Part 2 of Life and Death Magazine.
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LIFE
(125 proverbs to live by)
The Definitive Guide to Life is one of the best works I have seen in a long time. It was submitted to Life and Death anonymously on a few scraps of paper, but I wouldn't let this put you off. Truly, it is a work of rare beauty and insight, brilliantly distilling the very best wisdom from the entire three thousand years of human history.
By far the greatest thing about this particular guide is its brevity, allowing the reader quick and easy access to its treasures without having to wade through unnecessary padding. All you ever wanted to know about life is now right at your finger tips! Read and enjoy.R.B
Everything is uncertain.
The Buddha shits, the same as anyone.
Your truths may be true for you.
All truths are opinions.
Your opinion is not the only valid one.
The opposite of every great truth is equally true.
There are two sides to every coin.
The world is too complex to comprehend.
Our brains are too limited to understand reality.
We are not meant to know the Truth.
It is my right to be ignorant.
Everything is meaningless.
Look for the Truth if you must, but don't find it.
The search is what's important.
Anyone who thinks they know something is a fool.
It is better to travel than to arrive.
The wisest man is he who does not believe he is wise.
Those who speak do not know.
The older I grow, the less I know.
Reason is useless.
Thinking gets you nowhere.
The great philosophers themselves used reason, and they didn't agree.
Plato was a great man.
Descartes possessed courage.
Kant had integrity.
Hume was honest.
It is an exaggeration to say that Western philosophy is thoroughly evil.
The great questions of life are unsolvable.
Whatever you do, do it in moderation.
The best things carried to excess are wrong.
A wise person is anyone who follows a middle course.
Contentment is the highest virtue.
We will never know the reason for our existence, not until we die at least.
No one will ever know why the evil prosper and the good suffer.
Our suffering will always be a mystery.
All religions proclaim the one God.
If there was no God, life would be meaningless.
All religions are spiritual.
Meditation and prayer leads to enlightenment.
Christians are spiritual; atheists are materialists.
Anyone who wears robes and smiles is spiritual.
The Pope and the Dalai Lama are spiritual men.
Mother Teresa is good, while Hitler is evil.
Doing good is good.
Keep going to church.
Humility is the greatest of all virtues.
People who judge are evil.
Do not judge others.
Stop being judgmental.
Truth brings forth hatred.
To think is to differ.
Thinking causes pain.
Thinking upsets people.
The highest virtue is to accept our limitations and tolerate other people's weaknesses.
You must tolerate other people's views.
You must have faith in people.
There are more good people in the world than bad.
Man is born to believe.
We cannot live without hope.
Hope feeds the soul.
Without hope, we would never get out of bed
Everything's going to be alright.
Have the courage to believe in yourself.
Don't listen to other people.
Let nobody deter you from doing what you believe is right.
You are important.
You only live once.
History never repeats.
The Devil finds work for idle hands.
I earn a wage, therefore I am good.
Businessmen are virtuous.
A busy life is a virtuous life.
There is no substitute for hard work.
Work harder and run faster than everyone else.
One should aim to live a rich and varied existence.
Variety is the spice of life.
Honour your parents.
Pursue a career.
Love your wife unconditionally.
Family means everything to me.
Having children puts everything in perspective.
Children are valuable.
Always listen to little children.
Motherly love is pure and selfless.
Mothers are saints.
The feminine is the spiritual aspect of ourselves.
Our emotions are spiritual.
Christmas is a special time of year.
Women have souls.
Women are conscious.
You can't judge a woman from the dress she wears.
Men and women are equal.
Women are more emotionally mature than men.
Women are more caring than men.
Women are less violent than men.
Women are less egotistical than men because they are less dominating.
It is wrong to think of women as slaves to fashion. A part of them is deeper.
Women are not victims.
Everybody needs somebody to love.
Love one another.
Without love, there is nothing.
Love is wonderful.
Love conquers all.
The world needs more love.
A hug a day keeps the demons at bay.
The more love, the less war.
Lighten up, for heaven's sake!
Don't take yourself seriously.
Concentrate on the positives.
Always look on the bright side of life.
It is better to be entertaining than wise.
A smile goes a long away.
Laughter is the best medicine.
If you can't find something pleasant to say about someone, then say nothing at all.
Put people at their ease.
Never make an enemy.
Dare to be naive.
Take it easy.
We are meant to be happy.
If it feels good, do it.
If you've got it, flaunt it.
We can do what we want, as long as we don't hurt anyone else.
Anything you do is right.
Do what works.
Don't fight it.
Anything which feels this good can't be wrong.
Go with the flow.
Everything just is.
- Letters to the Editor -
Quick and to the point!
I have a suggestion which might interest your readers on how to deal with the philosophic type. I have found that simply poking the tongue at them works absolute wonders. Yes, that simple! Whenever these creeps try to engage you in rational discussion, just poke your tongue at them and watch them flee! It might sound a little childish but I guarantee you it is remarkably effective.
Good luck with your Society. Keep up the good work!Mandy Walters, Launceston.
Those Unmarried Men!
A thousand cheers for your magazine. It is about time sensible people started speaking out in these God-forsaken times.
As a practicing Christian who tries to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am deeply concerned at where our society is heading. I am especially concerned at the breakdown of the marriage institution and the increasing numbers of single men out there.
I say men, because they clearly are the ones responsible. Women are selfless by nature and are more readily inclined to marriage, whereas men think only of themselves and their ambitions. Indeed, it is only through marriage that men can exercise their altruistic impulses by being forced to provide for their wives and children. To be sure, marriage enobles the soul and provides the framework for the godly life.
It is common knowledge that women exert a calming influence upon men. A woman gives a man a purpose in life; she provides him with social responsibilities. Otherwise, man is a loose cannon, directionless, liable to harm both himself and others. If a man does not have responsibilities then what is to stop him from heading off in whatever direction he chooses? What is to stop him living for his own evil purposes? No one trusts a single man, nor should they.
Marriage has been around for thousands of years and forms the foundation for almost every culture on earth. This alone should prove that we are meant to marry. What is more, many religious traditions, including Christianity, bless marriage and proclaim it to be nothing less than a spiritual union between two people. What more do people want?
This modern trend towards individuality must cease if our society is going to survive and prosper. I propose we gather all the unmarried men of Brisbane over the age of twenty-five and parade them down the city streets to allow the good and honest folk to express their disgust by spitting at them. This would certainly shake these louts out of their selfish complacency. It might make them see the light, so to speak, and spur them on to courting women seriously with a view to marriage.
Ian Moss Petty, Brisbane.
- Check out the article Ten Steps to Find a Bride - Ed.
The Dazzling Life of a True Saint
I get sick to death of people denigrating Mother Teresa, saying that she is selfish and petty-minded. I am especially fed up with those who say that her saintliness is purely an illusion created by her possessing minimal consciousness, like that of a small child or dog, and as such is further away from God than the average criminal. I find this sort of talk utterly repulsive. It is simply not right to say such horrible things about someone who is so sweet and gentle and who has dedicated her whole life to helping others.
It is all very well seeking a higher truth, but of what use is this knowledge to someone with an empty stomach? How can an absolute truth help a woman with five screaming children to feed? In what way can a dry and abstract philosophy console those who have lost their spouse to cancer? Is it not better to reach out to somebody and give them the gift of love? Let's face it, we are all alone; we come into the world alone and we die alone. We are like little babies, terrified of the immensity of the universe. It is only right that we should band together in comfort.
This is where the saint comes in. For the saint does not live for himself, but for others. He helps the elderly cross the road, for example. He consoles the terminally ill and feeds the homeless. He provides a little ray of sunshine to those suffering in a cold and unforgiving world.
Mother Teresa is a true saint. What simplicity of lifestyle! What humility! What purity of soul! Look at how much she has forsaken in order to bring comfort to others. It is a pity there are not more of us willing to live as selflessly as her. I reckon the world would be a far, far better place if we did.Jim Coward, Perth
Responsible Parenting II
I was recently flicking through a back copy of Life and Death and came across the wonderful article, "Responsible Parenting", written by the beautiful Ms. Styles. [ "Responsible Parenting", by Imogen Styles, was published in the 7th Edition of Life and Death - Ed ]. I really must commend your magazine on the fantastic work it is doing. How refreshing it was to read something that is not only direct and to the point, but which actually made sense! You don't know how tired I get of all the b...s... that comes out of the mouths of these so-called modern education experts. The world desperately needs some plain talking and I'm thrilled to see someone take up the challenge.
As I say, the article by Ms. Styles was an excellent piece of work and surely would have inspired all who read it to redouble their efforts and eradicate once and for all the Truth-seeking impulse from their children. However, I was surprised that she didn't mention the one technique which, in my opinion, far outshines all others in terms of ease of application and rate of success. I refer to the technique of parental hypocrisy.
It is a technique which has been around for many centuries and, although appearing paradoxical at first sight, is extremely simple to implement. It is a two-step process which goes as follows:
1. Regularly stress to the child the importance of being truthful and honest.
2. Lead a normal adult life.
Since neither you nor any one else in the adult world is even remotely truthful or honest, the child will naturally be forced to the conclusion that a practical joke is being played at his expense. He will think that you are just pulling his leg and that at bottom you really want him to lead the same thoughtless and dishonest existence which you and everyone else leads. This usually nips all higher aspirations in the bud, leaving the child free to develop into a responsible and productive member of society.
The important thing to remember is that one must orally preach the doctrine of truth and honesty on a regular basis. It will serve to impress upon the child that words, ideas and principles are inherently worthless, and will stop him seeking to expand his consciousness in any appreciable direction.
I just thought I'd mention this simple technique, in case there are people out there who happen to be unaware of it. Apart from her little oversight in this area, let me just say that I regard the article by Ms. Styles as being a near perfect exposition of parental technique and philosophy, and I predict it will one day be regarded as a classic. Any parent who loves their kids should read it as soon as possible.
Once again, let me give my sincere thanks to everyone involved in Life and Death, and I wish all of you every success in the future.Peter Jamesson, Brisbane.
- OPINION -
Essays from Readers
This week we are proud to present The Importance of Hate by Faith Hope
and Men Should Mind Their Own Business by Fifi Smith.
The Importance of Hateby Faith Hope
We are all aware of the magic of love. It is our oasis of pleasure in an otherwise drab and dreary world, and it is the one thing which gives meaning to our lives. If you do not believe me, then turn on the radio: musicians are constantly strumming their guitars in its honour. Pick up a book: poets are forever describing its wondrous charms. Indeed, if there ever was a truth in this world, it would be this: people everywhere live and die for love. And in order that I may place myself on the public record, let me just say that I too love love.
How we desire its soothing touch! How we seek its soft embrace! The sheer joy of diving into its waters, so pleasing to the senses! O, how marvellous it is to fall in love! Whether it be the sensuous love between man and woman, or the unconditional devotion found within the family, or even just the rock-like bond between two friends, love is something which should be enhanced and multiplied and otherwise increased until the whole world can experience its marvellous qualities.
But how? How can I increase love in the world?
Often what we are taught by our parents and teachers is not completely right and is sometimes altogether wrong. Indeed, we usually have to go through many a bitter experience before we can lay claim to our own wisdom and work out for ourselves the best way to live. This is especially true in the case of love.
I distinctly remember my mother's advice on love. She said that if I wanted to be sure of receiving love from others I should devote my life to giving love. Now, in deference to my mother, who is a very loving and caring person, let me just say from the outset that this is a wonderful doctrine as well as being very practical. I have seen at first hand how such a philosophy can transform people's lives. But it is by no means the whole story. For if we confine ourselves to just this one strategy and merely give love to everyone we meet, we end up squandering many opportunities to nurture even more love and happiness into the world.
I shall never forget the moment when I first saw the connection between love and hate. What a revelation it was! I was eighteen at the time and staying at my aunt's place in Victoria. She was married to a Professor of Mathematics and had one of the most beautiful homes I had ever seen. It was like one of those gigantic English country mansions, with dozens of rooms and a huge garden out the back.
But it was my aunt's relationship with her husband which made the biggest mark upon me. Simply observing them together was an education. They were a couple who, within the space of a minute, could experience the whole range of human emotion. One moment they would be arguing heatedly over some insignificant matter, like who could borrow the Lamborgini that afternoon, and be screaming things like "brainless bitch" and "stupid fathead" and other such endearing terms at each other, and then, before you knew what was happening, they would suddenly fling themselves into each other's arms and murmur feverishly about how lucky they were to have found each other all those years ago.
There was one incident in particular which impressed me deeply. My hosts were going through a rather frosty patch at the time and each was trying their hardest to ignore the other. Indeed, it was turning out to be a particularly nasty dispute and for well over a week neither party spoke to each other at all, except through me. It was a stand-off that might conceivably have gone on forever had it not been for the fact that a burglar tried to sneak in one night and ransack the place. My uncle, ever gallant, was onto him in a flash and an ugly scene developed which quickly saw both burglar and uncle in hospital nursing wounds of all shapes and colours. What really interested me, though, was the change this incident brought to the relationship between my aunt and uncle. It was nothing short of miraculous. Gone was the icy silence and in its place the tenderest show of affections you would ever hope to see!
I realized then that the connection between violence and love was far more intimate than I had previously thought. In fact, I immediately perceived that all the opposites - e.g. love and hate, happiness and suffering, pain and pleasure, up and down, day and night, etc - were not really opposites at all and that the supposed separation between them was illusory. This is a basic tenet of Buddhism and Taoism, of course, but I was not to know that back then. To me, it was a revelation straight from heaven! Love gives rise to hate which in turn gives rise to love, forming a never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Therefore, it became obvious to me that if one wanted to increase love in this world, then the best thing to do would be to increase hate. If one wanted to make others happy, then the best policy to adopt would be to beat them up. Mugging old ladies and raping little kiddies are among the highest acts one can perform.
Indeed, violence has many virtues. It creates enemies, and enemies create love. Nothing draws a nation together more closely, for example, than does the presence of a menacing neighbour. The strong bond between members of gay groups or Jewish communities is largely due to the persecution they often face. The love between two people is often most intense when forged by adversity. The lesson to be drawn from all this is that violence and hate are essential to love. (Ah, if only everyone could forget their petty hates and consciously recognize that Reality itself is the only true enemy of mankind, then all our disputes would fade out of existence and the whole human race would come together in brotherly love!)
This is not all. The key to all sainthood lies in violence and hate. Indeed, saints from all persuasions rely on the darker side of life for the forging of their blessedness. Without the presence of chaos and destruction, for example, what on earth would a Christian saint do with her life? Where would be the victims to comfort and heal? No one, not even a saint, can put the pieces back together if nothing is broken in the first place. We need people to run amok and smash things and rape, thus providing the essential raw materials for goodness to take place.
Accordingly, I would say that Hitler is one of the great unsung heroes of our time. He was a tremendous force for good. The amount of misery he created in the world makes him a saint of the highest proportions, and I think the Catholic Church should honour and sanctify the man, since they are the ones who so consistently advocate the need for more love in this world.
So, I urge all of you, make it a priority in your life to thump old ladies in the head, split marriages apart, abuse children, and rape women - in fact, drop nuclear bombs if you can. If you love others as much as you love yourself, then make sure they suffer excruciating pain. For it will cause their loved ones to seek you out and torture you terribly, which in turn will cause your loved ones to seek them out . . . and so it goes on, a never-ending stream of human productivity with everyone enjoying the love of their friends and families while inflicting the maximum of hate upon everyone else. What paradise!
Admittedly, this advice may be somewhat superfluous, given that we already live in a world racked with war and marriage. But I ask you, why be content with what has been achieved? Why not strive to create a world literally bursting with love and happiness? I tell you, the sky is the limit! All we need to do is dare.
Men Should Mind Their Own Businessby Fifi Smith, Paddington, Qld.
Recently, whilst enjoying a cappuccino in a popular city café, I chanced to overhear a most entertaining conversation. Of course, I use the word "chanced" loosely, not to say that I would eavesdrop on other people's private conversations, but that the two men in question, sitting behind me in the corner, seemed oblivious to the fact that their voices could be heard throughout the whole café. Now, apart from the fact that they obviously have a great deal to learn about café etiquette, they also have, judging from the content of their conversation, a great deal to learn about the realities of the 90's.
They were talking about how men were somehow better qualified than women to bring up children. I found this very strange. Men bringing up children? Come off it! As we women all know, men don't even notice the existence of a child unless it is to trip over them while rushing off to work. Yet these two chaps were swanning along as if they knew all about the subject!
Let me give you a taste of what they said and you will see what I mean. "Women have no understanding of children as they tend to regard them purely as objects of pleasure." "The problem", said the other, "is that women have no understanding of human psychology. They are incapable of understanding themselves, let alone a child." "Well, they have no ideals, do they? Women have no conception of ultimate perfection, therefore their children cannot help but become drug-addicts." Ha! Who are these guys trying to kid?
Up until now, I had no great desire to go through all the bother of turning my head to look at them. Men who talk to each other over cups of coffee in fashionable cafés about subjects which are not exclusively to do with the arts, or at least sport, are definitely not my cup of tea. I mean, they are hardly the type to show off to the girls at the next dinner party! We've all met them, haven't we? Totally unreliable.
Unfortunately, the voices of these two neanderthals were becoming louder. "Men do not value the emotions as much as women, so the presence of a man gives the child space to develop into a human being. Women only produce animals." "Yes", answered the other, "women are the more violent of the two sexes, causing their sons and daughters to become even more violent. Women shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children, at least, not until the children are old enough to fend for themselves." Well! This was the last straw. I turned and glared at them, only to find my deepest and darkest suspicions confirmed. Long hair, beards, scruffy clothes, cheap shoes . . . need I say more? There they were, supremely arrogant and insensitive to the world. The sort of people who would definitely set a good example for our young children, I'm sure! I mean, PAH-LEASE!
Get a shave, guys, do something about your hair, extend your wardrobe to include something which is actually unstained and free of holes, and above all hop off your butts and do something useful with your lives. Get a life, is what I'm saying. Only then your views will be taken seriously. Perhaps what you need is a girlfriend to pull your heads out of the clouds, then you'd see that what children need most of all is loads of affection. They need hugs, not lugs. Children are the way of the future. Happy and secure children means a happy and secure future for all of us, and that's got to be a good thing.
This goes back to the centuries-old wisdom of motherhood, which men will never understand. Why do you think men go off and fight wars all the time? Men live in an Emotion-Free Zone, I tell you, totally divorced from their feelings. Obviously, they need to be more like us! They need to learn to cherish the miracle of childbirth and to revel in the unconditional love of a child.
I don't want to be seen as a male-basher - there are many men I know who are perfect darlings - but when they start getting on their high-horse . . . well, I guess I just find it a real turn-off. Lighten up, guys! This is the nineties, for heaven's sake! We've come a long way since the days of cave-men. Life is meant to be enjoyed!
The University of Queensland invites
to participate in a course in philosophy.
All this and more can be yours if you enrol in a first-year
"The charm of philosophy is that it provides no answers
Course begins 27th August, 1999.
All enquiries phone: (07) 3365 2563
Exploring Feminism - Part III
by William Greatbatch
In this the third part of our series which examines the role of feminism in the destruction of Truth, our three intrepid heroines explore the issues of equality and the double standard. In what way, they fearlessly ask, do men perpetuate the double standard? Should men be allowed to open doors for women in this day and age? Isn't it time we ditched the idea of one standard for men and another for women? In fact, why should we limit ourselves to just two standards? Doesn't this reflect poorly on our powers of imagination? If you want to know the answers to all these questions and more, then read on!
Editor's note: "Exploring Feminism" is a series of fictional conversations between three women who discuss the role of feminism in relation to the destruction of Truth. It is based on the premise that women are concerned about the wider implications of their feminist movement. The goals of feminism are examined with a view to maximizing humanity's supreme ignorance of reality.
The author fully appreciates that the women portrayed in this work do not bare any resemblance at all to the women who live in the real world. He realizes that real women have no interest at all in the subject of Truth, neither in seeking it nor in destroying it. This is probably due to the fact they have too many other things to worry about, not least of which is the dreadful oppression they suffer under men. It is only to be expected.
I can assure women personally that the author has no intention of persuading them to reflect on the wider issues. To repeat, his sole aim in this work is to give voice to the implications of feminism in the destruction of consciousness. If in the process of doing it he causes pain to women, then he humbly offers his sincerest apologies. Let me just say that I know the author very well and can vouch for his sincerity in this matter. He is truly the gentlest of men and harbours no desire to hurt women in any way.
Katherine: Now, Julie and Mary, the purpose of these discussions is to examine the ways in which feminism contributes to the destruction of Truth. Last month we examined the concept of oppression by patriarchy, so let us this month look at another goal of feminism, that of equality. How do you think the concept of equality destroys Truth?
Mary: I think we should establish exactly what we mean by equality. As you know, equality can mean all sorts of things.
Katherine: Well, does equality mean that women should be the same as men? That is, should women adopt the same values as men? Should they develop the same mentality and strive to possess the same abilities as men?
Mary: No way.
Julie: Definitely not.
Katherine: Why not? Surely, if the word "equality" is going to mean anything at all, it should mean "being of equal value" or "possessing identical significance" or something like that. And strictly speaking, only two identical objects can have identical value.
Julie: Not necessarily. I can think of many different things which are of equal value to me. For example, there is my husband, the kids, our beautiful home, Fluffy - all of them are very dear to my heart, and yet no one can honestly say that these things are identical.
Katherine: Good. You're judging things emotionally and thereby eliminating the notion of a single, objective standard. This is excellent. So when women speak of "equality", they do not actually mean becoming the equal of man in terms of ability or living up to the same ethical principles, but rather they mean something completely different.
Mary: Yes, we want men to recognize the fact that we are all intrinsically valuable, regardless of what we choose to say or do, and that it is wrong and narrow-minded of them to expect us to conform to their masculine ideals. This is what I mean at least when I speak of equality.
Katherine: Hmm, to my mind, what you say is obviously correct and beyond argument. But putting on the Devil's hat for a moment, what is so wrong about the idea of men and women sharing the same values? Surely it wouldn't be all that bad?
Mary: It would be awful. I mean, if we adopt the same values as men, then how could we possibly experience the pleasures of being feminine? How could we hang prettily off a man's arm, for example, or revel in the silk and flow of a lovely, new dress? How could we lose ourselves in the joy of the moment and gossip happily to our friends about the latest brand of lipstick? How could we concentrate on appearing reflective and deep and poetic as if staring into the outer reaches of the infinite, in the way men find so attractive? Adopt the same concerns as men? No thank you! I mean, as every woman knows, a man's life is filled with suffering. You only have to look at him to see that he carries the whole world on his shoulders. Who'd want to be like that? This is precisely why we think men are fools in the first place! No, I prefer to run and jump and play with my children. The last thing I could possibly want is to be like a man.
Julie: Yes, but we do want the same privileges as men.
Mary: Oh, absolutely.
Julie: Although we don't want to actually adopt the same values as men and experience the same masculine suffering which comes with assuming responsibility for oneself, we nevertheless want to be regarded as their equal.
Katherine: Good. You see, here we have a flat contradiction, and I believe that encouraging people to accept flat contradictions is the most effective way of destroying consciousness. You're saying that even though women do not want to perform the same activities as men, they nevertheless want to be treated the same as men and be given the same respect as men?
Julie: Hmm, I don't know. I think that women do want to perform the same activities as men, but only up to a point. In other words, we want to emulate men to the degree that it gives us pleasure; but should it turn the least bit nasty, then we, as free and liberated beings of the universe, demand the right to be able to dive quickly back into the safety of our femininity.
Mary: Yes, we want men to be the ones who stand up to the might of nature and risk life and limb in order to build the secure havens necessary for civilized existence. I mean, what else are they good for? Surely, men only exist for the sake of creating the structures in which women can safely nestle down and enjoy life to the full.
Julie: Yes, the darlings are truly our slaves, but they mistakenly believe they're our masters!
Mary: That's what makes them so cute!
Katherine: This is terrific stuff, because it all smacks of a double standard. You want women to be different to men, yet at the same time you want women to be given the same respect as men!
Mary: Absolutely. Equal but different, that's our philosophy.
Katherine: And an excellent philosophy it is, too!
Julie: This is why we propagate the idea that men and women have their own truths. Each sex has its own unique body, you see, with its own particular set of genitals, and therefore each sex must have its own truths, its own morality, its own set of values, and its own ultimate purpose in life.
Katherine: And men swallow this rubbish?
Julie: Well, yes. Especially when we say it prettily.
Katherine: Let me get this straight. You're saying that you want each sex to be judged differently, in accordance with different criteria, and this is because each sex has different genitalia?
Mary: We also have wombs. Men can never experience the miracle of childbirth and therefore can never be expected to adopt the same values as us.
Katherine: I'm interested in the origin of this double standard. As we all know, men are usually the ones accused of creating the double standard. But now you're saying that women want it as well?
Mary: Of course. In fact, men only perpetuate the double standard because we want them to. It is in our interests, you see, not men's, to have the duplicity maintained.
Katherine: How so?
Mary: Well, I would have thought it was obvious. The double standard gives women all the freedom and happiness they could possibly desire, while burdening men with all the dreaded accountability. At bottom, we want men to be responsible for everything we do, because then we can frolic through life like a child.
Julie: As well as giving us plenty of injustices to complain about!
Mary: That's right. And to have both sexes judged according to a single standard would destroy this utterly. So you can see why we constantly accuse men of oppressing us with a double standard: it so beautifully preserves the double standard which we find so liberating.
Katherine: It is often said there are only two types of women: virgins and victims. Whoever made that one up was a genius.
Julie: Yes, it is only when women are oppressed that they feel truly free.
Mary: And this is why I think women like to preach that everyone is intrinsically valuable and of equal worth. It implies that consciousness and unconsciousness are of equal value and so gives permission to women to act as unconsciously as they please.
Katherine: This is good stuff! In other words, you're saying that there is no good and bad, no right or wrong, no superior and inferior, etc.
Mary: That's right. Everything everybody does is valuable.
Katherine: So, in effect, what you're saying is that there aren't two standards after all. There are in fact billions of standards, one for each and every person on the planet.
Mary: Yes. Or more accurately, what we really want is to do away with standards altogether.
Julie: Except when we want to judge men, of course!
Mary: Of course.
Katherine: But doesn't advocating billions of standards undermine the beloved double standard of women's?
Mary: No, because you're forgetting that everything we women say and do is in accordance with the double standard.
Julie: Or not, as the case may be!
Mary: Yes, or not. The double standard admits of no consistency whatsoever - which is precisely why we adore it so much.
Katherine: Explain yourself, please. I confess I'm getting a bit confused at the moment.
Mary: Well, while it is perfectly true that everything everybody does is valuable, most of what men do is sexist and therefore very, very wrong.
Katherine: Oh, I see. So really, women should qualify their preaching by saying, "everything everyone does is valuable, except most of what men do."
Mary: No, no, no. Listen closely. We say to men, "Everything everybody does is valuable. There is no right or wrong. Good and bad are relative, blah, blah, blah." Okay? Then we turn around and accuse them of all sorts of evil behaviour. Okay? So while men are pummelled into submission trying to fathom that one out, we can get on with our lives in peace.
Julie: And while they're busy cowering and sniveling and gushing about our awesome powers, they won't get it into their heads to try and imprison us in this one standard of theirs.
Mary: Which they inevitably devise.
Katherine: Now, I'm with you. Your goal is to completely destroy all reason and so break man's spirit completely. And in so doing, you turn him into an automaton which hovers at your beck and call.
Mary: Absolutely. What other use could a man possibly have?
Katherine: Ah, all this is music to my ears. With feminism around, how can truth and integrity have a hope? Not only does feminism encourage people to accept and value contradictions and inconsistencies in their lives, but it persuades the world that the whole notion of standards is a joke. Or to express it more accurately, feminism is all about wrestling the power of judgment from men and giving it to women. The masculine desire to relate everything to a single principle is slowly being obliterated and in its place an ever shifting landscape of feminine whim is taking shape. One minute, there may be one standard; the next moment, there may be two; the next, five billion - who cares? Whatever suits the whim of a woman is all that matters.
Mary: This goes to the root of all feminism, actually. What women really complain about is not that they're being oppressed by men - for let's face it, we enjoy being dominated by men - but the masculine insistence that everything should be related to a single standard which is constant over time. I mean, honestly, what a bore!
Katherine: Indeed! We'll finish up now. But before we do, let me just say that feminism is among the greatest inventions ever to come out of the West. It rivals Christianity and academia with its power to obliterate consciousness; together, the three of them form the great super-highway to thought oblivion. But let us also not forget the role women themselves have played throughout the whole of history in safeguarding the human mind from the horrors of Truth. Indeed, without women the world would have been filled with Buddhas long ago. So let us all thank God or evolution, whichever you believe, for the foresight He/it had in creating women. Hurray!
Julie: You know, it's funny. All men have to do is simply ignore our feminine beauty for one moment and concentrate their attention upon our actions - if they did this, they would see through us immediately. But the fools are so befuddled by our feminine charms that they either never wake up to our pretensions or else they just don't care about their lives at all.
Next month, our fearsome threesome turn their attention upon the evils of stereotyping. They will examine how the stereotype is absolutely essential for a woman's existence and how accusing men of perpetuating stereotypes is yet another cunning ruse to foster feminine happiness.