The Mind's I


MAUDE: ...What about you, Harold? What flower would you like to be?

HAROLD: I don't know. I'm just an ordinary person. Maybe one of those. (He points to the bouquet she is holding.)

MAUDE: Why do you say that?

HAROLD: I guess because they're all the same.

MAUDE: Oh, but they're not. Look here. See. Some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have some petals missing -- all kinds of observable differences, and we haven't even touched the biochemical. You know, to me they're just like the Japanese. At first you think they all look alike, but after you get to knwo them, you see there is not a repeat in the bunch. Each person is different, never existed before and never to exist again. Just like this flower... (she picks one out and shows it to him) An individual!

HAROLD: Well, we may be individuals, all right, but we have to grow up together.

MAUDE: That's very true. Still, I believe that much of this world's sorrow comes from people who know they are this... (showing him the flower) ... yet let themselves be treated as that. (She sadly holds up the bouquet of flowers in her other hand and turns with tears in her eyes to Harold.)

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December 1, 1998
Friends, Old and New

Eileene's Ear <sigh> Here's a photograph of my impossible to industrialize ear. My extremely prominent snug makes it difficult to do so... so I probably will pierce my snug. I do have a prominent anti-tragus so that's a possibility for piercing too. Just thinking about it gets me kind of depressed, and I know it's silly to get depressed over a piercing, but it's something that I really wanted and I had my heart set on it. I think they are very beautiful and it's upsetting that because of anatomical issues, I can't get one of my own. I know I'm going to be pouting over it for a while. Perhaps after I get my tragus done, I won't feel as bad.

Christine stopped by at work today because I scanned in her photos that she gave me on Saturday. Some of the photographs are great ones of Dori and I... so I'm going to put those pictures up sometime in my photos section. I will probably do that over the weekends that I have vacation later this month. I've decided to take a four or five day weekend sometime in January to do Washington DC and check out the Star Wars exhibit. Perhaps I'll try to coordinate it to be the same date/time as the r.a.b. munch. We'll see. Anyway, I left kind of early to walk down to Port Authority with Christine. I should see her more often: I can get tons of exercise with lots of walking.

I've started thinking about putting together that website for my Hutley High School 93 graduate friends. I emailed Tae and Hao and got responses from both of them. Hao is working at PCWorld doing HTML and other tech stuff like that. Tae is up in Boston doing financial stuff. I got thinking about it because Chris Marrerro (sp?) ICQed me. It looks like it won't be too difficult to get in touch with old friends. At the very worst, I can send snail mail out to everyone's home address listed in the yearbook. It would be much cooler if I got in touch with everyone via the web though, especially since this is a web-based project.

ScribeTribe had an interesting discussion on Affirmative Action and I wrote a lengthly message on my thoughts on it. Here is the post I sent:

>>Afffirmative action can be a double edged sword. I also don't like feeling that I need something to put me on equal footing with my white and male counterparts.<<

I can understand that...

I *know* that I've been "lucky" that in my world and in the circles I've been around, I've been judged because of my talent and my skills and not looked down upon because of my sex. Actually, it's been kind of a bonus. <grin> "Eileene's great with computers... and she's FEMALE to boot!" <grin>

I'm a gamer too... where there are very few women. Also, being a frequent conventioner, there are few asians involved in gaming as well. I've encountered a few weenies that assume I don't know how to game

weenie: Ok, Eileene.. now... this number here.. that's your thac0. Pronounced "tha-ko". It stands for "to hit armour class zero"...
iko: Yeah, I know all that. I've been playing this game since I was 6. Now pay attention to the DM before we miss some important clue.

But, for the most part, I've been treated very well, like "one of the guys".

When I was a member of ACM (association for computing machinery) on campus where I was one of a select few females involved in the organization, I was treated with respect and the same comraderie as the other guys. When I was a member of JAC (japanese animation club), where there are also few women involved in the group, I did get a few amazed faces when I proved to be just as big of a hentai. <grin> Then again, I don't fit many of the stereotypes afforded to women in these situations. <shrug>

I've taken a number of computer science courses... and perhaps it's just that I've gotten great TAs and professors, but I've never once been treated with disrespect or with the sense that I should be treated in a different way because I'm female. I get the same encouragement and praise when I think of something clever and the same "duh" and thwap on the head (and my grades) when I do something really dumb.

I suppose that the "world" out there might treat me differently, but the circles that I've been in, I've (thankfully) been treated with respect and with an open mind. Yes, there are stereotypes... and I fit some of them... and I don't fit many of them. I'm happy to meet people that don't assume I fit those stereotypes, and I'm also very happy to break down those misconceptions in others. And I don't mind remaining in my little worlds that I'm accepted.

Perhaps I'm limiting myself that way (keeping to the circles that I am in)... but I think I tend to travel in circles where women are uncommon.

>>I also want to be recogized for my abilities and talents, not for my sex or skin color. but the world dosen't work that way. When people see me for the first time, they don't "see" an aspiring writer, or a professional woman. They see a black woman, with all the stereotypes that being one entails.<<

I've been called a cynic and a pessimist (by my parents, my partner, and some of my best friends... I just think I'm a hard-ass)... but I don't see people who see me for the first time in that negative light. I mean, they might see me that way, but I don't think of it in that way. I don't assume what they think of me. Instead, I chose to look at every person I meet as a potential: Hey! Another person that could be a friend! Another prospective client! Another person that my skills can help! I admit that when I meet someone for the first time, I can only assume that my interaction with that person will be the same as like people I've met before (a client will be demanding, a fellow JAC member will love anime as much as I do, etc.) I'm a human being and it's a tendancy that, IMHO, cannot be removed from being a human being. But I recognize that every person I meet has a unique set of experiences that have molded them into the person that they are now... and that they will be a learning experience for me too. Perhaps my assumption will be confirmed (hey, you like Eva too! COOOL BEANS!). Perhaps my assumption will be proved wrong (hey! a client that loves everything I do! WOW!). Either way, I deal with it and learn from it and hopefully, am prepared for the next experience.

>>If people of color (I don't like the term "minorities" since it automatically assumes those that are not white are inferior, even though it's supposed to be used in the political sense) and women were treated as full human beings all along, there would never be a need for affirmative action. If corporations were left by themselves, there would not be as many women or people of color in management positions or in the tradionationally white male professions such as law and medicine.<<

I'd like to think that if people were left to themselves, women and other minorities (I don't mind the term because I see it in terms of population numbers. I am a minority in the USA. I would not be a minority in my native Philippines) would start their own companies and would support each other.

>>I may be thought of as a cynic or a misanthrope, or whatever, but people's biases aren't going to go away overnight.<<

I agree. And to me, being told "hey, you're a woman. Here's the help you need" keeps people's biases around. But that's just me. I don't want to live like that because it makes me feel like I didn't earn it.

I don't know what the solution is...
All I know is how I feel on the matter. I respect your views and your feelings on the matter. ;)

I can't change the world, only the corner that I'm in. But I'm happy to report that my corner is relatively free of bias. ;)

Perhaps I'm being naive. I know that I live in a rose-colored world. I've built a world around me that is probably relatively bias-free. I know that discrimination exists. I see it on the television and I hear about incidents of bias... but I don't experience it. Thank goodness for small favors, I suppose. ;)

© Copyright 1998, Eileene Coscolluela