This term "real" (in the context you described) is immediately judgmental, dismissive, exclusive, and it's in such common use today.
Good, relevant post.
2012-07-30 06:04 am (UTC)
I actually like almost all vegetables....
This post is especially poignant tonight. My name is [..... -- I hope it's sufficient since this once I need to be truly anonymous] and I just had to tell my mother that, if she can't talk about at least one of the serious problems between us (she had a talk with my landlord that, in a very round-about way, led to my ending up with a fracture to my C2, which I was not just lucky to survive, but which, God willing, will let me transfer tomorrow from a cervical brace to simple physical therapy), that I won't ever be able to talk to her ever again.
Translation: mothers should not only never place their children in harms way, but if they do so inadvertently, they should also be able to apologize to their adult children if harm results.
As a result, I had to call a number of family members who might otherwise want to intervene to help us repair our relationship, to explain that, since we're both adults, we both need to bear the responsibility ourselves. It is not, after all, their fault. Period. Full stop.
So, you're absolutely right. No-one has to be perfect, because perfection is relative, at least in this world. What we do have to do is try our best -- and when we've done so, we have to protect ourselves and others we love from further harm.
I always thought it was strange that, of all the things we're told Christ faced on earth, the one thing he chose to get really mad about was how the money-changers in the Temple took advantage of the pilgrims. Now I understand -- it wasn't about the money, it was about the betrayal of trust.
Trust, once broken, takes a tremendous amount of work to repair -- and it requires a total commitment on both sides.
2012-07-30 01:15 pm (UTC)
Re: I actually like almost all vegetables....
Though I prefer non-anonymity for people who post here, you have made a clear case for it here. Thank you for your contribution.
My latest shock in this area is that, apparently, REAL SF authors don't mind ponying up increased dues to send John Scalzi on paid vacations.
I do so enjoy your posts.
Edited at 2012-07-31 09:55 pm (UTC)
2012-07-30 08:55 am (UTC)
Congratulations on another perceptive piece
This should be required reading for all of the legislators at both national and local level who ignore reality and retreat into narrow spiteful diatribes about their opponents.
Noe of us are perfect and society needs diversity not polemics.
Good post. But I'm not sure it's even about a demand for perfection, which is more the outcome of the need to be part of something. We know that humans are, by and large, social beasts, and many of them build their identity on their associations. Anything that challenges or threatens that association threatens their identity. The demand for perfection is simply a way of solidifying and protecting the self-image.
We all, to some degree, build our identity on the basis of our relationships--familial or friendly, co-worker, colleague in some other endeavor, enthusiast for this band or team or charity over another.
That far it's not a problem. When personal boundaries are healthy, even though we identify partly by label (Jill's husband/partner, Bill's dad/brother/uncle, member of this church, volunteer in that charity, fan of that team, that rock band, that sport) we are still (with healthy boundaries) able to perceive that the label is not ourselves. If someone disses the label ("The Cowboys--they're awful") I don't feel attacked personally. Even if they say "How could you POSSIBLY be a Cowboys fan?" Every team has fans; fans of other teams have varying amounts of attachment (some healthy, some not) to "their" team.
The problem comes when a person merges his/her identity so fully with an association that then--as you say--the demand for perfection in that association becomes essential in protecting the person's identity. The group is treated like an individual--the group must be exactly what that person needs, regardless of the reality of the other people in it, to "solidify and protect" the self-image of someone who has no separate one of his/her own. And it must be protected--the protective function of individual boundaries must now be merged and pushed out to surround them all, to exclude everything else.
(in two pieces because of LJ's insane insistence that even the account-owner can't write a comment over a certain length)
Every human tendency is natural to humans, but every human tendency can also go wrong, and in going wrong harm that individual and society. There's nothing wrong with eating. There's nothing wrong with sleeping. There's nothing wrong with a desire for sex, or a comfortable home, or friendship, or excitement...unless the desire is indulged to the point that it harms. Those first steps outside the society of the home, when a child finds that someone else out there can be fun, can give pleasure, can understand and comfort, can join in an interest...that's healthy.
But the other thing humans naturally desire, as infants, is for the world to revolve around them--for all their desires to be met by everyone. Infants need that--to be fed, wiped, comforted, played with. They demand, in those first weeks and months, what they want--and, at that stage need. But they need something they don't, initially, want (a resistence familiar to every parent.) Gradually, carefully, they need to learn that even though they are individuals--and as such can and should be treated with respect--so is everyone else. They need to develop their identity--their ability to stand just a little apart (but not too distantly apart)--so that they are not dependent on the total merging that requires demanding perfection. The ancient Greeks had a saying "The friend is another self."
A child's first close friend--that discovery that there is a rewarding relationship outside the family--is very important, and a good thing--but it's also the point at which a child's fragile grasp of healthy boundaries can first go awry. To have another self--that close a friendship--feels wonderful...but no two children (OK, identical twins at that age excepted) are really identical. There will be differences. Children need friends; it's good for them to have a close friend, a best friend...and it's good for the adults in their life to very tactfully and calmly preserve each child's differences while that intensity is at its height. They must learn that friendships change with time, that wanting to control the friendship, rather than enjoy its reality, is not a good thing. And some are slower to learn that than others, because of the individual differences we all have.
I still self-identify, in part, on the basis of associations--family the closest, then friends, then the organizations and people who affect my professional life (SFWA, Novelists,Inc, Del Rey, Baen, NightShade, Analog, my various editors) and my social life (the alto section, the choir, the church where I'm a member, the universities from which I have degrees, the other organizations I've been in, acquaintances...etc. But in all those situations I find others who are not me--not "other selves" in the merging/enmeshed way. Family members aren't like me--we share some things, and go our own way on others. (We listen to different music--on headphones so as not to interfere with each other. We go to different sites online. Our reading overlaps, but not completely. Someone in the house puts Worcestershire sauce on things I don't put it on, and two other someones in the family like catchup on their fries.) My closest don't agree with me 100%, choose different foods when we go out to lunch, like different colors, prefer different music. We have a lot of shared experiences in common, and we let each other be.
What I've learned (and boy, did it take a long time!) is not to get closely involved with people or groups that want to make me over into their "other self," who cannot tolerate the fact that I'm not a perfect fit to their mold. It's not healthy for me (and I will explode later, when the fit becomes too uncomfortable, so it's storing up a bad moment for them, too.) It's best to develop both healthy boundaries and varied relationships that are are also healthy, instead of surrendering to a steam-press sort of association. We all need places--relationships--in which we can relax and "be ourselves", be accepted--but in some places the price of acceptance is too high.
Indeed, and this is a great thing for people to understand as early as possible, so that they may enjoy their individuality and freedom of choice, and give others the same respect. It's nice to read such clear cut thoughts on the matter.
2012-07-30 01:01 pm (UTC)
Perfection? Not likely.
I take some comfort from Jesus coming to save sinners rather than to confirm those who judge themselves perfect. I am hardly perfect, never was, likely never will be. Insist on making up my own mind, based on the best (albeit non-perfect) data I can muster.
2012-07-30 02:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Perfection? Not likely.
Which is the best any of us can do.
I recognise this, for me it was being taught that there is always, always, a right way to do anything and one should find out that right way before trying to do anything new. I have struggled to learn that this is not true and still struggle to prevent the idea that I am not 'doing it right' stop me from doing things. I actually learnt how wrong the idea was from some of the kinds of group rigid groups you talk about.
Interetesting and thought provoking as are many of your posts, but not all you're not perfect ;-)
Snicker. Yup, the only way I'll be perfect is when I'm "perfectly" dead. The whole sock thing has taught me a lot this year. First socks--"real" knitters practically turn white with horror at the sight of them. Non-knitters "Wow!" My feet? "Ahhhhhh..." I could not have even started that pair of socks if I had not announced firmly to my perfectionist side at the get-go--You are blocked, you may not speak, while I learn this. There were moments of "But--But that's WRONG! You made as MISTAKE! And look THERE!" and I had made up my mind not to listen, just keep knitting, just keep trying them on, don't quit...
I am not perfect. I am a person who makes mistakes. I am a person who *usually* (I'm not perfect in that, either) learns from the mistakes and makes fewer as learning increases. But I was a person who made mistakes from the get-go, and whose innate response to "This is the right way to do X" was (expressed or not) "That's very interesting, but WHY is that way better than this other way...let's see now..." I realized a few months ago (from the sock project) that my way of approaching learning to make socks was exactly the way I approached learning to make things of Tinker-Toys as a child, and has been my consistent learning style for "how to" things (including writing books) ever since.
My mother, who was a careful teacher and had engineer-mind, very logical and step-by-step, was baffled and often annoyed by my combination of basic intelligence but determination to do it (whatever it was) on my own. She quickly decided that I should not have an Erector set, or dry cells, or a chemistry set to mess with, because I would inevitably do things that weren't in the directions. When told something was _dangerous_ (rather than "that won't work") and why it was dangerous, then I wouldn't do it. But "That won't work" or "just follow the directions" was a challenge to see if it was true that it wouldn't work (mixed results there) and find alternate ways to accomplish something (also mixed results.) I wanted to tinker, take things apart, figure out how they worked--and then put the bits together as something else. I did not want to maintain things (the class girl jobs: washing dishes, dusting, picking up, ironing, etc.) I wanted to MAKE things. I made stuff badly, quite often, because I tended to make something that sort of worked, and then go make something else. You can see how that leads, in a straight if very dashed line, to writing books.
2012-08-04 11:42 pm (UTC)
There are many ways....
My name is Karen (but I don't do anything livejournal considers important, so I'm anonymous to them :-D).
In what elves would consider a very short life, I've learned that there are many ways to skin a cat (not, being owned by two, that I would ever suggest such an enterprise -- even though one makes enough hair for me to spin into socks...).
The more pressing issue is that if the way you make socks works for you, that's the right way for you to make socks. I knit, crochet, tat, sew, and do an embarrassing number of girly things, but one of the smartest things I ever did was to get my ex to tell me he thought he was a better cook than I am (which criticism should always be answered by, "Yes, dear").
In other words, I am amazed and humbled that you've made socks that make your feet happy. If she loved you as much as you treasure her memory, I suspect your mother would have been too.
2012-08-05 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: There are many ways....
Thank you...I'm amazed and humbled that someone would say so.
2012-08-05 09:19 am (UTC)
Re: There are many ways....
If you are amazed, it is only as I believe every daughter should be. Mothers don't just give birth -- they give us life, and I hope I never outgrow the belief that the lives they give us are so precious that gratitude is the only correct response (even if our mothers weren't perfect). My mother wasn't, but she gave me the greatest gift possible -- a road to the belief in a higher power who thinks (I believe) that socks matter more than most people think.
One of my favorite pictures Mom had was a group of owls on a branch with the last one hanging upside down and the words "Pobody's Nerfect" above it. It made an impact - the idea that even though one was different that one was still accepted by the others.
Growing up, there was a lot of pressure in school to be part of the "cool crowd", be one of the "popular people", and to generally conform to the nebulous "average person" ideal. Already burdened with being the youngest and smartest of five children, I never fit into any of those groups. We moved too often and I had a hearing problem which made it extremely difficult for me to have any self-confidence.
Then, as an adult, I found out that I had been adopted at a seriously traumatic time. The resulting upheaval of everything I had believed about myself, who I was, where I came from, what my heritage was, caused me to redefine and evaluate who I wanted to be. So, I built up my image of myself and worked towards who I wanted to be as a person without any associations.
If I get introduced to someone (as I did a few months ago) as C's mother, I say "I have a name". My husband knows to introduce me by name as well as his wife. I am proud to be his wife and her mother but those are part of who I am, not who I wish to be identified as being. I do many things and have many skills but those are all part of me, they don't identify me.
A real person to me is someone who is breathing. My cats are real people and have very distinct personalities. A real man is someone with the X-Y chromosome pairs; a real woman therefore has the X-X chromosome pairs. A real Canadian is someone born in Canada or who has taken their citizenship oath. Ditto for any other country. A real (insert political party name here) is someone who believes in the party's goals and votes consistently for that party member.
We get conditioned from an early age to be accepted and it's hard to shake that conditioning. We absorb the views expressed around us without even being aware of it. Many adults refuse to believe that their views are a result of hearing the same opinions while growing up and are not really based on their own thoughts and opinions. It's hard to learn to think objectively. Often we need to see or experience something that shakes our worldview before we start questioning our belief in our view of the world.
The groups that solidify their views of what a Real ----- is are not people who believe in thinking objectively. They have their blinders on and anyone who doesn't match their concepts of Real and Perfect won't be listened to or considered as having anything of value to think about.
To them I say "Your loss" and leave with this comment. If I wanted a person who agreed with everything I think then I will get a clone made.
Ah but how rare thinking objectively seems to be, especially in public life. Drives me mad here in the UK that most politicians will assure you that they believe in 'evidence based policies', but of course if that evidence contradicts their political convictions it's just wrong. See the forced resignation of David Nutt after he had the temerity to say that some legal drugs were rather more damaging to society as a whole and even to individuals than most of the illegal ones. The fact that he had the evidence to back what he said was irrelevant, it didn't fit the War on Drugs story. Which rant has gone completely off personal objectivity.
I suppose I should commend the GOP, then, for openly saying they oppose evidence-based medicine (and some other evidence-based policies.) Usually they claim to disbelieve the evidence, but sometimes it's sheer cussedness.
"A real person to me is someone who is breathing. My cats are real people and have very distinct personalities. A real man is someone with the X-Y chromosome pairs; a real woman therefore has the X-X chromosome pairs. A real Canadian is someone born in Canada or who has taken their citizenship oath. Ditto for any other country. A real (insert political party name here) is someone who believes in the party's goals and votes consistently for that party member."
Oh dear. My friends Susan and Leia are real women in my eyes despite having been born male ... I'm a real [party name withheld, available on request] despite fundamental disagreement with the leadership, because I think they are my natural party and I'm a local constituency association official and work my guts out at election time.
And this is an example of a "not good enough" smackdown.
This is not a venue for holier-than-thou oneupmanship games.
Because of the way you did it, which was a put-down, not a brief educational statement.
The quoting, and the "Oh dear" were a way of singling out the person you intended to correct, and making it clear that in this particular situation you felt morally superior to that person, and that person's error (as you saw it) was sufficiently important to call for a public reprimand.
You could have said simply, "I consider transgendered persons to be real in the gender they themselves choose, as well." That would have been acceptable--non-judgmental, a very quiet reminder that for some people that definition wasn't broad enough.
It's possible that you did not intend the put-down, and simply followed a formula you've seen elsewhere, but the fact is, it was a put-down and you've been called on it. You've had a better--or at least more acceptable in this venue--alternative suggested as a model for future use.
My apologies, E., I did not mean to offend. I really am not holier than anybody.
Oops--I think you posted this while I was drafting the other. Apologies accepted. Everybody take a deep breath.
I have friends who are transgendered, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, and heterosexual. So I know a good mix of men and women.
I know that the dictionary defines a man or male as a person whose sex is capable of producing sperm. Likewise the definition of a woman or female involves being able to produce eggs. I don't know if a transgendered person can produce sperm or eggs. I never bothered asking and don't really care enough to know.
Yes, my trans friends are whatever gender they have changed over to. However, genetically, which is where reality exists, their chromosomes haven't changed. And, no matter how much a person changes their physical appearance, they remain essentially what their genetics made them. I know some very effeminate men who are not trans and are very much hetero and some very masculine women who are also not trans and very hetero.
In any regard, they are real people first and foremost. Their gender and sexuality are merely part of who they are. Doesn't change the definition though.
As for yourself, you don't state what your disagreement with your political leadership is about. So, for all I know, you agree with the party's goals but not how the leadership is trying to achieve them. I don't associate the leadership with the party's goals in my definition. The leadership can change frequently and is merely the group trying to achieve the goals. The goals define the party's philosophy and how the public perceives that party.
Anyway *smiles* if you wish to continue this discussion, feel free to PM me. I don't want to start a long discussion in Ms. Moon's LJ.
Good points. And I may (not today--gotta go vote, take a bike to the bicycle shop, etc.) open a thread for discussion of gender ID at some point.
My transgendered friend E-, now legally a female, is someone I accept as a woman, but with a difference neither of us can change: she did not grow up as a girl and lacks the formative experiences of being a girl in this culture (including all the worry about being made pregnant out of wedlock--a powerful force in identity formation when I was growing up.) I accept her as a person, and a "woman-now". We have nothing in common when it comes to childhood, puberty, adolescence, early adult life; the kind of woman she wants to be is not the kind of woman I am, or want to be.
And now I gotta run.
Perfection, I've come to understand- is at best an illusion, and at worst a fleeting moment that quickly gets mud or mustard on it. All relationships are dynamic, and herds and affinity groups are constantly changing.
This is what gives me comfort when someone tells me that I am not a real [insert in-group of the moment]. Yes, I'm real. So are you. We're all real, flawed, authentic human beings.
In the autism community (and in others I belong to, as well) there's a saying that if you meet one Aspie, you've met one. Even among that group there are differences, some dramatic. I've been told that I'm not a 'real' Aspergian because I am such a fluent communicator, or a 'real' albino because my hair is gold instead of white. Really? I'd like them to get inside my head and live for a few hours with the wonky vision and the sensorium turned up to eleventy. That's real.
In the end, I can only be mysself. I've learned that it's difficult to fit in- be it a church, class, or mind-set, so I don't bother any more. Oddly enough, that has caused my own accretion of interested folks- I call them 'Stray Brains'.
Perfection is boring.
I'm not sure I'd say all perfection is boring (Mary Lou Retton landing that 10 vault back in the day was--to me anyway--breathtaking.) But yes, I know what you mean...each of us can only be who we are, and trying to be something else just doesn't work. And a world full of clones...that would definitely be boring.
Was that the landing she did on the broken ankle? My father still talks about that.
I think so, yes. But 1984's a long way back for my aging memory.
Applause! I totally agree with this and couldn't have read it better.
My favorite was being told that I wasn't doing REAL physics, because REAL physics was particle physics. No other branch counted.
I would say "Oh, good grief!" but yes, that's the attitude I'm talking about. Little specialist (of something or other) more interested in being exactly positively right in every detail.
Things I was told at various times I wasn't a REAL of: woman, wife (not by my husband--other people), American, Texan, conservative, liberal, Democrat, feminist, veteran, Christian (because, to some, no Episcopalians are), Episcopalian, writer, artist, singer, photographer...and that's off the top of my head. I'm sure I can come up with more. Not quite in the same class, but annoying, was being told I didn't really like what I did like (was only pretending to like it for some nefarious reason), wasn't really interested in what I was interested in, didn't really dislike what I did dislike, and so on.
As a parent, I realized that adults routinely tell kids (as I was told) that they don't like/dislike what they do like/dislike, don't feel what they say they feel, don't want what they say they want. "Oh come on, you're not REALLY hungry/tired/needing to go pee again so soon/scared/etc." "Of COURSE you love Auntie Gertrude." "That doesn't really hurt, quit fussing." It's no wonder we grow up screwy. Having an autistic kid taught me very clearly that sensory perceptions are not alike and not negotiable. Behavior may be, but first comes (as it did one Sunday evening in Wales) acknowledging the reality of the kid's perception. "I know you don't like cheese. But this is all there is to eat. You don't have to eat the cheese; you do have to be polite to the people who shared the cheese. Either eat the cheese, or be hungry, because there's nothing else. It's your choice." He thought about it, then ate the cheese. Politely. Without grimacing or complaining. I learned not to say "Oh, that's not really bothering you" and call it "acting out" but to acknowledge: "Yes, that shirt tag is itching you. It's annoying when something itches you. I don't have scissors to cut it out here. I'll cut it out when we get home." Or let him wear the shirt inside out and glare at the people who started to tell me my kid had his shirt on inside out.
And I obviously shouldn't comment before I go to bed! I meant 'written' not 'read'.
As for my reaction to being told that, I did give the person in question the bewildered eye stare. There's usually a bit of a put down associated with the REAL jab. This I've noted is either out of envy, when pulling someone down to the level of the speaker, or snobbery, when the person is in the REAL demographic they list.
And it, too, bothers me when someone, tells me something doesn't hurt. Hello? Do they feel it? Everyone has different tolerances for pain and touch. I'd rather, "this is going to hurt, but it's necessary" than "this doesn't hurt, stop crying". I can really understand the autistic sensory. I have very low tolerance for things on my skin and some stuff just feel icky or itchy to the point of insane distraction.
2012-08-01 04:55 am (UTC)
One thing that people who think that everyone should think like them do not understand is how dangerous it is. I was a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara between 1968 and 1970. Smack in the middle of the anti-Viet Nam protests and riots.
One night I went out and watched the protests (sometimes everyone does stupid things and that was stupid). There were a bunch of people across a field from me gathering around the fenced-off Bank of America building near campus. They started out talking, progressed to yelling. By the time I left they were climbing the fence and tearing it down. I don't remember if it was the night that they burned it down, but they did eventually. I did however, watch as the people went from thinking for themselves to everyone in the crowd thinking exactly alike. What they did was go from being a group of people who agreed with each other to a mob. It was really scary.
To this day, my personal idea of a really evil person is someone who tries and succeeds in getting other people to think like them. It doesn't matter what the subject is.
Karen Hardin, whose mother took her out of that school and sent her to finish college at a smaller, quieter school.
My mother told me about watching a mob coalesce and become violent during the Depression--it scared her badly.
2012-08-05 06:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is very scary.
And I want to clarify what I meant about evil. It's the people who try to frighten others into believing what they believe or who tear down other people or groups based on what they are (as in all of those left-handed, nearsighted jerks are lazy, dirty, etc.) that really scare me. I don't have a problem with people who try to convince in a positive manner. BTW I'm left-handed and nearsighted.
In churches, it sends me back to being 10 years old and sitting in my great-aunts old-time Methodist church in the summer and the minister yelling about how the blood of Jesus was going to find you and punish you if you didn't do X or believe X. Scared me to death. I was raised Episcopalian.
If you aren't old enough to remember them, they were not air conditioned and they had woven fans in the pews with the hymnals that were donated by funeral parlors.
The churches I knew didn't have the woven fans, but "placard fans" with a picture on one side and a Bible verse on the other. Not air-conditioned, no. We went to a small, "low" Episcopal church that had one stained-glass window at the east end, over the altar, and the side windows were all pebbly glass that was golden when the sun hit it. The first air-conditioned church I went to was the big Baptist one, and the next to get AC were the Methodists--but I went there only for Vacation Bible School. It was only two blocks, or maybe three, from where my mother worked in the hardware store, but across the railroad tracks and "the highway." (All three lanes of it.) I wasn't allowed to cross the tracks or highway alone; my mother took me and picked me up. Later, I walked to and from high school across those tracks and that highway.
I've been thinking a lot and reading some about a related topic, which I call "purposeful ignorance." It is a willing blindness to information in order to support an otherwise unsupportable worldview. The application of "real (insert noun)" to people like themselves I believe is one of many tactics for avoiding evidence contrary to a worldview people cling to for emotional reasons, such as avoiding guilt at having a higher standard of living, or even just a lifestyle, at the expense of oppressed groups. I think James Baldwin wrote the best essays on willing blindness, or at least the best written essays about it.
That's certainly a factor in politics and in politically motivated ads. I just read something yesterday or the day before listing the petroleum industry's stated goals for changing peoples' minds about global warming--they had five or six points to get across and sure enough--that's what their politicians now spout and those politicians' followers and supporters now believe.
Most of the climate change "confusion" and denial you hear and see is directly following one of the points the petroleum industry wanted made.
2012-08-24 02:24 am (UTC)
I'm the same anonymous that likes vegetables
I know that you don't like people like me who won't give their names, and this thread seems to have borne, if you like, fruit, since I was the first Anon, and others followed.
What I wanted to say today (no slight on other Anons, who've added a lot!), is something I'm still not able to completely process:
On June 2nd, someone helping my neighbor to move threw me into a wall, and fractured my C2 in three places. I still have no idea of the name of my attacker.
I haven't been able to express either my joy of being alive or my pain fully -- even to the people I love best -- because it's so hard to simultaneously believe your life is miraculous (I would have died instantaneously, if a tiny fraction of the bone in any one place had decided to give) and to truly face the responsibility of believing that such an extraordinary circumstance (there's more to it, but even my Internist considers my continued life -- let alone my ability to dance where I have never been graceful -- is beyond his knowledge, understanding, or recognition.
I feel a bit like Paks, when her bones were made whole as Arvid watched -- and don't know the reason I was saved when science says it shouldn't have happened.
I also feel a bit like Paks, knowing that she was saved for a purpose, as (since I'm a Christian) I believe Christ rose from the dead for a reason -- I just had a lot more medical help.
The problem is that when the police arrived -- while I was concussed, at the call of my attacker -- they filed no charges. Since I left the hospital, I have been stonewalled in every manner possible -- from the police to attorneys, no-one wants to be involved in a lawsuit where the manager of an apartment complex agrees in her police statement with a violent man who almost killed a woman he barely knew.
I've been calling attorneys, and will continue to do so until the breath leaves my body. Since swords are so strongly discouraged in our society, the fact that I would have been better off holding a gun has not escaped me, but that's not an issue for me to explore, since I didn't -- and don't have one (and probably would have killed someone else...).
As a result, your post on "purposeful ignorance" hits hard. I knew, as a tenant, that the police in my jurisdiction have a strong policy of "purposeful ignorance" since the manager not only watched but was part of the pattern of events (long story). I also know, as a woman, that even death at a man's hands is usually excusable, unless the police are there -- or someone has a video camera.
What I don't understand is how the hospital, which was so wonderful in documenting each and every one of my wounds (there were an astonishing number from a single contact, to my knowledge -- but, again, I was severely concussed that who knows what happened) could have to work so hard, as far as I can tell, to protect me against the broader society.
While one would think that the police would defer to the doctors, attorneys are deferring to the same police who follow politicians who defy doctors. (Violence against women? What's that?)
Accordingly, I plan to keep your phrase, "purposeful ignorance" in my mind every time I attempt to get representation to pay my medical bills.
For that encouragement, I thank you! When you're in the hole, and praising God because you're alive, any encouragement can be the difference between... stuff.
2012-08-06 10:47 pm (UTC)
Cruise was awesome, and I kept having these feelings that my space ship (err cruise ship) was rocking. I guess that's what I get for reading Vatta's War on the seas.
We went on Carnival because the extended family was, but I'm not sure it's the right cruise liner for me personally. The activities on board weren't really my taste, but I did enjoy reading on the trip and the food was excellent. Shore time was alright but we mostly did activities the rest of the family wanted to do. The only one I enjoyed a lot was snorkeling. However, I think my next cruise will be Alaskan, where I can enjoy wales and glaciers from the boat and skip shore time. What ever my next cruise is, I'll carefully look at the ship's activities to pick one that I prefer.
I highly recommend that you take a cruise sometime. Good or bad, it is definitely an experience. :)
As always, thank you for writing and letting us read it.
2012-08-25 05:56 pm (UTC)
A reason to persevere
My name is Karen.
I don't know if you've seen it, but there's a brilliant Youtube video out there (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYQhRCs9IHM) that takes a Lady Gaga song and documents the reasons, in music video tropes, that we must not let the GOP take us back to my grandmother's youth.
It's based on Alice Paul's sufferings for Sufferage. Much of it is stuff I knew but never fully digested.
What I do know is that my grandmother must have done so. She never mentioned politics, and my entire family thought she was completely apolitical until I did a search on Ancestry.com to try to find out more about her early life than anyone now living could tell me. What I discovered is that her every move (and address) is part of the public record simply because the first thing she did when she moved (from the very date of the 19th Amendment) was to register to vote.