Recently in Baku a new, three-volume work of the philosopher Rahman Badalov was published, “Man and Woman: Endless Transformations.” Meydan TV discussed some aspects of this work with the author.
– Rahman muallim (Az. teacher, sir), how did the idea of this book arise? In your post on Facebook, you noted that you have been working on it for five years.
– I started to write this book from my personal experience. Almost like a diary. And as a refrain again and again returned to the woman who became the main thing in my destiny, and who has long been dead.
As I wrote – for more than five years – I understood that my personal experience should be considered not only a lived life, but also a life in which books were read, movies watched, discussions had. My personal experience, both real and virtual, gradually began to turn into a book, the main leitmotif of which was the transformation of the roles of men and women. I wanted to share this with my readers.
I wanted to convince the reader that the roles of men and women in the world have changed dramatically, continue to change, will change in the future. The normative roles of men and women are a thing of the past, and now the main thing is what happens between a particular man and a particular woman. And between them should not be merely different [from what it used to be], but also free, not even excluding what the poets used to call the “emeralds of insanity”.
And I also wanted to continue that in Azerbaijan, too, the concept of A man and A woman is changing, will continue to change, despite the fact that in our heads the ideas of the patriarchy are tenacious. And while we are not free from its shackles, it is difficult to expect positive changes in our political, economic and social life.
– Numerous works have been written on this subject. What’s new about this subject in your book, how would you portray its main ideas?
– The book centers around the fact that it is difficult to predict what this new world of ours will look like; around the fact that the notions of man and woman are not set by nature; that these are simply taken for granted, or perhaps even cultural constructions that take on different meanings in different ages, in different cultures; that in Azerbaijan, as in the whole world, the meaning of these words is changing both man and woman, and vice versa.
But in our minds, above all, in the minds of men, the representations of the traditional society and the patriarchal family hold tenaciously, and these ideas force us to resist any changes. So we live in a gap between real life and conservative myths in our heads, not understanding why the misunderstandings between a man and a woman in today’s society is becoming ever more dramatic.
In my books I also focus on the fact that in Azerbaijan, some writers have, rather subconsciously, deep in the subcortex, felt the dramatic nature of these changes, and how that has affected their work.