Saturday, March 22, 2008

How I See Women

I've been in therapy lately, and although it seemed to me to be moving very slowly at first, I'm coming away now with at least one significant insight per session (I presume that will level off after awhile...).

Often they aren't so much insights as new perspectives on insights I'd had a long time ago.

Old Insight #1: I once said to someone or other that I found eight or nine women out of ten to be attractive, and I felt sorry for men who are only attracted to one woman out of twenty. Why would I want to live in a world that was so devoid of beauty?

Old Insight #2: I noticed years ago that almost all of my friends were women, that I had very little interest in men, generally speaking. I had a vague awareness that this had grown out my adolescent interest in almost every woman I knew (see above), and my desperate desire to have sex with a woman -- almost any woman.

Old Insight #3: I have always been a committed feminist, have always identified closely with women, have always been acutely aware of the daily injustices faced by every woman, and felt them as though they were offenses against myself.

Old Insight #4: A disproportionate number of my former lovers have been self-identified as lesbian or bisexual. More than one has told me something to the effect that I was the only man she had felt attracted to in a long time. One woman who had previously been submissive with women and dominant with men, came around reluctantly to the realization that she did, in fact, want me to dominate her.

New Insight: I see now that the items cited above are related, and that they are not entirely harmless.

It's not terribly sophisticated or "adult" to think of every woman I like as a potential lover, or a "symbolic" lover. It's not really the same thing as declining to exclude a female friend from the category of "possible future lover". It's not even necessarily the same thing as regarding women as friends, or anyway I shouldn't presume that because I find a woman attractive and interesting, I should consider her a "friend", or presume that I am entitled to call myself her "friend".

I've never liked myself as well as other people have liked me. This isn't an endearing characteristic, and I've been aware of it as something I need to work on. It's interesting that as my therapy progresses and I learn new things about myself that are mostly discreditable, I am still liking myself better than I used to.

I guess that means that as I see myself more clearly, I am also better able to forgive myself for not being perfect.


still hot said...

On The Other Hand: When I first met John, I told some of my friends that he was a wonderful guy, in fact, he was almost qualified to be a woman! They said of course, No Way! You have to be kidding! But after they met him, they agreed with me. I always thought that he combined the virtues of a good man and a good woman, in a way that I had never seen before. Now he seems to be rejecting the more womanly virtues, in favor of some masculine characteristics that I can't see as virtues, no matter how I try.

It is not always a bad thing to be very different from other people.

Dr. Psycho said...

Hot, I tend to agree that most of what people call "masculine virtues" are either things that both men and women need to possess and express, or else self-indulgent flaws masquerading as virtues ("honor" as conventionally envisioned, for instance).

But clearly something is wrong with me, or I wouldn't have allowed the current mess to develop and fester to its corrent state.

still hot said...

John, I think that the flaws you have that allowed you to allow the current mess to develop are very common flaws, and found in many people who don't share your virtues. They are simple, common flaws, and they have simple, common names.