Thursday, August 7, 2014

Love and Violence



I loved a girl. Eight years ago. Nothing like that happened ever before or after. Body was on fire, mind was always elsewhere, I was high on oxytocin. I was addicted.

Such a love is bound to fail, even before it begins, in real life. But, that taught me a lesson sharply. Love is violence.

For some reason, I was not much aware of my sex-drive well into mid-youth. I was a strong believer of Platonic love. It never occurred to me that the foundation of society is in population. And population means copulation.

I was a big fan of Darwinian Theory of Evolution in my mid-youth, thanks to the series Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould; and the two books The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins. Yet, it never dawned on me that romantic love had to evolve as a motivational pathway to sex, by the same means of natural selection.

I was too romantic, and naive, probably. The knowledge that love creates violence made me shaky. But, that way, any social or inter-personal communication creates violence. For me, violence was encroachment of personal space, creating influence, any form of persuasion.

Obviously, I was striding the other extreme in an impractical bite of conscience to be politically correct.

Interestingly, I had no compunction with being violent in any other socio-political setup, if needed. When it came to women and romantic relationship, I was shaky, mixing all ideas of political correctness and violence. Probably, I foresaw the Indian culture of rape through my experience and readings on power and difference.

World doesn't specifically hate women. World hates difference.

In my childhood, I was not much welcome to any sporting field. I was shy, and I couldn't play football. Problem was I never learnt.

Things changed drastically in early teenage when I went for swimming, cycling and suddenly jumped up the school grade just like magic. Suddenly, I was the most popular guy in the class. Thus, I saw, at an early age, how difference vanishes in a jiffy. And when it vanishes, acceptance comes. But, I didn't think much about that. I was only 13.

I enjoyed heroism throughout the junior school years. Always topping in the manly subjects English and Maths. Playing dominant roles in all social functions in and outside school. I grew a very high superiority complex.

When I went to learn Kyokushin at the South Asian HQ (and I was a serious student for the first two years), whatever little complex about fitness I had went away. Quickly, I was the fittest among all friends from school and neighborhood. Superiority complex grew.

It all broke down in a massive blow in high school. I have forgotten those two years, and the subsequent damage to my ego. What I remember is a sudden fall in stature in one's own eye creates a huge difference. People with whom I never talked in school (in fact, I didn't consider them intelligent enough to talk) now had a chance to pity, and accept, me in their group. That was a blow!

And this difference made a problem in self-acceptance. Obviously, when one cannot accept himself, others follow suit.

However, what I didn't fully realize at 18, this link between difference and acceptance (self-acceptance or acceptance by others) is not natural. It is socially constructed, and perpetuated. This is a direct legacy from our hunter-gatherer forest days. Different kinds of differences are linked to acceptance in different cultures. And, the privileged class is never aware of their privilege. They think it is natural.

In almost every culture in the world, women are the different. In many cultures, women try to be assimilated in the privileged class. That happened mostly in the second wave of feminism, in the late 60s and 70s. The third wave started questioning this assimilation frenzy. Yet, that continues to different extents, especially in a confused economy like India.

That merely reinforces the myth of the natural link between difference and non-acceptance. They say, sex starts in mind. If that is true for romantic love - lovemaking, that must be equally true for real-time violence-perpetrators to the different.

The privileged wants to teach a lesson to the different? The privileged celebrates his privilege more so, in this society of negotiation. When negotiation doesn't work, hack the interaction. Use more primitive powers.

The world hates the woman, when the woman comprises almost half the world population!

It is surprising, women still love men! Even after all this.