Got me thinking

Cloud over at Wandering Scientist had a lot of really great links to share a few days ago. A couple of them have brought back some terrible memories and emotions from my early 20s. I have written about it, but not sure if I will post it. It’s terribly personal, and I don’t know if I want it all out there.

Now I feel like I’m stuck a bit in a cloud of darkness. I look at the girls around the university and wonder how many of them were taken advantage of over the weekend. I look at all the guys and wonder how many of them took advantage of a girl on the weekend, or how many of them called a girl a bitch for saying no to a drink or to a dance.

It makes me think of all the things everyone on this planet must have gone through, be going through, and I wonder how the weight of it all doesn’t make the Earth implode on itself.

Like Alice, I’m just happy I’m old enough to be practically invisible. I can go for a walk, to the mall, or out for coffee without worrying about what might be said to me (positive or negative). In my late-20s, I mourned the loss of this, but now I relish in it. I am free.

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Comments on: "Got me thinking" (9)

  1. You said it. The older women in my life are still shocked that I aim for “intimidating and unapproachable” rather than “sweet and nice”. I think I lost all of that after being trampled on by students. I think “sweet and nice” for a woman academic = loss of respect at some levels.

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  2. Oh Alyssa, I'm so sorry that you're carrying such dark and terrible memories around with you. But so glad you came through it. People are capable of withstanding so much. And the planet is a wonderful place, it really is… maybe not so much in the depths of winter, but remember that spring is on the way…

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  3. I think about some of those same questions when I look at my female students, sometimes. Especially the very young ones, in gr. 9 or 10, in relationships for the first time. I hope they're being treated right and hope that they tell someone if they're not.

    I've been there during my high school years, though not taken advantage of, just constantly pressured to do more than I was ready to or be someone I wasn't comfortable being. I got called a bitch, a lesbian, frigid, etc. by my own boyfriend for it and I was dumb enough to get engaged to him later. Thankfully, I was also smart enough to call it off. It's not fair, and it sucks, for sure. Thank goodness for growing up and growing out of that.

    I too am sorry for the dark times that you are remembering, but glad that you are here on the other side.

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  4. Yael – yes, especially for younger women. It's kind of sad what some women have to do to escape that kind of treatment.

    Cath – thank you. At the time I didn't think it was that bad, but looking back I know I shouldn't have been treated that way. I do LOVE this world though 🙂

    Andrea – that is just awful, I'm sorry. It seems whatever we do, it's wrong. If we don't say anything we're doormats, if we say no then we're a bitch/frigid, if we say yes we're sluts. I'm so glad you got out of that relationship and found someone who loves and respects you.

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  5. oh Alyssa, those posts – the one you link to and the ones linked in there – brought back memories I, as you, don't want to think about… I had a similar feeling when I was mentoring (lack of better word) high school and younger undergrads. I remembered the feeling of being in their position and having both faith in the men (man?) I was dating/meeting and at the same time trying to tell them that it's a rough world out there…. and that a night out can end so very different from what you thought when it started.

    That the “what you think you would do” might be different from “what you will do” – since you might consider* the state what happens making 'a scene' or what not – but in the end, it's ok to say no. And that it's not your fault (lack of better term again) if someone “mistakenly goes beyond your boundery of what's acceptable”….

    But sure enough, it's a feeling of fault, blame and shame. I wish it was an easy black and white situation, and sometimes I so want it to be a CLEAR marking that this is not what I should've done/do.. Ah well, I can't explain it but I do think it's something that is obvious afterwards. And especially to someone who has experienced it?!

    I guess that's why I don't always feel negatively about the whole “did you ask if she really wanted it?” even if some ppl would say it “kills the mood” and “it was obviuos”. After all, would someone really know by the lack of protest that it's something both want?

    *”I don't want to wake up his parents,,,, as in the link story. Or “well, I did end up alone with him so who would think anything different”… or equivalent of that. Not being a “difficult” woman/girl or being frigid etc is so unfair and unrealistic at times. It sucks. I do think that at times. Lots of years of looking at movies, books and all the other stuff…. gah! 😦

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  6. wow, that turned out way longer comment that I thought.

    all in all, I'm happy I'm older now. and I'm grateful I could interact with younger women and talk about the “pressure” and that all men are not like that. but some, unfortenately and too bad, are. And you need to look out for you and not have your own value defined by someone else. You are awesome, no matter what the guy says at that specific time.

    I'l stop my ranting now. sorry.

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  7. I'm sorry the post stirred up memories! I've been thinking about my stories, too. I think we all have them, which is so sad. And wrong. I haven't decided if I will eventually blog about my experiences. Like you, I came through them, and maybe it is best to just let them be.

    I just wish we could get some more men to read Liz's and Alice's posts.

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  8. Chall – I'm so sorry about the post bringing up those types of memories for you too. It's sad and scary how many of us have them. I'm so glad you are able to interact with younger women to try and pass on that message. That's all we can really do, besides locking them all up until they're 30 (which is what I would want to do if I had a daughter).

    Cloud – don't be sorry. Even though it's hard to go back to those situations, it's good to do. DH and I had a really good conversation about things last night and I was reminded that I found a really good man. I too wish we could get more men to read Liz's and Alice's posts…AND take them seriously and not say things like “you took it the wrong way” or “you're making it a bigger deal than it was”.

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  9. Yes, I value the invisibility of being older.

    Mind you, I didn't have too many problems like this in my later twenties due to being, well, fat and spiky. I still am. And I am coming to realise just how much my excessive weight was and is an invisibility cloak – yes, I get 'fattist-abuse' sometimes, but it kept me from being a purely sexual object especially to the sort of young men we're talking about and in many ways therefore kept me safe. Not happy, but hidden, which felt like a very good thing after high school

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