The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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meta link: the ghost in the room by syne
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
meta: the ghost in the room, or, why modesty is a dirty fucking word by [personal profile] synecdochic - regarding women, modesty, the imposter system, and being, you know, awesome and knowing it.

Okay, normally, I wouldn't caveat for like, "do you want your day to possibly start to suck", but I'm warning for reading two of the posts syne links to for context may kind of make your day suck, because let me tell you, I don't do well with unsettlingly pointed thoughts about how if you are really awesome, you a.) would be acknowledged for it by like, magic and stuff and b.) you shouldn't like, want to be acknowledged or something? The posts are marked so as not to stumble unknowingly. I totally own I realized what I was going to read so yes, that was my fault, but I seriously, seriously didn't get my first instinct was to wonder, and this is not the first time, is there anything on this planet about ourselves that women aren't supposed to erase. My second was to like, act crazy. My third was to read syne's post and see if that made me feel better. I think it will. Just not right now.

There's only so many ways you can use a short skirt analogy without it becoming tired and better used for the humor value, but seriously, my accomplishments now have too short a skirt and need to be a bit more modest? I mean, think about this one; we are like, three thousand something years from the apocrypha that the best reputation a woman can have is that no one knows she exists (paraphrased).

Tell me someone else is having a better day? Seriously, lie to me while I run get a Pepsi and ponder the ways of the universe. I blame the lack of coffee; I was never this unsettled when my caffeine came in brewed form.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/15614.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

I am avoiding those posts intently.

I'm having a REALLY good day because I'm WRITING and ENJOYING it. This hasn't happened in so bloody long, I can't even tell you.

*hugs* That is fantastic.

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Well, there is this post, which should be an antidote to the things contained in those two fucking poisonous posts. I'm not having a great day, so I didn't read past the first paragraph of either of them, but that was pretty much enough. Every single female friend I have who is around my age has self-esteem issues. Every. Single. One. All of them feel at some point that they're not enough, that whatever they can accomplish is not sufficient, is not enough to make them good. And you know what? That many makes it structural, not personal. Structural, not our fault.

I started thinking about that, and then I thought, wait. There is a point when women realize that working as hard as they can and being as brilliant as they are, being the best sometimes isn't enough, because sometimes that guy will get promoted over them because he's a guy. That's a simplified analogy, but you know what I mean, right? And at some point women realize that having it all is impossible without someone telling them they're a bad mother/not trying hard enough at their job/etc. No fucking wonder we have self-esteem issues, right?

So fuck all of that. Fuck it. I'm not going to apologize for myself, no more. And if I fail sometimes, it's not because I'm any less awesome, it's just because I'm human, and feminism is about allowing women to not be perfect and having that not be a big deal.

But in order to list the things that are going right and to end on an up note: I'm getting a shitload of money back on my taxes and I got into the two French classes I applied for this summer.


You hit it, and I couldn't articulate it--they were poisonous. I couldn't figure out what precisely took me from "I disagree and how" to a kind of defensively awful feeling, because it was, I guess, slower, and it's really sticking with me like, well beyond my own sense of humor. I really, really keep trying to laugh myself out of this; two silly posts shouldn't set off this kind of chain of unhappiness.

But in order to list the things that are going right and to end on an up note: I'm getting a shitload of money back on my taxes and I got into the two French classes I applied for this summer.

*smiles* Thanks for telling me that. What kind of classes, beginner, maintenance, or terribly advanced things?

*laughs* *cries* *laughs* Yeah, I didn't even read the posts Syne linked to, only hers, and I'm laughing (sickly) because just last week my response to a list-of-things-I-do-well from a friend was "my impostor syndrome begs to differ." I closed the window short of hitting post on the comment but... yeah.

I have my third yoga class tonight and I'm enjoying it, the studio is a better fit for me than the place I was taking tai chi last year.

I closed the window short of hitting post on the comment but... yeah.

When I was on the two posts of infamy, I couldn't look away. I mean, that was like, self-cutting but without any of the fun of at least owning your own goddamn razor. God, horrible analogy but that's the only thing I cna think to compare.

I have my third yoga class tonight and I'm enjoying it, the studio is a better fit for me than the place I was taking tai chi last year.

I do yoga on Wii Fit in fits and starts, because it acutally gets harder the more I do it. I'm seriously impressed. My legs after doing that seat position thing are even moreso.

How long have you been taking Tai Chi?

I had a really strong appreciation for my awesome, until years of fandom interaction finally made me realize that I wasn't nearly as good at anything as I thought I was, and if I did harbor pride in my accomplishments, well, I had better keep that shit to myself. because we're all sisters here, you know? we should all make each other feel as small as possible.

OMG THIS, yes. I love fandom, I do, but...yes.

When I was little, my parents used to say to me, "Little girls should be seen and not heard." And I understand that they just wanted me to be a well-behaved and not obnoxious child, but sometimes I think that it did not have an entirely positive impact on me (lol).

In good news! I got a brand new shiny pretty bike and biked 28 miles on it yesterday, alongside beautiful views like this and this. And today is a rest day in my training, which means I can be lazy!

I hope your day gets better!

Edited at 2010-05-03 04:55 pm (UTC)

..twenty eight miles?

*seriously impressed*

gah I had to click out of that one post before I even got to the comments; having the ability to acknowledge your own accomplishments is not the same as being arrogant (or so I keep reminding myself).

Today's been a little wobbly; I lost my cap&gown order but I found out that I am definitely graduating, and possibly with honors, so as of now it's shaping up to be a v. good day indeed.

oh wow, congratulatoins! With honors!

I started my day off with coffee, followed by reading porn in the handicapped bathroom stall at my work, which is the breakfast of champions right there if you ask me.

Then I didn't kill any co-workers. I feel like I've achieved some pretty major goals today and it's only 1:00pm. I have three and a half hours left of goal achieving to get through, though. Hopefully, I don't suffer any setbacks.

I hope your day gets better?

Honestly, reading about the dark dystopian future with the iPad and Google destroying the world, along with comments here? Definitely got a lot better.

One of the things I like fandom for the most is the way that it *does,* in so many ways, own the awesome. I'm just thinking out loud here, and everyone's experience and perception will vary, I'm sure, but I hope this will at least make you smile a bit.

I've actually got a theory that I developed way back in the popslash days, when RPF was still fringey and "icky," and it goes something like this: I am *awesome.* If I like something a lot, it is thus, logically, also awesome. You can believe what you like, but my logic will lay its lovely awesome blanket over all that I do, excel at, and enjoy, and any declarations otherwise will fall on entirely deaf ears. In fact, I probably won't even notice. It came from my real-life attitude towards most things, and translates pretty perfectly.

I have said, out loud, to people who laughed at me for listening to N'Sync in the car (with bonus added cardancing in places): "If *I* like it? it's cool."

I see this same excellent thread running through fandom a lot. We do something that, even though it's become a lot more mainstream in the last few years, isn't exactly "of the norm" out there. We squeak and flail about slash pairings or het pairings or singers or dancers or whoever, we cheerfully ignore naysayers in many cases, and we own the awesomeness that is the joy we get from fandom, fannish interactions, and our online communities. No apologies, no shame, and among people who feel the same and celebrate it. Well, in many cases, anyway. :D This may not translate into 24/7 realtime, but it sure is a step in the right direction.



Edited at 2010-05-03 05:11 pm (UTC)

Good of today: I had meeting with supervisor, who is awesome woman, and made a point of telling her she did really well during our training, because dammit I am going to be as good to her as she deserves because we all deserve it, you know? And it's so easy to let good things slide, but no. Not ok. So I told her she was awesome, and I intend to keep telling her she's awesome as she continues to be, and she was very positive about me, and reassuring about my insecurities, which were probably hanging out visibly (I meant to go out working Sat and Sun and I didn't and I feel like a fuckup, and she was really clear that, um, no, I had NO OBLIGATION to do so, actually, and I'm totally good). I just had delicious food, because when I opened my fridge this morning it was full of delicious options I like and feel good after eating, and that makes me feel fantastic. One of my biggest new year's resolutions and I am rocking it! Last night, Dala and I had a picnic on our living room floor, with amazing cheese and bread and pate and sausage and caprese and wine and then I made whipped cream and she cut up strawberries and poured chocolate wine (seriously. yum.) and we had a lovely dessert and we drank to having awesome roommates.

And today I am going to do laundry and go to the hardware store and buy power tools and I am going to get in a few hours' work and I am going to work on my several art / craft / home improvement projects. Because I am fucking amazing, and I am living life in a way which allows me to do all those things.

Dammit.

I didn't wade into the actual comments on any of those posts, but it resonated with some ideas I've had about how the self-esteem movement crippled so many children by teaching them that you get the same amount of praise for something you barely made an effort at as you would for actually working at something, so why bother doing any actual work? (Related to the lemon hummus metaphor of fanfic -- the whole idea that some people were prevented from ever learning the joy of honing skills and achieving something through hard work and persistence, and have never felt a true sense of accomplishment at anything.)

I'm wondering how to relate that premise I'm familiar with -- children learning that praise is worthless because they're surrounded by adults who give every kid the same "Good job!" and don't give feedback based on effort and success -- with people (specifically women) internalizing the concept that anything impressive is only superficially so and success is a result of unearned privilege rather than hard work and merit. I think if I sat here feeling out my thoughts I could put my finger on it (that "success as a result of unearned privilege" bit seems to be resonating with both) but I'm trying to find a pausing point so I can go to lunch.

In the category of taking pride in one's accomplishments, I presented to my boss an idea about starting a project to deal with a backlog of vendor information updates. He thought it sounded great. Then, upon discovering that it would take two-three weeks to accomplish the task, I had a flash of inspiration, and hit upon a way to mass-produce the most time-consuming element. I was able to do the whole project in one and a half days.

I am really proud of that.

Edited at 2010-05-03 05:24 pm (UTC)

I have the highest grades in my classes this semester. One final left and even if I fail it, I will still have an A.

(Why doesn't she give exemptions? WHAT IS THE POINT OF ME TAKING THE FINAL?)

What sort of class is this? I teach writing comp, right now, which is a fairly regimented program with requirements that individual teachers can't change. It could be something like that. Good luck on slogging through the final!

Um, my day is fine, if that helps. Grocery shopping, internet, a little Northern Exposure. Pretty low-key. ::pat::

Ha, I was reading all the posts and comments, and thinking to myself, "Wow! I don't have this problem at all!" and then I realized I TOTALLY DO, except not in the normal way. See, I was so incredibly anxious and insecure for my entire childhood, since I was 4 or so, that by the time I was 16 I just got... burned out on it. Self-loathing is a lot of work, you know? So ever since then I've basically gone about my business not caring what other people think of me, which is very nice. And, even at my most insecure I was never able to doubt my intelligence.

So, that's all very nice, but I just realized I absolutely have imposter syndrome when it comes to BEING A NERD, which is so weird! Being intelligent was always just who I was, so it's impossible to doubt, but I've only been a nerd since I was 14 or so, and... maybe this a recent thing, but it's never seemed shameful at all, it's always seemed like an awesome status you need to work to attain. And, especially when I talk to nerdy boys, I feel like a big fake identifying myself as a nerd. I only bought my first game console 3 months ago! It's an N64! I don't know anything about anime or manga! I've only watched like a dozen episodes of TOS! Never mind the fact that I've seen every episode of Farscape, can quote Buffy for hours, and know Doctor Who by heart. Man, does anyone else have this problem? I don't think it's totally in my head, either; I know a ton of nerdy boys who are contemptuous of fanworks, and all my geekiness branches off from fan(girl)dom, which is all about the fic and the analysis, and...

Wow, okay, this got long! Still, funny.

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