My new fascination with NVC (the communication system for the nonviolent movement). The mechanics work a lot like my way of thinking. I created so many of these on my own that it is great to find a system that has worked out the kinks. It has an additional element that mine didn’t which is Connection and Compassion. My system was about being clear, honest, and basing things are realities. The new (to me) component is challenging.

been away a long time

I have been away from LJ for a long time. First it was my new job that left no time for unnecessary things. I managed to kick my facebook habit because of that. I lost that job after three months (it was not a good fit, I am what they asked for but not what they needed and thought they were getting). I entered another spell of hermit like behavior and really didn’t do much reaching out. My facebook habit hasn’t been restarted, thank goodness. Actually the only reason I am here now is because I wanted to look up some stories I might have put here. Since I need the stories for an online class I am taking I am sure there is some avoidance tendencies in action. :)

Something of note from the time gap is that I am working on something new that my mom introduced me to, NVC. It is the communication model necessary for what the non-violent movement attempts to achieve. There are a lot of similarities between the way I communicate and look at things and the methods of the NVC model. I do them for different reasons. In some ways the fact that my methods are so close and go to a different end result makes learning this stuff harder. But I feel it is very much worth it. It is focused on connection, empathy, and choice. Since these are important to me I appreciate whatever moment I get in this direction.

I must say that in reading over some of my thoughtful entries, I am impressed by how well written they are. I don’t feel I could produce them now. But I know that I probably didn’t feel I wrote all that well back then either. I keep a lot of my old work around just to remind myself of some of my talents and skills. When I feel I am no good at something I have proof that at one time I was good. Some of the time if I really am lousy at something that was good in my past, it is because my skills are rusty. That proof I have shows me that with some effort I could be that good again. Society teaches us that we aren’t supposed to brag about ourselves so it admitting it to myself let alone writing it out. But honestly I am really proud of my writings of my thoughtful posts.

geek stereotype and smell

Another overly long fb post carried to here.

Oops, I have been referring to SDCC being on cnn.com when it was actually DragonCon. SDCC being talked about on cnn.com isn’t that strange since it has been drawing more of the mainstream population especially for the movies. DragonCon is a little farther into geek.

There is a comment about “Thousands of excited sci-fi and fantasy fans,… makes everything a little more odoriferous,” I have heard and partaken in discussion on this idea of smelly fans for most of my con life but, honestly, I don’t run into it. There are a few smelly fans but I run into smelly people outside of fandom as well pretty much the same percentage. I can imagine that in the dark ages of fandom when fans were only those that lived in basements and/or most were socially ignorant, that this was a prevalent problem. By the time I discovered cons and groups of fen in the 80s it had spread much larger than that group. Hours in heavy costumes or sitting for days gaming can lead to odoriferous fans but I haven’t run into this any worse than hanging around people that work out. They smell for awhile and then get cleaned up by the next time I see them.

If it is a problem and I can’t tell because I am in the middle of it and have adjusted, then it is fine for it to show up in articles like this. But if it isn’t the kind of problem that doesn’t show up with other groups then I am sick and tired of people making this assumption and passing it along. I am good with a lot of the stereotype of a fan and glad when someone that has looked down on us gets a clue (like Shatner) but we keep this up ourselves we need to stop. Pretty much everyone I have heard that upholds the 6-2-1 rule (at least 6 hrs sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower a day) sound like they have experience of people who need showers missing them. But because my overly sensitive and often offended sense of smell hasn’t found it to be a problem I wonder if we haven’t been buying into the stereotype too much ourselves and not noticed that particular emperor has no clothes.


Being a token and not resenting it

This ended up being a long post on fb so I am also putting it here where long stuff should live.


This is an article about what it is like to be the only representative of a minority and be in the role of either putting up with wrong ideas or taking on the responsibility to educate and how taxing that role is. I get it. I appreciate those who are inside taking the effort to teach me who is on the outside. But this is a cerebral understanding, I don’t feel it. I am a White Female that has loads of privilege. I try to learn what I can and spread the information because I feel that role comes with the privilege I have. I am not an activist so I don’t have the ability to take on huge chucks before I wear myself out and become useless and I have learned to live with the little I can do.

I am searching my head for places where I can identify the feelings she expressing of being in that role but I am not finding any. I am white so that pretty much greases that path so there is no friction and nothing to grab onto. I am female but I can’t think of a time that has been a big deal or much of a difference for me. I am learning how to see it differently so I can stand up when there is an issue but it isn’t personal for me. That path is relatively smooth as well. I am well educated and grew up with at least more than just enough money. I am learning now what it is like to not have money and even that is skewed due to savings and such. There is a little traction on this path but still pretty smooth.

The only place I can find that even remotely puts my in the same ballpark is being a geek growing up in the land of the mundanes. I have been the token geek. The author talks about how difficult it is to represent her entire race and her entire gender etc. I get that, but I don’t find it difficult like she does. I rather like it. I like presenting an understanding of my culture and oddness to people that want to listen. It is a role I am comfortable with. This leaves me wanting to support where she is coming from but feeling like I can’t because I have such a different experience with the same things. I suspect it is because I am in the role rarely and she has to face it over and over and over. To boot, my outsidiness is getting mainstreamed and my minority status is wearing away because people are flocking to geekdom (SDCC is on CNN for goodness sake). And I am somewhat bummed about this (as well as grateful).

I’ve never seen it

This started out on fb and got very long and I am sure not very well written since it is basically coming directly out of my fingers.


I’ve never seen it:
The linked blog post discusses how annoying it is when you point out some crap you have to deal with and others say that they have never seen it.
I wanted to reply to it but not enough to be willing to sign up for yet one more user account so it my reply is going here. My space anyway so it is appropriate.

I can see the point about how it feels like the credibility of the statement being made is challenged. I am sure that many times it is and gaslighting is used. My problem is that while I have been part of the targeted demographic, I have pull out the “I’ve never seen it” quite a few times and there is no gaslighting involved. I will admit that a part of my “I’ve never seen it” is rolling around in joy that I haven’t had to deal with whatever problem is being discussed. I think most of the reason why those words come out of me is because I don’t have the experience to understand what the person is talking about. I am owning whatever privilege I have that has kept me from that issue. In these cases, it is usually an unknown privilege. It is easy to see why I don’t need to deal with most race issues because I am white and have white privilege. But why don’t I have to deal with issues many women have to deal with (I have been female all my life) like being treated differently in science and math, being wary while on public transportation, being worried about walking on the streets at night, being paid less than men for the same job, etc. I want to know why people who I share characteristics with that would imply that we are treated similarly end up with such a different perception than I do. Sometimes it is because I am oblivious and skate by without a clue. Sometimes it is because there are differences that explain why my experiences are different (I am big and can be intimidating so I am sure that is a component to why I don’t have guys harassing me). These differences are probably unseen privilege (which like all gifts, can be a big PITA in different circumstances). Sometimes I have been lucky. Sometimes it is because I have never been in situations where those sorts of things come up.

Another reason why “I’ve never seen it” comes spilling out of my mouth is because I have a desperate need to be surrounded by a positive environment (the only person allowed to be a downer is me). The situation is someone is going off on some crap they have had to deal with and I have been in a similar situation and haven’t had any crap and I want my experience acknowledged as well. It feels so good and life saving to unicorn and rainbow sprinkles on something down and turn it around. It is a really strong knee jerk reaction on my part. I can totally see where it would seem like I am denying the negative experience of the original speaker and making it seem like they don’t have a valid point. That isn’t my intention but as I am finding out more and more my intentions get read very differently from the outside than from my insides. Example: There is a movement with female cosplayers about costume != consent and push back on the attitude of Fake Geek Girls. I have been in fandom and going to conventions in costume for 33 years and I haven’t seen it. That doesn’t mean I don’t support these movements, I do, I tried to be aware and spread the info. But I haven’t had the experience due to whatever privilege that has keep this stuff away from me. I think the statement “I’ve never seen it” is very appropriate for this case. I share all the primary characteristics of the targets of this crap but I can only learn about it the same as everyone else from outside. If anything I am even more clueless because I don’t have the excuse of actually being on the outside.

I want to add that even if “I’ve never seen it” does have appropriate times and places, that doesn’t mean it isn’t used for gaslighting. The different between the two extremes can be such a grey area that it is hard to tell when it is one way or the other. I just want to mark out a little space where it is appropriate rather than have it be seen to be 100% unsupportive and bad. When you have been hit with crap all the time, it is easy to see why the unsupportive version is all that can be seen. I am interested in ways to adapt it to not seem so dismissive. But right now, it is all I have.

An ally isn’t someone that understands all the problems and supports you all the time. It is someone who is willing to learn and support things they don’t experience themselves. Sometimes they are so deep in their privilege that they just aren’t where you want or need them to be. Their job is to own it. I feel that is what makes a good ally.

The emotional and physical reactions I hide from

I feel flush and cold/clamy. My stomache is clenching asnd feels sick. I feel somewhat faint and weak. I am overheating but only slightly sweating. I feel like I NEED a peanut butter cup or two to feel better. Caffeine sounds like a good idea. I feel like I need to speed my body up so I can mellow out and chill, to feel ok again. OK as I sit here, the sweating is increasing. Not because I am running away with the feelings, more like it started back with the rest and is taking this long to show up on the surface.

I know is this is part panic, part body flooding with chemicals (elements of PTSD of the mild sort), part of it is light excercise. It isn’t thoughts. I was on top of my thoughts and was watching them. As soon as I was not distracted, focused on doing and was stuck waiting for the computer to catch up with me, the physical feelings started flooding in. There were no conscious thoughts triggering those feelings, I was watching. I thought I was at a much more mild level. Then I was being overwhelmed with the “I don’t feel so good” body feelings and started on a list of what would make me feel ok again. This is the sort of thing having someone here to anchor me is for.

I was sitting down waiting for the computer so I could write out this part. I walked a block and a half to meet a casual social circle friend. The walk over was fine. It was good to be outside and I did note that it wasn’t hot and nicely cool while sitting outside. I started getting excited while we were talking and spinning up I realized it at the time and tried to keep a cap on it without squelching it completely. We talked for a little bit and we both needed to get going. He took the lead of ending it and I headed home. Following right behind being alone facing a block and a half alone, I wanted to call someone and keep talking. I did my breathing thing and focused on being in the now. I ended up on the verge of tears. The time to walk home loomed before me and I felt lost. I hurt and was loney and felt vunerable and in danger of losing it (I don’t have a description of this type of losing it, just that I am scared of it).

I noted this reaction and believe it is from being so wound up so high and, having no transition, falling a great distance. I think this is a feeling I avoid with my hiding, my being surrounded by people, my tendency to take forever to say goodbye, taking a book with me everywhere, watching way too much tv, losing myself in on the computer.

The walk home passed very quickly because I was occupided with composing this post. Sitting down and pausing that thought process was when I got hit with all the physical reactions. This has been a good thing to go through and observe. It is another step in understanding why I do what I do. Neither the emotional or physical reactions are rational but they drive me from very deep beneath the surface.

And yes, the sugar helps me feel better and mellow.

On being a supremacist

A friend posted an article to FB called "Aesop to the Right: Why I Believe Bristol Palin" and raved about it without an explanation. This is not something I would normally look at but I was curious what pleased her and was positive about Bristol Palin since these two things don’t normally go together in my circles.

It was an interesting blog post about gay marriage and the perspectives of Christians that have no issue with gays but don’t want gay marriage. It was done very well in a non-aggressive manner so it is accessible to both sides of the issue.

What really got me was buried deeply in it is this idea of being a Supremacist. These days the word “supremacist” has been to extremists with ideas anyone outside of their organizations can see is wrong. This blog presented the idea that supremacist thoughts sneak into our everyday thoughts and they are an underlying cause to the differences in opinion on gay marriage. In a nut shell, those that have the option of marriage feel it they have the right to deny others the option and have the final say and don’t see how wrong it is that those that don’t have the option even need to ask for it, let alone fight for it. Those with the option feel superior to the others and attacked when that superiority is challenged.

To me this is a very interesting idea. It was hard for me to summarize because the blog post kind of went around the bush explaining it and I had to pack all of that together. Given the title of the post and the focus, I never would have suspected this idea or known where to look for it if I didn’t remember Kate posting it and been able to go back and look for it.

I think this idea of supremacy underlies many different arguments from gay marriage, race, male privilege, the rape culture and the Occupy movement. It is not something people would want to even look at since the word “supremacist” is so negatively and emotionally charged. The blog post did a good job unpacking the idea in a non-negative and non-emotional way and got me thinking about it. Those that Have are very resistant to the pleas of those that Have-not. It makes sense that the Haves feel superior to the Have-nots and really can’t see the world from the perspective of the Have-nots. And when the Have-nots demand something, that superiority is challenged and the Haves go into defend mode. It is a good idea to take a look under the hood of a disagreement to see if there are supremacist ideas fueling the difference of understanding and then challenge those ideas. I am not saying that the Have-nots are always right, the Haves are always wrong, and everything is based on supremacist ideas but that it is a different framework useful in examining some of of these disagreements. There have been two blog posts going around about how not to be the creepy guy in a group. One of them unpacked the idea of women not getting support from the men in their lives due to the rape culture we live in (the idea of rape culture is yet another Idea I have been looking into). Throwing the idea of supremacy into the mix added another level of understanding and it is easier to see where each side is coming from and what path could work for both.

Our culture is filled with subtle supremacist ideas. More pondering and research needs to happen for me to see them clearly and see why they exist, what they are based on but it is good to have had this idea introduced to me so I can watch for them now. I think it is important to strip the word of its negative aspect and look through the lens it provides. I can see flaws in my own arguments and attitudes and understand other people’s perspective better because of it. It is another step to treating others more fairly which I consider important.

(here is my FB post. I think it does a better job as an intro and could very well cover all the same ground. I don’t know why it is easier to write than my LJ post, Something about the tone each platform needs I guess.
grabbed from Kate Pennington.

The title does nothing to relate what this post is about. It is a very balanced and sensible discussion of both sides to the issue of gay marriage.

What struck me is the introduction of the idea of supremacist though being introduced. It is the idea stripped of the negativity people like the KKK have brought to the word and I feel it is a key point to many controversial social inequalities with a clueless side to them, like male privileged, racism, rape culture and being a creep. I have written up an LJ post on this too. This is another idea I am putting into my hopper to continue to ponder and research as I go through life.