“You think with your womb.”
One day, a man, to tell me that he disagreed with my too “feminine-centered” statement for him, posted me this short sentence in comment: “You think with your uterus.” He doubtless imagined himself to be witty, proud of his good word, passing down his condescending judgement: a woman who thinks, it can only be with her uterus.
Thinking about public policies for early childhood, equality between human beings, the freedom to love whoever you love, including if it is a person of the same sex, wanting all children to have enough to eat in the canteen : uterine, all this, feminine! Accessory!
I imagine it was a kind of female mirror of “He thinks with his d…”. But why did you choose the uterus? Why tell me that I thought with my uterus, rather than with my vagina, my breasts, my fallopian tubes, my ovaries, my navel, my Y chromosome? As if the uterus were the supreme characteristic of the feminine. You have a uterus, therefore you are a woman.
And you must feel insulted to be reminded of this fact: you are a woman, the proof, you have a uterus, and that is an insult. Besides, the insult is always to be a woman, or to be effeminate: stupid! sissy! no balls!
Nobody shouts at a human to insult him “you man, go!” And no one considers that the men who run the world between them “think with their b…” when they referee cars, the soccer world cup, important strategic issues, nodding your head, Monique you will bring us three coffees during this time? (Of course we don’t invite Monique, poor thing, she doesn’t understand cars, she instinctively knows how to serve coffee, and besides, did you know that she had a UTERUS?)
Uterus comes from the Greek ὐστέρα, “the womb”. The uterus is the womb. The base. Where do men and women come from? In mathematics, the matrix is the system for interpreting numbers… The basic grid of understanding. Understanding the uterus would mean understanding women?
Historical documents reporting pyres where witches burned in the Middle Ages mention a “possession of the evil one” by their uterus: this one, unused, unproductive, would be filled by the Devil. The only solution to save them from hysteria would then be marriage. The woman who does not use her uterus therefore deserves to be burned for witchcraft, the woman who uses it deserves to be belittled with the condescension of “lustful paternalism”: “ah, ah, she has a uterus”, equivalent adult (?) of “what’s up, you have your period?”
The uterus remains the last taboo. The available literature on menstruation and menstrual cycles makes little mention of the uterus. So much so that generations of young women have their first period without even knowing where the blood comes from, “from the belly”, “from the vagina”… can we read on various sites and in various books, and that we still represent menstrual blood as a blue liquid in advertisements…
The uterus is at the heart of feminist theories: for essentialists, it alone justifies all the differences between men and women. The relationship between women and their uterus remains complex. To write these Letters to my womb, I asked artists, journalists, actresses, feminists, specialists in eroticism or maternity or both. Not all of these talented women have chosen between the two facets of women presented by the media.
They analyze there the mother/whore dichotomy which still governs our media space, the social and religious order which wants that the woman, because she has a uterus, is always a kind of declension of the Man, the eternal masculine neutral!
Brilliant Arte Reporter Calls Her Womb “Britney”, Trans Woman Addresses Womb She’ll Never Have, Wombs Are Thanked, Fired, Sacrificed, Implanted, Operated, “DES Girl” Us tells how she became a young mother, we compare them to connected watches, we wonder why we study the lunar cycles and the uterine cycles so badly, we write poems to them and we use them to make feet- nose.
Decidedly, the uterus is indeed a protean organ, and the one that best lends itself to a new feminist philosophy… which also assumes to think about the uterus.
The collective work “Lettres à mon uterus” is published on March 24 by La Musardine editions.
Also on The HuffPost:
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Hello, I think with my uterus
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