And find out what it can tell us about feminism
Let me ask you a question. We all know that the world (still) expects certain things from people, such as professional success, financial stability, perfect marriages, daily Instagram updates, and so on. We all talk about it, we all blog about it, we all feel sick about it, but the question is… Would you leave all of it behind?
Well, Brazilian artist Eduardo Marinho would - and he did. Just like the American Christopher McCandless, whose life inspired the movie Into the Wild, Eduardo left everything behind, including a great career, law school, and comfortable home; simply because he couldn’t find meaning in life. Instead of living to pursue the volatile dreams of society, he decided to pursue true happiness by having nothing. So, at the age of 19 Eduardo started a journey walking through Brazilian regions with no home, money or work.
After twenty years living in streets, a video of Eduardo talking about his journey and learnings went viral on Youtube (no subtitles, sorry!). Since then, he has been invited by universities and communities to share his experience. He often presents himself as “a plastic artist, writer and street philosopher”.
One of the best talks I’ve seen from Eduardo (with English subtitles, check it out!) is called “What reason cannot reach”. I could write about a bunch of lessons I was able to take from it, but I’d like to highlight what this talk has taught me about feminism.
1. The sensitive sabotage
As a beggar, Eduardo soon realized that in poor areas people’s lives are more led by intuition/feeling (markedly feminine) rather than by reason/thinking (markedly masculine). Why?
From his experience, Eduardo noticed that in poor communities people go through an educational sabotage, which compromises the development of their reason, but results in the development of their intuition. Similarly, people who have good educational opportunities have reason developed, but intuition contained — which according to him compromises the path to consciousness.
Thereby, Eduardo believes that if we want to live in a better world, then all of us must develop our feminine side — intuition, sensibility, tenderness, cooperation.
2. Two sides, same coin
Eduardo points out something very interesting : “feminine and masculine are not two separated entities. They live both within man and women”. This is something that Chinese philosophy can help us to figure out:
In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, “dark — bright”) describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. (The awesome Wikipedia)
Former Hermione Granger has some magic words for us, as well:
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. (Emma Watson’s speech on gender equality at the UN)
3. What reason cannot reach
In conclusion, we live in a male world, where male values prevail — and this has to change. It doesn’t mean that these values are not important, but they can’t reach everything. Feminism is rising not just as a gender movement for equality, but also as an urgent necessity for social, economic and spiritual balance in the world. I hope all of us realize it in time.