 

But I digress! My troubles began after I wrote a story about a woman, who was seduced, sexually abused and dumped by one of her male lecturers during her first year as an undergrad student. Later that lecturer (now a professor, but full, half or quarter, I do not care) did the same to quite a few other students too. There are also rumours that the protagonist of my story was not his first prey either. Anyways, due to a diminishing but still widespread practice of marrying off female children as soon as they reach the legally acceptable age of 16, by the time the protagonist got enrolled in her undergrad program, she had already been married once and five childless years later, divorced consequently. In my opinion, individuals with such turbulent background are often more susceptible to sexual predation. 

 

The story also has a male character (other than the serial rapist) as a foil to the protagonist. What this character propounded in the story was the view (quintessentially Victorian, in my opinion), that is harboured by most men around me at least; or that was what I thought while composing the story. He is a batchmate of the victim/protagonist. Once she tells him about the incident, albeit hiding a little in fear of the judgemental nature of men, he tells her that it must have been her fault, because she did not know how to behave like a “proper woman”. According to this view, God created men to be easily arousable, both in terms of sex and violence. So it is always a woman’s responsibility to resist men’s advances. In brief, if a man successfully seduces a woman, as long as the woman is older than 21, it is her fault. She has sinned twice in fact; once by arousing the man and then by failing to resist his advances.

 

Being the naive fool I am, I had hoped that the woman readers of the story would find such beliefs abhorring and I was sincerely shocked when my eyes were pried open to the realities. I have lost friends for my socially unacceptable writing. I have been warned, with varying degrees of humility, not to make too much noise about the underlying issue, because a “teacher’s respect” and career is at stake. I can only gasp in shock! If a mere “teacher’s respect” provides one with immunity against such atrocities, I wonder, how much immunity does a celebrity’s or a political leader’s respect ensure! Then came this : “Since, a woman has more to lose from a sexual intercourse, if it does not end up in marriage, a woman must always be more careful than a man before committing to sexual intercourses.” I was completely blown away (not literally, though I wish I were!). Being a married mother of one, she has access to and knows about the existence of contraceptives. Before their invention and widespread availability (since 1960s), for hundreds of millennia, female Homo Sapiens have been fertile all year round, unless they are either pregnant already, or have one or more nurslings to care for. So, it was literally a female’s responsibility to choose the father of her children, very wisely and with extreme caution. Statistically, one out of every three intercourses could have resulted in a pregnancy. But the availability of contraceptives has finally freed the female from that biological burden.

 

The reason I have used the term “Female” instead of “Woman” in the preceding paragraph, is because I have learned and believe, Female/Male are biological categories, while Woman/Man are social constructs. One does not necessarily imply the other. Therefore, with the freedom of your own body and reproduction cycle, I believe a female Homo Sapiens can demolish the construed wall of differences between a man and a woman. However, I can only guess at how obscenely thick and rockhard that wall must be. The species, now with immodesty and incompleteness, named as Homo Sapiens (Wise Men), first evolved in East Africa around 300 thousand years ago. Since then we have eked out our living more or less like bands of chimpanzees, with weaker teeth and jaws for at least 75% of the time of our existence on Earth. So much so, that even now, “One on one, and even ten on ten, we are embarrassingly similar to chimpanzees…” (Harari, Y N : Sapiens)  Only in the last 70 thousand years, since and due to our cognitive revolution, we have been able to bypass our genome, and suppress biology with cultures and history.

 

Now, after 21 centuries since the advent of the largest organized religion in existence today, and 15 since the second one, how far have we come? I have no degrees in history, but from my reading I have realized that at least for the last 3,000 years – myths, legends, stories, fictions, collective imagination and imagined realities have been primarily the dominion of males. Unsurprisingly, they have constructed the social definitions of Manhood to suit their biological inclinations. The production of sperm cells is empirically cheaper and less cumbersome than eggs; so much so, that evolution has limited female Homo Sapiens to only 400 eggs for her entire fertile life. But males have bypassed their genome and some of them can even become a Pope to spiritually rule over more than two billion human souls, without ever having to contribute in the biological realm! Why must a female be limited to and judged by her capability to make as many or as little of her eggs as possible (depending on the prevailing socio-economic and political fictions of the time)? Unless of course you are freely choosing to do so. But, come on, do you, really?

 

Yes, Male and Female brains are different in some ways. For example, due to evolution male brains are usually more adept at registering sudden movements (to aid them in their hunting) and female brains are usually more adept at recognizing who is sleeping with who in a group (to aid them in their socializing). But at the same time female brains are more adept at caring and tolerance than male’s. Not only that, but your brains are also better wired to approach issues holistically, while my brothers’ ones are better equipped to solve the problems, one at a time, often without caring for the accumulated harm from their disjointed efforts. So I humbly beg you, can you not take over the world’s governments, religions, societies, corporations, markets, academies, courts, communities, families and let a handful of halfbreeds like myself, breathe in peace? If you believe in the existence of God, why must God be a masculine word, or referred to by the male pronoun, “He”?

 

What do you think, Almighty God cannot bless us with Her light?

 

Yours truly,
A Halfbreed.

Resplendence! *

Resplendence! *

* Dedicated to a Prophet, a Poet, and a Philosopher

 

My friends, you do not need the Polaris,
to guide you through the hills and falls of life.
Look around, there are some north stars,
not in the sky, but closer to you and the ground.
Look around, with the eyes in your heart, opened wide,
and you shall find one or two, serene lights
shining in their humble glories among you!
Look around for those, who seem powerless
in their thoughts and ways, a lot more concerned
about guiding themselves than the lot!
Mark my words, if you can ever find one
remember they are not powerless, as it seems,
they just have no craving for power in their souls,
and that, my friend, is why they are, Incorruptible!


 

Will This Winter Be?

Will This Winter Be?
Watch and Listen to a Reading of the Poem

 

As the chilling wind caresses my skin again,
I know the queen of seasons has embarked
on her three months’ hike down the path that leads to me.
So I fill my lungs with the ripe smell of autumn
for the last time, the yellow smell of fog
that will soon overwhelm the earth in a blanket of innocence.

Hopefully, the human world too will follow suit
to shed its ocher leaves of fear mongering
and forget the heady lure of xenophobia!
The last winter saw the fall of empires
and the following spring was lush with nation states
but by fall they were all proclaiming to be more right than the rest!

Will this winter be equal in significance
and witness the demise of these vile trends
in politics – seeking wealth instead of welfare,
pursuing war to sell arms instead of peace
and either opting to remain blind or
disguising self interest with a gossamer of religion?

O, the winter is nigh, the chill in the wind tells me so!
Are you ready for the change my fellow citizens of the world?
If you are, lets form a human chain across the earth, hand in hand,
indomitable, to make the coming spring, when she comes, truly grand!

.


 

Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights

Disclaimer: the following text may reek of narcissism to some readers!


 

Hello and welcome to another episode of two bits. Last four weeks have been Ramadan, a month of fasting from an hour before the sunrise to sunset for Muslims. This year after more than two decades I decided to fast. By the time this gets posted many Muslims around the world would be enjoying the eve of Eid al Fitr, the biggest religious festival in Islam. Here though it would be on Thursday. However, while the followers of Islam practice self restrain during this month, those of Islamism do the exact opposite. Not that they do not fast but during the meals before and after fasting, known as Suhur and Iftar respectively in Arabic, they tend to be too excessive about items and courses. A large number of them also experience a sharp spike in their suicidal tendencies, unfortunately they start blowing up or murdering other people while killing themselves. That is the part I find unacceptable about the religion called Islamism, despite an abundance of love for all other religions including the pagan ones in my heart which should be evident from my About Me page.

 

Fortunately I was born in a Muslim family, not an Islamist one and as an Eid surprise for the audience, I want to talk about what I have learned regarding women and their rights in Islam from my family. As the process of learning goes, what I accumulated evolved as well and the path was not without a few hiccups along the way but what I am about to say is what I have firmly believed and been practicing since July 2015.

 

A woman, whether she is my mother, sister, wife, an adult daughter, a friend, a recent acquaintance or a complete stranger, has the following irrevocable rights:

  1. She can choose to wear anything she wants or nothing at all if such is her desire. I have no right to intervene or interfere. I may dislike her choice but I cannot impose my choice on her or express my feelings in any way that might offend her.
  2. She can choose to act in any manner she wants and as long as it is physiologically or psychologically not harming me I have no right to intervene or interfere. If it is, then I can defend myself or exit the scene. If her actions end up in breaching of any earlier moral contracts, she has the right to dialogues or go for a settlement if she chooses to.
  3. She can choose to have an abortion whenever she wants. I may or may not like her choice but I cannot impose mine and nor can I express myself in an offensive way.
  4. She has the right to be treated as me by myself and rest of the world if she decides to, i.e. whatever I might and can desire, she is eligible too. She has any and every rights I am supposed to have.

 

As a surprise I am keeping it down to some of the most important ones I can think of now and leaving out many other rights of significance. Perhaps in another episode I will talk about some more. Of course I have my rights too. Say, for (1) I would not be too inclined to interact with those that have decided to put themselves inside a Casper like shell from head to toe and the nudists; for (2) I too can opt for a settlement with a reasonable justification if she refuses her right to dialogues. Finally for (3), this being the election year in USA, the largest base of my readers according to WP statistics, I believe one can only urge a would be mother not to abort for the sake of motherhood but that is the most one can do. Killing doctors and other stuffs providing abortion related services or threatening a physically and emotionally stressed pregnant woman ought to be taken for what they are, killing and threatening challenged human beings. Moreover if killing and bullying are labeled Pro Life, then we have an acute case of misnomer in its very core. Pro life sounds and so it should be like Pro Mother, whether the mother wants to continue or abort, provide her with the care she needs to obtain her wish in a healthy way.

 

Well, I guess some of you are sighing in disbelief and disdain at my luck for the kind of parents I have but I am truly proud to be a son of my mom and dad. Thank you for being here!


Image: my mother and father in 1973.

Male Privilege

Male Privilege

Recently through an audio-visual production from YouTube’s SciShow channel, I came to know about the reason behind the existence of nipples in men. Every human fetus inside the womb starts its journey as a woman and skin cells responsible for the formation of nipples develop before the genes in some of those fetuses change their genders. Perhaps this is a well-known fact already, I have no idea but the information was groundbreaking for me. Here is the reason in a nutshell. After studying the supposed differences between men and women for more than a decade, I reached a conclusion in 2014 that essentially human beings are all the same regardless of their genders. What we are judged for, what we desire and do is never determined by the gender but by the socioeconomic perception of different stereotypes prevalent around our lives. However, the false notion of being conceived with a gender prevented me from embracing the theory scientifically but now with this new fact I know human beings are all conceived as woman. No wonder honey nourishes us so amazingly!

 

I pray to your kind soul to bear with me through these reality challenging steps (for me). Consider the fact that all human fetuses like me begin their journey as women. At some given point my genes decide to activate the Y chromosome from my father and I end up being born as a male. So all men like me exist because Mother Nature or evolution nodded to a complex liability like a very liberal mother I must add and decided against asexual propagation despite the cost reduction aka optimization. Sexual propagation required the creation and maintenance of the male gender. The liability is further compounded by the fact that creation of that gender depended solely on the probability of a male, created earlier, being able to deliver a specific set of chromosome, add to that the maintenance cost of the said chromosome. Yet evolution accepted a huge burden for the existence of men it seems. The only reason I can think of is probably as Eve fell in love with Adam in the Garden of Eden, she prayed to God and God decided in favor of sexual propagation.

 

In return what have we given back? Instead of being men, no let me rephrase that, instead of being even humans we have managed to become lions at best! Before letting off the horses I hope we know how lame lions truly are! First they beat the crap out of an aged lion until he runs away, then they go on an infanticide, killing all the cubs, they mostly do not hunt as well but always take the lion’s share of the kill and at the first sight of another lion who smells stronger they run away. A few confused ones might end up in a skirmish but as soon as the supremacy of strength is determined, the weaker one will always run away and the cycle continues. I do not see any silver lining in that cloud of life, do you?

 

I know failure is embarrassing but instead of using it as a constructive feedback in the development loop, we came up with male centric stereotyping to the extent of male chauvinism and privileges. Did I just hear a whisper in my head saying, ignorance was bliss? But it was not, it can never be. Ignorance is always an abyss, almost like hell. Enlightenment is the only path. In which direction we may walk on it is entirely another thing. So I humbly urge you to redefine Male Privilege as the boastful illusion most men and some women too believe in to irrationally justify preventable inferiority and inefficiencies in human beings. I also believe that it is as calamitous for the world as climate change is. Thank you!