Thursday, October 23, 2008

"History" vs. moving forward.

There is a lot of information about people being treated as less than equal. Emphasis is put on the importance to teach about 'where we came from' in these regards to be able to measure how far we have come.

This can be said about many things, in particular right now my rant is around what it means to be a woman, the past of feminism, of being repressed etc.

Right now, I feel like I very much live in a man's society, I am doing well but I feel it takes a lot of effort to be heard and recognized in this world, I'm fortunate that I enjoy making sure that I am heard. I feel like I am successful, and that I have lived through a lot of hard times to get to where I am and I am very proud of this, I do not think of myself as any kind of dependent person who needs a man's approval to survive.

What started this is that I read parts a book, it is called "The Edison Gene" and Geoff handed it to me to read about ADD, in particular the chapter that irritated me was (of course) about Women.

The whole chapter was about how women have such a hard time, and are so disadvantaged in society. They have to deal with media judging them by their bodies and basically it's just about how women with ADD have three strikes against them.

Nothing about moving beyond this 'situation' that women might find themselves in.

I feel like I am the strong confident woman that I am not because of all the suffering I heard about or saw, but because my mother told me that I could do anything I wanted to do. She expressed confidence in me in everything that I did, I can say the same thing about my grandmother who was always a source of support to me through good times and bad.

When I hear about how hard or difficult life 'should' or 'is' for me as a woman it does NOTHING to make me feel better. It brings me down. I have my own high standards for myself, not because I'm trying to prove anything but because I WANT to achieve them and I know that I can, through seeing strong women I've been exposed to showing me the way. Same thing for being a single mom, sure there is challenges, but it helps me more to be exposed to opportunities and to see women who have made it, maybe getting recognition for my own struggles than to be getting sympathy or to over hear how hard it is.

Long story short, the history or negative present focus for me is more than useless. It is harmful, and I seriously doubt I'm the only person in the world who has experienced this, I wonder how many have felt or experienced this same thing and just internalized this...repeating the history being shoved down our throats.

I think of the whole thing just like I think about my dinner plate. I want to be healthy and to eat more nutrient rich food than empty calories. Once I saw a pyramid that basically said to eat lots of starch, plenty of fruits and vegetables, some meat, and just a tiny bit of fat. Looking at the meat and potatoes dinners my parents grew up with, say a big steak, a potato and 3 sprigs of broccoli it doesn't make sense to me. The more modern way of filling half your plate with vegetables, and splitting the other 50% with meat and starch makes WAY more sense to me.

In a similar way, I think we need to cut WAY back on the hard times of the past (starch) and present (meat), out of a chapter spend maybe a paragraph on it, and then for the remaining 8 pages talk about how people work past this, and what they do to lessen the effect of these negative forces around us. Strengths that have been and are seen in the women/people being discussed.

I feel like with more focus being put on the opportunities and strengths available right now we can accomplish so so so much more than we have. I am not saying history isn't important, I'm just saying it needs to be much more concise and that the focus needs to be on the future that is ours to enjoy, not dwell on the shoulda woulda coulda's of the past.

If you read this and you feel like you are among the judged classes please comment your feelings on how history is portrayed, I am very interested in hearing what other people have to say.

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