The face of the world is not our own, by Gabrielle Dubois.©

#Gabrielle #Dubois

Yesterday, I was sorting through my photos on my computer. That is to say, I threw away the five hundred... and some! uninteresting photos I had kept since you can take as many photos as you want thanks to digital photography without it costing anything! Whoever doesn't have hundreds of photos to sort through should make themselves known!
Anyway, that's not the purpose of this blog post, if it's at all a purpose!
The good thing about photos is that you only see the happy moments of your life. I won't tell you about the most delicious moments, those of my private life with my children and my husband, because they wouldn't interest you, would they? Would you like to see my private photos? Well, all right!
No, I'm just kidding! Your loss!

Anyway, I'm lucky. In my life, I've seen the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, the Kölner Dom in Germany, the Alcázar in Seville, the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I admire old buildings as much as I admire old books.
(I should point out that the four examples are not exhaustive, but I didn’t visit everything! But you will see, my point is valid also, I believe, for all continents).
I can imagine, when I tread them, those who tread them before me, those who built them.

But yesterday, as I was sorting through my photos, to relax from the work I do on women writers of past centuries, I was thinking: what beauty, what art, what mastery, what richness! Then I thought: yes, it takes wealth to build all these beautiful buildings, symbols of the greatness and power of engineering, politics, religion, art.
Who gave the wealth necessary to build the buildings that are the image of our world?
Rich and powerful men.
Who built them?
The less rich and powerful men... but that's another story!
Who made all these men, fed all these men, washed, clothed, comforted, encouraged, entertained, loved all these men? Who bore their children? fed all these children, washed, clothed, consoled, encouraged, entertained, loved all these children?
So, I humbly thought, we live in a masculine architectural past (and present, by the way!), we read a very predominantly masculine historical literature, we watch American films all over the world, films written and directed by who?
Answer by Naomi McDougall Jones, in The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood :
“White men have created 95% of the cinematic images we’ve ever seen in American main stream films, have made all the micro-decisions related to the shots, the framing, the lighting, the sound design of movie images that we have ever seen. So powerful is the impact of film and so ubiquitous white men’s perspective in shaping it that their worldview has been normalized to the point of being considered the one true, accurate, and all-inclusive reflection of reality. It is not. It is one narrow prism through which we are all being forced to look.”

We do live in a men's world and it is high time women were allowed to sing it.

My mom said to me yesterday: Yes, ok, your theories... well, but... who's to say it's going to be better if it changes?
Mom, I said, why should 50% of humans live in a world designed and thought (thought?) by the other 50%? Who's to say it's going to be worse if it changes?
No one!
No one can say what it will be, because a world where women and men would not only be equal in law but where women would also and above all be considered equal in the opinion of all, such a world has never existed before. It is as mysterious and unimaginable as life (or nothingness, each to his own belief) after death.
To imagine such a world would be like trying to describe our Earth if women had been considered equal to men at all times, if women had only been considered.

Let's get into a historical science-fiction never before envisioned:
Would women have built a 324-metre high iron tower for the 1889 Paris World Fair? Is proving that you can build a tower higher than your neighbour's to impress him or her, is the conception that women would have had of human relations?
Maybe, maybe not.
Would women have created a 13.5-ton bell to be hoisted to the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, House of Parliament in London, so that the hours that rythm the life of a people could be marked by a Power that knows little or nothing about their lives?
Maybe, maybe not.
Would women have built a giant cathedral that goes up to the sky to...? ... to what? So that men could prove that they are capable of touching a sky inhabited by a God and thus appropriate a bit of his power, his inaccessibility, a bit of divinity?
Maybe, maybe not.
Would women have built the Alcázar of Seville, a fortified palace built by powerful Muslim caliphs in Spain? Would they have made a beam on the ground at the entrance to the king's hall force all visitors to lower their eyes so as not to fall down, and thereby involuntarily bow their heads in front of the king of the place?
Maybe, maybe not.
Would women have imagined and built a Fountain of  Trevi in the 18th century, in baroque style? A style that can be found in architecture as well as in painting, music and literature. What would the arts have been, if women had also been able to express their soul in them? Would they have been the same? Would women have created another world?
Maybe, and I say: surely!

But this female silence in architecture, politics, religion, literature, painting, sculpture, music, cinema, which has been imposed on women, has built the world we know.
Aren't you curious to know one day a world that is 50% female?©

#Gabrielle #Dubois

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