Some of my best writing gets lost in Comments.

By the time a post has more than 10 Comments, the only people reading them are the ones who are adding theirs to the others. Yet, I find that some of my writing that states my positions most clearly are the ones I put in my Comments. I think it has to do with the fact that Comments become real conversations. Not real-time conversations, but thoughtful exchanges nonetheless. So, I’m repeating here some of what I wrote as Comments here:
Using [Jessica] Lynch as some kind of catalyst for a discussion of violence toward women on the home front was a bit of a stretch. I see her more as a victim of our military system, which promises a better life for those who serve. Except first, they have to survive the service itself, and that’s the part that’s not empahsized enough.
The older I get, the more I realize that everything in life is a trade-off. You have to be careful to make sure that you understand what you’re trading off for what you think you’re going to get.
….we make our choices and we take our chances when it comes to women joining the military. (I wonder, though, how many women in the military really thought through the choice they were making.) There’s a lot of cultural conditioning that gets in the way of letting us do our jobs no matter what our jobs are. We’re often damned if we do and damned if we don’t. And the men who work with us (on and off the battlefield) often make it harder on themselves as well as us because they don’t know how to get past that cultural conditioning. (And, as I’ve said before — much to the annoyance of both males and females I know — they don’t know how to control their testosterone surges.)
So, my choice is just about always to go where I’m not expected to play by the rules that have been set up by men primarily. I just don’t expect them to really understand how I think, make decisions, get things done. If, by chance, they do, terrific. That means we’ll work well together because I’ll go out of my way to try to meet them half-way. Now, none of that would hold true in the military. It’s a man’s game all the way.
I operate from the perspective that males and females are equal but different. We are of equal value as humans and have the same potential to succeed as far as brain-power is concerned. We might work out problems using different thought and interpersonal processes, but our solutions to those problems will be just as exquisitely forumulated as those of men. Different, maybe, but just as valid, just as deliberate, just as well-constructed.
In general, we don’t have the level of brute physical strength that men have, and if we choose to give birth, we have the constraints of our biology. But those are — or at least they should be — minor obstacles to success in just about any area of intelligent human activity. Except, I think, the military. It’s really beyond me why any female would honestly want to be a part of all that phoney baloney machismo. It’s not that I don’t think we need a military, but it has to evolve into a horse of different color before I would consider it worth riding on into the sunset.

1 thought on “Some of my best writing gets lost in Comments.

  1. Elaine, I have seen these before & after photos you paint. The second time around is almost always better.
    I bet that’s true for all of us! Often it seems to take the second go at barging down the gates of sign and symbol, among other constraints writers have placed on them by language. Our passions don’t always translate immediately, nor are they articulated in written form with any degree of understanding.
    I write furiously from my heart. Later my head either goes “Huh?” or “Well done!” and I scurry off to blog about it (but not often enough do I say “well done,” it’s usually more like: “medium swell,” and sometimes: “ewe, that’s raw.”)
    I love your comments. They are thoughtful, provocative. And your comment boxes. They’re like a built-in practice run and a polished catwalk, all rolled into one.

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