mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, January 29, 2005

My Name is Cyndy, I Break Rules

In some sense this is going to be the 'about me' post I've never really wanted to write, but moreso, it stems from my own personal observations, experience, intuition, instinct and social indoctrination or lack thereof which have helped form my thought processes which I believe are innately different from male thought processes. I will also explore why I think I was personally attacked by women for voicing this opinion.

I break rules. It's my destiny. If I know the rules I'll find creative ways to break them. If I don't know the rules I'll probably break them unknowingly. Don't misunderstand, I don't go out of my way to break laws, stupid pot laws notwithstanding. Even when I was conceived I broke the rules. I know, it was a setup.

Because I broke the rules, I was put up for adoption. Don't present yourself inside a married woman if the sperm wasn't her husband's. Rule #1.

I pretty much followed rules as far as I know for the early part of childhood. I think I somewhat embarrassed my mom for being, as she would always introduce me, 'a bookworm', but I didn't care. I played with dolls and I played with cars in the dirt, building cities, just a kid. Normal enough. Most of the 'shoulds' were pretty general, 'be polite, study, keep your room clean.' I was friendly with both boys and girls, though the girl next door was a little snobby, too delicate, and didn't really want me around.

I broke a rule in the 5th grade. The teacher mused with my parents about what I would end up being when I grew up. Apparently the rule and the manner I broke it was not expected from a 5th grader. She thought it was creative. It seemed natural enough to me. Don't leave a future test sitting on the shelf right next to my desk if you don't want me to look at it. Of course I wanted to know what the questions were, and why not share the info with a couple of my friends? Oh, ok, that's why not.

Girl Scouts, camping, dance, music lessons, tv after school for an hour or so. Normal enough. My mom was beginning to act noticibly strange by the time I was eleven. When I was 12 she wanted me to enter a beauty pageant. I think that was in part to please an aunt who had moved to town and was herself a model. As far as I can recall this was the only overtly girlish thing my mom ever steered me toward. I entered it. No big deal. I won the 'friendship' award. That was the one award the other girls voted for, so it was a true honour to me.

Now a preadolescent with a psychotic mother, I tried drowning myself in books, I was reading Vonnegut, Huxley and Orwell and they tried their best to keep me away from her. I learned a bit about the dangers of blindly following rules from them.
There reached a point where I simply realised I didn't have to stay at home and continue to be humiliated by the hateful things my mom would do. I was 14 and I ran away from home.

I was a repeat offender. If I got caught I would simply leave again. I spent most of two years away from home, some of that time spent becoming street-wise. Ok then, a lot of that time becoming street-wise. I spent some of the time in San Diego and some in Norman, OK. When I was in Norman, simply being in a college town sparked my interest in school again. I decided to go back home and try to get an early admit to university. Yes, I was breaking more rules, but there was actually a process defining exactly how to break them. It was quite simple. I only had to get recommendations from my Jr high school advisor, (since I never went to high school) take a GED and pass the ACT.

You bet!Not yet 16, I sweated the math part of the ACT, but I squeaked by with the minimum required, an 18, at the time. In English I passed with a high enough score to opt to test out of Eng 111. This is the first basis I have besides my personal struggle with math in 8th grade telling me that my thought process in math was unlike that of the guys I knew. I was bright enough, I was motivated, yet there was something innate that prevented me from 'getting it', especially on my own, without instruction. That and the fact that I still added and subtracted by counting on my fingers. Hey, I still do, so stop fuc*ing laughing!

No I didn't graduate. I spent a year there studying philosophy and anthropology, and then, like many others at that time, wondered what I was doing, what job this was going to get me, why not just go get a job now? I won't even begin to go into where this new phase took me because I've already covered all the background noise leading to why I think I was personally attacked by women for voicing my opinion that men and women are innately different in their thinking processes.

I noticed that the response I got after writing about being personally attacked came from all males. Yes, one woman sent me an empathetic email, she knows who she is, thank you again. I almost feel as if I would be violating a rule if I wrote her name, and since it involves another person, that is a type of rule I refuse to break.

I mentioned in Harry's comments that I must have missed a feminist class.

Indeed, Aha moment!

I then mentioned the same 'feminist class' thought to Andy who suggested I look up 'social construction of gender.'

"Woman's space is not a field in which her bodily intentionality can be freely realized but an enclosure in which she feels herself positioned and by which she is confined. The "loose woman" violates these norms: her looseness is manifest not only in her morals, but in her manner of speech and quite literally in the free and easy way she moves."

Ahh Ha!

I missed some critical years. I missed a lot of social indoctrination. Age 14-18 are the years women find their gender identity. They figure out friendships. There are rules. Rules I never learned. I can still remember Andy asking me a few years ago why I had no close women friends. I still can't give him an answer but I'm closer to it. I never learned the rules. I really don't think I want to.

I rely on my 'nature', my 'intuition' but my social conditioning during those years came from the street where all rules are about survival. No one cares about social norms. Sure, women are exploited but it's raw exploitation. Refusing to disagree with someone 'refined' and visible such as Larry Summers was seen as exploitation of a type I'm still unable to define and not at all sure I wish to. I think I prefer being the 'loose' woman. I'll take the personal attacks now that I understand where they are coming from. It's all about highschool and I'm still happy I broke the rules to get out of there.
posted by Cyndy | link | | |


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