Friday, 1 March 2013

About Gender.

OK, I said I wasn’t going to post this but I’ve changed my mind. The finale of Boorman’s film Excalibur:

 A woman left a comment on the YouTube video. It said ‘The end scene makes men cry and their girlfriends chew another popcorn.’ As far as I’m concerned, she isn’t wrong on the first count – the reclaiming of the sword and the three queens riding shotgun in the barge never fail to stir something in me that might be described as ‘unmanly.’  (If you're a Brit of my generation, that is, who was conditioned to the view that manhood is measured by the stiffness of the upper lip and the firmness of the knees in a tight situation.)

We have a woman’s hand taking back the source of the king’s power, and three queens guarding him from the mortal world. But are they placing him under their wing or under their influence? What does it say about the power of the feminine?

It’s just a film, right? Well, yes; but it’s a film based on a book, and the book was based on a host of myths and legends stretching back into time immemorial, a time when the power of the feminine and its relationship with the power of the masculine was maybe better understood.

I’ve struggled with this for the last two hours. I have a sense that we’re getting it all wrong – chauvinist and feminist both missing the point. But I’ve come to no conclusion and it’s getting late. Time for bed.

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