Week 14--Finale!

Anne Dalke's picture

This forum has been created as a place for you to record your final performances: scripts, lyrics, instructions for games.
See also my (out of focus and not-well-lighted!) photos.

Here's the line-up/playbill--
On Tuesday, December 8:

Owl
justouttheasylum
Rhapsodica and meredyd
Alice, Terrible2s, skindeep
eshaw, ebock, Karina, khoskins, and cmorais

On Thursday, December 10:
kjmason
rae and Oak
Anne and Kristin
Elephant, dshetterly, Beta, cantelope, twig, and holsn39

Time-wise, figure not to take more than
7 minutes if you are a single,
15 if you're a double,
20 if you're a three-some,
and 30 minutes if you are a group of 6.

While I'm here, I also want to direct your attention to The English House Gazette, a blog of stories written by the students in the News & Feature Writing class. As I circled the room this afternoon, nudging you all into more "critical questions," I heard lots of conversation about identity matters. Accordingly, the essay I thought might interest many of you is Margaret Ernst's "Gay, Straight, Whatever: Bryn Mawr Students Resist the Impulse to Label Their Sexuality.

justouttheasylum's picture

The month after celebrating my knowledge (Final Performance)

My performance made even more sense to me tonight, while having dinner with one of the girls on my hall.

This story is going to start off pretty weird but please, just bare with me. So I was telling her about one of the girls I know who, for the first time, smoked weed with a few of her friends. She was telling me about it and she seemed so happy and excited. So happy and excited in fact that she accepted a smoking invitation for the very next night. I was happy that she was happy but that was it. I had nothing against anyone who smoked weed, I just knew that I didn't want to. It reminded me of my ex-friend who smoked a lot of weed. Except, he didn't think he smoked a lot of weed. But in fact, he did smoke a lot of weed. He smoked in the tub, he smoked on the roof, he smoked on his front steps, he smoked walking around the block, he smoked on his lunch break. And most of all, he liked smoking around me. And while I accepted him and his weed, weed to me was not something you woke up in the morning and decided you wanted to do for the first time in your life. It was something your friends told you about, you grew curious about from hearing of it, you tried one night... And so, as he became comfortable being high around me, I grew uncomfortable. Most of his friends (not all because I was the exception) smoked weed. And I felt odd being the one who didn't. It was like high school peer pressure college edition. He wasn't saying I should but he kept bringing weed into my life. If he wasn't high around me, he was talking about getting high, mentioning things he would do sober vs. high. And I got the feeling that if I smoked weed, he would like me better. And for the first time, I realized I didn't want to be around him anymore.

This still has a point. Be a little more patient.

So I tell this to my friend over dinner and mention how I feel bad. I've always been this person who wants to be open. Very very open. Accepting of all things, cultures, experiences, people. But I didn't want to be around this guy anymore and I felt bad. I felt like I was discriminating. What right did Asia have not wanting to be around a guy who smoked weed  rather frequently? That was judgmental and I had been trying to establish myself, for years, as the most nonjudgmental, liberated person to walk this earth. In one of the groups we formed in class discussing the term woman and man, I was the one saying we needed no words. They would only serve to limit us.

But my friend said, 'I don't want to be friends with people who lie to me. Should I feel bad because I am discriminating against liars? We become friends with people who value similar things as us."

But that's not the kind of friend I was trying to be. I wanted to be friends with everyone. Everyone. I wanted to include everything in my life. I wanted to do everything, be everything. But when you try to be everything, you can't be the things you really want to be. In my effort to be all-inclusive, I became a non-entity. I had no choices, I had no preferences, I just accepted everything. I wanted to be unconfined. Permeable. But I realized, without choices and preferences, I wasn't a person. I was trying to avoid the extreme of being close-minded and ended up at the other extreme that was complete open-mindedness. It was noble to be open but structure was necessary.

That's when I started thinking inside of the box. The box was representative of the things about me that were static. Houses undergo tons of renovation, people's genes mutate and yet something about that house and the people have remained constant. So much can change and yet you somehow remain 'you'. So there needed to be something that was fixed. (Discriminant of change)

So long as the top was open, there is nothing wrong with being in a box. But, I decided that I would never allow myself to give up some parts of me in order to fit things inside my box. I would just get a bigger box. And that's what I have been doing ever since this class. Putting some things in the box, taking some things out and, when I want to keep everything, I just get a larger box.

LizJ's picture

"Come together right now over me"

Report on In-Class Presentation

 

When my group came together for our first meeting, I cannot say I was not worried. Having such a big group (Daisy, Roldine, Heather, Laryssa, Courtney, and myself) was daunting. As we were brainstorming, everyone had different ideas as to what to do and no one seemed to agree. I left that first meeting feeling defeated. The next day, when we had our second meeting, I was pleasantly surprised as to how well we all started to work together. Since, we all agreed we wanted to do an interactive activity and that we wanted to incorporate the social construction aspect of gender and sexuality, we were able to move on from there. As soon as one person had planted the seed of doing a continuation writing activity, we all started to expand on that initial idea, and soon enough our ideas blossomed into our final presentation.
For our presentation we decided to create various prompts containing elements of gender and sexuality. These prompts took the form of images, song lyrics, book and film quotes, definitions, and facts. With each prompt at the top of separate pieces of paper, everyone in the class was to get their own prompt and respond to it in anyway they wanted to for the duration of a minute. Once the minute was over, the participants were to fold over what they had just reacted to and pass it to the person on their left and so on. At the end of 15 minutes, we stopped the activity and told everyone to unfold their paper and read/look over it. We then had a few people present what was on their paper to the rest of the class.

The final paper that people ended up with had the unseen reactions of the people in front of them. As a final product, this was supposed to represent the socializing implications that go into the creation of what people view as gender and sexuality. I think our group managed to effectively show this social construction of gender and sexuality in an interesting way for all involved. We came a long way from our first meeting, and I am glad to say it all worked out. 

ebock's picture

Conversation with My Mother

Apologies for this being a little late:

 

 

Conversations with my mother happen at the kitchen table. We sit at the corner, usually with a cup of coffee – my mother’s with some sugar, mine black. She tells me about work, her mother, and any news about people I used to go to school with. I don’t always know how much I can tell her about being at Haverford. It is hard a lot of the time, but I don’t want to burden her with more worry in addition to what she already has. Sometimes she will tell me a story, or share one of her worries with me.
 
I will never forget the day she told me she could not understand how my brother didn’t believe in God. She said that god had answered so many of her prayers. When she was young, she would pray every night that her dad would make it home from the bar. He had frequent trysts at the bar after work, and she would talk to God in hopes of helping her dad get home safely. I could see she was holding back tears (I have only seen my mother cry once or twice in my life), and the light coming in from the window over the sink made her look more tired than she usually does.
 
This might have been the most she has ever let me in. She, like all the other women in my family, refuses to be seen as weak. My mother’s mother was a poor 18 year old when she had my mother and was married to my grandfather. My grandfather had an 8th grade education and worked in a factory for most of his life until he retired, while my grandmother had 3 daughters and also worked in a sewing factory for less than minimum wage. My mother was the first person in her family to go to college. She has a will like no other person I know, and I can only ever hope to be as strong as she is.
 
Conversations with my mother are never about trifling things. We don’t talk about “women” things and neither do the rest of the women in my family. We have seen too much and been through too much to let our guard down too much. This class makes me think of my conversations with my mother; I sometimes don’t always think of myself as a woman. I think of myself as a member of a line of people who have been saddled with worries for as long as they’ve been alive and who have worked to make life better for the next generation of the family. I came to this class as a person, from the working-class who can only hope to be able to provide for my mother in the future. Hopefully some day I can sit at the same table with my mother and our coffees (hers with some sugar, mine still black) and tell her that she doesn’t have to worry anymore; I’m going to take care of her.

 

LizJ's picture

At The End

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"At The Beginning"
performed by Donna Lewis and Richard Marx
We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming
What we'd have to go through
Now here we are
And I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

No one told me
I was going to find you
Unexpected
What you did to my heart
When I lost hope
You were there to remind me
This is the start

And...

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

We were strangers
On a crazy adventure
Never dreaming
How our dreams would come true
Now here we stand
Unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

And...

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

I knew there was somebody somewhere
Like me alone in the dark
Now I know my dream will live on
I've been waiting so long
Nothing's gonna tear us apart

And...

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

(Hey ay ay)

Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep going on....
Starting out on a journey
Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is river I wanna keep flowing
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you.

(Hmmmmm)
 
Yes, this song is from the 1997 cartoon version of "Anastasia." And yes, it is way corny. But I think that after a semester of getting to know one another and ending with phenomenal final performances, I can't help feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.
 

Rhapsodica's picture

justouttheasylum!

Hey, justouttheasylum--you were the person whose name I drew in class!

The first thing I thought of that I learned from you is, of course, the word "syllaship." Hehe! And then I thought a little bit more, and I realized that one thing I have really learned from you is not to be afraid of being honest and having a sense of humor, even when talking about such serious and difficult things, and to always take a step back and think about the questions we are engaging with apply to things we haven't necessarily questioned before.

One question I have for you would be whether you think you're going to view the rest of your academic experience as a science major differently than you would have if you hadn't taken this class, and if so, what in particular you think you've learned/are more aware of now that you weren't before. I would also have been curious, throughout the class, to hear even more about how your experiences in that discipline have been shaped by issues of gender and sexuality, because I feel like we left the sciences in the dust after the first few weeks, probably because so few of us were science majors.

 

Also, this is to EVERYONE:

Thanks for participating in this activity, even if you weren't able to say what you learned/ask your question in class! I'm not sure how on earth meredyd and I thought that we could fit the entire activity into just 15 minutes, but I'm glad we tried, and I think it would be great if you guys kept posting them even now that the class is over! :)

justouttheasylum's picture

Haha, well thank

Haha, well thank you Rhapsodica. Hmm. First, I am kind of wary of the way people characterize me as honest for two reasons. The first one is easy to explain. I don't always say what I want, in particular, the things I wish I could say. I have been disrespected, mistreated, lied to and it is at those times that I find it hardest to stand up for myself. Second, I find that people usually connect me to the kind of honesty that goes hand in hand with rude. I am sure you know those people: "Your hair looks horrible. Well, I'm just being honest." But I don't think you're doing that. So thank you.

My need to be honest comes from two things (me and twos): horror movies and my gut. In the horror movie, the protagonist usually sees a ghost or a monster or someone who was supposed to be dead and no one ever believes them. Watching movies like that since I was 5, I had this huge drive to make sure that I told the truth so that in the event that I told someone I saw, I don't know, Elvis, they would, without a doubt, believe me. Second, I get a pain in my stomach, literally, if I don't tell the truth. I tried to write down the time of my journal entry but I didn't have a watch, I just knew it was close to midnight. I was at war for about 5 minutes deciding if it was honest to write 12:03am if I wasn't absolutely sure so I just wrote ~12am.

Haha. And my sense of humor comes from having been through damn near everything. Sometimes, you just have to find a light, a bright light coming from a disco ball and dance. Because it's quite easy to just become depressed, stay depressed and wither with the leaves. And it is has been fairly recently that I have accepted that it is my natural born right to be happy.

How will this course shape my academic experience as a science major and how have my experiences in that discipline been shaped by issues of gender and sexuality?

Well, I have always had a thing for math and biology and physics because of their attempt to have absolutes. In Biology especially, there is always an 'exception'. I always said that if they spent less time making rules, they would have more time since they wouldn't have to list the 'exceptions'.  I have always thought scientifically from a need to control and order my life. If I can prepare, account for and plan everything, then there are no unknown risks. But I knew, that when I came to Haverford, I was going to be a Gender and Sexuality minor. There is just this burning rage that comes from within whenever someone treats another as inferior, less, not good enough, sinful...all based on things that they had no control over or have absolutely no bearings on the well-being of another. So it makes no difference to me if you were 'born' gay or just 'choose' the same sex; you should be able to live and love the way you want to. Not tolerated. Accepted. So I think it's the discipline that has been shaped my views of gender and sexuality, not my experiences.

But I think this course will forever change it. It's courses like these, that come along once in your academic career that make you go back down the steps and enter a different door. My new door wasn't too far from the old one but it's taken me somewhere entirely different. When you spend your life trying to fit everything into a neat little box, so that you're all together, all prepared, nothing out of the ordinary, you take this course and change. I think I have finally confronted some of my own misconceptions. I kept trying to separate myself from all things stereotypically woman to avoid being deemed weak or inferior or overly emotional. But being in this class, I saw women who did dress like 'women', who wore make-up, who had gorgeous bags, who spoke their mind, who felt sad, who have been through everything, who did care what others thought of them, who were sometimes afraid. I saw diverse women. No one no more 'woman' than the next. I think the parts of me I turned off in fear were finally getting a chance to come out. So how has that shaped my science career. I guess for the first time, Asia Gobourne is a science major, not just a part of me, not just a section, every part of me. And I don't box the genes I study into particular categories as I would no longer box myself. For the first time, who I really am is entering my academic career. And it feels pretty damn great.

 

 

 

Anne Dalke's picture

Kristin's

...was the name I drew. This pleased me because I had a number of affirmative things to say about her,
and this way I can do it in public.

What I learned from Kristin this semester was

  • what fun it is to co-teach with someone who is game for all my wild ideas
  • what a difference it makes to have a co-teacher who is always smiling,
    always encouraging--even when I'm unsure about how things are going
  • what a help it is to have a reality check
  • what a difference it can make, both to organize one's life around a disability,
    and to learn to see the world through that lens.

Thank you!

The question I have (you should now imagine me going down on my right knee) is

  • will you please co-teach with me again? (or, failing that)
  • co-present a conference paper?
  • co-write an essay?
  • a book?
  • or @ least another seriously silly song??


Karina's picture

Courtney!

you were my person! The thing that stuck with me the most about you was your dislike (what???) for graphic novels and how you sort of went back and forth on it as we were reading The Dollhouse and Jimmy Corrigan. It's interesting because the class that Emily (shaw) and I have been taking this semester has made me - forced me - to look at comics in a totally (drastically) different way and see it a medium in which the absurd, the radical, the impossible can actually occur - I guess the breaking of conventional boundaries is something that we've been talking about in this class a lot.

My question to you is what you thought of Lynda Barry's book. It is considered a graphic novel - 100% - but there are many ways in which I hesitate to pin it down as such. So I 'm curious about your reaction to it in comparison to the other 2 graphic texts we've read :)

Karina's picture

the written portion

For our final performance we decided to include an aspect of storytelling and share personal narratives of our mothers in order to try to relay the kind of intergenerational dialogue we'd experienced with regard to questions of gender and identity.

I wrote a poem about my mother as well as a narrative re-telling a particular story she'd relayed to me.

Mother, in Seven Parts 

I.

“Where did you dig him up?”

my mother asks me

as if he were a fresh sack of potatoes. 

II.

The first time I saw my mother

cry, she said she had just jammed her finger

in the door. She stood there, red,

holding her own hand furiously. 

III.

My mother and I stopped talking

the summer after I turned fifteen.

(My father and I had stopped talking

the summer after I turned nine.)

The house was pleasantly quiet. 

IV.

One winter, my mother told me

she was going to Thailand

on a business trip.

She saw the monks and

      rode an elephant.

I never forgave her for that. 

V.

I have my mother’s eyes.

I have my mother’s cheeks.

I have my mother’s breasts.

I do not have her hands, bones. 

VI.

My mother wanted to be

a pianist and an astronomer. 

VII.

The day I left for school

my mother took a road trip to Montreal.

She pledged to drive north until

she and her friend found good coffee

or bilingualism

or both.

She called to say goodbye (I love you);

I was still asleep. 
 

      I’d never really asked my mother what feminism means to her. She’d never witnessed it as the colorful spectacle of a movement it must have been here in the States. She doesn’t deem women’s studies – or gender and sexuality studies – to be subjects particularly worthy of her attention. She’d never been a vocal advocate of women’s rights because to her they are simply not a point of contention. She accepts what she perceives as “old-fashioned” sexism or misogyny that is inherent in the Russian culture with a wordless wave of dismissal. Whereas I view this as cowardice, a lack of a backbone, an infuriating silence on her part, she maintains that it is a battle better not fought, or rather, not worth the effort on her part. She knows better than to waste her time, she says.

      Practically all of her advice comes in the form of a cautionary tale. This irritates me because I find the method helplessly biased and inadequate, but mostly because it appears to be the only form of advice that gets through and stays with me.

      The last story she told me was about her friend Rita. Rita was her best friend in high school. She graduated at the top of her class and went to the most prestigious and impossible to get into University at the time: some scientific institute in Moscow, to study mathematical theory or something more obscure. Unsurprisingly, Rita was on the shy and quiet side and had little experience with men. Like many Soviet women, she suffered from the most debilitating of anxieties: ending up unmarried and childless – in a word, alone. The only difference between there and the States was that women were always expected to excel both professionally and in marriage. The concept of a “stay-at-home” mother didn’t really exist.

      Rita married the first man with whom she fell in love with and who, luckily for her, seemed to have fallen in love with her, too. The degree to which Rita was attached to this man, my mother says, was frightening and easily bordering on pathetic. He was a Romantic; he had very long hair, hanging down past his shoulders. He played the banjo for a living and lived in what must have been a maddeningly irregular manner. He would stay up late writing and composing. Then, his mood would change almost literally with the weather. He would brood and drink and disappear for days. He would cheat on her without even attempting to cover his tracks. But Rita continued to stay with him. They had one child – a daughter named Alexandra, who was exceptionally bright, no doubt taking after her mother. Rita continued to work long hours, flying from one foreign conference to another. But because she was the only breadwinner, they continued to live on just barely enough to get by.

      My mother visited her on Christmas one winter. She said that the one thing she remembers most clearly is the pained look of shame in her eyes. She said that her hands trembled as she served the few holiday-themed delicacies she’d bought, laid out on the appropriately fragile China. Her husband didn’t come home that night, but the next morning my mother walked into the kitchen to find him sitting in his bathrobe silently with a cup of coffee that Rita had no doubt prepared upon his return. Rita herself was standing behind him, lovingly brushing long hair and weaving it into a long braid. My mother said she’d never felt sadder or more disgusted in her life. She said she could feel her insides just shaking with anger.

      She said she hoped to God I would never end up like that. Her tone made it sound more like a threat than loving counsel, but in that moment I understood precisely what she meant and didn’t question it.

      I wonder now why it is that my mother didn’t explain to me Rita’s reasoning for staying with this man. She made it clear that Rita was not only miserable but blamed herself mercilessly for her senseless infatuation with this man when she was younger and her self-proclaimed “stupidity” for not leaving him when she could. But that was all I got in terms of an explanation. My mother also never once mentioned his name.

      There’s a poster in the Women’s Center that tells a story of a woman who was visited by Life herself in a dream. In one hand she held out Love and in the other Freedom. The woman chose Freedom and Life smiled and told her that she chose wisely because one day she will return to offer her both. The woman smiled back in her sleep.

      There are some lessons in feminism that transcend the boundaries of language and generation. There are things one can only properly enunciate in the form of stories, at once distant and eerily familiar, rather than through didactic utterances. These are the things my mother taught me.

Anne Dalke's picture

gender and identity @ a women's college

Realizing that what we've been up to this semester won't "end"....

listen to this just-published NPR interview w/ pemrez2007 (and Karen Tidmarsh)

on Gender and Identity @ a Women's College.

skindeep's picture

conversations with our mothers

to everyone in the group - your presentation gave me chills.

the stories you shared were compelling in the frank, unpolished truth they portayed and the manner in which you shared them just added to the beauty and depth of the entire thing.

whats more, the project left an impact - even though i cannot speak for the class, i can say that i definitely took home a message from it and that the essence of it stayed with me for a long long time.

thank you, for sharing your stories with us. i respect the courage and strenth behind what you'll shared.

and, i mean this in the least stereotypical way, but that took balls.

 

kayla's picture

Name game

 Kathryn

During our name game, I always got you and Melinda confused because for awhile (or maybe just a few times) you two sat next to each other. But then I noticed that you were one of the first people to show up waiting for that class to end, and you were always so cheerful and pleasant. That set you apart and suddenly, I knew your name (Not that Melinda isn't nice too!).

My question: How do you think you have grown this semester, either inside or outside of our classroom?

Terrible2s's picture

Name question thingy

Meredith: You were always so gracious whenever people forgot your name in the name game. I think perhaps you don't look much like a meredith so it confused people.
I got confused...sorry!

You doodle/draw really well.

Question: what are you drawing? Do you do any kind of art?

kayla's picture

mother narrative

I told Anne that I would post the actual narrative that I wrote today for our presentation and that I intended to read through...it was a bit long, however:
 
So.
What about my mother?
My mother was born August 18, 1969, and since her 25th birthday, she has remained 25 years-old. She has six children; she would have had eight. She grew up in central Ohio with two sisters, her mother and, of course, father. They lived down the street from a church. Mother and father were preoccupied with hating each other and drinking with their neighborhood friends. The neighborhood men were preoccupied with my young mother.
My mother was smart, but school was tortuous. And home was a nightmare. Abuse and neglect, neglect and abuse and that church was not the escape my mother and her sisters sought. Those men too overstepped their boundaries.
In her young teen years, my mother fell for a black young man. At 15, she was pregnant with his little black baby. My grandmother, always quick to try to do the “right thing” for the sake of appearances had always assured my mother that if something like this happened, she did not have to be afraid to tell her—and her father never had to know about it. My grandmother told her she would be there for her, because she is her mother after all, and she loves her daughter no matter what. Naturally, my young mother confessed and promptly her angry, racist, drunk father gave her two frightening options and neither involved keeping that child.
“You abort that bastard or I’ll beat it out of you, you little whore!”
At 15, my mother had an abortion. And the rich little white girl from an “upstanding” family couldn’t be seen with a poor black man from the slums, so soon after that she met another man: a poor white guy from the very same slums. This was okay with her father, who obviously cared so much about her well-being.
And it was this man, my father, who knocked her up when she was 18 years-old and drunkenly beat her in their new home when she was pregnant with me. He was out of control, and she escaped the house only to walk through the streets barefoot in the snow to get away from the man who was so preferable to her first love.
So that’s where I come from: sexual abuse, molestation, racism and violent male dominance.
And it would be over 20 years after my birth until she could escape these misfortunes, all the while making it her one priority as a mother to protect her children from the monsters she faced growing up.
In doing so, however, she was still unable to protect herself.
After the birth of my brothers, twins, in 1991, she became involved with another monster who would wait to show his dark side until after she was mentally and financially dependent on him, and too scared to dare leave. My earliest memory of him was when my brothers were two or three; they were crawling all over him and wrestling with him, calling him “daddy.” And for over ten years, he was our daddy—our biological father being too damn drunk to even buy diapers. Our new daddy was caring and loving and physically violent. At first my siblings and I only heard his loud roar from our bedrooms, but after he was fully integrated into our lives he got more confident. He moved us to central Pennsylvania, away from our family and friends, and our lives got a little bit scarier. During her third pregnancy with her fourth child, he beat her more violently than I had ever witnessed, punching her in her stomach and dragging her around by her hair. It happened that as I aged, I became more aware of the horror of his actions and became more willing to try to put a stop to this abuse. My mother had put a telephone in my bedroom at some point, but he pulled the cord out of the wall before I could call the police. Later, I had the audacity to try to escape the house while he was hurting her to get help. But he chased me back up the stairs with his clenched fist and I stopped trying. The neighbors never did anything when they heard him; his brother never stopped him even when he witnessed it happening, so I quickly learned that any chance of survival had to come from within ourselves.
And eventually we did manage to escape him, but the next man who had my mother secretly hooked on OxyContin followed in his footsteps; that man followed by the father of her last child who blamed her cancer for his compulsive cheating. A long series of lovers and friends kept her in the place, her place, that she’d been in all of her life until some magic moment that I missed because I was away at college doing what she never had the chance to do.
Through all of this, one thing always remained steady: this was not the life she wanted for her baby girl. These were not the men she wanted her sons to emulate. And by the time I was in high school, I understood the lesson she was in the process of learning herself, and teaching me at the same time.
The whole point of her getting involved with the men she loved and depended on despite their violence and hatred was to be able to provide something for herself and her children. It was to give us all the gift of “The Brady Bunch,” to be able to put a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree. She never felt like she had the option or the capacity to do this on her own. So, she sought out men who owned their own businesses, or men who were local athletes—providers, as they appeared on the outside. But in each and every case, George Michael’s message rang true: sometimes the clothes do not make the man. And sometimes, an eccentric woman covered in tattoos and scars can do it all on her own.
That is where I come from.