Tuesday, April 04, 2006

So Damn Polite

One afternoon, my first-semester history professor stopped mid-lecture and teased his female audience.

"You're too quiet," he rebuked us good-naturedly, "It's spooky."

He was right: we were too quiet. We were sitting in our first class at an all-women's college; we weren't used to owning the floor all on our own. Many of us had come from high schools where boys spoke out and girls wrote down. No one waved a hand wildly for attention; no one shouted out an answer to beat a fellow classmate. None of us let on that we secretly held any passionate opinions.

In my literature class, we bowed our heads and fell into giggles. Our professor, an attractive woman in her mid-forties, had just informed us why she hadn't married: she hadn't yet received a proposal from a man she could possibly imagine indulging in her bed.

While we giggled quietly, our professor smiled tolerantly: "You're so damn polite."

Politeness paves the road for you.

I don't remember my mother actually saying this, but she had grown up on rough terrain. Her older brother went to jail for creepy acts one mustn't divulge in polite society. Her younger brother used a bookie, which is not, it turns out, a cute miniature book.

When my mother "married up," she was transported from crime and poverty, but she became beholden to my father and seemed to agree with him unconditionally. If I asked for her opinion, she often appeared stumped and annoyed, as though I was trying to trick her into argument. Inside her new society, she had grown too polite for opinions. A strong one, especially, could lead to controversy.

Later, in the larger world, I would discover that people actually pay you for your opinions, but my mother held hers so close to her heart that, for years, I assumed she had none.

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ETA: Inspired by a comment from Ultimate Writer, I’m posting results of a comparative study between girls behavior and experience in single-sex vs. coed schools. Here are a few findings:

In single-sex schools, Girls...

- Showed increase in self-esteem and self-confidence
- Were less critical of own behavior
- Held less stereotypic views of gender roles
- Showed more confidence in challenging courses
- Performed better in academics and athletics
- Showed more academic achievement in math and science
- Received a more competitive learning environment
- Showed increased interest in college

In coed schools, Girls...

- Showed more reluctance to express views and opinions
- Showed decreased risk-taking
- Were often called upon less in class
- Received less time to answer a question
- Received less assistance in class
- Classroom and curriculum was male-structured from textbooks to standardized tests

Source Link

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Disclaimer: This post is not intended to exalt Rudeness or discount the many virtues of Politeness (or better yet, warmth and kindness) in what may often seem a cold and rude world.

37 repartee:

Blogger The Poodle's Friend wrote...

Hmm. I suppose you're right, we should speak out and everything. But sometimes I think people confuse expressing their opinion with excluding everybody else's opinion.
I always thought being polite takes you a much longer way than being rude and aggressive. But maybe that's just because my mum's so polite, even when she expresses her opinion (which she does rather often and I'm always on the receiving end).

4/04/2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger Golgotha_Tramp wrote...

See, I am quite opinionated but it's the discussion I crave. I can't stand people who the only argument they have is "I'm right, you're wrong."

I do tend to be fairly quiet when I first meet people for fear of scaring them off. But, as many have told me, I don't sugar the pill I just put it our there.

4/04/2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Poodle!

I love your point: “But sometimes I think people confuse expressing their opinion with excluding everybody else's opinion.”

Yes, we certainly seem to see quite a bit of this in the news. I think the question for me is finding the balance. When does politeness become self-suppression? And yet, without politeness (as you suggest), do we risk suppressing the opinions of others, and thus, closing ourselves off to a full spectrum of feeling, thought, experience…

I completely agree with: “I always thought being polite takes you a much longer way than being rude and aggressive.”

Yes, I do think politeness can take you a much longer way! Maybe some of us don’t want to make the full journey??? (Are we too tired, too lazy, too rigid or do we just have super-short attention spans, hehe?)

As usual, dear Poodle, you get me thinking again - ;)

4/04/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Panacea wrote...

My mother thinks I'm the most opinionated (I'm not sure if that's a word!)person she knows. But I always tell her that I don't tell other people the things I don't like about them, only her.

Sometimes I think people don't give their opinions because they know its going to either going to cause a controversy or no one is going to even try to understand their point of view. If an atheist goes into a church and tells people that according to him God doesn't exist, no one there is going to even see it from his point of view and everyone will probably dismiss him as a heretic.

Another reason why people may not express their opinions often could be because they don't want to be labelled as tactless or even rude.

Finding the boundary between tact and being truthful about your opinions can be quite blurry sometimes and its hard for most people to find this balance.

4/04/2006 11:21 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Cheers, Golgotha!

“See, I am quite opinionated but it's the discussion I crave.”

Yes, me too! I enjoy strong opinions (especially yours!), but I also believe that the universe offers us so much mystery and diversity of experience. So I agree with you that discussion is vital. What’s true for one may not be true for another, and sharing standpoints gives us a glimpse into another’s “world” and can help us better understand our own world and self.

“I can't stand people who the only argument they have is "I'm right, you're wrong."”

I’m with you here. In recent elections, America seems to have grown so polarized that a lot of political discussion can be described as you write above. When two sides are only shouting at each other, it helps no one; solves nothing. Listening is a skill that should really be taught in school (but by whom?!). Listening to ourselves and to others.

Thanks for coming all the way from England to visit - :)

4/04/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Panacea!

“Finding the boundary between tact and being truthful about your opinions can be quite blurry sometimes and its hard for most people to find this balance.”

Yes, this has often been my experience. Once a week I come into contact with an ultra-conservative man in his 70s. First of all, it took him forever to get my name right. (Well, FrankenGirl can be a mouthful, I guess.) When he speaks crudely about liberals, gays, etc., I find it hard not to respond, but because of his age and relation to a friend, I also find it hard to speak out as strongly as I would like. From all the signals he sends out, he’s not open for discussion.

So it’s exactly as you say!!! It feels like an atheist preaching in a church or chatting-up a deaf ear. I suppose we must choose our battles and save our energy for the most important ones.

“But I always tell [my mother] that I don't tell other people the things I don't like about them, only her.”

Ah, your lucky mother! But our more intimate relationships should allow for more disclosure, I think! - :)

4/04/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger mysticgypsy wrote...

I absolutely dislike the double standars society deems people should abide by.

For example, if you are opinionated and voice your opinion, people call you rude. Isn't it worse to be dishonest to yourself than to voice an opinion and be challenged as a result? I People are too quick to judge and too unwilling to analyze.

When does decorum become unethical. And who decides what "decorous behaviour" is anyway?

4/04/2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, MysticGypsy!

How true - hiding or holding back our opinions can feel like a betrayal against ourselves. And many are asked in this world to “kiss up” or “play the game” to get ahead in certain areas. And I wonder if our true feelings are susceptible to falter and distrust themselves under this pressure.

“People are too quick to judge and too unwilling to analyze.”

Yes, I definitely agree with this, but admit that I’m not immune. Society often seems to teach us to make quick and superficial impressions.

“if you are opinionated and voice your opinion, people call you rude.”

What is it about opinions that make them “rude,” I wonder? Is it due more to the way an opinion is expressed (language and/or attitude)? Or is it mostly when an opinion upsets the beliefs of the Other. Do we have a tendency to interpret opposing opinions as attacks upon ourselves?

Side note: In my childhood days, we were not supposed to disagree with guests. Why not? Why wouldn’t a lively discussion add to the atmosphere rather than maintaining a superficial chat over sweet nothings? And couldn’t we use the practice in civilized debate?

“When does decorum become unethical. And who decides what "decorous behaviour" is anyway?”

These are such good questions that I’m going to have to come back to them later!!! - :)

4/04/2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Holly wrote...

I come from a family who liked nothing so much as a heated debate. My mother was a firebrand who was always willing to challenge the status quo; her father was a Mormon cowboy who swore in church; my dad was a trial lawyer. My parents had five children and we all grew up with strong opinions. Dinnertime often involved some very lively discussions.

I admit I find it hard to be around people who are so afraid of conflict that any disagreement can feel threatening to them, though of course there are ways of agreeing and disagreeing that are more or less respectful and civil.

4/04/2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Holly!

“I come from a family who liked nothing so much as a heated debate… Dinnertime often involved some very lively discussions.”

Okay, I am jealous! :P Whenever my grandmother was visiting, she’d talk politics and utter racist, sexist nonsense, and we kids were forced to sit there and smile politely. Total indigestion.

My mother was a firebrand who was always willing to challenge the status quo; her father was a Mormon cowboy who swore in church; my dad was a trial lawyer.

How wonderful - I love the firebrand image and cussing cowboy. I’m embarrassed to admit that I never said the F-word (er, that stands for Feminine, of course) until college. And it was *very* liberating - :)

I admit I find it hard to be around people who are so afraid of conflict that any disagreement can feel threatening to them

Yes! I think this is the heart of the matter for me. My dad interpreted disagreement as disrespect or criticism, and my mother played into that. I find myself longing for various view points or “disagreements” (because if we all agree we must be brainwashed or clones or really, really repressed), but at the same time, I seem to want to smoke a peace pipe in the end - a final gesture of harmony. Ah, well, I am my mother’s daughter, after all...

Thanks for coming over - :)

4/04/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Sven wrote...

It is exactly that politeness (and the fear that I would be misconstrued) that had me questioning my Girls Gone Wild discussion right up until I hit the submit button. I don't want to be branded a Luddite ya' know.

4/04/2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Sven!

I love your Girls Gone Wild (and Beauty Pageant) discussion. For me, GGW is a frightening phenomenon - since I know that young women have been raped during GGW (and many are too ashamed to tell their parents how it came about), because the response is basically: Well, you asked for it by getting drunk and baring yourself. And so, where do we draw the line?

Ah, but yes, politeness can be a tricky thing in cyberspace. When we don’t have the expressions, gestures and tone to go along with the printed word, it’s much easier to misconstrue. I know the Admiral took down one of his posts because he said it was “out of character” and I think many of us have a desire not to offend. But at the same time, we probably can’t avoid it, hehe! Particularly if we’re going to discuss any deep issues!

4/05/2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger Sven wrote...

"I know that young women have been raped during GGW (and many are too ashamed to tell their parents how it came about), because the response is basically: Well, you asked for it by getting drunk and baring yourself."

I agree with you on this. Perhaps that is why I had such a strong reaction to the original article.


"I think many of us have a desire not to offend."

Or at least not offend those whose opinions we value ;-)

4/05/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger Golgotha_Tramp wrote...

FG - I agree with what you are saying that it is easier to offend on the net but I would say only a stranger.

I think that for a lot of people who comment on your blog you develop a "voice" for that person and so can usually gauge in what tone a comment is posted in. This is true also in the "real" world. I know that I have spoken to people and have thought they were rude only to be told "that's what they are always like, don't take it personally."

4/05/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

FG said in her essay, When my mother "married up," she was transported from crime and poverty, but she became beholden to my father and seemed to agree with him unconditionally. If I asked for her opinion, she often appeared stumped and annoyed, as though I was trying to trick her into argument.

FG said in a comment to MG, Side note: In my childhood days, we were not supposed to disagree with guests.

FG said in a comment to Holly, My dad interpreted disagreement as disrespect or criticism, and my mother played into that.

Well-researched asshat, aren't I.

FG: I think you answered your own essayic questions because they mirror my wife's family.

EVERYBODY has opinions, but it isn't simply politeness or PC that stops them from expressing them. It can be fear of a strong parent's (or parents') criticism, disapproval, or perhaps even punishment; fear of offending the spouse to whom one is "beholden"; fear of dismissal as being stupid or inconsequential ("What does a kid know?"); or a life-long conditioning of "My opinion doesn't count", "I SOUND stupid", "I can't carry an argument through to the end," and probably the most usual, "What the hell do I know?"

In the end, it isn't so much about politeness but about confidence in oneself to express opinions or to engage in argument—even if it is a friendly one.

"Admiral Windbag"

4/05/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Sven -

"Or at least not offend those whose opinions we value"

An excellent distinction. Thank you!

Golgotha -

I think you’re right that each of us presents a distinct “voice” and we can generally gauge the tone (especially after a few comments and visiting their site), but on message boards, I’ve seen fall-outs because two people get overheated. So I think your “don't take it personally” is wise advice, indeed! - :)

Admiral -

“Well-researched asshat, aren't I.”

Wow! You get extra credit - :P

“In the end, it isn't so much about politeness but about confidence in oneself to express opinions or to engage in argument—even if it is a friendly one.”

Yes! This is very perceptive analysis. Confidence and “conditioning” as you mention play largely here. What my mother called “politeness” (i.e. don’t annoy your father with your silly questions), could be interpreted as: I’m scared shitless so please don’t rock the boat or we’ll all fall out.

So I think for some of us it’s important to distinguish when politeness is simply courtesy and when it’s subconscious conditioning, fear of rejection or cop-out.

“EVERYBODY has opinions”

Well, the weird thing is – if you’re so accustomed to suppressing your opinions or having them dismissed, you may not devote much time to digging deeply for original thought. I do believe my mother was stumped sometimes at the idea that anyone wanted her real opinion. It takes skill and often courage to delve deeply into ourselves for our own true voice.

Very interesting analysis, Mr. Windbag!

4/05/2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

MysticGypsy wrote:

”And who decides what "decorous behaviour" is anyway?”

On a small scale, I would suggest our daily environments dictate expectations of us. What’s acceptable behavior in theatre would be unacceptable in a brokerage firm. When we look at careers, we may look at whom we want to be around and what dress codes and manners will be expected of us.

I also thought of the Miss Manners books on etiquette and The Rules books for finding a man. I haven’t read any of these, but I believe the self-help section has expanded in bookstores in the past few decades. And of course, we have women’s magazines with quizzes, etc. to guide us. And pop culture (TV, films, video games, etc.) telling us modern stories of love, romance, etc. to help us right along… :P

I also thought of “political correctness.” When certain words become “unacceptable” and how segments of society protest against this. The PC war.

“When does decorum become unethical.”

Hmm… According to Miss Manners, we are not supposed to tell our best friend that we believe she is marrying an unsuitable man. We are also not supposed to tell the “truth” when someone asks “How are you?”

I certainly understand the reasoning behind both of these rules. But I also ask myself: Is there no way to share such concerns with intimate friends? Or will it only cause a breach? And when and where and to whom are we able to express grief?

In an essay, Caroline Knapp wrote how – after her mother died - she felt she had to say she was fine/okay to her friends, even though she wasn’t fine at all. She felt panicky after her mother’s death, but she put on the “public face.”

I imagine this is why the psychology industry is booming! Because we are not supposed to speak about grief or sadness. Hey, I’m not suggesting we should stop people on the street, hehe! But it is fascinating that we speak to strangers (therapists) about things we cannot discuss with our intimate friends.

4/05/2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

FG: But it is fascinating that we speak to strangers (therapists) about things we cannot discuss with our intimate friends.

Therapists, by duty and training, are neither judgemental nor blabbers (theoretically speaking). We can never totally trust our intimate friends to be either.

4/05/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Good point, APS. I’ve heard it said (no references here, sorry!) that therapists have replaced our extended family to some extent, now that family-units are smaller and members often live far apart. But even in an “ideal family,” I imagine it would be a challenge to be objective when it comes to those closest to us, and not impose our own judgments or principles, etc.

4/05/2006 1:14 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

P.S. Poopie – I think you win this week’s award for multi-tasking! xo

4/05/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger actonbell wrote...

I agree with Panacea's comment about finding a balance--it's possible to politely express differing opinions, but it can be difficult. I hate conflict and confrontations, and always have--sometimes I think I took the lady-like socialization too much to heart. Also, I can take comments made by others too personally, even though I keep telling myself not to!

4/05/2006 5:56 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

ActonBell –

Hi, there! Yes, I know exactly how you feel! And “lady-like socialization” is a great way to put it.

I think my post is half-society and half-upbringing (and the two blend and blur). Actually, I think I started one essay (schoolgirls) and made a sharp turn to another (Mom) - ;)

I think it's important to add that Mom only worked for male bosses.

Also, when she moved from poorville to picketfence, she found a bit of politeness got her invited and accepted, and she definitely started to emulate those around her in order to fit it.

“Act like us and you can join our group” – so to speak.

4/05/2006 6:19 PM  
Blogger UltimateWriter wrote...

I don't know about you, but at my high school, I thought there was a balanced amount of "speaking up" between the 2 genders.

4/06/2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

Whew! Very stimulating post and comments. I don't know where to begin.

FG: I think we might be sisters!

APS: I think I might also be your sister-in-law.

The more similarities we find in each other, the closer we should feel. I understand why we reveal more to our therapists than our intimates, but why do we let that fear of being judged take over so much so that we close our loved ones off? No wonder most of us feel so alone. We suppress our opinions and feelings out of fear of being different - when in actual fact, we are more similar than we know.

4/06/2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, UW!

I’m so glad to have your input here. And to hear that your experience was balanced. Yay! - :)

I suspect this may be true of many schools, particularly well-endowed schools in solid communities.

However, there are studies which compare girls' overall behavior and experience in single-sex schools vs. coed schools.

I was going to squish the findings into this box, but decided instead to add them onto the post itself.

Thanks for the inspiration!

4/06/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hello, Sister Sophia! (not intended in a nun-ish way, of course)

“We suppress our opinions and feelings out of fear of being different - when in actual fact, we are more similar than we know.”

Yes! So true!

And this goes for men as well as women. Men want to belong, and so I personally don’t believe men wake up one day and say—hey, I think I’ll try out being sexist, cause that might be fun!—but rather, they want to belong to the gang; fit in with the group, and are socialized, etc. Ah, there’s so much copy-cat-ing going on that one really wonders who started it all?!

But back to your comment, Sophia. (Sorry for my tangent!)

I agree with you that we are more alike than different, and it’s a pity so many of us don’t seem to know it!

And yes, so often when I read your posts, I feel a kindred spirit floating about - ;)

4/06/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger niTin wrote...

You know what is sad? I cannot comment on your posts while I'm at home. A weird pop-up blocker that prevents the comments box from opening—even when turned off. You know how those things work. So I often have to lag behind, and wait until I reach work place before I can post. (now we know what I get paid for)
On the Post
When I first read the post, the thought that crossed my mind was this line from Anne Frank, maybe because this was a nascent idea even in my mind- though not yet garbed by syntax and words. I'm not excellent at quoting but here goes.
There is this part where she looks at the people in the street, through a gap in the window. She notices that the women have a disposition that is similar to the temperaments of their men.
After having noticed that in real life, I can definitely tell you how true that is. In our society, divorce is taboo. So women, who didn't have lot of choice in marriage anyway, are stuck with the same husbands throughout their lives. They have got no choice but to adapt.
Now that I think of it, it is not very relevant... but not everything in life ever is.

4/06/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, niTin!

I just switched to no-pop-up, but then again, I’m fickle! - :P

“So women, who didn't have lot of choice in marriage anyway, are stuck with the same husbands throughout their lives. They have got no choice but to adapt.”

Your comment is highly relevant. On many levels.

As a privileged American, I can divorce, but there are women in many countries who cannot and are forced into dependence. And in my mother’s youth, her options were narrower than mine.

Also, the “adaptation” issue you raise correlates directly with the single-sex vs. coed schools. According to the study, in coed schools girls must adapt to a curriculum structured for boys. Wow!

“There is this part where she looks at the people in the street, through a gap in the window. She notices that the women have a disposition that is similar to the temperaments of their men.”

Anne Frank's reflection reminds of the recently released book Manliness by Harvard Professor “Harvey Mansfield.”

On C-Span’s Book TV, apparently Naomi Wolf asked:

"Are you saying you need to have a penis to have authority?"

And he answered:

"Well, it helps."

Er, what? Well, that sure is a helpful tip for business women, ain’t it?

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, niTin, and stirring up mine, hehe!

4/06/2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger mysticgypsy wrote...

Hi Frankengirl!

As the study noted, controlling for background is crucial. Also where such a study is conducted.

I attended co-ed schools for most of my schooling years and I found that the girls tended to take more leadership roles (including student government) than boys. Also, academically the girls seemed more hardworking and better prepared. Girls would get more of the prizes during prize-giving ceremonies and the boys would sneer and roll their eyes at us saying "oh you are just nerds! all you can do is study".
Strangely I can't remember any dominance imposed by boys/men in school as much as that I witnessed at home (as in my community).

4/06/2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, MysticGypsy!

Yes, you’re right, it really depends on the school system and what sort of teachers and administration it’s attracting.

Also, there are negatives to a single-sex environment. It's certainly not suited for everyone. Girls miss out on socialization with boys as friends and teammates and study partners.

And during my first semester at college, girls dropped out because they really missed boys. - :)

4/06/2006 5:59 PM  
Blogger MusikMom wrote...

The whole school/socialization thing is very interesting. Having taught middle school for several years, I noticed something unfortunate.
In the 7th grade, girls were still very "bouncy" and chatty; they're interested in everything and everyone. They participated in everything with such joy.
Then they came back from summer vacation as 8th graders. How morose! It was as if their tongues were cut out of their mouths... nothing to say and if they did, it was very dark or reeked of despondency.
I would never, ever want to be a teen again... what to do??

Peace,
Mon :-)

4/07/2006 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Holly wrote...

FG wrote:

Hmm… According to Miss Manners, we are not supposed to tell our best friend that we believe she is marrying an unsuitable man. We are also not supposed to tell the “truth” when someone asks “How are you?”

I certainly understand the reasoning behind both of these rules. But I also ask myself: Is there no way to share such concerns with intimate friends? Or will it only cause a breach? And when and where and to whom are we able to express grief?


I typed out a story about my family and then thought better of sharing it, not out of politeness but just out of a sense that the blogosphere is this incredibly public document. Let me just say that I have learned the hard way that there is considerable wisdom in not telling a close friend or family member that you don't much approve of his/her choice in a spouse.

As for the other stuff.... It comes partly from being raised Mormon, and Mormon rules for appropriate discourse are a little different. You shouldn't use profanity or criticize the church or its leaders, but you should be extremely emotional. There's this thing called "testimony meeting" where you are invited to get up before the entire congregation and share your most intimate spiritual experiences, which often includes discussing hardships and trials. There's a lot of weeping at testimony meeting--it can be a big cry-fest, with people openly discussing grief and other people coming up afterwards to give them hugs and well-intended words of solace. (At least, that's how it used to be 15 years ago--I admit I haven't been to a testimony meeting in a long time.) In any event, I'm pretty accustomed to telling people the truth when they ask me how I am.

4/07/2006 10:43 AM  
Blogger actonbell wrote...

Nice new avatar:)
“Act like us and you can join our group”--so true, and sometimes, very scary...

4/08/2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Michelle wrote...

I went to a single-sex high school (that later became co-ed)...

And I used to be outspoken in class...then the apathy and withering glances of all the girls in my class killed that.

4/08/2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hello! - :D

Dear MusikMom -

Welcome!

Yes, it's so tragic when girls seem to “lose” themselves through socialization. Your comment reminded me of the book: Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher.

She writes how girls, coming of age, often lose their spark as they are forced to choose between their true selves and society’s concept of what is female and feminine.

This loss of spark seems similar to what you have witnessed yourself as a teacher.

Thanks so much for joining our discussion!

Dear Holly -

“Let me just say that I have learned the hard way that there is considerable wisdom in not telling a close friend or family member that you don't much approve of his/her choice in a spouse.”

Yes... actually, I learned this myself, too, but I’m still trying to justify my “ethical” stance, entirely in vain, of course. It’s hard when you see a “car crash” straight ahead, but if it’s going to come to pass, there’s very little joy in being the “big mouth” (aka: me) who predicted the accident! - ;)

I’m so glad you bring up religion. Of course! So many of us are instructed what’s proper or improper in this setting. And I’ll add that women are often second-class citizens in various religions.

“There's this thing called "testimony meeting" where you are invited to get up before the entire congregation and share your most intimate spiritual experiences”

Wow! I doubt my mother would have approved - :P She was accustomed to the Catholic confessional herself.

“In any event, I'm pretty accustomed to telling people the truth when they ask me how I am.”

Yay! :D

Dear ActonBell -

My new avatar thanks you for the compliment!

Someone has been so bold to say that I seem to have aged!

Goodness Gracious, I just got a new haircut, after all - ;)

Dear Michelle -

Hello!

I’m sorry to hear about your experience, but it’s much closer to mine than what others have noted here.

I've found that adolescent girls often act differently around groups of boys (“in general”) and are often pressured to do so.

Thanks so much for sharing your story! - :)


*goodnight*

4/09/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger Mercy wrote...

Bookie, little book, LOL!

Cool, deep post FG.

Mercy

4/11/2006 2:30 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Thanks, Mercy! So lovely to "hear" your voice here - :)

4/11/2006 10:51 AM  

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