Too Angry To Write

For days, since diving into the tale of Manawee—and especially right now after returning from the Denver Women’s March—I have been feeling too angry to write.

I’m really taking issue with this folk story about a man who pursues twin sisters for marriage, but their father says he can’t have them until he can guess their names. The tale itself is relentlessly shallow, at one point saying,

“One day Manawee took his little dog with him on a guessing visit, and the dog saw that one sister was prettier than the other and the other sister was sweeter than the other. Though neither sister possessed all virtues, the little dog liked them very much.”

All virtues? All the virtues we as women have are summed up in ‘pretty’ and ‘sweet’? And our value gets weighed by a dog? To me, this feels like a betrayal. Is an internationally renowned women’s scholar confirming the bullshit idea that it is just impossible for one single solitary woman to be both pretty and smart? Oh sorry! Not smart. I totally meant sweet. Pretty and sweet.

I trust Dr. Estes and I mean her no disrespect, but I am really struggling with this. In theory, I understand the archetypal interpretation is saying that the twins represent two dualistic sides of the same woman and that it’s the man’s job to understand and love them both. Furthermore, men have a dual nature to themselves as well. So my question, to that end, is this: Why the heck can’t it be twin men representing the two sides of a man instead of one man and his dog?

How about we do this: We give the woman a dog. Or we give the woman a mountain lion. Give her a goddamn parakeet for all I care, but why—WHYYYYY?????—does she need an entire other woman in order to be worthy of one single man who, by the way, is such a dope he needs to rely on his dog to figure out their names?

This is enraging me, especially in light of today being the anniversary of our astonishingly inept Cheetoh Prez taking office. This story made me feel sick to my stomach. Regardless of the interpretation, the problem is that most people hear just the story. They don’t stick around to digest the author’s Jungian archetypal insight.

This story standing on its own reminds everyone that it is perfectly acceptable for one man to have two women so long as their dad says it’s OK, but not the other way around. Each woman on her own is only half worthy but together they get one whole man and a fucking dog, who spends most of the story distracted by bones and nutmeg of all things.

There are much more highly enlightened interpretations of this story, including this one HERE, which I genuinely appreciate. But right now I am way too tired and dismayed by the current state of the world to try harder to bring positive meaning to this one.

I believe telling stories like this is dangerous because it’s such a small fraction of the population who are going to dig for deeper meaning. Most people will stop at the polygamous nature that makes it completely normal for one idiot to marry twins and pretty much own them. That’s like the inventor of the A-bomb crossing his fingers, shrugging his shoulders and whispering, “Ooooh I hope humanity doesn’t screw this up!”

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people are braving the cold to march in pussyhats (AGAIN!) while yelling back, “You freaking idiot! OF COURSE humanity is going to screw this up!”

I’m certain Dr. Estes means no harm. I know in my heart she means no harm. And. I am also positive that I am abundantly capable of harnessing and living fully in the duality of my feminine nature all by my itty bitty tiny wittle self. One body. One woman. Even as I fight my way through the Drumpf Regime.

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