Change in ideas does not accompany married life – 04/01/2024 – Vera Iaconelli

Change in ideas does not accompany married life – 04/01/2024 – Vera Iaconelli


Since man placed himself at the center of the universe, women have been left on the sidelines, which has resulted in permanent tension between the genders. The woman’s place oscillates between the ideal —sung in verse and prose— and the object that can be exchanged, used and destroyed. A well-known game of abusive relationships, in which excessive kindness and seduction alternate with physical, mental and property violence…

Anyone who dreams of a time when couples lived happily and satisfied with their differences suffers from selective amnesia. To refresh your mind, just review the almost complete inventory of gender mishaps made by Margaret Atwood in the book “The Handmaid’s Tale” (1985). There is no scene there that does not mirror some reality.

To assume that we can now celebrate is to ignore the ban on abortion, the rise in feminicide, violence in all spheres and institutionalized injustices permeated by race and class.

The fight against gender oppression affects everyone, as it forces us to rethink each person’s place in the world. But the changes bring the anguish of indeterminacy that is responded to by some with the resurgence of retrograde positions and, by others, by the fight for fairer and more equitable conditions.

For those who fall into the second group, suffering cannot be underestimated, as it is not possible to see once and for all the dimensions in which oppression operates. The “fall of the penny” — as in the famous Laerte comic — perpetuates itself in an endless insight, to the despair of those who long for quick changes. Every day we are faced with our machismo, every day we need to fight it.

Within capitalism, in which exploitation, not cooperation, is the basis of social functioning, it will take a lot to unravel the intricacies in which gender and subalternity are confused.

Today’s couples, who try to change the tire of their relationship while the car is moving, have to confront their desire for change with the unconscious marks they carry. The transformation that takes place at the level of ideas does not follow the slow movement of the “unconscious tectonic layers” that constitute us. This is visible in the incoherence between the feminist discourse given by women who remain under guardianship or in abusive relationships without understanding why or by men who say they are deconstructed but continue to claim privileges and controls.

If we leave the field of couples captured by gender stereotypes and who reproduce the worst with conviction, we will still witness the disagreement within couples who seek equanimity. And how could it not be so, if gender justice is not expected to be achieved by the current generation? Understanding the condition in which we live requires sustaining the time of its transformation, which may seem endless. Hence the risk of becoming discouraged and giving up on relationships — which in some cases proves to be legitimate, of course.

In addition to information and literacy, there is a space that can only be transformed through a good dose of suffering. Without scratching the veneer that polishes our narcissism, we are doomed to the hell of eternal mutual accusations. Without assuming that something in us escapes our own pretensions, conjugality will continue to be synonymous with resentment, crying and gnashing of teeth.

There is no militancy that reaches this other place in the subject, the one in which he repeats the very thing he proposes to transform. Nor is it possible to sustain subjective change alone, without finding support in the social field that strengthens it.

Each of the two alone will be doomed to arrogance and failure.

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