The power within her

Since the beginning of time, it has been women who are the unsung heroes of life.  Whether it is a woman offering advice and wisdom, or one who gives birth to the "Son of Man", the role of a woman is often undervalued.  As women in this world today, it is of great comfort to see that the efforts of those that have come before us have not been in vain.  They have been pioneers for our gender.  In this exhibit, it can be seen that women are a huge asset to their culture, life, and love.  Each object in the exhibit represents a pivotal position a women has been in and how it played an importance in the corresponding texts. 

In the epic of Gilgamesh, the Priestess Shamhat is sent to tame Enkidu. Without her he would continue on his rampage of uncivilized behavior. She convinces him to control and repress his wild lifestyle by seducing him with her body. The Epic is quoted in saying " his mind had somehow grown larger, / he knew things now that an animal can’t know” (79), thus giving credit to Shamhat.
It is a common scene, a local barkeep offers words of wisdom to a lost hero or villain in classic myths, and it is no different a scene in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Except that the bartender is a women, Shiduri. She gives Gilgamesh practical advice that is ignored, and his insubordination causes him much suffering. Her advice is poetic and very maternal in a way: "Humans are born, they live, then they die,/This is the order that the gods have decreed./But until the end comes, enjoy your life,/Spend it in happiness, not despair [….]/That is the best way for a man to live" (168-9).
Why hide the beauty of a female behind such dark, demoralizing material? Although the veil may represent repression, it represents many women who have fought against it. The women behind these veil, like Marji's mother in the Complete Persepolis, are strong warriors of their faith. "At one of the demonstrations, a German journalist took a photo of my mother. I was really proud of her" (pg.5). Women such as her fight so hard to be equal, and if you look closely at things, such as a woman in a veil, you can see their efforts everywhere.
A mother is an important figure in one's life, especially a boy's. Freud explains his belief that, as a young boy, one is envious of his father and shows hatred towards him, all because of strong sexual desires to his mother. He is fixated upon her, and can be in many different stages, beginning in the oral stage.
Freud states "The female genitals are symbolically represented by all such objects as share their characteristic of enclosing a hollow space which can take something into itself..."(192). How apt is it, that such things, like this pot, that can hold and help plants grow new life, be a symbol of the female genitalia that brings new life into this world everyday.
The creation of Eve completely changed history as it would have been. She came into the world and immediately caused chaos, as only a women can do. By becoming the first women, she would be the first to bear a child. By causing the first sin, she is the reason for painful childbirth, but also the reason of childbirth as well. (Genesis 2:1-3:24).
Being a mother is a occupation that the world as a whole values greatly. They may be the unspoken heroes of the world. Agreeing with this praise, the Tao Te Ching claims thats it may be the "Supreme Virtue". "Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue." (Ch. 10).
The miracle of life all begins with conception. When a man and women lie down together and produce something out of love. In the Tao Te Ching, it seems as though the purpose of a women in two-pronged, she is there to reproduce and there to provide her presence for him to avoid Solitude. (Ch. 42).
Mother of Christ, who is "Son of Man" and the Son of God. What more important role is there to a woman than being a mother, let alone the mother of Jesus. God could have chosen any way to send his only Son to the world, but he chose Mary. The stakes were high for a single young women to come out with a pregnancy, but because of her unfailing faith to God, Mary was strong and accepted the task without hesitation. "Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her" (Luke 1:38).
As a faithful follower of Jesus, it has been noted that Mary Magdalene was present at two of the most principle moments in his life: his crucifixion and resurrection. She played an important role, as she was one of the first to see that Christ had risen. It has also been noted that she was the female counterpart of Simon peter, the leader of the disciples, as she was the leader of the women. "The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out..." (Luke 8:1-2).
What would it be like to be one of many wives to one man? Would it make things less special? Would you feel empowered or defeated? Although many disagree with the idea of polygamy (regardless of the fact it is illegal in this country), it is an important aspect of the Islamic faith. It seems as though more women equals more power, and although this can be viewed as a misogynistic idea, these women are worth something invaluable to their religion. As seen in the Koran, "And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]" (Surah 4:3).
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