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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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First things first: generally, people shatter me with their kindness.
They really do. From the woman who once gave me a lift back to campus from West Hartford Center to the lovely person who keeps sending me virtual gifts on my other account when I'm feeling especially down. It's the little things. There's a reason for that expression, although the little things are normally quite big.

And on the flip-side, there are things like this. If you're a woman, you will have experienced this at some point in your life, probably repeatedly. And you will have probably wondered why it keeps happening, and why the perpetrators don't seem to get that it hurts.

(Today, I'm struck by the cruel and wonderful strangeness of this world.)

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Thanks for linking to that post. It puts a lot of things into words I should have liked to be able to express so clearly myself, and haven't been able to.

In a way it makes life easier, being asexual/suisexual: I do not identify as part of the I-must-do-this/not-do-that/wear-this/not-wear-that-in-order-to-get-laid faction of humanity. I am still subject to misogyny simply because I exist, but at least it is not directly standing in the way of my personal path to love and relationships.

It's strange: even when you're someone who refuses to play by their rules, these attitudes can still make your life difficult.

Oh, what a great website. Thanks!

the cruel and wonderful strangeness of this world

That's it, isn't it...

Oh that post. Yes.. Cruel and wonderful strangeness indeed.

I love the fact that there are so many intelligent, articulate people out there. They do well by all of us who would wish to express such sentiments, but don't quite have the knack.

Wow, thanks for that link. I want to send it to the world.

So do I. I'll make do with broadcasting it so people can pass it along!

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Actually, I don't really look at this as a post about an -ism. She does such a good job of cutting to the chase, of actually talking about the issues rather than about feminism itself. I'm quite impressed.

Thanks for the link. If enough people talk about this, long enough, maybe it will prompt some to re-think their unconscious assumptions and look at the world through different lenses.

Indeed. We can dream! And be trustworthy, as she asks.

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I know you do, honey - I see you post about it, and it makes me sick. I know you. I know you don't dress in the way your mother's implying you do. These guys will do what they do no matter how you're dressed; I even have the occasional day, probably once a week or every other, where I'm walking into town dressed the way I always dress - namely, in 3/4-length denim shorts or full-length jeans, with a short-sleeved shirt or a fairly normal tank top, and somebody driving by will whistle or say something rude. And maybe it's not just for me; maybe it's for all of the women on my side of the street. It probably is. And I can guarantee you that most of us aren't dressed in a manner that would be classed as provocative. But why should the way we're dressed even be classed? We have the right to dress as we see fit.

Some human beings will always feel the need to do this to other human beings. And it's demeaning. And wrong *hugs*

Edited at 2009-08-28 02:24 am (UTC)

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Even if you were topless you shouldn't have to deal with that bullshit. I mean, men get to walk down the street topless without dealing with that bullshit, right?

I'm so happy for you!

It will always make me sad that growing boobs meant I could no longer go topless. If the social stigma and reprocussions wouldn't make it impossible, I think I really would just have a double mammectomy and feel so much better. But that's not the way the world worlds.

[And yeah, I know, it would probably be better if I didn't have to feel that way about my boobs, but believe me, the issue with my boobs is a complex one that doesn't need going into right now.]

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What's even more frustrating, is when women internalise the same attitudes, reassuring the world they're not among those angry feminists: 'I'm not a fanatic, I'm not hysterical, I'm not aggressive.' I can see why they do it, of course; it's easier to play along with society's rules than standing up to them. Still, it's depressing...

Thanks for the link -- it's a great post.

My mother spent a good number of years being told she was hysterical and crazy. I've seen firsthand how destructive it is. Fortunately, I've never been treated like this by male family members, although God knows what some of them may have said or still say behind my back...

You're welcome. Pass it on!

Heh, this is what I intended and forgot to add to my comment. So many women are just as angry at me for standing up against inequalities (not just of gender) and not keepign teh peace as men are. It exhausts me. No, I'm not just making a fuss over nothing - I wouldn't put myself through that unless I'd thought about it and felt it was really, really important, I don't understand other women who see my attitudes as thoughtlessly feminist, as though I were just brainwashed or following a trend. This is not what the popular kids are doing.

The post articulates very well, I think, the nuts and bolts of why women all too often have the right to be upset - the why, as it were, or at least some of the why. There's a lot more than can reasonably be discussed in a post of that job, but damn, if she doesn't do a good job at breaking the ice with a nice, concise stab.

Oh, absolutely - it's a wonderful post.

Thanks for sharing the link, Adrienne. It is a very intelligent read.

I found it via seajules. And now at least a dozen more people will be posting it, I'm sure, which is the intent!

(You're welcome.)

Thank you so much for linking me to this. I wish I could withstand the reaction I would get if I posted it to my own journal. I can't, but I would love to do that. The mistrust and exhaustion she writes of speak volumes to me. This is a large part of the reason I find it so hard to find a partner: experience has made it very hard to trust, and I cannot put up with these things the way many people seem to do, and, indeed, to not mind doing. But I couldn't have a partner I couldn't know would not leave me exposed to that.

My loss, I'm sure people will think: I'm too prickly and I should be less serious. Yes, it is my loss. I, personally, don't think it should have to be, but it is. Yes, if I could be less prickly and serious about it life would probably be easier for me. If I fitted the feminine stereotype in my likes and dislikes and personality, it would be easier for me. But I don't. There's not necessarily anything wrong with possessing those other likes, dislikes, personality traits etc., but I don't. And it's not just that I stubbornly don't want to give up my seriousness and prickly attitude. It's not just that I feel I shouldn't have to 'ease up' on things like this, although I do. I don't think I could. I shouldn't have to and I couldn't.

So I'm left finding it difficult to trust, and I'm alone to endure the whips and scorns of life.

It's such a relief to read someone who shares these feelings, and articulates them so much better than I ever could, and who still has the strength to put herself out there and say those things in such a public fashion.

Do you mean that your journal readers would react negatively to this? That, in and of itself, is a very worrying thought :(

I know what you mean, though: I'm not Little Miss Sunshine, either. I never have been, and I never will be. We catch a lot of grief for not being perfect, sparkly little angels. Well, screw that: I have better things to do and worry about!

Yes, I think quite a few of them would; women as much as men. And it exhausts me having to deal with the fall out even on the odd occasions I post much more mildly worded and limited complaints about the wearying prejudice of life. And as she says: I love my friends. They wouldn't be my friends if I didn't. I know a great many very liberally minded people; but there's a reason I don't talk about Issues on my journal. Even on the rare occasions when I carefully filter and word a post to vent something that really bothers me, I discover that someone I trusted to understand doesn't. And the fact that I can't deal with the emotional fallout of internet arguments on emotional issues is interpreted as feminazism or simply not wanting to hear people's opinions when they don't agree with every word I say. Even in replying to you I'm worried that someone (general, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular) on our shared flist will react negatively to something I'm saying.

It's like she says: those enlightened, intelligent men (and women who don't mind) who are still somehow oblivious to the pain you are talking about, or who don't hear what you're saying, but only what they think you will say. People who get angry because I can't just pretend that x assumption or joke is OK because it's a socially accepted prejudice, and I'm expected to let that one slide for the sake of the peace, because everybody knows that it's 'just' a generalisation and nobody really means it.

I don't know where you get your strength to carry on strongly and not worry about such reactions. I used to be able to, but I was angry all the time, and I had a lot else wrong besides. I do have better things to worry about, but still haven't mastered setting worries aside without closing myself off completely. I've been the otehr extreme; I don't know hwo to be the middle ground.

Wonderful post, and a lot of very encouraging comments. I almost said uplifting, but that's not quite right. Except it is uplifting in the sense of knowing there are a lot of people in the same boat, eh? Shall be checking out that blog in the future, so thank you again for sharing. :o)

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