An old saying states that behind every successful man is a woman who helped him. In Fogarassy’s experience, behind every successful woman is a slew of people and circumstances that tried to stop her.
The times they are a-changing, sang Bob Dylan, the Nobel Laureate rock legend. But for every member of a current power minority, which includes white men who are not invested in a standing entitlement as a birthright, the times are changing at a snail’s pace.
Like everyone, Fogarassy was born into a given situation at a particular time. She was born into a post-war communist Hungary and transported across Europe to a happy America. Her mother supported the family and as the only daughter during childhood, Fogarassy took up the domestic slack. Housework has been abhorrent to her ever since.
Combined with a fierce need to be independent, an intrinsic drive to express herself in words, a dogged insistence on honesty and a vulnerability due to the experience that high expectations would not be met, she has learned to be grateful for all the good that came her wa, which came in a bounty that enabled her to remain open to whatever life offered. That was particularly true when it came to love, the most status quo emotion among the vast majority of people not afflicted with hate, a destructive emotion also described by many as anger or rage.
According to child psychiatrist Margaret Mahler, all people start off as newborns who have no sense of self separate from that of the mother. Mahler theorizes that it takes three years for the child to become a truly separate person. During that process, development occurs by virtue of two drives. Boredom in the confining comfort of Mom rouses curiosity and causes the child to venture forth and reach for what it wants. When fear strikes, the child runs back to Mom until comforted enough to venture forth and indulge curiosity again.
Security and the urge to transcend limitations are two basic drives throughout life at every level from personal to social to global. They are the push and pull principles, the tension between entropy and enthalpy, the physical forces that impel an object to stay at rest until propelled into movement. With apologies to scientists for those gross characterizations, the principles pertain. Humans are filled with boundless energy that explodes when repressed or curtailed. When harnessed, that energy makes transformative art or transforms the world.
In the first two decades of the 21st century, the global world saw an enormous explosion of stored entropic energy into chaotic enthalpic action. A global pandemic raged to fuel social divides. Coups erupted and threatened in the most stable of the world’s near-200 countries. Autocracies kept an iron-fisted control over subjects while technology connected both the people hungering to go forward and those who wanted to stay with the well-known but stale world of the circumscribed past.
The status quo that was upended by the 9/11 attack on the US superpower pitted the western industrialized world against terrorists based in the Islamic east. The ensuing military-based mix of the two cultures opened an avenue for change. That was not in the direction of entropy or retreat to old methods but to enthalpy, the determination to have freedom, especially by those who’d had the least power.
By the 21st century, great strides were made in the western industrialized world to empower women. But women who grew up empowered by the circumstance of conflict as In much of the Islamic east, it was an affront to be deemed in need of empowerment. In the age of the internet, the women who went through a war protecting their children and taking up arms when husbands died knew there was support for them somewhere out in the world.
Men who knew they could rely on women to be their partners would never turn into the Taliban who had to steal wives to keep their way of life going along in entropy. Likewise, leaders at any level of government were secure only when they knew they were acting to move their people forward instead of keeping them suppressed into old ways.