Saturday, October 15, 2005

Digital Domain

Sexy Spinster sent me an email informing me that she recently studied "my kin" in her theories of communications class. She quickly summarized the discussion as on people who cannot separate the "person they know themselves to be with the person that other people see them as." And I really appreciate her patience and unconditional understanding in such a trivial matter. It's just that I don't want to be "fixed"; I don't want to "change"; I don't want to "get help"; I just want some clarity. I am comfortable accepting my supposed mental deviations. Besides, I'm sure it's just an attention-seeking adolescent phase (although, as others will attest, I'm not wont to practising those tactics ... frequently).

This travail got me thinking about the perceivance of transgenderism in Thailand. What the West regards as some sort of by-product of repressed childhood rage or rooted in a deeply disturbing crisis of the identity (described in quasi-scientific terms), the East simply presumes it to be yet another mystery of human variation. Who are we to judge how laughable their superstitions? How naive their attitudes?

I believe every individual lives within a world to himself where all material existence orbits around. Cars pass you by, strangers are walking towards you, it's all a question of perspective, like a neverending mise-en-scene. So who is to say my character does not fit into the mechanics of my world? Who's to say my world is less legitimate than the agreed-upon version? There is simply nothing to "figure out" about me. I am just content living my life the way that feels most right to me ... yet, I am admittedly still curious to discover why I react to certain provocations the way I do

There is a book written by Dana Becker called "Through the Looking Glass: Female Socialization and Borderline Personality Disorder." (Questia: Best $100 my mother does not know she spent.) I relate to many of the presented ideas, especially when it brings up the words of Sylvia Plath, who wrote in Journals: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." What a pat speech. Why do my beheld beauties vanish and deform themselves as soon as I look twice?

Chapter Five begins:

The art historian John Berger maintains that a woman's psyche is divided in two by virtue of her need to be simultaneously both actor and observer. He says of the woman:

She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid watching herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman (p. 87).

The book is fascinating in the way it goes on to reveal the "inauthentic environment built up around the societal values of obedience and good behavior" (p. 97). And I especially enjoyed the frequent Plath passages, like this gem: "I can only love (if that means self-denial--or does it mean self-fulfillment? Or both?) by giving up my love, of self and ambitions" (p. 91).

I think I will be all right.

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