How many methods of discovery do we employ in our self examinations? To discover is the opposite of cover, but is it to uncover what is as is? How much woman is she when she is what she is has been will be become again after losing it, woman?
I repeat myself, I know, when I say that a woman is and in this is everything is. Yes, she is; this woman or that woman, firstly and lastly, is, to be or not. What she is is another endeavor; who, when, where, why and how are all of them are together a subtraction.
I am, I say. I am not this or that when my being is concerned. I am; I exist; to be without the complement not to be. Whether named or unnamed, this woman is, she is. Hamlet’s soliloquy herein referenced is also every woman’s soliloquy. She is not further removed from Hamlet’s Cartesian inquiry than I am because she is a woman and I am a man. Now, the history of anonymous is the history of woman; or is it that the history of woman is the history of anonymity? Woman is anonymous? She is in anonymity? Anonymity is a place history has reserved for woman? The history herein is one and the same whether it is written or unwritten, irrespective of whether or not there is a historiography to support it in the way all historiography has a way of aping Moses descending from Sinai.
How much is left unknown at the end of a relationship? What is a relationship where the woman or the man or both are perpetually becoming other than each is. How much do the happiest spouses really know about one another, or the unhappiest (we do imagine misery is wiser which might explain the propensity for misery we all have). A lover dies, a spouse is put in her tomb and who was she? No one was; the one who is is not who she will be when she becomes who she was. But traditionally woman has remained a modified man in the collective unconscious of men. In this, they are part not a whole, except of course in the homophonic, hole. Women are . . . what?
No, once more I demand that they are not what, but who. So then, Who are they? ‘They’ is too big to manage. As I am we, woman is they? Does this make any sense. I imagine it does, but then this I I am is macrososmic to the many that make up the subject complement we in I am we. I know the arguments for I am we are rooted in understanding a selfhood that is plural, a many selves Self. Every person should be able to say this with conviction, I am we. It is true for each of us, but then that is not exactly what I am saying when I say, A woman is they. This woman here, this woman now, the one in front of me with a world of inquiry and response between us, potentially, is what, is who, is when or where, these are the dimensions of this they she is when we know, like I am we, she is they . . .
Place and time as much as the things we are or the persons we are, become the dimensions of our world projected outwardly toward the world, into the world; this world, we know, is a stage. Yes, each of us to its many parts. But the selves of the Self are microcosmic to the greater Self we are in its singular totality. These are thrust outward and take place around us in the effect of details. The I I am is I am; the I am is macrocosmic to all details of our world or any world or all the worlds together in the one larger greater all encompassing world we mistakenly think is larger than us because the physical dimensions are so much greater than each of us is.
This ‘they’ inside is encompassed by the she we use for her, this one and only woman who is herself and every woman as well, both, yet sometimes neither, sometimes someone else. All the time she is who she is whenever she is anyone she is, all the masks she wears inside or outside dependent on the ones worn inside . . . all the parts she plays, the players she is–in the sense Shakespeare asserts.They are; she is; women and woman are. That’s it. She is. I am. They, them, those people, women. We know no one, not really–who do we know. Do we know the people whose minds we cannot know completely, whose lives have been lived independently of ours, whose eyes we do not see the world through, whose shoes we do not wear, whose ears we do not hear with, listen with. What? Who do we know? How many of our selves in the Self remain hidden? How can we know anyone? So how could we know any woman?
Who is she, again, the question gets asked and asked, and oftentimes asked without the intention of waiting for an answer, a particularly annoying contemporary trait we have all acquired. But how many of us avoid asking any question like this at all? Responses are not answers; I’ve asserted this before in other essays. There are plenty of responses we give, we feign attachment to or connection with, but the answers we seek–do not answer a question with a question she used to say, a woman I once knew. No question is an answer, yet we offer questions as answers, responding as we do not with the rhetorical questions that answer, but the questions in responses that avoid answering. Everything to avoid answering. Irrespective of any answer to any question, She is. To respond is not to answer but to put again, to place once more. To put once more is a placement nonetheless, it is a choice of arrangement.
A woman is should be the first line of discussion when any thought of her right to choose anything arises. In her is, there is no longer any subtracting devices such as who, what, when, where, how or even why. None of these questions are pertinent or relevant to her inalienable right to choose. There should be no equivocation for anyone sane enough to want to save a woman from the unnecessary horrors that existed before Roe versus Wade. I’ve said this in essays before, and I will reiterate it again and again in essays to come. There were horrors before the law got behind a woman’s right tomchoose safe medical procedures rather than the rock or the hard place in back alleys, and yes, there were back alleys; curtain rods and all that sort of letting the air in. I’ll never forget the end of Goddard’s Masculin et Femminin, or Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” where the word abortion is never mentioned. What am I saying? How can I say anything for her? How can I not? How can I afford to disallow myself the ability to speak rationally for woman. Defending a woman’s rights is an obligation I take seriously, which sometimes sounds as if the one asserting the severity of the responsiblity misses the point. I assure you I do not, but then who am I to you or for you? I do have an obligation to defend a woman’s rights as I do anyone’s rights because I exist as a moral being. Not to defend human rights in any way anywhere is to reduce one’s self in one’s moral stature. Even if it is at a dinner table in face of indifference or diffidence or ignorance or prejudice.
There will always be dilemmas for her, even if aborting an embryo is legally sanctioned. This is not to say that legally sanctioning abortion is a fool’s errand. To each woman her own personhood, her own psychology rooted in her biology, her physiology and her experiences? She has reason; she is capable of reasoning, of being rational or irrational; capable of being passionate or dispassionate. She will have different levels of education, different jobs or careers; her income will vary, as will her home situation, her relationship status, her religion, and so on and so on. But the roller coaster she rides will be hers to ride when and where she chooses. To decide or not to decide should be her question and hers alone. I have shifted gears quickly, but we cannot see any effort to control abortion or the availability of safe nedical procedures for induced miscarriage as anythning other than controlling a woman;s body, her right to reproduce or not, which when centered in the opinions of men might be nothing lese other than Uterus envy. It was through the womb of a woman that in Christian Theology, God becomes man; the Son of God, begotten not made before time and creation is gestated as the incarnation through the uterus of Mary.
Now, if Roe versus Wade were a complete fabrication, if it were a docudrama, would that mean that the majority ruling was somehow made weaker, argumentatively? Would the truth of it, whether true or not in the most pedantic sense of trueness become other than true? Roe versus Wade is just as strong in support of pro-choice whether or not the trial was justified on its factual merits. A trial is just that, an essay on a thesis, and whether it was factually justified does not undermine the results of the debate. The text could have been fabricated entirely by a novelist and placed in a novel. Would that make the argument irrelevant, invalid, sociologically? The argument would maintian ethical, moral and socilogical veracity throuhg–even in spite of–its verisimilitude
Fictional truths have as much valency as actual. I should say that veracity in fiction is deeper than verisimilitude; it carries metaphysical weight; it has epistemological density. But this is not solely the point. Hypotheses are presented all the time in politics and law; the Constitution of the United States when subject to ratification was a hypothesis subject to the most critical examinations. It took a great deal of intellectual effort to get The Constitution ratified. The majority ruling in the case does not become invalid for us epistemologically, ethically, no; it remains valid in its thesis. Nonetheless, the prime thesis here in any discussion of a woman’s right to choose is a Woman is. There must be a first and last step in all reasoning about and for human beings that asserts loudly and clearly He is; she is; thus, I am is the primary and teleological determination for all ethical considerations. Why does a woman deserve respect for her person, for her choices, for the integrity of her selfhood? Becasue she is. She exists is First Feminology