the start of a big long thought, hopefully

I’ve been following this “girlism” thing with much interest, but as I said in an email, I’m too mistrustful of generalizing to jump too quickly into the fray. but this week a couple of tangentially related items collided in my head, and I want to write down the result before it’s lost to the sands of item.

1) a long time ago, Dorothea blogged on the topic of fantasy, grownupness, and the book Killing Monsters. at the time, I thought, hmmmm. that sounds like a maybe interesting book. then again, I’d just finished moving.

2) something reminded me of it. I’d thought it was another post by Dorothea, and maybe it was this one, but I’m not sure. in any case, I put in my order at the library.

3) last week’s girlism thing, some personal stuff that comes into play later. a long weekend with enough time to tear through a book in a single sitting, pretty much.

4) Shelley blogs about karate…let’s call that the last straw.

I was not an athletic child, nor did I love rough & tumble sports. I was last picked for every sport, ever, even in high school. more than that, I was in special ed gym from 2nd through 8th grades – a strange experience in elementary school, and one of unrelenting despair in junior high. (with the particular exception of my friendship with Thao.)

rough-and-tumble, with my sisters, was fraught with problems. more fighting than anything else…and anger was something that just got out of hand, and quickly.

When girls don’t feel free to play at open agression, their desires to play with power and conflict don’t go away but take other forms.”

I was afraid of roller coasters until I was 12 or 13 (at which point I discovered I loved them), and terrified of horror movies, even when most of my friends loved them. (I still remember decamping from a slumber party where friends were watching Friday the 13th, with older brothers, and hiding out with Thao and talking very seriously about life and the world.)

the less said about the brutal social world of girls, the better, I think. what comes to me now, after reading this, and thinking about it, is my own burst of interest in violent media in junior high. James Bond, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes…okay, not too terribly violent, but they were a release for me.

being un-physical in my play has had lingering effects.

there was a better essay in my head while riding on the bus & washing dishes, but it’s not writing itself down now. (and that’s with 2 attempts.)