More than a Woman – Facing Up 1
The gender divide is where it all starts for it informs how we view ourselves. Often, it limits how we experience our potential as human beings…
In Prologue: Facing Up 1, the author explains why she became inspired on the day of Barack Obama’s nomination as leader of the Democratic Party to start writing again. She sets the scene for the series by exploring the dilemmas we face as a society. She examines some of the double standards that we have learned to live with, without question and our cultural conditioning which puts keeping face above truth-telling. She concludes the chapter by outlining the premise of the book and signposting, for the reader, the cost to our children if the status quo is not challenged.
More than a Woman, the first book in the series, looks specifically at many of the assumptions we hold about gender and how they have shaped our individual responses to ourselves, other men and women and our children. It is based on the assumption that we cannot truly like and love our children if we do not truly like and love ourselves. Loving ourselves starts with accepting ourselves as we are as men and women, as human beings, individual, unique and special. Loving ourselves enables us to also accept others as equally individual, unique and special. In turn, the foundation of love, acceptance, and respect we build for ourselves provides all our children with a capacity to love, to accept and respect themselves and others. We cannot reap what we have not sown.
The gender divide is where it all starts, for it informs how we view ourselves. Often, it limits how we experience our potential as human beings. The book argues that men and women do not have specific genealogical or physiological characteristics which predispose them to certain roles, jobs, attitudes and reactions to life. It is in fact our cultural and social environment which directs our perceptions of ourselves and our relationships with each other as men and women. These perceptions determine how we interact with each other, whether or not our relationships succeed or fail, whether or not we feel contempt, suspicion and resentment towards others or experience cooperation, understanding and respect for ourselves and others.
Book one proposes that there is no such thing as ‘female’ or ‘male’ purpose. It highlights studies of past and present day ‘primitive’ groups which show that cultures select behaviours that, from the point of view of another culture, ignore fundamentals and exploit irrelevancies. In other words, one culture’s meat is another culture’s poison. At this time in human history, however, many men and women are able to choose who they want to be, taking into consideration their cultural perspectives and going beyond those perspectives. More than a Woman is specifically aimed at those men and women who might just be ready to explore an alternative point of view. The menu of ideas on offer, like in any good restaurant, is an ‘a la carte’ menu. It is for each person to decide how he or she digests the ideas that have been laid out. It is my sincere hope that, at the end, the most important realisation to emerge will be that we are all uniquely packaged with a range of human qualities which we can choose or reject. Once we understand how these qualities work for us as individuals we, our children, their children and their children’s children will have a much better chance to live deeply peaceful, loving and harmonious lives.