I have a problem with a woman. A particular one. And getting worse.
For the past thirty years, Emma Bovary has come daily to my medical office. She sits down at the opposite side of my desk, looks me straight in the eye and starts her talk with the exact same words: “I am emotionally frustrated.” Even in our hyper-connected age, she still cannot get her message through.
As the tragic trifecta of memory, loving and the passing of time relentlessly gnaws at her soul, she has been nagging me to transcribe her deep concerns. The Spanish language differentiates between the “escritor”—someone that writes inspired by elevated thoughts and feelings—and the “escribidor”—a clandestine agent that struggles with words and sinks in dark undercurrents. I am Emma’s escribidor—squabbling with muses and fighting with demons.
When I read the review of “Gett: The trial of Viviane Ansalem” in the New York Times I had the impression that Emma’s anguish was being re-enacted in a Kafkian environment. A Jewish woman is not allowed to divorce her pious husband because the rabbinical court does not grant her the needed release from her vows (the gett). Religious authorities do not pay heed to her complaint: she has had an unhappy marriage and wants out.
As Ronit Elkabetz turns her porcelain face—framed by an impossibly dark hair—sideways, she directs her implacable gaze at the theatre’s fourth wall. She is looking at us and demanding an answer. “Why are you doing this?”
Society’s institutions, designed by and for men over the centuries, have been persistently, unabashedly ignoring women’s complex emotional frustrations. It’s not only about sex. It’s not only about money. It’s not only about career.
Paradoxically when we tried to find material over the subject in the web, we got a paltry return of loosely connected articles that do not address the issue.
Is there some kind of conspiracy to conceal the real extent of this disease?
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.