Jan. 29th, 2017

spikethemuffin: (Gardening)
I'd just like to pause and think how brilliant the concept of courtly love was. HRH AliƩnor d'Aquitaine (or whoever) took the natural mammalian instinct to stray recreationally from the established pair bonds (themselves often arranged institutionally or by family, rather than the individual, at the time), recognized and legitimized it, then poured it into a mold where, if one consummated it, it was de-legitimized, thus limiting disruption not only by focusing attraction to a single individual, but prolonging the "honeymoon period," (a function also served as I know, alas!, all too well, by the rule of secrecy and the encouragement of jealousy). Under some regimes, it also naughtified love between husband and wife, rendering the already-subversive* "Nation of Two" into an act of iconoclastic rebellion.

A bold experiment. Disastrous in execution, it looks like, and as much as I would like to say, "Worth a shot" and try it, I don't see it working for me, but a solid hypothesis.

(Wikipedia introduces very early on the idea that "courtly love" was Not Even a Thing. However, although I am not even a dilettante in medieval literature, I can think of several examples from diverse sources that mention something that resembles it in such great particular that the objecting scholars' named-based protest feels rather like someone saying, "I went to the DMV and your ginger Aunt Peggy D wasn't there. There was just a redhead named Margaret DuBois who looked a little like your mother." My point also stands whether l'amour fin is an actual historical event or a made-up cultural artifact.)

*C.f. Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed, still a book worthy of your time, even though her own rather drama-prone love life may not have been.
spikethemuffin: (Gardening)
I"m a little (or a lot) broken lately. Having so many flashbacks reading Stolen Innocence, weirdly enough, the autobiography of a woman who grew up in the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints.

-Holy shit, was the church of my victim sucking on the same orange as that sect, so much so that there's a Call of C'thulu module out there just thrumming with the resonant frequency---- even down to the hair silhouette they were going for in men and women and their color palettes and silhouettes, both male and female. Weirdly, that the author recognizes the threads of genuine goodness, the quiet wholesomeness and ease of the yoke of perfect obedience really... oh, God, it speaks to me. I want so much to be beyond reproach, to be perfect, modest enough, kind enough, sweet enough for the man I thought of as my husband (wow, did I redact many paragraphs of crazy here. The teal deer here is: don't have sex with teenagers. It isn't good for them, or,in fact, anyone, that I feel awful about what I did, and that I am actually perfectly justified in feeling awful). But I quite admit, there are still days I want to run off to a sect that covers, never show my hair or body or defiance again, admit everything I have done to the Elders and await their judgement, serving mute until they feel justice is served.

That's about as naked as I can be, right there.

Why don't I do that? I don't feel it would do anyone any real good. And I feel it would be a deep betrayal of the god I know deep within my the marrow of my bones and the rhythm of my heart and its connection to the vault of the stars.

Plus I'm like, super-bad at obedience.

-The feelings of my betrayal of my ex-husband, who, like the boy who married the fourteen-year-old in the book, did his best to be a loving husband, but did not have the tools to stop being a bully or control the willful child who did not want to be his wife, nor the ways to win her over to be her best human self. Poor John. Glad he's happy now. SO HAPPY it's over.

And also Matt. Poor Matt.

-The depiction of rape (not at all lurid, btw). Ugh. I can't believe people read that as inauthentic. I can't believe that a fourteen-year-old pressured into bed with her cousin with threats; physical, religious, and financial abuse; and blatant brainwashing tactics/ psychological torture gets a whole series of memes about how she (at the very mildest) ought to have been grateful. Seriously, have they tested Mormons for lead poisoning? The description of the body's reaction to denial of rape. The description of PSTD. THe description of wanting to make it be an okay thing when it can't be, to "Be sweet." I don't want to be condescending, but I'm not sure that people who haven't been through it would pick up on it, but. Wow. Ugh. Nailed it. Nailed it so hard.

i just want to get up and send my parents flowers for beings such good parents. Right now, too broke. And really hard to get up, depression kinda sucks that way, would almost make it worth taking anti-depressants, but it's really, really not. This will pass. I hope I can be as kind and brave as Mrs. Barlow (Elissa). Proust she's not, bell hooks, she's not, but worth reading, and made me very grateful that I didn't let Catherine slip further into that Church of the Covenants than she did.
spikethemuffin: (Gardening)
I would have liked to go to church today. Also to the store before work. Not happy with you for taking that away from me.


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