men erupt, women shake
(originally posted 7/22/2012)
Apparently men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
Obviously this is a metaphor given that all of science seems to believe that both originated on Earth. What I find interesting is that this belief states that they are from rather than like. If this catchphrase had stated that men are like Mars then it could be extrapolated that Mars referred to the Roman god and not the planet itself.
This makes some sense given that Mars was the god of battle and the military and it’s easy to see the correlation between those and the traditional male roles in society.
Same with Venus. The Romans identified her with love, beauty and fertility.
But the best-selling book, and the movement that sprung up from it, clearly state that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
Perhaps there is more here than the superficial syntax error might indicate. Could there be something deeper… and more sinister at work?
The planet Venus is the only planet in the solar system to rotate clockwise and contrary to its own orbit around the sun. Its atmosphere is a pressure-cooker and the dense clouds, made up primarily of sulfuric acid, are so thick it is impossible to see the surface. The average surface temperature is 847 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead.
I really don’t know where to begin with the comparisons to the female psyche.
Mars on the other hand rotates counterclockwise like all the other planets, has very little atmosphere to speak of (only 1 to 2% of Earth’s) and an average temperature of -81 degrees F.
Not quite the red angry little planet that most Romans imagined.
I guess it’s hard to draw conclusions about things that are so far removed from detailed study. They were forced, apparently, to make generalizations based on incomplete information that in turn resulted in their deities being inaccurate representations of the very things that they were supposed to stand for. The planet Venus would obviously make a much better warrior.
Or were the Romans trying to tell us something as well?
Perhaps we don’t give them enough credit. Perhaps they knew that Mars wasn’t full of mighty volcanoes spewing forth their hot payload. For any man that has ‘Pompeiid’ a female you know the imagery I’m going for. You know, looming above them in a Vesuvian fashion before erupting and all.
Ironically the surface of Venus would feel neither the volcanic ash nor the hot mud that swallowed up 20,000 people. Just another day on that overheated bitch.
Or is it ironic?
If it isn’t then that in and of itself might be considered ironic.
Turns out that 17 years before it was buried in an eruption the entire city was destroyed by an earthquake and needed to be completely rebuilt. I’ve always thought of an earthquake as a very ‘female’ natural disaster. The unseen forces below the surface working to shake and destroy anything that is not built on a solid foundation, with only a slight rumble as a warning. Maybe it’s the aftershocks that do it for me… like a lover’s leg trembling after her 7.8. Sure it lacks the climax of magma being shot high into the air, but you can’t argue about the efficiency of the end result.
So they rebuilt the city and less than a generation later is was destroyed by a volcano despite undoubtedly-numerous pleas to both Mars and Venus to protect them. I guess they misread their intentions as well as the planets dispositions. Men may have been from Mars and women from Venus but they were both suffocated to death by the ash just the same.
Perhaps an allegory for the emotional death of every Venus that ever witnessed one of the eruptions that in reality shouldn’t be what defines me and my masculinity but does just the same. I know it wasn’t the Romans who coined “she doth protest too much” but it certainly seems appropriate here.
I sit here rotating all red and angry-looking while you girls keep up the ruse that you are all about fertility when in reality the truth is you neither know or care if I am capable of the volcanic pyrotechnics that you don’t have the capacity to appreciate.
Is it any wonder that Venus does not have a moon?