Womanhood-Motherhood (by Roya Monajem)



Women are suffering from the syndrome of “split personality” which due to their role as the major educator of the critical stages of childhood is naturally affecting the whole society.  A lost identity and a lost soul can only raise a lost generation; which so far is the main characteristic of the majority of our youth, a generation without ideals, without motives.  This explains why psychology and spirituality have been the major popular topics in literature during the last three decades.  It seems that everybody is looking for oneself; trying to find some meaning and purpose for one’s life.

No doubt that other factors such as the collapse of communist ideology have also been responsible in creating this passive attitude among the youth.  However, the role of women in the present situation, is the key. If she finds life meaningful and worth living, she does have the power and authority to transfer her feeling to the next generation. For that she must be able to celebrate her womanhood-motherhood, instead of undermining it as she is doing now due to all the reasons enumerated in this book.  She needs to discover all the forgotten and devalued virtues of her sexuality.  She has to start discovering herself from her own point of view.

The tree of Feminism rooted in the masculine component of our personality has created many fecund fruits. It helped women to grow mainly the Yang or male counterpart of their personality.  But their Yin or feminine part, simultaneously exerted its influence on the present social-political relationships.  One of the so far covert and indirect outcomes of women’s involvement in social life, not mentioned before, is their role in the world peace.  Is this only an accident that the increasing qualitative and quantitative participation of women in the social-political life is being accompanied by decreasing number of wars and increasing willingness of governments to solve the world problems through negotiation and conciliation?  Although man knows that a third World War probably implies the total destruction of this beautiful planet and I am sure that for the majority this is considered as the main factor for everybody doing their best to prevent such a catastrophe, but why has he suddenly become so wise and conservative?  This is not the way he usually behaves.  It does not have any precedence.  It took him only twenty years to forget all about the tragedy of the W.W.I. and start a new war, a calamity far worse than the first one; and after another twenty years, was on the verge to start the Third one.  Never in history has he been so considerate about the consequences of his decision, not as much as he has been lately.  How else can we explain his change of behaviour, since when we come to think about it, the only variable in the process, compared to the past, has been women’s involvement in social-political life.  This is the major change since the W.W.I.  Otherwise, there has always been some humanists “men”, fighting against brother-killing and insisting on acting “humanly.” Mere awareness of the probable consequences has never prevented man from taking action.  This must be one of his “natural”, inborn characteristics, otherwise he could never make all these discoveries and progresses.  Wasn’t Einstein a real humanist always in fear of governments taking advantage of his discoveries and findings and misusing them?  But his awe and anticipation did not prevent him from continuing his research.

Now if our hypothesis is correct and this universal peace-loving movement is mainly the outcome of increasing women’s involvement in social-political life, then naturally they should never leave the field of politics and international relations.  Man should never again be left alone in deciding for our future due to his natural war-type character.

But there are always different ways to reach a goal.  Women’s direct participation in the world’s affairs is one of the ways to maintain world peace.  Another way to achieve this goal is through their role in raising and educating the next generations.  Fortunately we no longer need to see things only in black and white.  We no longer need to act on the basis of either/or philosophy.  What is necessary here is to make sure that women’s opinions and views are taken into consideration in making any decisions concerning the future of the whole world.

The process of growth, development and self-actualization of women is the pre-requisite of the proper and healthy growth of the whole society. Let us emphasize once more that the main goal of all human beings is to be healthy and happy.  But happiness is not an abstract category and is reached as the major outcome of the process of self-actualization.  Thus the major toil of any human being -- man or woman -- is to work toward his/her self-actualization.  It is true that in the world we live in growth and development is an essential process that will nevertheless occur, in spite of our awareness. In reality, and from the human point of view, so far this process has been taking place in an unplanned, spontaneous and chaotic fashion, and it is exactly these very characteristics that need to be modified.  In other words, now is the time to stop acting blindly and remain in the hands of the Fates (goddesses of human destiny1).

Intellectual growth and maturation of women is not only necessary for their role in the world’s affair, but there are also other reasons that make it indispensable. The first and the most essential incentive is their economic independence.  This has not only a material value, but also is an absolutely indispensable requisite for establishing a loving marital relationship as explained in chapter 5. Intellectual growth and development of women is also indispensable for having a loving relationship with their children.  Understanding is one of the most vital elements of any loving relationship, and even though mothers are not to play the role of teachers, trainers and as such directly, due to the reasons mentioned before, they need to be able to understand and communicate with their children.  Now considering the incredible speed of the general intellectual progress and development in the world, then it is very natural that if she does not try to keep up with this pace and does not work toward her own growth, she will soon seem like a primitive human being living among some advanced creatures.  A gap will start to grow between her and her surrounding people with the result that gradually no communication will then be possible between them.  Thus even when she decides to act as a full-time woman-mother – i.e. resumes her traditional role -- under no circumstances should she ignore her intellectual growth and development.

Let us emphasize that the way to this growth is a choice open to every woman and the only factor that needs to be taken into consideration here is her natural inclination. Every choice has its own price, but the more consciously we make our choices, the less we pay for them.  Disease and inquietude is an unconscious price that we pay due to our known and unknown doubts, insecurities and uncertainties.  Once we discover our individual goal in life, once we accept that self-actualization is the only true goal that can bring us happiness, then the only thing we need to find out in this respect is our own individual path. Once we accept that the ultimate goal of human beings, their distinguishing characteristic, is the search for Truth, then what remains is only to look for the suitable way; which naturally must be in harmony with our true self.  Womanhood-motherhood is perhaps the shortest and easiest route for many of us, if we stop undermining and devaluing them and recognize their true virtues.  Fortunately they are no longer the only route, if we do not find them in harmony with our deep inclinations and in the service of our self-actualization process, we can chose the path of living a professional life.

Happiness is finding our wholeness.  Wholeness is accomplished through development of both feminine and masculine components of our personality.  The Age of  Feminism helped us to develop our masculine self -- as it helped men to develop their feminine self -- . It is the first time in history that we are aware and conscious of our true potential. The Age of Neo-feminism will provide us with the opportunity to enjoy this wholeness.

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