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View Diary: Today I'm 50. Here's what I've learned. (187 comments)

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  •  OK, I've had a bit of time to reflect (3+ / 0-)

    on remarks I made yesterday.

    I've realized it's actually more personal than I let on.

    I have spent now almost 5 decades being bombarded with misogynist CULTURAL propaganda of "how things ought to be," i.e., women should be young, slim, pretty, light-skinned, do as they're told, and never ask questions. THEN men will want them.

    Hey, wait a minute. What about what WOMEN want? Is that important, at all?

    I have wasted more time being completely out-of-touch my wants, because "what I wanted" didn't matter--per my early experience in my family, the church I attended, and whatever. All that mattered was "what I was good for," and this was reckoned in authoritarian and patriarchal terms.

    It's hurt me. The time I spent completely discounting my personal wants, in decisions about schooling, employment, and intimate relationships, is time I'll never make up. I'll always be behind. So, when the diarist started propounding her wisdom about "what men wanted," as if this should factor so highly in women's lives, I guess I got sore.

    It's drivel we have to listen to all the damn time, anyway.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu May 16, 2013 at 09:50:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Karmsy, you got guts. (2+ / 0-)
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      karmsy, radical simplicity

      Thanks so much for all your comments and reflections. I never meant to propound the notion that what men want should set the agenda for how women behave. Rather, I was trying to offer my observation that in American culture, regardless of era, women have their work cut out for them if they are trying to achieve certain relationship goals. If anything, I intended to highlight--bemoan, even--the fact that women continue to struggle against the same obstacles that the feminist movement has worked so hard to overcome.

      I, too, spent years of my life shoving my wants and needs aside to live up to the image that others--parents, husbands (and there have been several), society--had of me. I, too, regret opportunities lost, decisions made and not made, time lost trying to please others. I think many women feel this way. When I embraced the person I am, I felt free, and I also found myself attracting the kind of people (men and women) who appreciate me for who I am.

      Your statement that you will always be behind makes me wish for you the chance to embrace your own "timeline" of life in which you are not behind, but right on schedule--that every day will bring a new opportunity to kick the drivel to the curb and set your own agenda.

      {{{karmsy}}}

      Hugs to you!

      Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

      by Greek Goddess on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:58:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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