READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

august 1, 1998:
new social order

I was misplaced for a while, but I'm starting to re-emerge.
Evaluating the old, seeking the new.

Too many people derive too much pleasure merely from doing what they think they are supposed to do. Rewarded for their conformity, they then seek it out in others. The more that they see others acting similarly, the more evidence that they have that their behavior is the best way.

But what is so good about following set rules and living out established roles? Those who most vocally defend them as natural and just are almost always revealed to be the ones who benefit most from their enforcement.

While acting selfishly, they may not be serving even their own cause. It is possible that they would benefit even more with whole new rules, or with no rules whatsoever.

That in a nutshell is my biggest beef about the institution of marriage specifically, and perhaps even conventional relationships generally. What truly is gained -- especially for women -- beyond the empty victory of "fitting in?"

I can understand why men would want to get married -- it secures for them a social-role-entitlement of priority in the receipt of care, a status-symbol upgrade of possessing a new object of value (with potential for more, under their last-name branding), a justification to take more than they give, based on the delusion that simply because people receive more, they must deserve it, and most of all, the easiest and sometimes only route for them to reproduce themselves: control of the baby-factory.

When men have so much to gain from marriage, why are women flattered by proposal?

After all, what do women gain from the equation? The things women believe are derived from marriage -- comfort, security, support and children -- are obtainable, perhaps most honestly, without it. Tax benefits and half of a man's salary would appear a lot less attractive if women were actually paid as well as men for the same work.

Thus, the only tangible true victory on the bride's part, as far as I can see, is her success in doing what she was told that she is supposed to do.

Blaringly illogical and unjustly asymmetrical, the goal is chased by people I otherwise respect. Not only can't I stop them, but I can't escape their chase.

At "high tech business networking mixers" and "lesbian comedy showcases," the game is identical -- find a mate, boy-girl or butch-femme, match-make, settle down. Even feminists, lesbians and egalitarian-leaning men, who can benefit most from the creation of new arrangements, participate in the counterproductive reinforcements of the old.

Instead of setting up their single friends with dates, they could be conspiring on new social arrangements. Instead of striving to follow the rules, they should be writing completely new ones.

But how can they, when their self-confidence so often flows from social approval? As children, they were rewarded for their conformity instead of their specialness. Trained to seek fulfillment through acceptance and belonging, they never learn to accept the truth about themselves. Not surprisingly, they learn to fear and resent difference -- to deny it in themselves and stomp it out in others. They are incomplete alone, completely reliant upon other people for the same peace of mind they would be best off finding from within. Playing pre-determined roles correctly offers them what they experience as stability, trust and comfort.

Things could be better.

Certainly, revolution takes guts. The rare and courageous souls who test this the only way it can be tested -- by using themselves as both experimental subject and scientist -- often succeed in making great contributions, when they escape being burned at the stake.

But the potential risks decrease as more and more people undertake them. It is not just the radical, but also the rational alternative.

Somewhere I heard that hell is when all your dreams come true. Maybe it is because you find out that they all don't go together, or because there are always sides you cannot see, when you are dreaming away.

(from Ruby in Paradise)

Go Indie, not corporate.
Silicon Spin!
Hey, Brill's Content, Over Here!
Programmers Need Unions
Girls Need Math, and Jewish Women Need Technology
New References Galore!

thanks, COMOFLOW





or, if you must, back to Rebecca's Revenge

Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 Rebecca L. Eisenberg All rights Reserved.