In What the Body Remembers http://www.shaunasinghbaldwin.com/ReviewsWTBR.html by Indo-Canadian author, Shauna Singh Baldwin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shauna_Singh_Baldwin, a “sweet sweet good good girl” is what young girls are taught to strive for so they can become brides.
Are you guilty of perpetuating the “sweet sweet good good girl” persona in the women you care about?
This delightful book objectively delves into the complexities of Indian society in the 1930’s and 40’s.
This book is an engaging way to learn about a critical time in the formation of India and Pakistan, the fluctuating relationship of India’s 3 main religions from a woman’s perspective when women were still second class.
The body does not just remember the violence and humiliation of race and religion but also precarious fortune of females, who were mere possessions, valued for their agreeableness, usefulness and beauty.
But this is not a heroine’s story with men as the villains. Sardarji, a forty year old man, who marries a sixteen year old, Roop while still married to his first wife, Satya, is not simply caricatured as an insensitive brute. Heis a sophisticated kind man trying to fulfill his basic human desires as well as being the hope of a better world to come. Roop and/or Satya, women of different temperaments and backgrounds, are clearly neither victims or heroines.
The book also shows us how little things have really changed as politics and religions still divide us; even though the differences among us are really from a common source.
And while there is much change in the political and public perception of women, we still strive for standardized beauty but now with the help of science as in plastic surgery, injections and laser technology.
So instead of increase our wisdom and creating an authentic personalized beauty through achievement and awareness, we use our time, money and energy and even risk our health to satisfy the age old female desire to be “beautiful” in the male perspective.
And if we do not choose to be a standardized beauty, many of us still feel we need to be a male idealized partner that is useful with a pleasant personality, be a “sweet sweet good good girl”. As we become mothers many of us find our daughters have easily embrace this too. Much of which is not our doing.
While this urge to prepare ourselves to remain in a past role when most of us have never experienced being second class citizens, is disconcerting – as a Fifty almost Sixty year old - I find this karmic memory proof of reincarnation and therefore all the self improvement we strive for is beneficial in all of our lifetimes :)