Monday, January 12, 2009
So I definately think that I and/or my grandmother would have been burned at the stake as witches, had we been born back in medieval times. Not that there's anything inherently evil about either of us (in my own opinion, which may or may not be a valid indicator in this instance). But back in those days women were tried/condemned for superfluous and mundane things, for example, knowing a little too much about herbs, medicines and cures for the sick, or having a spiteful neighbour who blamed you for the death of his cow, or being seen to look at the sky just before it rained. Whether the greater crime was being a little too smart for a woman, or just being different to those around you I'm not sure, but a trial where all paths lead to death is not a trial, its a condemnation. Why do I add my grandmother to this list of possible past history victims? Well, she was a smart woman, a nurse. She was always very interested in natural therapies, diet cures, eye exercises, writing, poetry, drama, reading, music and the like. Growing up my mother used to tell me that I was just like her, which I resented at the time, knowing her only as the lady who growled us whenever she saw us, which wasn't very often due to certain family circumstances which I won't relate here. I wish that I had gotten to know her better before she passed on. I studied chemistry at university because it seemed like a more practical and therefore better for me subject than the arts - english/philosophy/languages where I imagined I would have spend most of my time reading and daydreaming and accomplishing very little. Now I wonder if i would have been better off studying naturopathy or herbs or uses of plants in medicines or nutrition. It might have been more inspiring than the world of minute substances and chemicals. Mercifully for both my grandmother and I, we were born into the 20th century, not medieval witch hunt days, where women aren't outrightly punished for being intelligent and interested in natural cures. We were even born into the first country to grant that priviledged boon of voting to womenfolk. When I was at primary school, one of my friends insisted that I should have been born back in the old days. I'm not sure which old days she was referring to, but I'm glad I was born in this day and age, I like being allowed to do what I want.