Monday, March 18, 2024

Simply Great: A Post for Women's History Month

She was told she would never amount to anything. She weathered plagues, war and threats to her life. She was betrayed by the two men who should have loved her the most (her father and husband), and she was surrounded by corruption and a selfish Nobility, to name just a few problems, not to mention being a woman in a world that, at that time, belonged 100% to men. 

And even though giving in or running away from her troubles would have been the easiest solutions, Catherine the Great refused those options. She did not cower, hate or put her circumstances off on someone else. She took the highest crown her nation had, and became the only Empress in Russian history to ever be called The Great. She reminded all generations why she was alive and what destiny had laid out for her.

During my last year at University in 2023, my final class was modern European history, and I wrote a flawless term paper on Catherine the Great, an A+. The grade was so high that I could have not taken the final exam and still passed the class. My love for Catherine literally secured my degree, and it's something I will always hold dear. When people talk about who they would like to meet if they could go back in time, I always list at least Catherine, because we would have an awesome conversation and then, probably, amazing sex, as Catherine was known for her expressive sexual side. Equally important, not only was Catherine down to earth in this regard, she was also polyamorous, which is another natural part of human sexuality that is still shamed away by social norms.

To me, she embodies a lot of what a woman should still be today, which is strong, confident, and accepting of their sexual desires. In a world where women have been made so ashamed of their natural selves that they won't even acknowledge that a man is handsome or that they like him, Catherine is a liberating spirit that women desperately need. But I also think more and more women are waking up and breaking free of these anti-woman and anti-human norms. Not only are women and men both becoming more sexually open, but they are realizing that there's nothing wrong with being attracted to more than one person.

My wife once told me that I have a thing for strong female rulers, and that it's not a bad thing. But I think Catherine is my favorite above all those. She understood that life was made to live, and live to the fullest. All of her critiques and haters from back then are long dead and forgotten. Only she remains known, admired and still loved to this day. The lesson is to not care what other people think. They won't matter in years to come. What will matter is whether you lived the life you truly wanted. Love, sex and power were her hallmarks. She would have had none of them, however, if she had bowed to the exact same social norms that women still bow to in our own time. And the worst part is that social norms can become so ingrained that we think it's our own desire when it's nothing more than what we've been programmed to do.

In a broader sense, Catherine escaped the prison that so many are still confined to. I think Catherine would tell all of us that, inside ourselves, is the power to overcome and accomplish anything, if we are just brave enough to try. 

You can read my college paper on Catherine for free by clicking here.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.