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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008 04:51 pm
// Boobies. /

39CommentReply

aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

This is pretty rambling, but it's harder to edit in these little comment boxes than the big post boxes!

When I was a kid, we'd sing this song about "your rights stop at the end of my nose" and then we'd have discussions about what that meant. Essentially, it means that your skin, your physical personhood, is a boundary space. You are responsible for what goes on inside that boundary (emotions, thoughts, etc) - someone can't MAKE YOU feel happy or sad with their words unless you're giving them the power to make you feel that way. What you do OUTSIDE your skin is an ACTION, as opposed to thoughts and feelings, so if you say something, or touch someone, you've made a decision to turn something INSIDE into something OUTSIDE. You are and will be held responsible for your actions OUTSIDE. When you ask someone about their boobs and they feel threatened, it's not solely about either party. You may have asked poorly - it's helpful to have honest female friends you can bounce some of your approaches off of so they can point out things that you might not realize you could be expressing. They may be reacting poorly because of some past experience, trigger, bias, or issue you have no clue exists - in the end, that's for them to work out, someday, maybe.

- There's a lot of culture and society and psychology in the verbal exchange space, and seriously, the best way to get more comfortable in this realm is to find some "safe" friends, people with more social savvy than you but that also understand you might lack those skills and say things "badly" a lot, and they like you and understand you and forgive you anyway, and want to help you, you know the type? (But do them a favor and don't ask for their help in that unless you seriously want it, because it's a LOT of work and you're going to get told you're wrong a LOT and it is a SKILL, absolutely not some natural gut-based thing - it might seem like it is for a lot of people, but it's just that they learned it so early they've forgotten the process or even that there was one, but seriously I SWEAR to you, it is a skill and it can be learned by anyone willing to WORK HARD to learn it.) -

Now, the physical action realm is much more clear-cut, and is what I was intending to touch (ha) upon with my comments today. The skin is a boundary point. Touching without asking is an explicit no-no. (Now, don't get all letter-of-the-law stupid about it. Accidents are accidents, crowded spaces are crowded spaces, and certain social groups are more or less touch-friendly than others. It is YOUR responsibility to move yourself out of social groups that don't match your preferences and into ones that do, and if the groups you'd like to be in don't want you, you may or may not be able to figure out why. This is all pretty complicated, huh? It's usually a bad idea to be reductionist about social things, because they're just such diverse, complex systems.) Actions against someone's person would also involve throwing shit at them, stealing their shit, and, to some, deliberately telling lies about them so as to damage their image or reputation.

"That Guy" does not respect boundaries. He does not respect HIS OWN boundaries, he does not respect HIMSELF, so it's practically impossible for him to be capable of acknowledging and respecting the boundaries of others. "That Chick" has the exact same problem with respecting boundaries, incidentally, but TYPICALLY the male way of this disrespect is invading others' boundaries and the female version is failure to defend one's own boundaries, but that's a 20-page essay I'm not going in to now.

[cont'd]


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