Breaking our of your corset (metaphor warning) is about breaking our of your socially imposed neurosis. A neurosis is (in my use) inconsistencies in your nature or a double-bind where no matter string you pull, you cannot untie the corset.
We have personal neurosis created by our personal history and we have social neurosis created by our social history. Our neurosis is layered like Russian Nesting Dolls. You get free of one and you find yourself in a greater one. The problem is that the only normal we have to aspire to is the neurosis of our society. We are still tied up in a corset.
The Marvelous Ms. Maisel is a TV show, but it is also a metaphor for the w to be free from the Corset that ties you up. This metaphorical corset is a double-bind because a woman needs a man or someone else behind her to untie her. The function of the corset is to hold your natural body in artificially and to make you dependent upon someone else to get temporarily free at home.
Ms. Maisel is about a historical time (the 50s) and a Jewish culture where women were dependent upon the father or husband for their foreign policy decisions. The purpose of a female in this corset was to attract a powerful male, a provider. In the 50s, women dressed like flowers and men were the bees.
If a woman could not attract a decent male and hold him, she was a failure. She was the virgin who attracted the wild unicorn to her garden and chained him to the tree. The game became the unicorn pulling at the chain and the female (no longer a virgin) enhancing her powers of attraction through cosmetics. Ms. Maisel works in the cosmetic department in a grand store. She has been keeping her secret life as a stand up comic a secret. Her secret sin. It is through secret sin that we keep our corset and break free at the same time. But we always get found out and exposed. Then what?
OK, we have our working metaphor for today, our Zen Fit if you will. My purpose is to keep working with this metaphor of The Corset to spread it out, to find the understanding tied up in the corset that binds us.
What the metaphor reveals through Ms. Maisel is that you have to work with the corset that life gives you. You work with the body you have, not the one you wish you had. You work with the neurosis of inconsistencies in your nature that you have, not the person you wish or imagine you were if you moved or took yoga.
You work with the corset you have, which means you wear it joyously in public, without embarrassment, without shame. It is the fear of what people think that ties us in a corset. The only way to be a fearless mind is to accept as if choosing the corset. We choose the corset. We welcome the corset. When we embrace the corset, there is no option to be other than the corset. Do you see that?
The pain of the corset is created by resisting the corset. The hurt in the corset is in wishing I didn’t have to wear the corset. People with disabilities are free from the pain of the disability when they choose the disability. A disability is only a disability when you don’t want it, when you have an imaginary alternative.
When there is No Option, you are free. But here’s the irony. In the 50s women had no option but to wear the corset that ties up their nature into a social role. In the 60s women began to experiment with living without the corset. This is not the way of Ms. Maisel.
Her foil and manager rejects her femininity. She refuses to accept the social definition of the femininity of her culture. So with Ms. Maisel, she both embraces her given social corset, but at the same time finds freedom from the corset through joyous irony. She goes to the cross of the corset willingly, joyously, and in this way becomes a liberator through the laughter of our universal corset, the one we all feel in our own unique way.
Ms. Maisel reminds me of the movie The Shape of Water as both are a cultural capsule of the 50s, which I would say is the decade that is the mother of our society now. The cracks in that 50’s Egg is still sending shock waves through our culture. We are far enough away from the 50s that we can see the culture as if it were a fishbowl on our table. We can see its shape from the outside. But we cannot see the shape of our own current fishbowl until we get a few more decades of distance. I don’t think it will take too long, however, for us to see the shape of the Trump Fishbowl. Humans cannot see their own cultural fishbowl, but when they do, that’s Zen. When you see the double-bind you are trapped in, all you can do is laugh. That releases its pain.