More brutality, violence, death, in the name of some absurd mediaeval gobbledygook, and something inexplicable – people knowingly, willingly, dying for ‘the cause’ (world domination/Apocalypse now/revenge/true religion/insert your guess).
Yes, I am somewhat naïve, so my question is, what would happen if someone stopped a person like that and tried to get through beyond the layers and layers of indoctrination, theory, self-justification, self-righteousness. Would there be anything at all to get to, at the bottom of the pit? Deep down, buried beneath it all, still, any real human emotions? Like fear, sadness, shame? Would a person like that at any level be aware that they are causing pain and suffering to others? And what do they do with that feeling? Do they ever have a glimpse of the question in their head: ‘What am I doing?’ Without ‘because’, ‘in the name of’, ‘in order to’. Just, ‘what is happening?’ Can someone so saturated with crap stop and think? Maybe not.
On Facebook, I asked whether there could be anyone in their community, like a mother or grandmother, to get through to them. Of course, I was quickly called naïve. Their parents would be behind them, the same as them.
What kind of parents sacrifice their children?
One of the more shocking realisations (of many) having become a mother, is the sheer enormity and constancy of labour, work, energy, it takes. From the early days of pain, sore, grazed and bruised body parts, countless waking at night, mornings blurred by the vertigo of fatigue, to feeding, cleaning, nappies, teaching, reading, tidying, bathing, running after, wiping etc. Nothing about parenting, once you’ve entered this terrain, looks casual, easy, fluffy or pink. It’s brutal work. And that’s why, I suppose, there is (apart from the ever expanding love for my child), a great sense of investment, of so much at stake.
So what kind of a mother sacrifices all this willingly, the years of back-breaking work and devotion? What sort of a mother does all this, knowing her child is just fodder for the great fight? Even if she is religious, devout, believes in the cause, believes she is but a part of a greater reality, does not matter as an individual, still, how can she do all these things, knowing the child will not live beyond his tender years of youth? How does she mother, and does this feed into the problem? I suppose it’s no different to the mothers over hundreds of years, producing cannon fodder for the countless wars fought, lost and won, and ultimately, gathering dust in history books. So much waste.
Female selflessness, self-obliteration, has always fascinated/horrified me. I have met some women, with little education, devout in faith, completely tethered to their family needs, and seemingly oblivious of any of their own. Without complaint (so their family insisted), without reproach, they never ask, and just give. Living in houses falling apart, freezing in winter and boiling at night, with husbands who have crazy whims and fancies but little regard for their wife’s needs, they seem to just float above it all, smiling and taking the little time between chores to read their Holy Book of choice. This was true happiness, I had been told by members of their family. True happiness in ceasing to exist as a person.
The chances of a dissenting female voice, and one to speak for the value of their labour, the value of the life they created, in any of these extreme and ultra-patriarchal organisations, are probably next to nil. What a depressing reality, thinking of generations of men who cannot value the gift of life they have been given, in love with death and destruction.