Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa (34 degrees south)
posted 5 years ago
I have also posted this piece under the "Projects' section. I hope the chicken people don't mind me putting it here as well.
The rooster is not competing with the hen when it crows. The hen is not competing with the rooster when it makes a nest, lay eggs and rears chicks. For the rooster to think it is better that the hen or the hen to think is better that the rooster is just a waste of thinking. I spend time watching chickens. I admit it. I get pleasure out of observing how they forage, how they chase the grasshoppers and scratch of bugs in the pasture. I see how they run for cover when a shadow passes overhead. I see how cocky the roosters are. I see how submissive the hens are. It is incredible to see a broody hen in absolute and resolute determination. It will not move from those eggs. She has the absolute strength of character to do what it takes. When the chicks are born, she will care for them to the point where she will attack a dog ten times her size or a human 20 times her size in order to protect her offspring. The rooster leads the hens. It will find food for them, call he will call them. Step back and allow them to eat the prized caterpillar he has found or the little snake that he has killed. The rooster will warn the hens of danger, sometime false alarms, sometimes real threats. He will make the rooster noises that mean “run for cover” and he will follow the hens in under the awning or the shade of a tree. The rooster is full of colour, bright dazzling feathers, a long sweeping tail and a mane of sorts around his neck. He has a red crown on his head that is his comb, and extravagant jowls that hang down like a beard. A rooster has two things on its find all the time: Fighting and fornicating. Even when it wakes up at three in the morning crowing at the top of its voice, it is thinking of fighting, or at very least trying to warn other roosters in the vicinity that he will fight them if they come any closer. Roosters are different to hens. They have a different energy. Rosters are almost the opposite of hens. They are poles apart. We find the similar polarity with bulls and cows. Dogs and bitches. Boars and sows. And you know what; our species is not magically exempt from the law. We too are divided into man and woman. Men have strong natural tendencies toward certain behaviours and women have strong natural tendencies toward certain behaviours. But, why am I taking time to point out such an obvious fact? Why am I taking time to dwell on something we all know? I suppose because the modern urban life that we have all grown up in has begun to send us mixed messages that have confused some of us. Our system has, since the sixties, at least begun to hint that men and woman are the same actually, and it’s just that they have become conditioned differently. The feminist movement all over the world is an essential mobilisation against oppression of people using a gender based philosophy. In the same way there has been an essential mobilisation against race and class based oppression. So it is very unpopular, even now, to begin to suggest that men are different to women; that they are not equal in every way. This is obviously because people generating arguments justifying inequality are very often trying to defend acts of oppression against the female part of the population.
What I am advocating is different to this and quite apart from the discussion of how to confront the oppression. What I am practicing in my own life, is an awareness of my own gender. My aim every day is to be conscious of my thoughts, habits and behaviours. Not necessarily to change them or feel guilt for them, but rather just to observe them, as a spectator almost, as a loving interested party. My attempt is not to measure my male thoughts and energy against some standard of correctness, but rather to try to feel that male energy more deeply. Every one of us, has inside us, some male energy and some female energy. After all, half of our genes come from a man and half come from a woman. Of course each of us, man or woman, is free to explore more of our male energy or more of our female energy. For me though, in my life, it makes sense for me to feel my “maleness”, to laugh at it when it comes up with silly suggestions, but to play along with it where is seems reasonable or fun. There is nothing in this approach that leads me to think that I am in competition with the women around me. There is nothing in this approach that causes me to believe that I am superior in any way to the women around me. There is nothing in this approach that causes me to want to go out and be oppressive to the women around me or to any other members of my species.
But I have seen in my own life, as I am sure that it is true in the lives of so many others, that I have caused myself pain and distress, when I have come to see my male energy as un-progressive and backward or felt guilty perhaps of the kinds of “boorish” ideas my boy brain may come up with. This censoring of self has lead, in my mind, to an exercise of will over passion, becoming polite, politically correct and sanitised in order to live up to a standard of “civilisedness”. This attempt to be polite and correct has in the past made me weak, it has made me ill; it has made me to withdraw and become depressed. I will have it no more in my life. The rooster does not feel guilt for his rooster thoughts and I would guess that the hens around him are more fully hens because of this mind-set that acknowledges Law of the Farm number 18: “Roosters will crow and hens will make nests”
Good read! I too enjoy watching my chickens. And listening to them. It's one of the best parts of working outside and doing outside projects. Curious chickens and their chatter!
I also agree with a lot of what you said.
Males and Females aren't equal in every way but we are equal in our ways. Life, and Nature, is about balance and what one sex (or individual or ecosystem or cycle...etc) lacks, another will make up for, thus equalizing and balancing the two. Or three or four.
Endless Prairies resident.
Currently home of... 8 bovines, 1 equine, 5 feline, 2 canine and numerous poultry.
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