problem solving

‘power and gender’ —
if we could even just make
a beginning with
some kind of approach to this
subject — everything would change

I dreamed I was locked in personal and professional dispute and antagonism with the CEO of one of the charities I work for. In real life I admire her very much indeed, find her thoroughly likeable, and have sometimes wished to get to know her more. Our paths seldom cross. I think, in the dream, I was more aware of her being a woman than waking-lfe professionalism allows. Once I’d realised this, the poem flowed from there. It’s a subject I feel passionate about. I have often felt as though I can see contemporary culture through a futuristic lens, particularly where gender politics is concerned. Surely in the future, people will be shocked at our lack of concern for gender, in the same way that these days we feel shocked at past ages’ lack of concern for food hygiene and/or sanitation. The stark simplicity of the given fact that the human race is divided by gender, apparently self-justifying, somehow blinds us to any possibility of devoting sustained creative thought and attention and study and care, to the implications. And we’re blinded and paralysed also because gender is associated with heterosexual desire and procreation, all of which absorbs so much physical and emotional energy, there is nothing left for the intellect. And indeed, the intellect can tend to feel like an unwelcome intruder in a region best left to instinct. With the upshot that our collective culture is forever falling short of proper awareness that gender is even a problem at all, let alone the unresolved problem of the human condition.


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