Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Sunday, 19 April 2015


Two sides of the same coin?
In myth as well as in fictional tales, there are descriptions of women who are seductive, luring, with an ability to make things..."magical". They have such a power and charm that takes hold of your heart and soul. Some portrays are darker than others, a few have serpents to imply that she is just as cunning, as manipulative, whilst others are more luring and almost angelic. Which one fascinates me? And which one are you is a more important question...Our history is full of stories of  a succubus (a female demon or supernatural entity in folklore (traced back to medieval legend) that appears in dreams and takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. The male counterpart is the incubus. Religious traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or even death.)
Seduction is an art that can be taught (if you don't believe me watch a film set in the 17th Century Venice, Dangerous Beauty) A woman who can seduce, has so much power beyond imagination. It isn't that men are weak and stand no chance against a woman, but it is more that when a woman seduces; her mind and body are engaged. This makes her powerful, magical and more importantly, capable of what no man can do or think of. In Victorian times, the image of the woman who seduces men had more of a negative stigma attached to it and the focus was more on highlighting the "virginity" and purity of the female. A seducer would be a sorceress, a child of the darkness, cursed and shunned by society. But secretly, every Victorian man was looking for this woman behind the innocent faces. There was nothing in these innocent faces that enticed them, intrigued them enough to want to explore, nothing was luring.
In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urberville, we find that Tess' innocence did not really get her far. It never got her the man she really wanted and longed for. He, ironically, blamed her for being rapped by another man and thus, having lost her purity. But was purity what he was really after? Virgin, pure girl, inexperienced... or is the longing for what he cannot have? Or is it the idea of her having already experienced pleasure and having already crossed that bridge from being a girl to becoming a full woman that he couldn't tolerate and caused him to be indifferent. Why are societies, following in the foot steps of the Victorian and others, still highlighting the qualities of women that really gets them no where in life? Why are men after what they cannot have and once they have it, it is no longer of use to them? If I am magical, enchanting, passionate, fiery and powerful, will men find themselves unable to accept that with power and skill, there is passion and a kind of love that is like no other.

Enjoy listening to this song:
Miguel - How Many Drinks? (Lyrics)         

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