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Sarah M Ingram
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 - 04:20 pm:   

I'm not exactly sure how to go about this, but I'm desperately searching for like-minded women (and men, as long as they think with their minds) with whom to carry on a conversation deeper than a teaspoon about things other than diapers, recipes, and needlepoint. I'll probably be all over the map with my first post, so please bear with me.

I was raised in a tribal culture (Cherokee)that celebrates individuality, discovery, intellectualism, experimentalism, and mysticism. Alas, I've become separated from any semblance of that, and I wonder if it still exists anywhere besides my family...which, sadly, is going the way of Aphrodite Kamestos and Oakwind.
During the mid 1980's, when I was finishing my BA in English, a small group of us feminists thought we could make a new society that actually utilized its intellect rather than its gender to make changes. We had more on our minds than perpetuating the species--and holding a useless sheepskin which we would end up dusting off during our dotage when we showed grandchildren and great grandchildren that 'yes, once upon a time, grandma Buffy went to college--that's where I met Biff, then we got married.' My suspicion is that if Waking the Moon (forgive my lack of underlining...I'm new at this forum stuff) had been written then, our little group would have devoured it, then done the "Womyn running with Wolves" thing.
Anyway, I just wondered: has anyone else noticed the dearth of actively intelligent people who aren't afraid to think OUTSIDE the status quo box, who don't give a damn what the Joneses do in order to keep up with them. Where I live, there are these gated communities--just high-faluting suburbs--with the in-dwellers setting themselves apart from those outside the gates in the mistaken opinion that they are better than those outside the gates. In reality, I don't believe that the residents actually think for themselves, but allow the property owners association to dictate their every flicker of self-expression. It appears, here, that unless one maintains some reasonable facsimilie of copy-catting, one is ostracized. Not that I mind all that much, considering that my life-partner and I live deep in the forest, and our closest neighbor is a half mile away through deep woods, but to attempt to carry on a meaningful conversation with anyone besides her is an exercise in futility. I'm not sure if it's a Southern thing, or if this shallow (boring) mindset is a thread running throughout the tapestry of the United States. At first, I wondered if it's because we have a frat-boy for president, but no...this trend began long before the Republicans took over.
I'm still a feminist, and a retired professional musician,sometime writer, and professional sculptor who supports herself by teaching others to find the creative within themselves. Unfortunately, creativity and individuality seems to have been usurped by this growing pseudo-primal need for conformity and prefabrication--at least in Texas, where I currently live, but NOT where I was born--and I believe it started with taking the creativity out of teaching, requiring teachers to teach a core curriculum in order for their students to pass a stupid standardized test.
Sometimes, it gets damn lonely feeling like my life-partner and I are an island of individuality in the middle of a conformist ocean. Even the other lesbians we know seem to feel a need to fit into certain boxes!
Thank Goodness for iconoclasts like Elizabeth Hand and her distinct voice! She gives me hope that the spores of my little band of womyn from college may still survive somewhere out there, and I might still run into them. Or at least others who believe in exploring things not typically discussed over cookie-cutter drinks at pre-fabricated restaurants.

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