RE: Owning as cultural baggage

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sat Jul 08 2000 - 06:58:57 MDT

From: "altamira" <>, Thu, 6 Jul 2000

>The "owning" is not all on the part of the men, of course. Many women want
>to "own" their spouses or SO's as well.

Yes, I know. I don't think I had a "thing" with ownership.

>What I found difficult to bear about marriage, and why I bailed even though
>my husband was a wonderful person, was the way in which it made
>can I say this?...predictable? stable?

This was not an issue for me. I did like the companionship and
some basic stability. The companionship was especially nice, maybe
because my spouse and I shared 95% of my hobbies and interests. But
common interests are not enough to make a marriage.

I stopped my marriage for several reasons: some things intrinsic to
he and I, and, it was not possible for me to follow my biggest dreams
in that marriage, and, it was bad for me financially. I learned many
important things about myself in the marriage, though.

Where the cultural aspect comes in was a strong voice (meme?) in my head
saying that I *should* be married or that I can't stand strong on my own
without a partner. Or maybe this was not cultural and simply part of
my psychological makeup? Whatever the reason, it took a while for me
to overcome that voice.

>Did you find yourself falling into the roles on your own, setting yourself
>up, so to speak, or did your husband steer you into the roles?

It was both.

>Along these lines, I remember my mother saying to me when I was 12 or 13,
>"You're probably going to have a hard time finding a husband. It'll be hard
>for you to find a man who's smarter than you." At the time I thought, "Why
>the heck would I want to find a man who's smarter than me?" but later, of
>course, I realized it was because the man was supposed to be the boss, and
>who wants to be bossed around by someone who's not as smart.

He would have to be at least as smart as me or smarter.

Here's one issue that is a tangent to the smartness issue, that I
want to mention.

My career path (passion) is in a field where there are mostly folks
of the other gender. It's not something that I can do anything about,
and it's not even something I notice. After the third week of working
homework sets as a freshman with my male classmates, the fellows become
simply classmates (or like "brothers"). After 20 years of working
with mostly fellows, it's even less of an issue for me.

However for several of my romantic interests, this aspect of my
career was a major problem. One fellow that I was deeply in love with
even told me that he didn't want to see me any more because there were
too many men in my field for him (and he was a scientist himself). Since
my cultural/psych. meme was telling me that I should have a partner,
and my emotions were telling me to sacrifice myself to the relationship,
I faced a distressing conflict with my career choice. Leaving my
passion (astronomy) would be like cutting off 1/2 of my body.

I've since learned that I can't do very much about other people's fears,
and now looking back, the situation looks silly, (or maybe it's a good
litmus test), but at the time, I know it was difficult for me. And I
wonder if I would have had the same kind of insecurities if my partner
worked in a female-dominated career field?

>I always fancied Artemis, goddess of hunt and moon. And Inana. "Inana,
>great light, lioness."
>I HAVE found the old myths empowering.

I use the mythical archetypes sometimes as yet a different
personality-typing system to see which part of me I'm expressing, and
how much of those different types. It helps me see areas in my life where
I am not paying attention.

Artemis is by far my strongest archetype. It's persisted strongly
over the last 25 years. I like my Athena and Aphrodite sides too
though. A four-week-old homeless black kitten arrived out of nowhere
on my doorstep this week. Irresistable and adorable. Now my Demeter
side is kicking in.

The Artemis archetype needs a lot of solitude. I used to need to schedule
"alone time" when I was married. It never felt like it was enough
alone time, though: I really wanted one or two weeks alone a year.

(ooops, typed too much again. 300 hours of work in June were bad
for my hands.. flareups this week)


Amara Graps email:
Computational Physics vita: finger
Multiplex Answers URL:
"Sometimes I think I understand everything. Then I regain
consciousness." --Ashleigh Brilliant

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