Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Just Not Rational

I was in class today, and my professor was talking about the Holocaust. In particular, he was talking about the wife of one of the men in charge of Auschwitz. He said that the wife had claimed that she knew nothing about what was going on, and had no idea of what her husband was in charge of. He wondered how on earth you could be unaware of this, and came to the conclusion that there is simply a part of women that is irrational.
I started thinking about this after I left the class, and I think maybe he's right and wrong at the same time. Women do have their irrational sides, but then again, everyone does. And how can we judge what is rational for one person or another? It's all based on our own personal world view, and perhaps there are a few other people out there who share our views, but all in all, it comes down to just what we think. So really, rationality is all relative.
Another thought occurred to me, in the same string. Perhaps that wife of that German officer was not irrational. In fact, perhaps she was completely rational, in her own way. She probably knew what was going on, for as my professor pointed out, how could you not, but she was probably ignoring it as best she could. Think about it: she has been married to this man for some undisclosed amount of time, most likely a few years at least; she has known him and loved him and seen all sides of him, or so she thinks; then, suddenly, she discovers that he has been doing the most horrible things to people, that he has become the devil to someone else's nightmare, and what is she supposed to do? Leave him? She probably still loves him. Tear her hair out? Go insane? Throw herself on a gun? She could only do the thing that seemed most rational to her: ignore it and try to move on with her life.
I'm not saying that this is for sure what she did, because obviously no one but her really knows, but this is where I'll put my money for the time being. Because really, we all do that. When there is a situation that is totally out of our control and that we know we can't deal with, we do what comes naturally, and possibly rationally, to us, and ignore it. It might not be what everyone else thinks is "rational" but then again they're in a whole different set of shoes, so they can't really pass judgement. Although, God love em, they will try. After all, we're only human.

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