Born Beautiful, Rachel's Story #02bySusanJillParker©
Baravian Alps and beer, life in Munich, Germany, change is in the air and everywhere
'Twas a dark and troubled time in Munich, Germany in the summer of 1860. With Richard Wagner composing his music as background to the times as if men were marching to keep beat to the change, the low thump, thump, thumping sound of his tuba mimicked man against machine with machine winning. Even the music that reflected the times was dark, turbulent, and angry. With the city air filled with coal dust, with the stench of people who didn't regularly bathe, and with drunks sleeping it off on every corner, a time of ominous foreboding, of doom, and uncertainty, 'twas a time of anger, rage, and violence fueled by beer, beer, and more beer. If Charles Dickens was born German instead of English, he would have written the ominous backdrop to this story.
"Please, sir, I want some more," said Dickens' character, Oliver Twist in Oliver Twist. Only, Rachel has had quite enough; she didn't want or need any more of her father's and brother's sexual abuse.
Back then with all the violence and bloodshed, the Oktoberfest could have been called the German blood fest. With gay King Ludwig II in control and his insane brother, Otto, running interference, 'twas a time just after the German revolution. Except for the wealthy factory owners, no one but the rich aristocracy was happy. After more than one hundred and fifty years later, some things remain the same. Some things never change and the middle class, even today, is still downtrodden, poor, and angry.
"Long live the King!"
* * * * *
"Please, stop Hugo. I beg you! Why are you punishing me? Whatever I did, I'm sorry. I don't deserve to be so abused," said Olga. "I'm sorry for whatever I did to deserve your punishment. I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. Please forgive me. I won't do it again. I promise," she said looking up at her husband with sincerity and remorse. "Please untie me. I can't even stand I'm so very tired. I'm sore and I hurt. I just want to go back to my bed. Please, I beg you to stop this and untie me."
* * * * *
German men wanted a constitution. German men wanted to have rights. German men, no matter ranking or standing, wanted to be equals in the eyes of the law. As France and the United States had their Bill of Rights, German men wanted a Declaration of the Rights of German People too. Oddly, with women not part of the bill of rights equation and with women having no rights at all, not even to vote, even after the Declaration of the Rights of German People was passed, it was oxymoronic that men inserted the word people instead of just naming men.
In the way they treated their women back then, they should have named their bill of rights the Declaration of the Rights of German Men. After the German Revolution created even more change with even more uncertainty, the age of unification unified Germany's patchwork of states. With everything changing and nothing remaining the same, these were modern times after all. The last thing that men needed was trouble from the one constant they could count on not to change, their women. Afraid, obedient, respectful, submissive, and disinterested about all things social, economic, and political, they liked their women kept in the dark. They liked their women just the way they were. Whether woman or man, God forbid the person who tried to change their women. Secluded on his farm miles from the main road, not even allowed to accompany him to town, God forbid the person who even talked to this farmer's wife and/or daughter.
"Women! Women! Women! Leave our women alone."
Only, tired of living in a man's world without having any rights, women were the ones who wanted change. Women were tired of being silent, obedient, respectful, submissive, and disinterested in all things social, economic, and political. No longer did they want to be kept in the dark. No longer did they want to be silent and/or silenced. They wanted to be heard. They wanted to vote. With having no rights at all, women were the ones with the most to gain. Knowing that they'd soon have their own little revolution too, women were the ones who instigated their men to revolt. As if caged animals waiting to be let loose, pushing their personal agendas along behind the rage of their drunken and abusive husbands but for different reasons, behind every bad, drunken, and abusive man was a conniving, deceitful, and treacherous woman. With the tempest in a teapot steaming before boiling emotions to overflow, these were troubled times indeed.
"Women, women, women, watch out for the women."
Steadfast and strong, women were always there in the background to help their men, support their men, and love their men. Unbeknownst to men nor would they ever even admit to the importance of women for fear they'd be perceived as being weak if giving women the credit they deserved, men were nothing without their women cooking their food, cleaning their houses, caring for them and their children, and relinquishing their bodies to them. Unfortunately, adding to the trouble of the times, a slow burn that suddenly erupted into a volcanic inferno and the one, last piece of unrest that sent everything else in panicked commotion and disruptive chaos were women.
'Twas a time that the equality of women and women's rights took center stage by giving faces and names to the suffragettes. 'Twas a time of marches, demonstrations, and protests. 'Twas a time that freedom and equality pitted men against women. No longer willing to suffer alone behind closed doors, protesting, angry women filled the city streets with their signs, placards, and hatred for how men mistreated them, disrespected them, and physically, sexually, and emotionally abused them.
Unlike those pussy whipped Brits and Americans, German men would never tolerate their woman embarrassing them and/or allow them to bring them shame with all of this equal rights nonsense. Instead of equality, what they needed was discipline. Instead of women's rights, what they needed was a good beating. Instead of using their mouths to voice their opinions and shout their equal rights slogans, the only time that men wanted to see women's mouths open was to eat their food and suck their cocks.
"Men! Men! Men!"
With their public demonstrations and protests, with their placards and signs, and with their heated words, mottos, and slogans adding to men's frustrations, women wanted things to change too. With both men and women beaten down and with both men and women wanting the same thing, equality, men weren't ready to submit to the demands of women, especially after having been forced to submit to everything and everyone else. Besides, why should men relent to women when no one, not the king, not the church, not the state, and not their employers, were relenting to their demands of them not wanting change?
"How dare they!"
Heard over the thumping sound of Wagner's tuba, heard even over the final crescendo of the entire German Symphony orchestra, and heard even over the unmuffled booming beat of machines, the annoying, high pitched, and insufferably demanding voices of women made men unable to think while enjoying their beer. 'Twas a time that women not only confounded men but also made them angry. As if suddenly women were a horse that wouldn't listen or a dog that wouldn't obey, 'twas a troubling time indeed for men.
"Indeed, how dare they!"
"Oh no! No way! Equality my ass. Women's rights will never happen. Not in my lifetime and not in my motherland," said one man to the other man while drinking copious amounts of beer.
Finally done drinking while riling against the system and helpless to make a change, they fell out in the street drunk and singing military songs of the revolution on their way home to beat and abuse their women.
"Women! Women! Women!"
* * * * *
"Please untie me Hugo! I beg you. I'm sorry for whatever it was I did. My wrists are bleeding, my back hurts, and I can't stand anymore," said 35-year-old Olga looking up at her 45-year-old husband with fear. "I'll be good. I'll give you the respect that you deserve. I'll obey always and forever without question and without complaint. I promise I will, only untie me please." She looked to her 20-year-old son, Karl, for help. "Help Mommy Karl. Please untie me. Don't allow Daddy to hurt Mommy anymore," she said crying. "Please Karl, I beg you."
* * * * *
Beginning in the late 1840's when everything else was changing and seemingly all at the same time, knowing the time was right and seizing the opportunity, women wanted change too. Having already suffered enough abuse and disrespect, women didn't want things to remain the same. Men were unable to have any peace from being under the thumb of their king. They didn't have any input from the changes happening at work. With factory owners displacing men in favor of machines, men were made to feel unappreciated, unimportant, and powerless. Ironically, with all the changes taking place that emasculated and belittled them, men were made to feel much like the women they used, abused, and disrespected.
Continuing from the workplace to their place of worship, they were even made to feel guilty in church for not conforming to the modern day changes when the church never easily conformed to changes either. When what was happening to German men were major changes in their lives and to their lifestyles, it took a meeting of Cardinals in Vatican City and endless masses with nonstop praying from priests, nuns, and worshippers, along with a Papal degree for the church to change their position on even the smallest of things. With the men of the times feeling beaten down and broken, especially now when not even able to control their own women, what else were they to do other than to drink more beer and beat their women into submission? God help them as these were troubled times indeed.
* * * * *
"Karl, talk some sense in your father. Untie Mommy." Olga looked to her son for help. "Please help me. I beg you. I'm so tired. I'm so dizzy. I can't even stand."
"How dare you look at your son instead of looking at me," said Hugo in a rage.
He slapped his wife hard across her face and left the imprint of his meaty hand and fat fingers on her cheek as if she was cattle and had just been branded by him.
* * * * *
Women held back and refused to give men what they wanted, sex, sex, and more sex, until and unless they relented to their demands of equality. Risking more abuse and willing to take the chance of being beaten again, this time for the sake of equality and freedom, women whispered their demands in their husbands' and boyfriends' ears at night. They wanted something that men were born to have and something that men weren't ready to give. The God given right to have, they wanted what men had, what only men could have, and what only men could give them.
They wanted equal rights. They wanted power. They wanted influence. They wanted freedom. Ready to give up beer before submitting to the demands of their beloved and abused women, as if that would ever happen, and before giving women equal rights, power, influence, and/or freedom, their one last bastion of control, men weren't ready to relinquish the power they held over their women.
"How dare they!"
In the way that many women died trying to protect themselves from the men who supposedly loved them, many men died trying to protect themselves and their jobs from something they couldn't protect themselves and stop from happening anyway. Trying to protect themselves from change, men wanted everything to remain the same. Even if they braced their bodies against the factory doors to keep them from opening wide enough to admit a machine, they couldn't block change. Even if they stopped one machine from being moved in and assembled by sabotaging it, they couldn't stop change. Even if they burned the factories down to the ground, the factory owners would rebuild them bigger, better, and with even more changes. No matter what they did and how much they riled against the system, they couldn't protect their jobs and their little lives from changing.
"Change! Change! Change! We don't want change! We want things to remain the same!"
As if trying to stop evolution with a revolution and as if trying to halt history with violence and bloodshed, change was inevitable. No matter what they did and what they said, they couldn't stop the machines from replacing them. No matter how much they raged against their king, they couldn't stop change. No matter how much they protested against the rich, powerful, and influential factory owners, they couldn't stop change. No matter how much they complained about the confining constrictions of the church, against the unfairness of their state, and against their demanding and unhappy women, change was here to stay. No matter how much they talked about social, economic, and political changes, and no matter how much beer they drank, change was still unavoidable. In the scheme of things with progress so much bigger than any army of angry, drunken, German men, and with machines faster, more efficient, and more profitable, no longer as needed, men were just an unnecessary afterthought that were used to complement, maintain, and repair their hated nemesis, the dreaded, noisy, smelly machine.
"Men! Men! Men! Leave us alone. We don't want machines. We don't want anything to change. We demand that everything remain the same."
The backbone, the voice, and the strength of Germany, their precious motherland, how could a mere machine replace a mighty man? How dare their king, their government, their church, the owners of their factories, and now their women dare change everything they've known all of their lives? How dare they! How could they! Why would they! Why should they submit to change?
Truly, there was a lot going on in such a short period of time. 'Twas a time just after the German Revolution, 'twas the time of the first Industrial Revolution merging with the advent of the second Industrial Revolution, and 'twas a time when women not only wanted to be heard but also wanted to be treated as equals. No uninformed, illiterate, drunken man was equipped to deal with any of that, never mind with all of that, happening at the same time. Overwhelmed, the only solace they found was drinking beer, beating their wives, and sexually assaulting their daughters. Especially when they found peace in their homes, comfort in their barns, and contentment while on their land, what else were they supposed to do? Some things never change but if it was left to the women to take control, they'd make sweeping changes right now and forever.
"How dare they change anything! How dare they change everything! Women! Women! Women! Women will always be dependent upon and submissive to the will and the whimsy of men. Men! Men! Men! Men will always be better than a machine and women will never be the equal of men."
Even with women demanding changes too, the one thing that remained the same and the one thing that men could count on not changing was their beer. Thank God their beer never changed. God forbid the man or machine that tampered with their Bocks, their Doppel Bocks, their Pilsners, their Helles, their Maibocks, their Kolsches, their Alts, their lagers, or their beers. In an era of change, beer was the last familiar thing that men had left.
"Beer! Beer! Beer! Gott sei Dank!" Thank God they said in German that no one tampered with and changed their beer.
Their beers remained the same. Why not? Why wouldn't they? Their fathers, their grandfathers, and their great grandfathers, having perfected the formula over centuries, brewed it right the first time and brewed it right there in Germany by hand and without the need of a stupid machine. Looking the same, smelling the same, and tasting the same, if they could count on one thing that stayed loyal to them, it was their German beers.
"Gott sei Dank! Prost! Prost! Prost!"
Indeed, the 1860's were hard times that would grow more difficult as the world quickly evolved from the dependency of men to the reliability of machines. A new sport of contests with drunken men pitted against newly invented machines sprouted up across the country at beer fests. Men were eager to show their strength and endurance while inventors wanted to demonstrate the technological superiority of their new mechanical inventions. With men, big men, strong men, and powerful men always losing to machines and with factory owners taking more notice of the machine than of the men and/or of the contest, etched in the stone cornerstones of new and more modern factories, the writing was on the wall. Change was here to stay.
'Twas a labor intensive time when most everything was made and assembled by hand instead of by machine. When large factories employed masses of bodies to do the work of one machine, citizens all over the world were reluctant to embrace anything new, especially modern, mechanical technology that would eventually put them out of work and out of a job. When one factory owner installed a machine, in their attempts to remain competitive, all the other factory owners scurried to install a machine too. The race for the latest technology and greatest machine soon followed and never stopped. Men were doomed and so were their women.
Fortunately or unfortunately, with not all factories able to afford a machine, with machines not yet totally reliable, with machines routinely breaking down, and with parts not readily available, there were still plenty of bugs in the system to allow men to temporarily return to the times of how things used to be. With some technology ahead of its time, it was difficult to find someone living in a small town possessing enough technical ability and mechanical sophistication to even service and maintain the machines. Only, out of their control and powerless to stop progress, those who lived then had no choice but to submit and go along with and adjust to whatever were the inevitable changes, just as we who live now must do the same.
"How dare they! They dared indeed to force change upon us!"
It was inevitable after all and there was nothing that any one man or a thousand men could do to stop it. With modern day social telecommunications not yet invented, mass medias that were necessary for people of one country or even one city to stay in touch with one another, most Germans were out of touch with what was happening with one another and what other changes were taking place in the world. Unless they came to town to buy supplies, those who lived on a farm were secluded, isolated, and aloof. They didn't like or trust those transients who lived in the city, people who rented a room and didn't have roots enough to own land and/or even have a family. Filled with rumor and hearsay instead of with factual information, without having CNN telling them what to think and what to believe, it was an uninformed time of suspicion, supposition, and speculation.
In the way that Christopher Columbus saw the world as flat, Germans, as did everyone else of that period, only saw what they could see in front of them. What they saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched was their reality. With the peasants unable to imagine anything out of their scope, most were unable to see the big picture. Germans weren't alone in their limited myopic viewpoints. Germans were no different in resisting the technological, social, political, religious, and economic global changes that were happening simultaneously around the world than were any other citizen of any other country.
* * * * *
"No! Please stop! I beg you to untie me! Dear God in Heaven, no! Please don't do this to me again, not after all that I've done for you. How dare you! How could you? No, not again. No! I can't take this anymore. Just kill me. Kill me. Kill me now. I'd rather be dead than to live another day with you," said Olga looking to her husband with begging eyes before looking to her son with sexual lust.