Two Grapes

February 3, 2020-

The young girl had less willpower than she had thought.  Faced with a sumptuous, fully-laden buffet, she took two grapes for herself.  This awakened the buffet’s master, who killed two of the young girl’s faerie guides and nearly captured her.  In turn, the faeries’ master, a faun, angrily banished the young girl from his enchanted cave.  I got the initial impression, whilst watching Pan’s Labyrinth, last night, that the faun was no more enamoured of the child-or of children in general, than was the girl’s step father, a severe and arrogant captain in Francisco Franco’s Army.

It was 1944, and while the Fascists had largely brought Spain under their control, there were pockets of active partisan resistance.   There was little tolerance for romantic notions or for childhood fancies.  The girl was tolerated by both of the principal male figures, as mentioned above, and her mother, the captain’s new wife, was merely a means to an end for her husband, who wanted a male heir above all else.

I thought of just how much progress has been made, with regard to gender relations, since that time.  Like any other area of life, the most progress towards equanimity has been made since the mid-1970’s, when women stopped gratuitously accepting acts of chivalry.  The truer, deeper courtesy that came out of the Women’s Rights movement of 1970-76 has only served to help men become more authentic gentlemen, rather than simply aping the courtesies of the past.  Honouring a woman’s dignity meant that she could open her own doors-and even open a door for a man.

The little girl, Ofelia, was as skillful as she was willful, managing to fool a monstrous frog, who had stolen a key belonging to the faun.  She also got a dagger from a cabinet in the buffet master’s chamber, and procured mandrake root, which she nourished in order for her pregnant, ailing mother to recover.  She never appeared to wallow in self-pity.

The captain and his men made a mess of things, leading to his wife’s death and, eventually, to their own slaughter.  This, by dint of their stubborn adherence to Franco’s doctrine of “cleansing Spain”.  The faun, also doctrinaire, inadvertently caused Ofelia to be caught by the captain, through his insistence that she let her infant brother be bled.

Everyone serves the Creator, directly or indirectly.  As it happened, Ofelia’s refusal to shed her innocent brother’s blood, preferring to sacrifice herself instead, met with approval from her Eternal Father, who welcomed her into Paradise, with a throne of her own, to his left.  The chastened faun recognized her goodness in the end, and bowed in service.

The calamities set in motion by the pure child, eating two grapes, leave lots of room for thought:  Who is more at fault, a child taking a small bit of food from another being, or the chastiser, full of his own importance?

 

6 thoughts on “Two Grapes

  1. Interesting. I think it’s good women are liberated. I still think it would be better if there were more understandings of roles as there are in other cultures such as hispanics. They have a deep understanding of family and duty. I end up with massive problems in the game. Now women are free to be single mothers without shame, so it isn’t as bad, but I still strayed from such a fate. I still have it better either way. My own grandma was forced to go to a home for unwed mothers when she became pregnant with my father. She had to give him up. Women have to do more than men now. I get really angry when people bring up children. It’s definitely a thorn in my side because I’m an idiot invalid and don’t want them to suffer my fate, but, at the same time, I’m jealous I didn’t get to have a family. It’s better this way though. It was a difficult decision I had to make.

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  2. Hi Teacher,

    Growing up in the U.S. all the men were abusive alcoholics, across the board. The women in my family, grandmothers, aunts, and my mother, all kept their counsel, and never spoke unless spoken to. My father was an equal opportunity women abuser, both physically (my mother) and verbally and mentally to everyone else, including his mother, and my mother’s mother, who protected me from him for as long as they could.

    All the women, except my mother, knew the deal, and went above and beyond to make sure I survived. Even the church, back then, controlled what women could do with their own bodies, which only facilitated sexual abuse by their husbands, because by decree, they were supposed to be fruitful and multiply. Sadly, my mother could not do that, and had a tubiligation, after my brother was born, and my parents were excommunicated for my mothers sin against holy writ.

    I had my father’s number and i swore i would never hate or abuse like he had, my brother followed him like a moth to a flame.

    Here in Canada, we respect women, we hold doors, we give up seats, we stand when others need to sit, (on transit), kindness is something we do because we should, and it is right to do so.

    In my social circle when the (sexual orientation spectrum) exploded, everyone’s lives changed, and as for the me too movement, that also had a direct effect on everybody across the board. In certain places, we dance around gingerly, actions and words. In other locations, a “respect for women” prohibition card is read in open community. A reminder on just what is now acceptable (en community). We are constantly reminded in many places, where the men sit in the grand scheme of the universe. In my life, there are women who will not even acknowledge me in particular spaces, nor would they deign to speak my name in greeting.

    I am all for respect and dignity for everyone, I don’t have a problem with respect and dignity for my fellow women and men. I just don’t subscribe to “men hating women” where we are all seen as predators and abusers, by default. It bothers me that today, in certain places, I am not afforded respect and dignity because I am a man (a 50+ year old gay man at that), in a world where our young women exert their attitudes of segregation and men hating.

    This got so bad, at one point, (Read:Thanksgiving 2019) I was expelled from a particular space, because many of the women in that location became fixated on my genitalia which threw me … I was deemed inappropriate by long sober women who asked me to leave, because she said, and I quote …”People can see whether I was circumcised or not, and that no women would come near me and that I was scaring the women from coming to that particular space, and “could I just leave now ?” I don’t know where that came from, because I have not deviated from wearing regular clothes to public meetings. But that twisted me royally, and really put a nail in my respect coffin.

    Even in sober circles, we have our issues, and nobody is perfect by any stretch.

    I’ve learned in as many years that, I should just keep my mouth shut, and not chastise anyone for anything, because that usually turns into a flame war, because if I say anything untoward, people go haywire casting aspersions on my length and strength of sobriety.

    Sorry for the rant.
    Jeremy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those, regardless of gender, who throw shade on others, based on differences, are in a dark pit of their own-and sometimes, of their own making. I am an empath, and sense when someone-or some group, has had enough of me. It no longer bothers me, to give someone her/his “safe space”. It is that person’s insecurity, not mine. I am comfortable in my own skin, albeit as a straight man, who is close to 70 years of age. I have friends who are young enough to be my grandchildren and others old enough to be my parent-with plenty of others in between. I don’t mind criticism, so long as it pertains to something I have actually said or done. A few people have made stuff up out of whole cloth, and tried to lay it on me. They are no longer in my life, in any shape or form.

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  3. I suppose I’m not introspective enough. I watch a movie and live it “in the moment” and try not to analyze the life out of it… I suppose that has more to do with several of my English teachers who made the dissection of books and movies a horror in High School. As for the equality issue – there is still a long way to go before there is truly equality. Progress has been made. When I was in HS a pamphlet for the criteria to enter veterinary school listed being able to bench press your body weight. Once in vet school I realized that that was specifically to prohibit women from entering the profession. No one (not even those able to bench press their weight) could stop a charging steer or wrestle a rearing horse to the ground. It was a case of working smarter not harder. And I realized too that my smarts were equal to all the rest! 1976 seems like a long time ago…

    Liked by 1 person

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