Kim's (Not-So-Secret) Diary
(for 2003)

Diary Entries for 2003

Here's some info gleaned from the "what's new" portion of my main page; the actual diary entry is below this... (look for the section separated by a horizontal line :)

August 10, 2003: On hibernation, and on relationships (between men and women)

Wow. It's been almost exactly a year since I've written in my diary. I had no idea it had been that long. It's kind of spooky, actually, to think my life has been sooooo busy that I've let it go a year w/out writing in here. My Significant Other (SO) was remarking last night that it's been quite a year... (for me, her, and our friend Tami [Happy Birthday tomorrow, Tami!:)]). It has been...

I've been in hibernation. I've hibernated (figuratively) in at least two ways: A break from "dressing" (mid-November to mid-May, when I like to grow my beard; since I think I look good with one :), and from this website; and perhaps even from the type of introspection that comes from writing in this diary. So I am coming out of hibernation in several ways... Finally writing in my diary again, dressing for the last few months, and perhaps even beginning to introspect in a way I've let slide recently.

In the last year, I sold a house and bought another one (thus moving twice in 6 months), survived through two layoffs (one by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin), traveled a lot (for work and some for pleasure), attended my 6th Esprit (where I did a comedy routine), had my therapist/counselor retire, and generally got caught up in life.

So, anyway, this morning I finally went and looked at my friend Heather's website after a long period (hibernation ;-) of not doing so, and... she kick-started my brain this morning w/her thoughts [Thanks Heather! :)]. So I'm going to add thoughts of my own... I don't expect you to read all my ramblings, and you're certainly welcome to...

Heather says, in part, that "...perhaps andrea dworkin is right and women should only use men to reproduce but have their relationships with other women, because they are inclined, biologically i would say, to listen and actively care (at least that is how i interpretted her books 'intercourse')."

I'd say that Heather's interpretation of what Andrea Dworkin says, or perhaps what Ms. Dworkin herself says, isn't totally correct... I think men can be more than reproductive objects for, and may in fact be fine candidates for relationships with, women... (This is assuming Heather or I understand what Ms. Dworkin believes; as LieDetect [true or false on Ms. Dworkin's statements/views/life] was enlightening for me... [wow, she's had some hard life experiences]) In fact, I find it somewhat ironic that Ms. Dworkin's view would seem to objectify men; particularly when she seems to be against the objectification of women (through pornography or other means). Let's treat each other as people, with unique characteristics, instead of as objects or as stereotypes. Yes, it's harder to do; and utterly necessary if we are to promote more peace in this world.

Heather also muses that most men and women are looking for mates on factors other than active listening and connecting on an emotional level (she says... "...really i think we go on instinct and then habit." I'll respond to this later; first I want to address this idea of men as reproductive objects vs. someone to have a relationship with... who can actively listen to their partner, and connect on an emotional level.

I firmly believe there are men who can and do listen (actively); who do behave, well, more like women from a stereotypical (or perhaps even sociological or actual) standpoint. Not many of them, perhaps,... and there are some. Yes, I would count myself among the number of men who do connect emotionally with others. No, I don't believe that there are many of us. So would that mean that a large number of men don't communicate on a level or in a way that women would like them to, at least in relationship? Yes, I guess I'd have to agree with that. Then again, I don't tend to like men very much; even though I am one... [Does this mean I don't like myself? No, it doesn't. :)]

Actually, I should clarify that last statement on not liking men much. I don't tend to connect much with men. It's not that I don't like men; men are fine. Men as a general class, however (at least in the USA), are (in my experience) more interested in sports, cars, women as sexual objects, etc. than in connecting emotionally with who they're interacting with. Then again, I must say that most of the men I interact with are while I am at work... and I'm a little different in my interactions with others while at work; I don't think work is necessarily the place to socialize. It's a place to get work done. So I haven't gone out of my way to make male friends at work... nor elsewhere. I've been assuming, perhaps wrongly (or perhaps correctly ;-), that I wouldn't connect much with men; again, based on my past experiences. [So I'm acting out of history/habit here; perhaps it's time to change that :)]

Anyway, the fact is that I don't have a lot of male friends. Certainly not even many male acquaintances outside of work. It's too hard to get to know a man on an emotional level, so it's too hard for me to become friends with them. I don't find much to talk w/them about; at least not beyond pleasantries like the weather, or maybe some sports. There are exceptions to this; I have a good male friend from high school days that I can connect with on some good emotional level. It's a rare thing for me. [I also have many transgendered women friends who were born male (or at least with male genitalia ;-), so I don't think all can be explained by biology in this case. I think gender has more to do with it.] I do digress somewhat, however...

Back to Heather's point on picking mates on instinct and habit. I'd say she's probably correct for the most part. I'd say most of us are going on history (childhood), sociological expectations and conditioning (e.g. are they a good provider, like the same things, etc.), superficiliality (such as looks), etc. I'm "victim" to some of these myself. However, there are people who don't totally go on societal conditioning, instinct, etc. That don't go along gender roles, nor are ruled entirely by hormones or other biological factors. Perhaps not many, but some. The "abnormal" few. I count myself among the "abnormal" then; those outside the normative behavior (above or below, you pick ;-) that don't conform to societal expectations nor stereotypes on gendered interactions between people.

Which brings me to my current Significant Other (SO) and our interactions. We have been dating now for 2 years (this is right around our "anniversary;" depending upon how we count it ;-). I am ever so happy to have found someone where we connect on so many important levels. Someone who actively listens to me, cares about me, nurtures me and my soul... and vice-versa. [If anything, I've been worried lately about falling victim to some childhood and societal conditioning in how I interact with or evaluate my SO, but that's another matter... except, maybe, to say I soemtimes have to fight my masculine conditioning (and perhaps biology) to be the kind of person I want to be in a relationship.] We are generally exhibiting love in the way I would prefer it: Through nurturing each others' self growth; supporting each other's needs and our own. Are we doing this all the time? No; at least I'm not... (I'm not perfect; much as I'd like to be ;-). We are, however, really caring about each other and listening to each other... to the point where if we (mostly I) end up not listening, it's obvious and needs to be addressed. Is my SO a woman? Yes.

So, anyway, was that a lot of words/thoughts to essentially say... "Yes, men and women communicate differently; but remember there are exceptions to the rule."? Yes, it probably was. Be glad for the exceptions, particularly if you're looking for them. :)

Okay, here's more from the "what's new" from my main page...

More Diary Left...

Please see my Diary for 2002 for more diary entries.

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