Michaelangelo famously said he didn’t sculpt figures, he simply scraped away the marble that engulfed the figures already in existence, hidden inside the marble.
If there is anything essential about people, it is hidden inside the scaly accretion of conditioning. We think we are this construction, this inflexible thing pinned and penned in by definite definitions of status, race, gender, class, societal expectation, correct behaviour and on and on.
Even before birth we are impressed upon by forces outside us. External people, circumstances and events apply pressure to which we respond like clay to the pressure of thumbs. We become what we are made. Our opinions, desires, preferences, judgements become those of the herd. We are hardly alive, hardly self-determining.
Yet it is possible, once we identify that our identity is a prison fitted for us by others, to begin the task of deconstruction. What will we find? I’m astonished when I encounter people who don’t care, who are content to be the illusion and not the substance. How can anyone’s curiousity not be aroused by the challenge of finding one’s true self, or if not that, at least truth, or if not that, at least something real?
Thus the title of this blog — a sledgehammer and a crowbar are the necessary tools to break up human constructions.
The wielder of these tools is an author, a former college educator, a philosopher and a feminist. Analysis is my business.