Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included. – Karl Marx
Incidentally, Karl Marx and I share a birthday, May 5, born 159 years apart.
(Timed 20 minutes)
She pursed her full lips, then pressed her index finger against them, a wide silver ring at its base. Words of a foreign language spiraled her jewelry, spiraled against her mouth. When she did that gesture the world clamped shut. We knew what it meant. We were willing.
Her other hand she raised towards us, fingers deliberately flared. Then she pointed one in the air. Again all the fingers flared, again the single digit. We understood.
Hooded she remained in the “Silence” position, a mystery still since her arrival. An emissary she described herself as, but from where she wouldn’t say. All she wanted was an audience with Chancellor Merkel and Queen Noor, which was immediately granted. What she told each woman was incredible in its proposal and simplistic in its delivery. Her message was about shutting down established systems of power, of returning civilization to a community-focused one, of reintroducing matriarchal systems of governance to modern society. She was offering a means to regain control from the patriarchy, by shutting them down with a feather touch.
It was an excellent proposal. To coincide with existing traditions, she set the start time to sundown. It was easy then; everyone winding down from the day, busying with dinner, with gym visits, with clocking in at the second job. No one really notices a woman not speaking at night.
It is morning on Day One.
The bus driver does not speak.
The cashier does not speak.
The teacher does not speak.
The caregiver does not speak.
The newscaster does not speak.
The politician does not speak.
None of them do. For sixty days, the entire planet’s female population will not open its mouth other than to breathe and nourish oneself. Silent. Let the non-words sting the ears. Let the looks of protest steer the discomfort in the room. Let the heavy stares of noncompliance unravel the fragile nerves of those expecting to hear from their counterpart, their lover, their parent, their friend.
Nothing is more disarming than a woman’s silent treatment.
The counter to narcissism is silence. Pay attention, but pay no compliments. Pay no criticisms either. Just observe, then walk away. You want to watch a person become completely unglued, intentionally don’t talk to him. Be in his life, but utter no words.
At first, this will be considered a boon. Men who have the lust for dominion will feel like champions, shutting down the voices they don’t like to hear anyways. They’ll clap and cheer, they’ll high-five each other. A win they will celebrate. Day One, it’ll pass as a nonevent. Day Three they’ll suspect an end. Day Seven, they’ll be psychologically distraught. They’ll be confused: what would cause a woman to not speak at all? To me?
Psychologically, it takes him into a shadowy space. Disapproval. What are men without their constant reminders of approval? If he can’t get it from the one trusted beacon of light in his life, where can he get it? If his mother is not speaking to him, what about his girlfriends? His coworkers? His flirt buddies at the gym? If he can’t receive constant adoration from the feminine population, would he be able to obtain it from his masculine counterparts? Will he feel just as special, despite the global Silent Treatment? Can he stir up that sense of adoration like a single serving of coffee? Will it appeal in the same manner as that instant cup, prepackaged, with that predetermined measurement? Maybe for a little while. Just a little while.
You want to kill a narcissist? Look him deep in his eyes. Utter not a single word. See who breaks first. (Spoiler: not the woman).