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no_hypocrisy

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 25,806

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Hormones, underage drinking, male posturing, and weapons.

What could possibly go wrong

I attended Sweet Briar College 1975-79.

The college was created from a true Virginian plantation in honor of a deceased child.

It employed a lot of local residents, most of whom were African-Americans. The cooks, the servers, the housekeeping staff, the gardeners.

99% of the students were white females from upper-middle and upper social strata, debutantes if you will.

I only saw respect from all of us toward the people who worked on behalf of the college. Some of us were lucky enough to become friends with them, calling each other by first names, giving long loving hugs upon our graduation. Having Carson give his big smile first thing in the morning and asking if I'd like some eggs was the best breakfast I could ask for. Chewing the fat with Nancy over the latest episode of All My Children.

Never ever did the N-word ever show up even in passing.

While the imagery of a plantation with many African-Americans working on it in a different capacity from the Antebellum South did make one pause, it was a new era. They were just as much a part of my college experience as the professors.

This was so "me", growing up as a teen.

My father was an authoritarian by nature and expecting my mother and my sibs to do whatever he said without thinking.

Problem: I thought and I knew I couldn't trust his judgment. I transferred that distrust to other authority figures as teachers and principals. And I went through the hallways without a pass because the rules were meant for others who needed the rules, not me. Talked back to teachers. Argued logic and reason (unsuccessfully) with my parents any chance I could.

My father wanted me to have "intensive psychological therapy" which could have meant electroshock therapy, who knows? He mistook my rejection of his authority as arbitrary, (probably hormonal) and more toward Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He didn't listen to me and I seemed to make him extraordinarily angry.

You remember the scene in the producers room in "Tootsie" when Dustin Hoffman went off script and they all murmured "Uh oh"? That was my family when my father tried to order me around without thinking and I objected. Collective inhalation of breath and "Uh oh". My brother and sister begged me not to argue with him, but I had to address being told to do something that wasn't in my best interest, had to be followed without thinking, and usually was meant to keep me in place.

It didn't help that I was female as my father had this idea that women (in the Seventies) didn't argue back unless they were shrews or harridans or both. He really saw me as a threat to social order and dedicated himself to quashing me.

We were in a psychological death spiral until I went to college. He did resurrect the worst proclivities on the night before my graduation when he told me I couldn't move to D.C. to start a new life, being obnoxious in front of my friends.

My father's not a "bad guy" but like I said, he's authoritarian and he makes the rules. If anything, I learned to walk away from employers who remind me of him.
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