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LWolf

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,177

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That's a coincidence.

I was just thinking about this topic this morning, as I got ready to leave the house.

It started as I reached for a bra, mentally groaning, stretching my chronically aching, inflamed back and tight shoulders, and wishing again that I'd grown up flat chested instead of a triple D, regardless of how thin, or not, the rest of me might be. I remembered the knowledge, from about age 11, that I'd never have trouble attracting male attention, and that other girls were envious. I remembered learning, over the years, what a double-edged sword that was, and that I couldn't ever expect males to be interested in me as a person rather than an object. I remembered the years learning to hide, to blend in, to be unnoticeable and unmemorable so that kind of attention would be directed elsewhere. I thought about the relief it was to become "too old" to attract sexual attention.

I remembered being raised by a wonderful mom who was attracted to, and addicted to attracting, "bad" boys, and how truly BAD they were, and having to negotiate the environment with them in it. I remembered growing up always feeling inadequate, because my tomboy self was never "pretty" nor "girlie" enough for her. I thought about how, still, when I'm 53, she still constantly comments on what I look like, what I'm wearing, my weight, etc., etc., etc., and how, still, in her mid-70s, she is still overly (to me) obsessed with what SHE looks like.

I thought about the way she was raised, the lack of love and total lack of confidence and esteem she grew up with, that she learned to value herself when boys and then men valued her for something...something that was never her otherwise intelligent intellect or her heart and soul. I forgave her, and by extension, all of my sisters across the planet who feel that they need a man to validate them, because I understand. I understand where it comes from, I understand what it feels like, and I understand that I'm unusual in being able to break that pattern in my own life. I'm thankful that I had 2 sons and no daughters to pass that conditioning on to; that my sons grew up expecting the women around them to be whole people, and that, as adults, they treat women that way.

We're all in different places on the continuum. It's all interconnected, and social/cultural/gender evolution is a complex process.
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