The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dr. Velon John Velon John OBE is a for­mer Saint Lu­cian politi­cian and Min­is­ter of gov­ern­ment and for­mer Mag­is­trate.

In an­te­dilu­vian or Ne­an­derthal times when Homo Sapi­ens (male) stood at the en­trance of his cave fac­ing the un­known and the dan­gers of the un­known, where was his fe­male coun­ter­part? Was she be­side him, in front of him or just be­hind him? In that arena of dan­ger she was con­spic­u­ously ab­sent. She was in the in­ner­most re­cesses of the cave suck­ling her young. He, the man, was in the arena of dan­ger pro­vid­ing for and pro­tect­ing the fam­ily.

This ex­is­ten­tial pos­ture was fa­cil­i­tated by his brutish strength and emerg­ing cun­ning to meet the ex­i­gen­cies of his pri­mor­dial cir­cum­stance. And the lat­ter be­ing a func­tion of an evolv­ing cere­bral ca­pac­ity. It is this evolv­ing cere­bral ca­pac­ity that gave the man a cer­tain cog­ni­tive su­pe­ri­or­ity over his fe­male coun­ter­part at that time. As he sub­dued his phys­i­cal world, the ex­pe­ri­ence en­gen­dered within him a cer­tain con­fi­dence of self and in re­la­tion to his fe­male coun­ter­part a cer­tain ad­mi­ra­tion for her man. And so on one hand there is con­fi­dence, the lo­cus and prove­nance of which re­pose in the male. On the other hand there is ad­mi­ra­tion: a fe­male re­sponse to an ob­jec­tive male re­al­ity. In the as­cen­dancy of hu­man re­sponses in an evolv­ing world the re­la­tional po­si­tion of the male evinces a cer­tain su­pe­ri­or­ity vis-a-vis his fe­male un­feath­ered biped.

The chal­lenges of his evolv­ing and pri­mor­dial world trig­ger his cere­bral com­po­nent to an ex­tent and de­gree that sur­passes that of the fe­male. And for her the resid­ual ad­mi­ra­tion with the ef­flux­ion of time pro­vides her with a cer­tain ex­is­ten­tial so­lace that de­fines her re­la­tion­ship with her male pro­tec­tor and In­no­va­tor. She nec­es­sar­ily re­lies on him but he in turn holds on to her in the con­text of a util­i­tar­ian ne­ces­sity.

But with the pas­sage of time, and the so­ci­etal pro­cesses and chal­lenges be­com­ing more cere­bral, the ma­trix of de­pen­dence that en­sured her sur­vival be­came less acute and nec­es­sary. A bud­ding con­fi­dence of self and in-self be­gan to emerge across the tu­mul­tuous le­gions of years. And so in the strug­gle of life for life on its var­i­ous lev­els she ac­quired knowl­edge, she ac­quired skills vir­tu­ally on the same level of her male coun­ter­part. And though she has ex­celled in the var­i­ous spheres of hu­man en­deav­our, the gen­er­al­ity of her gen­der has in some mea­sure been im­peded by a cer­tain stut­ter­ing dis­abil­ity.

From the en­trance of his cave Man res­o­lutely marched into the un­known world: for­ever con­quer­ing, for­ever con­fi­dent. And in the trail that he blazed she and her off­spring fol­lowed: for­ever ad­mir­ing, for­ever plea­sured, for­ever plea­sur­able.

And as they marched across the gen­er­a­tions, in re­la­tion to the fe­male the cave syn­drome of de­pen­dence, sub­or­di­na­tion and ad­mi­ra­tion vir­tu­ally im­printed it­self upon her psy­che. And as re­gards her male coun­ter­part, dom­i­nance and con­quest de­fined his role and pos­ture in the gen­eral scheme of things. The march was an evo­lu­tion­ary one with Homo Sapi­ens be­com­ing less an­i­mal­is­tic, less brutish and more ra­tio­nal. And so the two con­tin­ued to evolve, con­quer­ing in their re­spec­tive and var­i­ous spheres the realms of thought and ac­tion that was made ac­ces­si­ble by a crit­i­cal meta­mor­pho­sis of their cere­bral fac­ulty.

But de­spite their leap across the gen­er­a­tions of time, and dur­ing which the In­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ship be­tween man and woman as­sumed a very hu­man face, the syn­drome of the cave resid­u­ally per­sisted.

Co­op­er­a­tion and part­ner­ship seem to char­ac­terise their re­la­tion in their sec­u­lar and do­mes­tic world but even then there was a cer­tain re­la­tional im­bal­ance. Re­gard­less of how so­phis­ti­cated their so­ci­ety, how eru­dite, the di­min­ish­ing residue of the cave con­tin­ued to man­i­fest it­self. Gen­der power was skewed in favour of the male in spite of fe­male con­scious­ness of its ex­is­tence.

Modern woman has been aware of this im­bal­ance which para­dox­i­cally is main­tained by woman in her col­lec­tiv­ity, but ten­ta­tively re­duced or min­imised in her sin­gu­lar­ity. Through­out the world of woman this phe­nom­e­non of gen­der im­bal­ance or in­equal­ity is ev­i­dent, and will per­sist un­til the thrust of hu­man evo­lu­tion brings about a salu­bri­ous ex­is­ten­tial nexus be­tween the gen­ders. And this evo­lu­tion­ary thrust can only be ac­tu­ated and con­sum­mated by woman in her col­lec­tiv­ity. It is only woman who can lib­er­ate her­self from the syn­drome of the cave. It is not the role nor the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the male to as­sist her in her quest for trans­for­ma­tional lead­er­ship. He is not an im­ped­i­ment. At worst he is just an en­abler by his dis­in­ter­ested pos­ture; and it is left to her to make that leap into the cir­cle of gen­der equi­lib­rium.

How can she be as­sisted if, by be­ing as­sisted, the syn­drome of the cave is given greater po­tency? She would be giv­ing it life by as­sum­ing a pos­ture of need across the gen­der di­vide. She has all of what it takes to suc­cess­fully make that leap – al­most. The psy­che is more or less whole­some and the cere­bral fac­ulty at­tuned. The mun­dane ca­pac­i­ties are al­most in over­drive and her heart is pul­sat­ing ex­pec­tantly. Within her psy­che there is a strug­gle go­ing on, the out­come of which will "char­ac­tero­log­i­cally" de­fine her in her sub­lime gen­der pul­chri­tude and plen­i­tude. There may be many evo­lu­tion­ary phases be­fore the strug­gle ceases to be but when it does, as it must, gen­der jus­tice will have been at­tained. At this junc­ture in her spe­cial evo­lu­tion woman in her spir­i­tual sub­lim­ity, her vene­real pul­chri­tude, her cere­bral in­can­des­cence, and in her col­lec­tiv­ity lacks con­fi­dence in her­self.

Look at the world around us: gen­der in­equal­ity is all so per­va­sive, all so ubiq­ui­tous re­gard­less of the di­verse eth­nic and ge­o­graph­i­cal ex­pres­sions. From the time of the cave she ad­mired him, not her­self. Did he ad­mire her? Why? For the nat­u­ral ex­pres­sion of a bi­o­log­i­cal en­dow­ment! She ad­mired him be­cause of the recog­ni­tion of a cer­tain dis­abil­ity within her­self. And a corol­lary to this aware­ness was a lack of con­fi­dence within her­self. But as she evolved the ca­pac­ity to do, to achieve, be­came greater and greater, and on the tem­plate of her ex­is­tence, fe­male con­fi­dence be­gan to emerge.

At this point in time (2016) there is still this resid­ual Ne­an­derthal ad­mi­ra­tion. And so woman is still not fully lib­er­ated from her­self. The "dis­abil­ity" in some mea­sure is still there; and so the con­ver­sa­tion among women must be­come more vo­cif­er­ous and ubiq­ui­tous. I hope this ar­ti­cle will en­gen­der a di­alec­ti­cal in­quiry among the gen­er­al­ity and col­lec­tiv­ity of women and in con­se­quence thereof ex­pand the epis­temic pa­ram­e­ters of her on­tol­ogy as it re­lates to the ex­is­ten­tial con­tra­dic­tions be­tween her “be­ing” and “be­com­ing”. There is need for a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion on the level of the psy­che.

In re­it­er­a­tion the strug­gle is hers not his. She must em­brace it and lib­er­ate her­self as he, the male, smil­ingly awaits her de­liv­er­ance. But when? Cer­tainly not now. Our ex­tant po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion ev­i­dences this un­pre­pared­ness, this in­ad­e­quacy, this dis­abil­ity.

As I see it the time (2014,2015,2016) was any­thing but for­tu­itous for the emer­gence of a vir­tu­ally all-fe­male po­lit­i­cal party to con­test the re­cently con­sum­mated elec­tion ex­er­cise. The time was right and this was ev­i­denced by the alarm­ing num­ber of per­sons who did not vote. And flow­ing from this is the ques­tion, Why didn't they vote? The an­swer, a crit­i­cal level of frus­tra­tion, dis­sat­is­fac­tion and dis­ap­point­ment. Why didn't a vir­tu­ally all-fe­male party emerge in this morass of pop­ulist po­lit­i­cal neg­a­tiv­ity? The an­swer, a patent lack of con­fi­dence in WO-man.

And so re­vert­ing to the tit­u­lar ques­tion, is wo-man woman by virtue of a cer­tain dis­abil­ity? The an­swer is blow­ing in the wind; but I can feel it. (QED)

I am not an an­thro­pol­o­gist nor a for­mal stu­dent of gen­der re­la­tions. I am just a free thinker as waves of thought carry me along the many streams of life.

From the time of the cave, wo-man has ad­mired man. Was it out of love, de­pen­dency or the nat­u­ral ex­pres­sion of a bi­o­log­i­cal en­dow­ment/

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