?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile pyxie's world Previous Previous Next Next
Interviewing - a world of possibility
moowazz
moowazz
Interviewing
Within the next few days I hope to at least make a dent in interviewing the people on my friends list whom I have seen answer questions


If you are not on this list and want to be just leave a comment,
this is who I remember who was answering or I think would like to be questioned
(or wouldn't *smirk*),
so if you did also and I missed you,
please please please don't be offended, I'm just lazy an don't have the best memory

ahvi
badtart
fjordhopper
ladytrue
lisabethnyc
lizzie borden
low key
magpiegeese
mcallahan
melebeth
morgwn
musus
picoland
sassenach


Until then, here is a question that is not specified to anyone and I am interested in the answer from anyone willing to answer.

Describe how your gender has affected you during your lifetime, think about your upbringing, your career choice, your decisions about marriage and family, your family/relationship roles, your hobbies.

OR in simpler form "How would my life have been different if I had been born as the opposite sex?"

I hope everyone is well :)
20 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
lordrexfear From: lordrexfear Date: June 18th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I had been born a woman I'd probably have found a music group much easier by now, as I believe if I was a woman I'd probably be into men, I am not positive of this. I do think there's a chance I'd be even more outgoing and flirtatious, I'd also be running in a different pack. I'd probably be more classy than bohemian and a whole of lot less nerdy. I'd be girly, girly as a woman instead of burly and into boxing and wrestling. I'm guessing though, but I think being a man makes me more comfortable about being alone, being nerdy, taking criticism easier. I have no clue since I've never been a woman. I could of just been me, but with different body parts.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
do you believe all this, even growing up with the same circumstances you have, just being female?
low_key From: low_key Date: June 18th, 2003 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

Being a very emotional person, I think that the biggest thing about being raised male was the expectation to stifle emotions. Growing up and hearing "Big boys don't cry." sets an expectation on you from a very young age. (Some people have even theorized that the trauma of circumcision has a scarring effect on the male psyche.) I think that the suppression of negative emotions is probably part of the reason women outlive men. Of course that doesn't address health care/research. I know that, and these are very old statistics, that only 10% of the budget that goes into health research is dedicated towards female specific health concerns, but that's only a half truth in that the whole breakdown is 85% nongender specific, 10% female, 5% male. The surgery used for prostate cancer was developed roughly 70 years ago. And according to the reading I've done, hasn't been changed in that time. Brest cancer research is funded at a rate that is roughly 600% higher than that of prostate cancer. (Once again, old numbers.)

The social norm for men of being so tightly associated with your job is something of a pain for me, especially since I work in a predominantly female sector. I know that my job is not who I am, but that is still something of a norm; and at times something of an embarrassment. Ask any guy to tell you about himself, and almost without fail the first thing he will rattle of will be his job. There is pressure on women to be beautiful, there is pressure on men to be successful. What does history teach boys? Be great, or be forgotten.

I could go on, but I will sum it up with this. The hardest part about being male is being stuck living with antiquated expectations. Women had a revolution for equality. Men really need the same thing.

I was going to end there, but thought I should expand that just a bit.

It breaks down to pre and post WWII industrialization. Before WWII, the family was designed for survival, pure and simple. Men went to work, women raised the children. With industrialization after WWII women were (eventually) allowed the opportunity to explore fulfillment. Be it in the work place or at home. Men were simply expected to continue the role they had pre WWII. The mindset hasn't changed. (How many stay at home fathers do you know?) It's the antiquated expectations placed on men; that is the hardest thing about being a man.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

You wanna know what's relaly interesting? -and yes, btw, I did ask and you are not going to catch hell :)

I got that question based on reading about southern culture for research for a monologue I was working on because I felt it was missing something, so I did some research on the south.

this is where I got it from (in case you are interested).

So what do you think we can do about this? I mean, what will you attempt to teach your kids, or neices and nephews, or kids of friends - in case you decide not to have kids - in order for this not to happen. What kinds of efforts can we make?
low_key From: low_key Date: June 20th, 2003 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

Hmmm, Too long to read at work, but I will look at it tonight. :-)

What can be done?

I honestly don't know. I don't have any brothers or sisters, and I wasn't planning on children, so that limits my contact to the next generation...I guess I could buy some candy and go to the park....

Anyway...

It would take a complete cultural mindset shift. Men are supposed to be able to "take it" so it won't come from that direction. Women have become too much of a special interest group, so it won't come from that direction. The lies and half truths that we've all grown up with about gender roles has... *sigh* it's tiring to think about.

I did just have a random thought. Maybe the shift will come from the gay section. Once there is universal acceptance of gay men, maybe that will open up nontraditional worlds for men....
I can't even fully articulate this thought, but it goes along the lines of (I believe) men are homophobic because that is so far away from how men are supposed to be. The ultimate nontraditional role. Maybe once that is truly and fully accepted, then it won't make stay at home dads seem like such a big deal.

Aside from that, there will have to be a shift from the "Men are bad, Women are good." mindset that permeates so many movies of the week. Women will have to start taking on responsibilities and not just demanding rights.(Gulf War back in 91, there was a ship that was being sent over. Over half the female crew suddenly got pregnant before it shipped out. I forget what percentage of them got abortions after the ship left port. I can give full details later.) Equality in the court systems. (Women can use 12 murder defenses that men can't-I'll list them tonight if you like-, and normally get lighter prison sentences. Women are treated almost like children in the court systems.) An honest to god look at why men make more than women. (A lot of it has to do with men's willingness to sacrifice home life, move, work longer hours, etc.) Reevaluation of the value of fathers. (More than just checkbooks.) Also as a side note, look at the reasons behind things that give men a black eye. i.e. We talk about dead beat dads, but don't acknowledge that something in the neighborhood of 75% of them are being illegally denied visitation/custody rights.

Etc...Etc...Etc...

It's a monumental task, and one that wont be fixed in my lifetime. I don't know that it is fixable.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

aaah, most likely true about this lifetime - but it's got to start somewhere, right?

I look forward to your comments from home.

Also, as a friend stated, women don't necessarily know what they want, men might not either - I think this has something to do with it as well - because when we don't know what we want how can we be completely honest and unnaffected by gender roles if we don't even know what we want (I hope that made sense).

:)
low_key From: low_key Date: June 20th, 2003 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

Yes, that made sense. And I will agree with that, but women have more free reign and less social stigma when they explore what they want out of life.

A good example of this is in the social norms with child birth.

If I may step into the realm of paraphrased plagiarism...

Take a look at the three life choices available when money is not at issue and a woman has a child.

The woman has the following three choices:
Work Full Time
Work Part Time, Stay at Home Part Time
Stay at Home Full Time.

Men also have three choices:
Work Full Time
Work Full Time
Work Full Time

Women have rights to explore. Men have responsibilities to keep.
Yes, men may not know what they want, but they do know what they have to do.

(I've mellowed, but can you tell I used to be a hardcore maleist?)
low_key From: low_key Date: June 20th, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

Later you want me to explain why men are studs and women are sluts? ;-)
low_key From: low_key Date: June 20th, 2003 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Backing up my statements. :-)

Military.
(Ok, I crossed a couple of quotes.)

"It isn't politically correct to even discuss this in the services but...a large percentage of women soldiers are electively aborting their fetuses after they've served their purpose of enabling them to avoid their tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm....It is wrong to use a fetus to shirk the responsibility for which you have signed up, and then to kill that fetus."
-Name Withheld, Army Physician, Kuwait
Letter to the editor, Transitions May/June 1991

"One West Coast based tender reported that more than 40 percent of her female nonrated seamen became pregnant during workup for deployment-and no replacements were authorized."
Lieutenant Roberta Spillane, USN, "Women in Ships:Can We Survive?" July 1987

This in combination with the fact that men have to register for the draft and women don't is where part of my Rights/Responsibilities statements comes from.

Legal Defenses (This is going to take a while)

1. Innocent Woman Defense or Female Credibility Principal.
Betsie Reese's husband went on a business trip with a man named James Richardson. Her husband never came home. To retaliate, while babysitting, she poisoned James' 7 children. Even though he was with his wife, 8 miles away, he was convicted of the crime. Betsie was never a suspect. James got the death penalty. After 20 years, she finally confessed to the crime. Two signed affidavits weren't enough to get James released. Only protests because he was black and she was white got him out of jail.
LA Times, April 26, 1989

Delissa Carter stabbed her mother to death and claimed she saw her husband Nathaniel do it. He had two witnesses say he was in another town at the time. After a year, dumb luck got him out of jail.
Reporter Dispatch, NY January 18, 1984

2.PMS Defense - Self Explanatory (?)

3. Husband Defense - The Husband who is shot, stabbed, etc. by the wife comes to his assailants aid. (i.e. I Love You to Death, which was based on a true story.)

4.Battered Women's Syndrome, or Learned Helplessness

5. Depressed Mother Syndrome: Baby Blues and Terrible Two's

6. Mothers Don't Kill Defense

7. The Children Need Their Mother Defense. (Yes, it works.)

8. Blame the father, understand the mother
ramiro Rodriguez was driving back from the supermarket. His daughter was sitting on his wife's lap. As Ramiro made a left turn, a van crashed into the car and his daughter was killed. He was charged with homicide because his daughter was not in a safety seat. He explained that his daughter was sick and wanted to be held, so his wife decided to hold her. Yet only he was charged.

9. My child, my right to abuse it. - this one focuses on women who use drugs during pregnancy. Between 1987 and 1991 over 1,000,000 crack addicted babies were born. 60 women were charged. 1 was convicted.

10. Plea bargain defense. If a man and a woman commit a crime, it's easier to give the woman a plea to testify against the man since..well, see number 1

11. Svengali Defense - Men have an evil sway over women because of love.

12 Contract Killing Defense - Woman hires someone to kill her husband, boyfriend, etc. Claims it was a random crime.
low_key From: low_key Date: June 20th, 2003 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

I'm tired...If you are really interested, check out The Myth of Male Power by Warren Farrell.
It's a little old, but it was my favorite read when I was into it.
J.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 23rd, 2003 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

I will definitely check that out at some point - it is now on my list of books (with many others, so it may take a while, but it's still there).

There are back and forths to most of the statements, "I do see your point though.

The only one I will comment on is this

8. Blame the father, understand the mother
ramiro Rodriguez was driving back from the supermarket. His daughter was sitting on his wife's lap. As Ramiro made a left turn, a van crashed into the car and his daughter was killed. He was charged with homicide because his daughter was not in a safety seat. He explained that his daughter was sick and wanted to be held, so his wife decided to hold her. Yet only he was charged.


I'm not sure because I don't have any examples currently and want to get other stuff done so I will not look up any examples right now - but - for this example I think it is because he was the driver, not because he was male.

Like I preceded the statement with, I don't have defense or examples stating with female drivers and fathers holding their kids in their laps, so I could be mistaken.

OK, on to more replies. :)
low_key From: low_key Date: June 23rd, 2003 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm going to catch hell for this, but you asked.

I think the point was more along the lines of, he was prosecuted even though in all reality he had no say in the matter and his wife wasn't charged with anything; even though it was her decisions. He pays for her choice.

I say he didn't have a choice in the matter, because realistically, if he wanted to sleep in the bed, he wasn't going to tell his wife no or start a fight over that.

A little background on Warren Farrell.
Twice(?) elected to the NYC Board of NOW. Was really tight with Gloria Steinem for like 20 years (I read a description that said, "Gloria Steinem's lap dog"), but then he started listening to his own speeches and realized that all he was doing was blaming men for everything. So he looked into it, his speeches changed, his work dried up, he wrote a book....

I could only read the book in 15 minute increments because it made me so mad.
(Deleted comment)
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
We also have to deal with women that have completely changed their viewpoint and adjust to that. It hasn't been easy, especially when half of these women don't even know what they want.

Do you think men know what they want?

I mean not only in the physical pleasure, or job status, but if you notice one of my friends statements above yours, or where I read a bit about southern culture (but it relates to culture in general, they've just been slower to change) man has been pushed towards the "macho" or "breadwinner" and all the stereotypically "manly" characteristics - though it has gotten a bit better - and therefore have been thought less of if they have had "feminine" characteristics, like being caring, or gentle, or not being the breadwinner, and instead being a stay at home dad.

Women are attempting to figure out what they want, sometimes going too much to extremes, do you think men are attempting to figure out what they want?

As for career, it has affected me in the sense that I acknowledge that the female is intergral to my work. However, thanks to the women's movement, I need to make sure I am not seeking to define women with my work. That's up to them now.


Art is an expression of you - this is my opinion, not necessarily all of society's - meaning you are expressing what you see, feel, want to see, etc. I don't believe it should be judged, but rather just taken into account.

ok, I think I've left more than a can of worms, lol.

I hope you be well :)
(Deleted comment)
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why do you think you wouldn't have been allowed as much freedom?

Is there anything that you thing has negatively or positively influenced you in the way people have treated you being a "boy" versus being a "girl"? Or have you found more often, due to where you live and the time you live in, you are more likely to be addressed as a "person" instead?

I hope you be well and the play is going wonderfully
saint_monkey From: saint_monkey Date: June 19th, 2003 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
with the exception of one area, being a boy didn't much have much to do with it... but how people react to me being a boy? that was a kind of big deal... i've got this whole macho backlash thing going on , i'm not macho cause my dad was, and he was cause it's what men ARE. I've always felt like an alien with other boys. i'm not like them, not into sports, not secretive with my feelings, etc.

where my gender DID play a big role? where was i like every other dumb boy out there? in my reaction to WOMEN! For years i worshipped them, i took notes when they would talk, i put them on pedestals and i thought of them as these crystaline beautiful creatures that never fart (kind of like inthe Dark Crystal, and i'm the sort of Troll Vulture creature that would nbe lucky if one of these Dieties ever let TOUCH them.) so i carefully listened as they described the perfect boyfriend and stood around stifling rage while they decided to go out with everyone except me, who WAS WORKING SO HARD TO BE THE PERFECT BOYFRIEND! it drove me nuts. I kept thinking "Will I ever get laid?" it seemed so IMPORTANT at the time, like a total imperative. Must sleep with woman (ANY woman) or die. It was like living in the asanine movie Porky's but never getting resolution. Because of this, i got pretty resentful of women, they could have sex whenever they wanted! (it never occurred to me that because of this, women might be suspicious of everybody's motives all the time, and be tired of being seen as (please forgive my language, but i don't know of a better way to put this) pocket pussies by all the men out there.) And it took a lot of introspection and reexamination once i was in a real relationship.... Hey! there is another PERSON involved here... and they are as screwed up as me, possibly MORE so.

low_key From: low_key Date: June 19th, 2003 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Growing up as a "nice guy" *gag* I'll second this one.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 20th, 2003 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
First, thank you :)

Second, do you think there was anything that gave you that idea - wanting to sleep with a woman or dieing - like something that led you to that mindframe other than horomones?

Also, the same thing I asked low_key, do you think there's anything we can do to change this? To help people understand that is exactly what we are, male and female, we are all people.

I hope you be well :)
saint_monkey From: saint_monkey Date: June 22nd, 2003 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

steffan writes a book in reply (sorry)

First off, let me start by saying that because of my schedule, i have been rarely reading your posts. Now that i'm going back through them, i figure that is a crime. You've got a lot to say. I will pay more attention.

Second, do you think there was anything that gave you that idea - wanting to sleep with a woman or dieing - like something that led you to that mindframe other than horomones?


You know, being brutally honest about it.... I went from wondering hy my best friend Simon wanted to just hold hands with silly old Ann White instead of playing Star Wars Figures with me at the tail end of sixth grade, To hunting for any glimpse of sexual attention from ANY female at the beginning of the next year. That would put the start of it at around September 1983. Over that summer the hormones awoke, and it really, honestly and truely took over my life. I became obsessed. The true peak, where my agony drove me to hunting down porn mags in the backs or wrecked cars and then frantically masturbating to them and then tearing them into tiny, tiny, pieces in the middle of the night due to Xtian guilt, ocurred when I was 16, right before the beginning of winter. (Oddly, I read a book about Ted Bundy where he confessed to doing the same thing when he was a teenager, he got his porn from the trash, and then graduated to peeking in windows. His sex drives escalated, mine tapered off...) they began to slack off in November or so of my 16th year. I remember when it stopped too In basic training, when i was 19, that would be the month of November, 1988. (By stopped, I mean, my libido hit the levels it has stayed at now.... which i consider normal, say compared to low_key, who's libido is amazing, a thing with a mind of it's own. (pun intended)) After that, I could really sort of control the sex drives and couldn't use it as an excuse for my actions. Oddly, this is when I truly began committing what I would call sexual crimes, ie: crimes of trust, etc. (i've never raped anyone, but i have become involved while thinking of my own interests and not of my partner's... in my defense, i thought i loved the girl, and eventually she said she loved me, but i MADE her love me. That's not a crime, but it should be. Now I keep telling Jason, if you want someone bad enough, you can break down their defenses, break their will power, and wear them thin. You just have to have the will, but when you get them, they will be broken... Is that what you want?)) Then it was more a selfish thing, and i do think peer pressure and being a 20 year old virgin contributed a lot. If there wasn't so much pressure for me to have a relationship at that time of my life, I think i would have had a lot more healthy relationships at that time, relationships based on honesty.

But, on the other hand... If I hadn't had that experience, of fantasy love, made somehow wrongly real through peverse will, then I nver would have known how false that is, and I wouldn not have been prepared for real love when it came along.

Also, the same thing I asked low_key, do you think there's anything we can do to change this? To help people understand that is exactly what we are, male and female, we are all people.


yes. in middle school and high school, a progressive, escalating, human sexuality program like they have in sweden (i covered this in discussion group for my "psychobiology of women" class. best class i took in college. i was mad that they didn't have a "psychobiology of men" class.) something that says "it is okay to feel in this fashion, it is normal and not immoral, "

also, i think some real, honest discussion with people would be cool, but a disconnected discussion, where gender is and isn't a factor, maybe via a Role Playing Game on a computer, where you relate to one another, but as surrogates, not as who you are...Perhaps like the SIMS. (i'm all for guided use of computer games in school. it is stupid not to utilize all the tools you have available to you.) just kicking around an idea or two.
saint_monkey From: saint_monkey Date: June 22nd, 2003 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

more on what we can do

jason and i were just on IM and he said that we could also "Devalue the female genetalia." and i think that is a really good place to start as well. Maybe ditch this whole Calvinistic attitude about sex in general.... I think it puts sex in the "Black Market" of emotions, forbidden, secret, naughty. Since men can't BE women, can't menstruate, can't bear children, and sort of feel controlled by women's sexuality... there is an old joke that the rednecks tell... "never trust a women, anything that bleeds for a week and don't die...ain't natural" that really says it all about fear of women and fear of their sex. we need to get over THAT stuff before women will stop being a commodity (ie: something MEN feel like they must control.)
moowazz From: moowazz Date: June 23rd, 2003 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: more on what we can do

First off, let me start by saying that because of my schedule, i have been rarely reading your posts. Now that i'm going back through them, i figure that is a crime. You've got a lot to say. I will pay more attention.

thank you for noticing.

Also, I myself have been incredibly busy and do not read as much as I would like of anyon on LJ - it happens, such is life. If something is so important that I really truly need response, I take it as my responsiblity to make this known. Otherwise, I just appreciate whenever and whomever (?who?) can and does respond. So thank you :)

yes. in middle school and high school, a progressive, escalating, human sexuality program like they have in sweden (i covered this in discussion group for my "psychobiology of women" class. best class i took in college. i was mad that they didn't have a "psychobiology of men" class.) something that says "it is okay to feel in this fashion, it is normal and not immoral, "


could you explain this further? What the program is about and what steps we might take to get it put into the school systems here - or offer programs outside the school to begin with if it does not look like they will be a possiblity within the schools - eventually leading to being within the school?

there is an old joke that the rednecks tell... "never trust a women, anything that bleeds for a week and don't die...ain't natural" that really says it all about fear of women and fear of their sex. we need to get over THAT stuff before women will stop being a commodity

LOL I've heard that joke.

In response to the rest, I agree. Isn't that almost always the case? People fear that which they don't understand. How do we do this? I think that leads back to what you were saying about teaching more in the schools, more thoroughly and in a different way.

Do you think also a course, or program, or something in which teaching how to communicate would help? Getting people to express the fears so they can learn about whatever it is they fear, no longer leaving it to the unkown and ridding that fear.

OK, hopefully this made sense.

I hope you be well :)
20 comments or Leave a comment