It is wonderful to talk to you about things, for your experiences have helped shape the person you are, and from what you have said about you and your understanding sensitive husband, you have lived a loving caring, sharing life. It is one that unfortunately we must live that somehow, no matter how good it is, is infected with the problems of society and what it makes us think and believe, without our being aware of its impact on us or those around us. I have been involved with a lot of courses in sociology and human behavior, as well as mass media manipulation and unfortunately none of us are immune to its impact.
There is one DEFINITIVE test for you to take to find out if you are a real man or a real woman. This test has greater than 98% accuracy. Here it is:
Real Man - Real Woman Test:
Take down your pants and look.
Seriously though I was looking at your answers and loved what you said about your husband. Masculine/ feminine- Who cares- I do it my way, is what we should all adhere to. NOT worrying about feminine and masculine characteristics is the HAPPIEST way to live. The truth is that the question about being a real man/woman is not the quiz question we really want answered. The real questions most of us have are: What is normal? What is average? What behaviors are caused by this not-so-sane society? What is inherent vs what is learned? Are MY behaviors and inclinations OK? You didn't let gender interfere with what you thought was normal and seemed to feel normal with whatever role you took on. Same with your husband. I can tell you had a warm satisfying relationship that appreciated what each person did for themselves and each other. Yours was a rare wonderful sharing/ caring life. This is how we should live our lives.
Perhaps this is why you find it so difficult to see what our society does to each other and our roles in the big picture. The way violence and abuse is transferred on our fellow man is of course hard to fathom, but it is what I call lateral violence. Lateral violence occurs when oppressed groups/individuals internalize feelings or anger and rage, and display those feelings through gossip, jealousy, putdowns and blaming. Taken to its extremes, the oppressed when put in the position of the oppressor and when given approval of their superiors or authority, will perform acts of abuse that they would otherwise never perform. It can easily explain why we become soldiers and why Hitler’s henchmen at Auschwitz all pleaded that they were only following orders as their defense. Lyndie England pleaded no different, and we all know about the experiments in the 60's where fake shocks were administered by average citizens under the watchful eyes of authority to discipline unseen test subjects, much to the dismay or the acting participants and the screams of their victims. Of course the victims were not really hurt, but merely acting, but on the approval of authority, the average citizens protest against doing it was followed by another shock, sometimes after being told to increase the voltage, and the increased agonizing screams. Beware of the oppressed becoming the oppressor.
How we are raised is important but our group instincts and herding make us do things that are acceptable to the masses. We pattern each other without authority as we learn to be the eyes, ears and conscience of the state. We are forced and conditioned to obey and respect authority, despite our better sense of morality. We are the victims of a way of thinking. Like you said the homeless don't want a home- jobless don't want to work- working poor can find a better job etc. Truth is we need those lower down to build ourselves up over those who are less fortunate, mentally challenged, handicapped, sexual preference, race/religion, gender etc.
The original question is to understand why we are in this mess with Iraq. Is it merely to combat terrorism? Our leaders are on a crusade to destroy and dominate and whatever excuse achieves that end is all that matters. If Bush were religious then he would be right in drawing us closer to the edge of reality by following the dictates of the biblical Armageddon scenario. Push the envelope to its extreme- and come what may, the savior is promised to return. If it's sooner than later so be it. It’s more likely that fear and manipulation are being used to maintain power over the world through manipulation and ownership of resources, which is as old as civilization itself. That we are participants and provide the manpower for this is because deep down we know that they are authority and we must capitulate to this force no matter where it appears in our lives. So when you see our women and men as soldiers, performing the acts of torture and murder for our leaders, then you see the micro of the disease that is our oppression. The Macro of their will is of course the slaughter of the "Other" in the supreme sacrifice of all out war.
Why? Because we are obedient to supreme authority. We will go to our knees before it rather than die because of it. We've been convinced that it is a question of them or us and that we are better and right.
This is why I trust neither our leaders or religions, until they can prove they deserve my obedience, without their threats or bribes. I know they are merely oppressors to the oppressed and it isjust their need for power and position that makes them so brave. If they were on the other side of the equation, they'd be just as fear filled as me. But knowing this gives me the courage to stand up to them, for all they have on me is their ability to control the degree of pain I suffer. If I accept them I am free, but if I reject them, I am truly free, even if it costs my life. This is the cost of freedom and why they hurt, maim and torture- To break you to your essence, to master your will. When subjected to this kind of superiority, it takes a martyrs stance to resist, and of course our will to live is overwhelming. This is what they know about us, and whether you are taking their orders or bending to authority we are all just dogs to their will to power. They have us where they want us and we don't have the guts to stand up to them and say "NO, we won't take it anymore. We won't do what you want". So when they tell us to do these things and we are exposed to their authority, there is nothing we can do but give in or die. So the world goes on and we just play the part of being good and obey what they say, or pay the price for freedom. This is why we do what we do, because there isn't any other way to play the hand that's dealt to us.
It's the repeating themes that have surfaced forever, about how we maintain courage and integrity in a world of fear and oppression and how we adhere to a relationship with the self and others while being threatened by internal and external violence- the risks involved with intimacy and trust, while trying to find a safe place within and defend it from evil, while holding on to our morals and values as human beings. Their objective is to make us their dogs, to be used for good or evil, or to be beaten into submission, our spirits broken to their mastery. Either way they get what they want from us- our obedience and servitude at the price of our freedom. This is the price of obedience to authority, and has nothing to do with freedom outside of survival.
Such are the roles we play in this lifetime- which side of the whip do you wish to be on?
The answers to the quiz are - the first part is all true and the second part is- all odd #'s are false- 11-21. Shows how we are conditioned to think. But then again the second part is a hypothetical ideal situation that involves a different world than we're living in, so that makes it tougher to rationalize. I would be happy to discuss your answers to the second part with you and give my side of it to you. Remember to link the personal to the political- What works for me may not be how it is for everyone.
I noticed you said # 4,7+9 were false. The question asked Most women, not just you, in #4,- Men are more intuitive in #7 but this is only when they understand that they have no argument for womens logic and ignore them or use violence or anger to defeat them, so it could be true sometimes. Women use their words more to arrive at an intuitive state through their logical approach - and #9 being- women are more logical, which is true. They are just told that they aren't to keep them in their place. Sometimes women don't share fully how they arrived at their conclusion, all the steps, so men become defensive of their way of thinking. Women are rarely illogical, just confused by procedures in a male world.
Remember this is generally, perhaps not in your relationship. Some men have grown beyond their teaching and so have left their sexist, racist, gender specific biases behind and grown. I have a feeling from what you wrote that your mate has been most loving and understanding, so you have had a fortunate relationship. I did notice that he didn't really participate in helping with clean up and house chores, but such was the way roles were stereotyped in the past, so this is tough to break and probably better that you accepted that role than an unhappy relationship. Kudos for womens strength and understanding. You really are the stronger sex. This is why we need women to take over and run the world.
Completely sane world
madness the only freedom
An ability to see both sides of a question
one of the marks of a mature mind
People don't choose to be dishonest
the choice chooses them
Now I know how Kusinich feels.