In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

15 thoughts on “A Lesson on Duality

  1. Duality. We don’t think about it much, we either have it or we don’t. Most of us don’t realize we do have it – don’t consciously think about it – and those that don’t have it will never understand that they don’t. A few months ago I was on Facebook interacting with a friend by commenting on something she had posted. It was a political post or a post about a recent world event, I don’t remember which. Somewhere along the line of comments another friend of hers offered his viewpoint. It was totally and completely different from all of the others in that string. It was also extremely strident. So strident that I was actually taken aback by it’s angry tone. Not only was I somewhat shocked by his anger and venom I was also diametrically opposed to his point of view. It compelled me to respond to it. I reiterated the points in my comment by stating them differently hoping he would see them in a new light. I even went so far as to tepidly agree with some of his points. But to him I had fired a British musket volley at a Patriot Minute Man. His response to my reply was immediate and more strident and now beyond anger. It was more hateful and pointedly personal than his initial comments. Thus ensued a series of verbal volleys that quickly escalated into a battle that became more and more heated and more and more personal and scathing. We each became deeply entrenched in our viewpoints and defensive postures. In short it became ugly and I was becoming increasingly embarrassed over my own behavior and the fact that I was displaying all of this on my friend’s post. I eventually messenged her privately and apologized for what I was doing. She responded with kindness by saying that’s okay, but I knew she was lying. She then told me that this other friend of her’s had engaged in this type of behavior before in the comments of other items she had posted. She then added that her so-called friend is an avid Tea Party advocate, that he will never change his mind, that he is always this way, and he always takes every opportunity to angrily denounce any opinion that does not agree with his.

    I immediately realized what I was up against. I immediately realized how futile my attempts at reasoning was with this individual. Just how futile my attempt at reasoning was soon became apparent when he actually firmly and angrily declared that among the many duties and responsibilities of Congress coming to a compromise on the issues was not one of them. As every fourth grader knows this is exactly the reason that our Founding Fathers created a two house Congress. The irony of this statement from such an individual was alarming and disarming at the same time. It was as if among the musket volleys we fired between us he had suddenly and ferociously opened up a full cannon barrage. I did make one final reply to him pointing out that compromise was indeed the stated intention of the men who created our country. But my words and indeed my breath were wasted on this person. He was a Tea Bagger. He would never admit he was wrong and never back down from even an incorrect position. That a man who declared that he so loves his country that he wanted to take it back to it’s very basic and fundamental principles yet declare that Congress was not established to reach compromise between the states was irony in its purest form.

    At that moment I realize just how dangerous polarity can be. This was not a man who did not recognize the gender of another person, this was a man who wanted to change the very course and direction of our country, and he was angry enough to join others to do so by any means necessary, even if that meant force and violence.

    The speaker in the talk was absolutely correct. Our world has become more polarized than ever before. And the political polarity is nothing short of frightening. One of the main reasons it it’s so frightening is that people who maintain a polarized viewpoint are by and large not at all willing to compromise, while those who come from a position of duality are generally not only more willing to compromise but are actually openly declaring that it is the only way anything will ever be accomplished in order to move forward as a society. The holder of a polarized viewpoint will only attack; the holder of a viewpoint that comes from a position of duality will attempt to resolve the issue by diplomacy. Politically speaking positions of polarity are seen as more fierce and stronger and positions of duality and compromise are perceived as weak. This dichotomy of positions has produced an angry tension within our country.

    I believe the only way to resolve issues and move forward civilly is to discuss them equally in an open forum and reach some sort of compromise. Neither side will be completely happy but neither side will be totally disappointed. The problem is that those with the polarized viewpoint do not even consider diplomacy as a necessary. They would rather attack duality and wipe it out like an angry horde of Huns. The only way this attack can be stopped is by those espousing a diplomatic viewpoint who come from a position of duality become just as strong and firm and openly united in their convictions as the openly angry horde of Huns they are up against. Tea Baggers and their angry ilk are like barbarians at the door of our democracy. I believe duality must rise to the same level of strength as those ensconced in polarity because those so entrenched will never be dissuaded from their angry goal. I believe that is what this country has been reduced to politically and it frightens me. The only way this will change and return to a position of national balance is to respond to a political onslaught with equal but most likely superior force. I am, therefore, reduced to concluding and declaring that I now believe we have come to a point in our history as a nation that it will take a barbarian to safeguard our civilization.

  2. Great comment MPM and I appreciate this in depth comment. I agree that the climate in America is one of the thought and language of polarity from leaders down to the populace. Heated discussion and defending one’s beliefs vehemently try is what democracy is about in the market place of ideas. I think once again that labeling is hard not to do but contributes to polarizing.
    The clerk was too quick to make a snap judgment of Ash of the Ted Talk and suffered embarrassment as a result. I believe a healthy amount of humble “I can’t be sure but this is what I believe” is called for on everyone’s part, even if that thought is not spoken aloud but merely kept in mind.

  3. Gonna play a little hard ball. Typical, overbearing gay woman with a chip on her shoulder.
    Same as a really ugly chick, she could have simply said oh, I am her aunt and let it go. If you’re going to dress ambiguously then accept the social challenge you obviously present to those still learning. She’s a bully.
    Even a sarcastic remark a la Ellen would have been the best. I had to stop this as soon as she changed the context to suit her political issues, and that is how I see it at this level, politics. She made me angry.

    Same as any fat girl gets asked when she’s due, or man for that matter depending on what shape he’s in.
    I cannot tell you how many times I have had to deal with a rude, overbearing, big mouth wants to bring her personal political issues into a situation it does not belong because she’s appointed herself queen.
    It’s about choice and forgiveness.

    • You should have watched the whole thing. I don’t think it was as political as it was about labeling people generally and how we polarize ourselves by having to claim one aspect of ourselves when we are more than just an “ugly” chick as you say.

      As for her chip, it’s difficult to be socially “unacceptable” and rejected for being you. She mentioned the decision she has to make walking down the street holding her girlfriend’s hand when approaching other people on the street, whether to let the hand go or grab tighter. That was a subtle reaction to people’s stares or glares or challenges. Being “different” is tough and not all people deal with it the same way. If it weren’t for activists making issues where they should be made, the majority would silence those who do not fit in.

      She ends up handling the situation well. Labeling is killer.

  4. Like this lady is a gender cop, she the type does the labeling to suit her needs. Burnt my britches she did – yoda.

  5. Just had a few like this try to cram it down my throat before they’ve even assessed my stance, or even why should I have to? Like police, there’s no trouble unless they show up. That’s the point, everyone gets the look from someone, just get over it, if you don’t react, they won’t. If this were a gay man, it would have been presented as in more funny way I think, just their style.

    • Something tells me you would have been more receptive to an aggressive man with the same message. This talk wasn’t even about being gay so much as being typecast as one thing when people are more than the name or attitude you give them. The message is tolerance and is important no matter the appearance of the messenger. You pre-judged her without giving her a full hearing if you didn’t listen to the end, shut her down, and that is exactly her point–prejudging based on our own predispositions and experiences. You have her figured as a “type.”

  6. No, I despise an aggressive man more than all of them put together.
    I will still insist that she made an issue where there need not be one.
    The person made an error and she decided to capitalize on it. She used it as a subject to forward her career and based a commercial episode for profit based on this misunderstanding at a children’s party. After that she makes her point, however, she was originally put off and said the other woman “needed” to be more aware. No she does not.
    Why I call her a gender cop. I know lots of gay women and among them are this type, bullies.
    If you don’t feel like buying into their issues when they want to discuss them, you get them crammed down your throat.
    She is a type, a very specific type that clearly labels themselves as a militant gay. That is what I call them.
    I look at her as a human at first, but when she opens her mouth is when I have to peg her down.
    Just my personal experience with her “type”. I lived with a gay woman, very butch little thing and she NEVER had to get on a soap box or make any point about being gay, expect people to acknowledge her as such.
    I could make as much a point about being hetero!! I was in a bar in LA, had a collared shirt on, the girl next to me paying her bar tab took one look at me and asked if I were gay. I smiled said no. I took it as her being engaging and perhaps even interested.
    I did not think I need to fix her or the world. I am not a militant hetero, just a guy.
    So I would say NO WAY was the woman thought she was a man was judging or being anything but herself, just like this woman.
    If this lady were black, I doubt she would have even been invited to the party. This goes beyond gender and is simply about living in a community of all shades.

    • There are many who would agree with you, Jim, that people need to relax more and accept one another’s mistakes and foibles, know the clerk didn’t mean anything by her mistake, an unconscious error, and that some people make issues where there are none.

  7. I could also add, is there something wrong with being identified as a man other than it simply being incorrect? Is there something so despicable about the male gender that any identity with it has her judging and labeling herself?

  8. I know you have a better sense of these things than I do so I am open minded, but cannot get over identifying this woman as a bully in real life.

  9. okay tolerance, I did not see it her.

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