Thursday, June 22, 2006

But enough about me...

...heh, not that, really. But: I do wanna find out about y'all. So consider this by way of an introduction thread, not particularly formal. But also I want to ask a specific question, 'cause I'm curious. Well, questions. Which, you don't have to answer as such, if you'd rather share something else or just say "hi.". But to get the ball rolling:

What kind of politics/worldview did your parentals/primary caregivers have? To what degree do you share that worldview/those politics? What else shaped your current worldview, and (more or less), what is that?

I'll answer myself after a few responses come in.


Howard said...

It's funny. My parents were hippies when I was growing up, but my dad soon became very conservative and republican and my mom just followed along (vocally at least. I think she voted against my dad a lot, but I just recently found this out)

Because of my mom's seeming submissivness, I jumped to the other side once out of the Navy. I voted for George's dad back in 1988. Sorry. Back then I was young and easily swayed with "Bush will keep funding the military so you can keep your job" kind of things.

Since then I've discovered myself and realized that I was trying to not be my father, so I became very open-minded and accepted my sexuality, but practical at the same time. I'm a proud liberal (or becoming more proud since the other side keeps trying more and more to make that a dirty word).

My mom has become more of a vocal liberal, too, since my dad divorced her years ago and so I have a parental unit that I can discuss politics now without it turning into an emotional cat fight. It's nice. We disagree on some things, but it remains that we are of the same mind while my dad and I are a opposite sides.

Strangely, just like our personal relationship. :)

Stroll said...

My parents were/are Southern Baptists, and not very political but I'm pretty sure they vote Republican. They are traditional and conservative, and profoundly worried about things like 'what are the neighbors going to think".

What shaped my worldview was the desire to rebel against them, not to mention the fact that I realized early on that I just had different views on things than them and could never fit into a worldview like theirs. However, I do find myself still influenced by religion and their conservative take on things. In many ways I'm turning into them, and I have always been soo much like my mom. But in other ways I'm completely the opposite.

I'm still close to them. I love my parents.

Oh, and hi! Thanks for the link.

belledame222 said...

So, nu? Tell us about yourself, BL...

(heh. and yes, BL has many terrifically written personal stories on her own blog)

belledame222 said...

Hi, stroll, welcome! No prob.

belledame222 said...

>Strangely, just like our personal relationship. :)

"The personal is political..."

Alon Levy said...

My parents are fairly libertarian.. In all recent American elections they'd have voted Democratic, though my dad supported the Iraq War and at the time said he was glad Bush was President. Lately they can't vote because Israel has no absentee ballots, but when they lived in Israel they typically voted for left-wing parties such as Labor and strongly opposed the occupation (in fact we left the country partly because of my father's aversion to it).

What shaped my political views was not so much my parents as my school. Basically, I saw school as an oppressive, authoritarian environment at the same time the world seemed to be becoming more oppressive and authoritarian. Conformity at school was just like religious conformity (at the time I was connected enough to Israel to be very concerned with its theocratic elements). Violations of privacy at school were just like violations of privacy ostensibly to protect people from terrorism. Plus, I had years of negative personal experiences with both hierarchy and egalitarianism.

So in late 2001 my frustration coalesced into an extremely libertarian view of things, down to the pseudo-logical aversion to facts. Then as I became familiar with facts about corporate excesses and American stupidity I turned from almost anarcho-capitalist to radlib, becoming firmly liberal by the beginning of 2003.

antiprincess said...

My mother was absolutely neutral politically, preferring to pass judgment on a case by case basis irrespective of party affiliations. Any random Democrat was just as full of it as a Republican who was just as full of it as a dirty hippie who was just as full of it as a fundamentalist christian and wouldn't we all rather talk about something important like horse racing or the Yankees? (ah mom...)

Mom's pet issues were Native American rights and the rights of small farmers (I mean, people who have small farms, not farmers who are short of stature...), but most of her invective was personal, not so political.

That said, she was the only single/work-outside-the-home mom I knew from the time I was five (1972) until the mid-80s. She always just worked.

My dad was ardently anti-war in the sixties, voted for Mcgovern, was anti-gun, ate crunchy, was all about public TV and public radio - then something changed as I grew older. He ran for State Congress as a Republican, won the seat, got all involved in archconservative local politics - now if you remind him he voted for Mcgovern he blushes and then pounds his fist on the table.

somewhere in there my own political identity was formed, melted down and recast, abandoned, left to rust, shredded and recast, abandoned again, left to rust, and only recently have I rediscovered it all.

Jennifer said...

My parents had a cloying kind of .. .well nerdy conservatism. Over twenty, thirty years or so, it morphed into a kind of religious fundamentalism.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, my family tends to defer to me on political matters. So, If say, during Thanksgiving dinner I mention (in conversation context, somehow) the CIA sponsored, 1953 overthrow of Mossadeq, instead of arguing the point - as might happen round the dinner table of some of my friends whose families are quite attached to the dream version of American life – they'll listen attentively.

The matriarchs of my family are brilliant, no-nonsense African American women who've experienced insults and hard times: they know the US is not a sugar-coated pineapple upside down cake of endless delights (each slice, more freedom flavorful than the one before).

So there's no 'salute the flag and be quiet!' nonsense.

Ah, but then there's religion.

Here's where we part company and dramatically so.

Needless to say, Jesus is quite important. To me, he's a fellow whose death inspired a movement the Romans should have ruthlessly eliminated before the problem got wildly out of hand (which would have been that filthy Empire's only bright legacy – I'm joking. Maybe). But to my family, he's the “light of the world” and Christianity, an inexhaustible source of strength and hope in difficult times.

This means, among other things, they believe God is tenderly watching over humanity (my mother's house prominently features a painting – circa 1969 – of a Jupiter-sized Christ cradling the earth in his immensely robed arms). I, on the other hand, would not be the least bit surprised if a truly spectacular solar flare or passing bit of dark matter ended the homo sapien saga on some random Thursday afternoon.

A bit of a difference in outlook there.

But it all works out. They listen to my crazy talk about M theory and I listen to a quote from the Gospel of St. John.

Equilibrium is maintained.


Anonymous said...

So how about that poutine?

belledame222 said...

say wha?

Anonymous said...

Check out Twisty's latest thread as well as VS. I am trying to start a multiblog flamewar on the objective merits of the Canadian delicacy, poutine.

belledame222 said...

ah. i don't think i'd care for it.

but tell me a little about you. Did your parents eat poutine? Did that influence your politics and/or metaphysical worldview?

--you are Canadian, then, I take it.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in Canada to Muslim immigrants from South Asia. I was possessed by a Vala, Námo Mandos, from Tolkien's Silmarillion and it's been fun and frolic and smiting and imprisoning the dead souls of wayward Elves ever since.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in Canada to Muslim immigrants from South Asia. I was possessed by a Vala, Námo Mandos, from Tolkien's Silmarillion and it's been fun and frolic and smiting and imprisoning the dead souls of wayward Elves ever since.

Anonymous said...

And I guarantee you that you would like it. Just go to Montreal for a weekend and you'll see! In the winter, preferably.

And blogger is teh suck.

Anonymous said...

My god...the Silmarillion.

Now that's something I haven't thought about for good long while.

And yes, Mandos...

Of course, there's a Wikipedia article:

Dan L-K said...

I grew up in a house that was a work-in-progress because my folks decided that they were doing the Back to the Land thing in the early 80s, which should give you some idea of the political climate I was raised in.

My father didn't exactly follow the trajectory of the hippie who becomes a Republican; he just pretty much became more of an asshole as time went on (and, yeah, conservative in some mildly unpleasant ways, the worst of which was the phone conversation we had while I was in college after he'd cornered me into admitting I was bi and then turned around with "You know, you're going to have to make up your mind sometime" - a prophecy which will surprise no one here in having failed so far to come to pass), and more of a suit and an upward-climber; got bored with any work the family didn't do the lion's share of cheerleading for, abandoning both his idealism and the whole lifestyle-project; and is now banished to the Outer Dark, and so much for him.

My mom, OTOH, never really forgot her leftist hippie roots (though the divorce and her resulting happiness gave that a lot more room to blossom). I have to say she's responsible for a lot of the things I take for granted as part of my political and philosophical makeup. Big stuff and little stuff: not just "respect people who aren't like you," but also "everyone should know how to cook for themselves and do their own laundry."

But it bears noting that I was also being raised some of the time by my maternal grandparents and other extended family, which not only had a benevolent patriarch (!) who was an artist and irreligious freethinker, but which also included a number of outspoken and ferocious women, who were not (for the most part) going to stand for any male privilege nonsense or leaving the seat up. And while politics per se wasn't much discussed, the important thing was that you couldn't actually be weird enough to have them reject you outright just for violating "normality" - which was even more of a moving target among the folk of my line than it is in many places. (I have one cousin who's a sort-of-radfem lesbian and another who became a born-again Jew for Jesus, and I privately suspect it irritated both of them a little that neither got much of a rise out of the family beyond "Okay, whatever.")

I do find it interesting that it seems like it's only natural I turned out the way I am, given the background I grew up in - except that my wife's politics are probably about 95% compatible with mine, and she was raised by goddamn Ozzie and Harriet.

belledame222 said...

Thanks, you guys, keep them coming. v. interesting reads.

For myself: my folks are yer classic secular humanist lib'rul Jews; culturally Jewish, no one's been religious for at least three generations (that I'm aware of). My mother's parents were kind of your classic New York Jews of a certain demographic/era. Mom shared a bedroom with her grandmother, (mother's mother) who'd come over to Ellis Island from Hungary when she was ten. Mom's father, now deceased, was a hard working social worker who was nominally socialist/Communist back in the day; he was probably what you'd call an old-school authoritarian left-winger in many regards. They got to travel in their later years; I remember he admired the hell out of Singapore, and, strong anti-religious sentiments not withstanding, came over all verklempt when standing at the Wailing Wall. They retired and moved to a retirement community in Arizona. Grandpa headed a center for the blind; he worked up until the day he died, or rather until the day he went into the hospital; I think that's how he would've wanted it. He was a strong believer in logic, and education. He taught me how to play chess. One day I told him I was an agnostic and he told me, firmly, "That's a cop-out." He also had a dark and fearsome temper which, by the time I knew him, was in hibernation a good 95% of the time; he was also kind and gentle and laid-back, and I loved him very much, as did my mom. (Grandma's still alive; she is your classic Jewish Mom, g-d bless her).

My father's father came over from the former Soviet Union along with his mother, who was the only great-grandparent that was alive long enough for me to get to know. Somewhere I still have tapes of a cousin of mine interviewing her about her life history; I really need to sit down and listen to them one of these days. anyway, that grandfather was (and is; he's in his late eighties and still going strong, even plays raquetball a couple times a week, still) probably as good an exemplar of the American Dream in many ways as you'll find. Certainly he had and has all of the traits that are needed to get ahead: aggressively competitive, extraverted, good with numbers. I believe he had wanted to go to college but was rejected because of the lovely real quota system back in the day (only this many Jews, sorry); instead he ended up going into the schmatte business (garment industry), which paid off quite handsomely. By the time I knew them, they were, probably not upper-class in any real sense, and certainly not in the supra-rich elite bracket, but upper-upper-upper middle class, I'd say. My father's mother, who died a few years ago, was quiet and hard to get to know. She was very smart--far smarter than my grandpa, in certain respects--but never really did much with it. Like my other granny, didn't go to college. She was a very...frightened person, I believe. mothers' little helpers, yes.

Mom and Dad are both academics, and they met in graduate school. Dad's a chemist; Mom's a Spanish professor. I think education, being intellectually smart, are and were really super important for both of them. well, Dad because...he kind of lives in his head, I think, sometimes. Mom, too; but also, I know that she's a very bright and ambitious woman who never even expected to get as far in the career path as she did, and has been frustrated at hitting a glass ceiling. from what I understand, it was a professor who had encouraged her to go to grad school; she had only ever thought as far as being a high school teacher, and I remember her remembering (with some bitterness, still), at being told by my grandmother that "When your baby's crying, it won't matter whether you got A's or B's." That said, she's not particularly feminist, my mom; or at any rate she's never really looked at theory or gotten into activism. On the other hand, she went out of her way, I think, to *not* try to make me think that I needed to get married and have kids (even before I came out, that is); and there was never any question that I'd be going to school and having some sort of career.

Both my folks are probably fairly standard large D-Democrats of a certain milieu: pro-choice, tolerant/inclusive of diversity, hate this government, anti-gun, etc. etc. My dad might be a shade more moderate than my mom in certain regards. On the whole they're fairly apolitical: Mom doesn't really follow the news. They vote and stuff, of course.

And they're both quite square in many ways, she said fondly: they were in Cambridge in the late sixties/early seventies, but they neither of them really ever took part in the sex drugs n rocknroll, or the political activism. They were more about the books and the foreign movies and the funky little restaurants, and still are, and to a large degree so am I; I like books and foreign movies and restaurants very much.

And me? No brothers or sisters, and I was very adult-identified for much of my childhood and adolescence...which meant, among other things, I didn't really question their political positions. I would also say that for a number of reasons, the separation process was a bit slow in coming.

My sexual orientation has been a big cornerstone of the breaking away, I think in retrospect. Without going into the whole coming-out narrative, I'll just say that while my folks certainly aren't or weren't overtly homophobic in any way, would never have dreamed of using a slur or voting against gay marriage or anything like that, I think it was something to come to terms with, yes. I was also clinically depressed (probably throughout my adolescence, in retrospect, although no one knew it at the time), and introverted, and in a way, "coming out" into the world means and has meant a lot more than simply accepting a sexual orientation.

But a big part of what I call "sex positive" has had to do with my journey toward I would say healing the mind-body split, and therapy in general. While I don't know how or to what degree one brings this into large P politics, I really do believe that becoming fully conscious as individuals on a large scale--mind, body, emotions, sexuality, even spirituality, the whole nine yards--is going to have to key to any successful, long lasting change.

Oh, yes, and another major break has been in the general mistrust of not just organized religion but spirituality. Which is a huge subject in itself, and is something I had thought I would be writing about more here; maybe I'll get to it sooner or later.

As for issues, politics and sociopolitical worldview--well, let's just say it's evolving. I think that at my core I'm a humanist, a liberal, and always will be.
I believe that the *idea*, the spirit if not so much the letter and all of the baggage that went with it, of the American Constitution is still valuable and worth conserving; in that sense I guess I could say I'm a conservative! I believe that small-d democracy is the way to go because i believe that it (in its ideal state) would reflect a psychological state of evolvement that is also the way to go: individuation *and* connection with the community are both important. ("It is all like nets.") I am still open to concrete suggestions as to the best way to implement this. Right now I look at my country and I just want to hide, which, well, join the club, right?

I think that the American left, loosely defined, has been foundering for a bunch of reasons that it's been a passion of mine to try to pin down. I also fear fundamentalism in all its forms, and it's my belief that it tends to creep in whenever there's a vacuum, which there has been.

more on that some other time.

anyway, in terms of particular issues: the one that I'd say I've most changed on is the gun business, mostly from talking to a number of left-libertarian gun-owners. Some of whom I think are really a tad overindentified with their guns, but...whatever, not my problem. Mostly at this point I'm just thinking: enough other original Amendments are being trashed, I'm really not in the mood to put my energy into tinkering with another one. So: largely neutral, I guess. I also have some cousins who are fairly recently immigrated from Uzbekistan, and they are all about the guns; next time I'm home for a visit they've promised to take me to a shooting range. Why the hell not.

oh, and economics, which has been a blind spot with me because I essentially come from an upper-middle class background, and am not cut off from my family (Sarah Schulman had a great piece on class wrt gay folks who *do* get cut off from their families or more subtly discriminated against; I have seen way too much of that over the last while). otoh I'm a gay woman, I'd been trying to live as an artist more or less, I live in a very mixed neighborhood in NYC...on the whole, I've just seen and experienced too much to be able to go lalala, economic discrepancy, what economic discrepancy? Corporate hegemony, what corporate hegemony? It's huge and only seems to get huger.

belledame222 said...

oh, and: I can take up a lot of room if I'm given the option, I realize about myself, but: I've also always been about the sharing. :-)

Alon Levy said...

I totally forgot that this is a place where I can use Jewish metaphors. My parents are secular-Jewish (I'm a fourth generation atheist, I think), but if they were New Yorkers they'd probably fit in the Upper East Side better than in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

My mum, a working class single parent (another one, antiprincess) who raised 2 sons and a daughter (me!) 1952 through 1972 when my younger bro left home (I left 1970 aged 16)- working full-time all the way, and sometimes two jobs, didn't have much time, or I think inclination to think/discuss politics, but when she did, she was/is kinda left wing with a social conscience. Broadminded (she might call it) enough in the sixties in NZ to be able to talk with her pre-teen kids at the dinner table about two transexuals or transvestites - I'm not sure which - who worked in her office, without a hint of judgementality. Folks is folks, and should be judged by nothing other than how they behave is the message that got through without any need of a religious or otherwise 'traditional moral' platform to support it. And this despite Mum having had enough of an early Catholic influence to experience Catholic guilt about some things herself. (Believing she was a bad mother because she looked for a job outside the home when she had a young child to take care of, although her husband, my father, stayed away for days on end drinking up and pissing away his meagre pay. He was a hurt and angry orphan child who developed a drinking problem early.) Mum left him when I was four, but never bad-mouthed him to us, or attempted to get us to hate him or judge him.

I doubt there would be much political conflict between Mum and me even now, if we delved deeper than we do, and there has certainly never been any about my lesbianism. She may have a little religiosity still, but it's very private if so. She never mentions it or speaks from a religious perspective. I am a secular humanist, and have never believed in god. (Which doesn't mean I think we humans know everything there is to know, but that I can live with that.) It's a very strange thing, but while I admire my Mum - her parenting, her philosophy, many things when I stack up the facts - I can only do so from a distance. We have in actuality always 'clashed' (as they say) and been almost completely estranged. From even before I emerged from her womb, apparently. We wound each other with only our presence, and always have, and I don't think either of us can really understand, let alone explain why. (She once told me though that she thought at the time that getting pregnant with me was god's punishment for the job search...?) Hence my geographics, perhaps. We haven't lived in the same city since 1977, or the same country since 1989!

But, overall, yes, I would say I broadly share my mother's worldview, still, even without very detailed political discussion with her. (We talk on the phone 2 -3 times a year.) I feel absolutely confident that neither of us would ever have voted republican had we been American.

Btw, belledame, I have been reading yours and Bitch Lab's recent posts and threads and been nodding my head in agreement, and printing off to read and absorb further. I haven't had anything to add that hasn't already been said, and better by others, and I'm also v. busy at present. Much appreciated conversation though, just wanted to say.

Aishwarya said...

My dad was a marxist when he was young, but grew disilluioned with the movement on a practical level as he grew older. He is now socially liberal and economically conservative, but you can tell he still CARES about the Marxism. Mum has no political opinions; she votes against, rather than for a party. For example, in the last elections she voted for the party that was not made up of Hindu fundamentalists. I think dad's marxism has affected me a lot...not necessarily in my politics (I'm vaguely socialist, but not marxist) but in the way I see the world, the idea that an individual's choices can be largely affected by context, etc.

I was very lucky that I grew up in a pretty egalitarian household. Both parents have akways had decently paid jobs with similar working hours (they're both doctors) and as a result both did similar amounts of housework. My dad actually did more of the cleaning than my mum, mainly because he is more bothered by messes than we are. But she did more of the actual managing of the house. I grew up believing it was perfectly natural that couples should share professional and domestic work (the real world would later come as a bit of a shock)
My parents aren't into organised religion much, and living halfway across the world from the rest of the family helped me escape it. Mum's beliefs lean towards Buddhism, dad's a non-ritualistic Hindu. I'm an atheist who loves religion.
Feminism. Mum doesn't call herself a feminist, but she is. She is outraged by the things I am outraged by, etc. Dad is mostly in agreement, but sometimes disagrees with us on a particular point and we argue. we've always argued. We have dinner together and we watch the news and argue. It has helped me no end...I've learnt to construct logical arguments, THINK, JUSTIFY my views, etc. The arguments are heated, but there's tons of respect there.

My parents have a great relationship with each other. The family has always felt happy and stable even when they argued. You know how when you find out about sex the thought of your parents doing it is slightly scary? Never happened to me. strikes me I've been very lucky as far as parents go. :)

Amber Rhea said...

Neither of my parents were shy about showing their racism when I was growing up. They both vote Republican. However, at the same time, my mom (and to a lesser extent, my dad as well) holds some viewpoints that don't mesh with the current crop of Republicans. E.g., she is staunchly pro-choice, thinks marijuana should be legalized, and supports same-sex marriage. Sometimes I wonder if she just votes Republican because my dad does... but then she'll start going off on some xenophobic rant.

My parents are a confusing pair!

Anonymous said...

Mother's political foundation: grandpa, god rest him, used to bounce me on his knee and sing about trading me for the little pickaninny down the street because she worked harder in the fields than me. My mother's politics evolved a bit in that they are more overtly hate filled. Divorced, my father devotedly listens to Rush Limbaugh and thinks Clinton is the devil. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to start a multiblog flamewar on the objective merits of the Canadian delicacy, poutine.

Poor Mandos!

Anonymous said...

Btw, belledame, I have been reading yours and Bitch Lab's recent posts and threads...

In addition to this - I wanted to get a message to Bitch Lab if possible - hope you don't mind me using your blog to do this belledame...

Bitch Lab - (maybe you'll see this...) Because I mentioned you (above), and in case you wonder why you've never seen me over at your place registering my interest and appreciation and commenting - the reason is that I can't post there from my computer. I get an error message from microsoft and the whole machine jams up. It happens with many but not all attempts to link as well. Apparently the problem originated with the yahoo toolbar I used to have - and because I know nothing - I need to get a technician in to fix it. So anyway, hello...and thanks for all that good stuff to read and think about...


Hahni said...

My mom's favorite expression was, "the masses are asses." Sadly, that pretty much summed up her worldview. Oh, and "don't trust men."

I regret to admit that I take after my mom, with a smidgeon less cynicism.

Alon Levy said...

I don't mind the expression "don't trust men," as long as it's followed by "or women."

Anonymous said...

VS why must you keep attempting to dominate me by judging me?

Anonymous said...

The biggest looming political topic as a child in my Muslim household was Israel, and this is the case in almost every Muslim household I know, at least South Asian ones, and probably more. I know that this is probably very difficult for most Westerners to understand, but this is the case. Israel was (and usually still is) the axis around which all political discussion and analysis revolved.

This affected my worldview in both expected and unexpected ways.

Anonymous said...

My father was in the army; mother stopped working once my oldest brother was born. They loved each other in a way that continues to take my breath away.

Since my mother died two years ago, my father and I have talked - not many times, but enough - about what my mother meant to their relationship. Reducing so much to an almost pithy essence, she brought understanding and tolerance to my father. He was very senior in the Irish army; indeed a man who continues to inspire respect and devotion from the men who worked withy him, over 12 years since he retired to look after my mother. I used to ask him, in my not very subtle way, whether he missed his military life because of taking the decision to take care of mother. he always said, no, of course not - he was just lucky enough to have the chance to try to repay the years she had spend looking after him and us.

So that's my background, sorta. Father who spent a lot of the time around the world's hotspots, working with the UN, trying, in his way, top make the world a fairer place. And a mother who was always there, always loving, always caring. A couple who were very different yet bonded in a way I've seldom seen in other couples. Including couples I've been part of. Dad says mother taught him compassion. She taught me to care too - tho' not in the selfless way they had. I've ended up with an odd morality - in relationships I have been a shit. In life I have somehow ended up with a sense of fairness that's frankly, often unrealistic. It's there because of my parents - and especially my mother.

My memories of my mother - catholic, complete belief in God - include her walking out of church one day when the priest began to call women who left ther husbands whores. Her insisting on the right to march in the Cork easter parade, when only men were allowed. Her laughing softly when I'd tell her yet another tale of my unfaithfullness, or of a new shag, or of my seeing four women at once. Then sighing a little and say she wished I could know love the way she and my father did. The last time I saw her she told me that she was concerned - she had seen a tv programme about queers and their families, and was worried that I hadn't been told enough how much they loved me and were so very proud of me. I laughed and told her don't be silly - hadn't they told me that so often sure I took it for granted!

I remember too so many dinners when my parents would discuss feminist issues - and mam always won. Father was the more conservative, mother the liberal. But as the years passed, she influenced dad.

My parents have formed the person I am. My politics come directly from them, always on the side of the underdog. They didn't understand my being queer, but (and I love them for this) lied for years saying they were totally comfortable with it, until they were. This they did because they loved me. I consider my childhood to be the best possible. I was loved, encouraged, supported, and raised to become the person I am today. Obviously they didn't succeed totally - I can still be a shit. But hey - we can't all be perfect...

Anonymous said...

When Pakistanis, at least, talk about India, it eventually turns to putative India/Israel conspiracies. If allowed to run long enough, always. It's kind of Godwinian. At least until lately, when the Pakistani government has been trying to neutralizing any real India-Israel cooperation.

You have to understand that the founding ideology of Pakistan is uncomfortably similar to Zionism even to the point of having very liberal immigration laws for other Muslims. Or so it was for a long time, may not be that way now. To the founder generation and the generation the followed them (my mother's generation), Pakistan was to be the vanguard of progress and revival in the Muslim world. And for a time, I think, it was.

For Israel to be founded at the same time feels like a kind of negation of the very Pakistani premise---the affirmation of the lack of control over its own domains that the Muslim world continued to suffer.

My mother always says that the Arabs would accept Israel long before the Pakistani people would. The Pakistani government would accept it before the Pakistani people would. And this is probably quite true. Israel is an idea only for South Asian Muslims, the idea of the negation of the collective will of the Muslim world that Pakistan was founded to redeem. Pakistanis are more likely to espouse the "send them to America" philosophy. It's Pakistan's Grand Mission to be a state for all the Muslims. The Arabs actually have to live with Israel, ultimately...

The same holds true to a lesser extent for my father's side of the family that didn't participate in Partition and stayed in India, unlike my mother's side of the family who were active in it. Partition was still a result of a putative Muslim renaissance/revival in India and there is no sharper reminder of the unrealized potential of a pan-Islamic revival than the foundation of Israel. My paternal grandparents chose to stay in India and help to lay further groundwork for the renewal that had start with the foundation of Aligarh Muslim University, etc, etc.

That's why Israel is a symbolic presence in the households not only of Arabs but of, in my experience, the entire Muslim world, no matter how far from Jerusalem. I suspect this wouldn't have been the case if it had been founded 50 years earlier or later than it was.

belledame222 said...

fascinating, thanks. I had no idea either. it makes total sense, though.

alphabitch said...

I too was raised by quasi-hippie liberals. In Minnesota, in the sixties & seventies. My parents were quite consciously anti-racist, and very anti-religious. Extremely pro-union (as were both sets of grandparents). I still compulsively look for union labels in everything when I'm shopping.

That just makes me sad.

We did the back-to-the-land thing for a while. And though they were never vegetarians, the parental units went through several "health-food" kicks which totally humiliated me. I would have sold my soul for a cool lunchbox with a baloney on whitebread sandwich, some potato chips, and oreo cookies. But no, I got garlicky salami and stinky cheese and spicy mustard on homemade sourdough bread. With homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies. And yogurt. (And this was in the early 70s, long before you could get all those flavors and yogurt-in-a-tube and so on that are marketed at kids. It was plain yogurt, maybe with lemon or raspberry jam or some such.

They didn't allow brand names on anything, and I wasn't allowed any Barbies or stuff like that.

I rebelled by studying classical music and attending a fancy-ass prep school. And then dropping out and studying philosophy at the University. And becoming a Libertarian, albeit a left-leaning one who supported Paul Wellstone.

My sister rebelled by dropping out of high school and becoming a right wing nutjob (not sure how she got there, but she was fucking rabid about it). At least she hung out with the anti-racist skinhead crowd.

Every election day my mother would call and offer the hypothesis that there had been some mixup at the hospital, because my sister was a fucking fascist. Then dad would call and say "Your sister's a goddamn nazi, did you know that?" I'd say yes, and he'd say something about recessive genes or mistakes at the hospital, etc. Then my sister would call and say, "so have they disowned me yet?" and I'd say "yeah," and we'd chuckle about it.

But now she's shop steward with her union and way into politics. And way way to the left.

The apples didn't fall too far from the tree after all. My dad lives in a gated community on a golf course, while my mom is still a quasi-hippie in a funky little town in the desert Southwest. My sister has a nice house in a nice neighborhood and she will tell anyone who asks that she can afford to live so well because she has a UNION JOB. Political discussions among us are often spirited, but we're just debating the finer points; we all pretty much agree.

My mother still has, displayed prominently in her house, the enormous Paul Wellstone sign that was in her yard when the Wellstone's plane crashed.

This is a really good question -- I have way more to say about it, and the more I write, the more insight I get into certain extended-family dynamics.

Hannah said...

My parents are southern radicals. Both were whites deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement and also the anti-war movement. At the same time, they were very committed to their southern roots and personally conservative world view. I too am radical politically (in ways that sometimes shock my now-elderly parents) and fundamentally pretty traditional (I don't have pierced ears or have tattoos or wear clothes that call attention to me. I knit and spin and cook and write--all very quiet pursuits.)

We learned early that if you vote for Republicans, you'll forever after have arthritis in the hand that pulls the lever. (Both my lefty grandmother and my mother voted for a Republican for school board when the Democrat was a test-crazy accused pedophile--and they've been sorry ever since.)

Great to find your blog!

Hannah said...

Just read your comment detailing your roots and have to say that you are the ONLY person (other than me) I've ever heard say they did not believe in spirituality. Let's both promise to write on this subject!

belledame222 said...

Hey TPL, likewise, I'm sure. Glad you stopped by.

per spirituality: erm. actually i can't say that i don't believe in it, per s (sorry!); i was raised by people who didn't. I'm...exploring.

but don't feel alone; i know plenty of folks who don't have much or any truck with the whole subject. pretty certain that includes some of my pals/regular posters here.

actually that is a good idea for the next open thread, in fact.

belledame222 said...

alphabitch: heh. i have heard similar sad lunchbox tales from other folks who were raised by hippies.

lots to ponder with everyone's posts. so many cool people w.fascinating stories...

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose 'bump' really works in this format but anyway...I hope this keeps going...

Anonymous said...

I'm a weird hybrid religion-wise. On my mother's side, upper-middle-class Presbyterian, and poor, rural Anabaptist on my father's side (think Amish). However, both approaches to living life were conservative, rigidly so. Both sides of my family were also pacifist.

Politically my parents came together: Live-and-let-live conservative. Pacifist. Hands-off government and leave people the heck alone to live their lives. Can you even IMAGINE a live-and-let-live Conservative these days? It seems BushCo has completely changed the meaning of the term. Sad.

The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree, even if the labels we use to describe ourselves might change over the years and from person to person. Since I cannot bear to call myself a "Conservative," I call myself a Liberal Progressive and leave it at that. I still have a strong libertarian streak, though, and believe in SMALL hands-off government except for those things that TRULY are in the public's best interest (and in my opinion, war almost never is).

belledame222 said...

yeah, live-and-let-live not too big these days.

did your parents meet through activism?

Anonymous said...

No, they met at work! They actually had next-to-nothing in common besides live-and-let-live. Their radically different backgrounds caused a values clash everywhere else (money, social life, church vs. no church, etc.). They divorced when I was 13.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff.
I am an actual Berkeley person whose mother belonged to the Communist Party in the 30's.
My father, while politically liberal, was ambivalent. He craved success, and he felt that my mother got in his way because of her very left wing political views. He ended up prosperous after they got divorced; he found a more conservative spouse with some money who forwarded his career. My mother never quite got her act together and remained an outsider all her life. Guess which parent I admire and think had a good life!
I am in an ambivalent position, being far to the left of what my financial situation, age, and personal life would seem to indicate. But I am an ambivalent person.
And I am glad that at least two other people in this world are not interested in spirituality.
The big round world is enough for me.

Sapphique said...

I'm really pleased to see a blogger interested in their readers, so thanks for the opportunity to participate, in a structured way, in your blog.

I'm British, raised partially in South Wales, and partly in Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border. My parents were the first in their families to go to college, and both ended up dropping out because my mother became pregnant with my oldest brother. However, we did not learn of this defining event until I myself became pregnant and had to put off attending University due to an unplanned (and carefully avoided!) pregnancy. My father was a communist in his younger days, and both he and my mother believed that mothers should raise children. So, my mom stayed at home with her ever-increasing brood, while my father sold soap powder door to door and struggled to keep a roof over our heads. I definitely grew up with a socialist perspective on the world. I'm now more anarchist than socialist, and my father describes himself as "to the right of Genghis Khan" so our politics are definitely out of alignment! However, I remain (as does my father) staunchly atheist which is just about the only thing my father and I have in common. Well, that and the fact that my father is a sexual addict and I'm a sex therapist. (That, however, is a complicated topic.) My mother's politics are probably liberal democrat, with Tory right-leanings in all kinds of awful (usually racist) ways. Given that all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are brown-skinned, this is nothing short of scary - we are all very protective of our children around my mother. My mother tended to disappear herself in relation to my father - so what always stands out for me is the person my father was and is. For example, my mother - I discovered only recently - considers herself a Christian. I never knew. She took a totally hands-off approach to our religious/spiritual lives, and we all therefore assumed that she believed the same as my father. No God, no argument.

I would say a lot of what has shaped my world view has to do with being a tortured child. It definitely influenced my choice of profession, and fuels my activism and informs my life choices.

belledame222 said...

Oh, hey, Sapphique, thanks for posting. Yeah, the contradictions are always fascinating, aren't they? Too bad people--parents included--won't just lie down and be two-dimensional so we can just settle our feelings for once and for all...

belledame222 said...

anyway, I'd like to hear more about your journey to sex therapist, as well as the differences between anarchism and socialism, whenever or wherever you get a chance.

Rootietoot said...

ok, let's see. I'm 41, married to a man, have 4 male cildren between 7 and 18. I'm moderately educated, upper middle class, mentally ill(manic depressive)and um...kind of a solitary sort, artistic and I love to cook. There's the bones.

My parents are strict High Church Presbyterian/Republicans who also participated in Earth Day and had organic gardens, not because they were hippies, but because natural living seemed more practical to them.. Dad was something of a survivalist, and taught us all sorts of useful things like starting a fire without a match and field-dressing wild game. I was raised, however, to make up my own mind about such things, and did. I am Methodist and Libertarian, with a definite political/economic conservative slant but I am more of a social moderate/liberal. As a Christian I believe it's our responsibility to look out for others, and protect their general welfare. AS a Libertarian I think people have the right to make stupid decisions, but should also bear the consequences of their actions. I reconcile those veiws by taking care of people who need caring for, regardless of why they need it.

I use the labels as a starting point. I don't actually agree with any one political veiwpoint, having formed my own a long time ago. Name me any famous person in the news and the first thing I'll say is "while I don't agree with their politics..."

My parents passed on to me the legacy of making up my own mind about things, whether it's religion, politics, or if I should use RoundUp on the kudzu. I have come to my philosophical place through thought and experience, and so far it serves me well.

As for current worldview, I not sure I have one. One can't draw sweeping conclusions about anything that people are involved in, because every individual differs somehow from every other. I can only have my own personal view, and do what I believe is right based on that.

Sage said...

The only rule I was raised with was to march to your own drummer. Don't be sheep, they all get slaughtered eventually.

My mom insisted she wasn't a feminist, but was the first woman allowed into the grad program in physics at her university. Don't be one of those feminists, just don't stop anyone from letting you do whatever you think is right. She and my dad were both physicists and are the stereotypical eccentric brilliant types. I'm the dumb one in the family, but the only one that seems remotely happy with life. Funny that.

I'm worried about the safety of women. I'm worried about the in-fighting in feminist circles. I'm worried about people who seem to have no joy. But mostly I'm worried about consumerism, fossil fuel consumption and the very scary propoganda about nuclear power that's being barfed out by the Ontario government these days.

I was raised Catholic, but I'm getting better.

And we lived in the suburbs, but my parents refused to drive us anywhere. We're all very good walkers.

J. Goff said...

Well, belledame, I would totally like to introduce myself.

I am a 23 physics major at Seton hall University in South Orange, NJ. i currently live in Caldwell, NJ with my girlfirend who attends the Pre-Law program at Seton Hall, as well. She is 20 and plans to attend the Seton Hall Law School. I plan to be a teacher after graduating either this year or next. (I am a transfer from the Mechanical Engineering Program of Cornell University. I ended up not liking the program and dropping out, mostly because I could go to Seton Hall, where my mother had gotten a job as an administrator, where I could get free tuition and not deal with the student loans I will now have to pay out the ass for. I currently owe $35,0000.) You can read my blog to learn more re my family. Here's a bit on my dad. He's a fuckstain from Kansas.

I was born in Dumas, Arkansas on August 11, 1983, and I lived in Pine Bluff, AR and Fayetteville, AR growing up. Pine Bluff is where I began to develop my liberal ideology, living around a large, diveerse community, and Fayetteville (being a bastion of liberalism in Arkansas) made concrete that liberal understanding of empathy. I'm am, however, happily away from the majority of the crapitude that is Arkansas, since my parents have moved onto what fuckstains call "the Left Coast".

Oh, and for me, NYC is a 30 minute bus ride, so anytime you would like to meet up sounds good to me! :)

J. Goff said...

Should be "23-year old". Damn I suck at typing.

J. Goff said...

SHITE! The link for my father is here:

J. Goff said...

Okay, this will be easier.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm Daisy. I'm a student. I'm female and Jewish and gay, a feminist and an environmentalist. I co-write a little blog called Our Descent Into Madness. I think that about sums it up. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a 47 year old man. Married, extremely fond of my lovely wife of 22 years. We have two boys, 20 and 17. Understanding how to help them become kind and happy adults is, by far, the biggest challenge I have ever faced.

Live in Massachusetts (of which I am proud), spend a lot of time on the coast of Maine.

I am an executive at a leading computer networking equipment manufacturer. I think that the rate at which the world is evolving as a result of widely available computing and networking technology is very, very cool.

Dad is still alive, Mom passed away 19 years ago. Both were 1st generation Italian-Americans from South Philadelphia. Both went to Penn, met afterward. Both teachers. Both 'liberal'.

I am as liberal as a confirmed capitalist can be. I remain really, really, angry at Ralph Nader for supporting the George W. Bush presidency, so I suppose I fancy myself as a bit of a pragmatist as well.

My mother was a feminist by deed as well as thought. She started one of the first Head Start programs in the country in Germantown, PA in the 60s. In the 80s she started one of the first 24/7 daycare centers supporting a trauma center in Allentown, PA.

She was contemptuous of women who professed to be feminists while not being willing to make difficult personal choices to be independent.

My parents divorced when I was 12, due in no insignificant way to my father's inability to deal with my mother's independence. This was very, very difficult for him, I do not believe it was possible for him to have evolved his notion of appropriate roles for him and my mother without abandoning all of the other social constructs on which he depended. I love and admire him very much, he has remarried and is living a healthy and high-energy retired life.

The longer I live the more I realize that I am almost purely a product of my parents' chromosomes and influence. When I think of how this will apply to my boys it blows my mind.

I have two sisters, both driven and successful in their professions. I love them very much. I consider myself very fortunate to have so many people that I love.

I have recently become very interested in the feminist movement and the feminist blogsphere in particular. I am very interested in Zen Buddhism, meditation, and increased consciousness, and believe that lack of awareness with regard to gender roles is one of the last and most important frontiers for increasing conscienceness.

I think that the distinction between believing that women are subjugated because of [e.g. the evil patriarchy] as opposed to because of a lack of conscienceness is fundamental to the feminist movement's effectiveness in driving change.

I have massive amounts to learn. I am hungry and largely fearless. I had some bad experiences on other popular feminist blogs. Belladame and Echidne maintain spaces where I learn and feel welcome, I will be *forever* indebted to them.

Anonymous said...

totally sleep deprived right now but might as well comment while i'm here. I've already read your week's post and i want more.

Anyway my parents were fundamentalist christians and now they are bitter democrats. i wasn't informed by them on politics at all. in fact i was pretty apolitical until i became aware of the various oppressions in society that I'd thought were normal. Yeah, that's basically it.

Anyway thanks for adding my link to your blogroll although I have petitpoussin to really thank I suppose...

Keep on!

belledame222 said...

Welcome, again, all, and thanks! I love reading all these stories.

belledame222 said...

Carty, I am also interested in "increased consciousness," as you put it. Aspects of Buddhism interest me, and I do value my yoga classes and some Buddhist takes on meditation and "presence." It's probably not my path, Zen, but I respect it, and it seems like it's really beneficial especially for people who really havea strong aversion to anything smacking of religion or the supernatural, but still want...something, a discipline, a focus.

"Be here now," yeah.

Anonymous said...

Well, I came across here this morning. I'm 19, going to college at the UW in Madison, studying Japanese and English. I'm an atheist mostly because of being raised Catholic, but other people's beliefs interest me intensely, and on occasion, I want to believe (it's a passing thing, so I've learned to just wait it out.) My dad is conservative, and often unintentionally bigoted (after I came out as bi, he failed to understand why I might be upset that he referred to someone on a motorcyle as a "dyke") and a recovering alcoholic, and living with him and his disease from when I was 3 until he got into AA is the foremost influence on me. My mom's politics are weird, because she votes Republican but doesn't seem to espouse any of their views, at least when she tells me things. Although I've noticed that she is much more liberal in theory than in practice. (She called me and was rather worried when my dad told her I wanted the HPV vaccine.) (The conversation, in brief went like this: "Why do you want it, are you having sex (and got an STD (unspoken))?" "No, I think cancer would suck a lot." "Oh."
Because of Dad's alcoholism, I hated him for a long time, modelled my life on not being like him and never took a lot of what he said to heart if it didn't make sense to me. Starting with when he tried to make me stop masturbating when I was 5. (Sorry if that's TMI.) The other thing that had/has a big effect on my growing up is sex (though not my sexual orientation), and how I view it (which isn't terribly kinky so much as simply somewhat bizarre). As for feminism, mostly I'm picking it up from blogs, though I think I finally have the standing to get intro Women's Studies (the classes were full by the time I tried to get in last time.)

belledame222 said...

Thanks, lilcollegegirl, and welcome.

yeah, that is depressing that so many people (much less one's parent) still think the HPV vaccine could be anything but a good thing. hello, you -don't have to have sex to get it...-

and besides, erm, even if you did, cancer as deterrent for having sex? deliberately? the mind 'splode.

--hey, jackgoff, didn't see that before, but: drop me an email whenever you're heading this way...

Anonymous said...

Well, it was basically a knee-jerk on her part, and she got over it pretty fast. Also, I just mentioned the cancer bit so she could stop focusing on "OMFG, my daughter might be having sex" and onto, "this is good for my daughter's HEALTH". And really, I think her "OMG is she having sex" has less to do with her being in any way Puritan and more to do with me being the oops child that made her drop out of college and wanting to make sure that never happens to me.

Anonymous said...

My parents were a mixed political bag brought together by circumstance (me). My mom was a working class optimist who never interrogated her own internalized racism, classism or sexism, and who grew into the worst kind of lazy liberal who wants to congratulate herself for openness without ever doing the work. My father was a proto-authoritarian who wanted to lead but knew on some level all he was was a follower, and who eventually "found god" to fill the hole a lack of certifiable authority left in his life (he had daddy issues).

Me, I think I took the stated 70s feel good "difference is good" mantra and ran with it. This probably influences/was influenced by my own very early awareness of gender variance (I didn't understand why it was OK to emulate some models, but forbidden for others) and a strange, almost dissociative tendency to put myself into another's position. The disillusionment I experienced when I repeatedly caught my parents breaking their own rules and then not caring pushed me to further introspection and a probably neurotic tendency to be as internally consistent as possible.

Parents: the gift of insanity that keeps on giving.

(Btw, you have me as prospheros here; it's actually prosphoros. Are you intending to assign a connection to Eros? If so, cool!)

Anonymous said...

It's tough to pin my parents down, politically. One's a registered Dem who claims to always vote GOP, the other's the reverse, and I can never remeber which is which. "Suburban Tribal" is the way I want to describe it. Work a job, have a house, have a family, read popular novels, agree simultaneously with the inspiring PBS documentary about the triumph of the civil rights movement and with the columnist in the paper who thinks all those welfare queens in the ghetto are just lazy.

I have no idea whether my parents influenced me politically, except to the extent that they're the ones who taught me the morals that I attempt to scale up into a political viewpoint.

For me, I registered to vote, it was as a Republican. (I was young! I was reading Ayn Rand! Gingrich was still a few months away!) I've never voted for a Republican, though. I'm a registered Dem now, though of course quite a bit to the left of mainstream Democratic policy.

If I had to sum up my politics, I wouldn't be able to do it by listing policies, I don't think. The institutional application of the golden rule (or the categorical imperative, maybe) would be a decent summary, I guess.

Oh, also, ideological purity's for suckers. A good-faith effort at practicing what you preach is never a bad idea, though.

belledame222 said...

oops, prosphoros! thanks, will fix.

>the worst kind of lazy liberal who wants to congratulate herself for openness without ever doing the work.>

o, that one's ringing a bell, lately...

heh, I like "Suburban Tribal."

I think everone gets a grace period during their yoot, for Ayn Rand or whatever the fuck else, you know. hey, I dug Harlan Ellison.

rosmar, that's interesting that zoology was part of your road away from Damascus.

Have you ever read "Biological Exuberance?"

ballgame said...

In another thread, belledame, you asked me:

how'd you find your way to the feminist sites originally, ballgame?

Well, I've been a Student of the Human Condition in General (and an avid proponent of gender egalitarianism) for, like, forever, and a big fan of what I consider the underappreciated insights of R.D. Laing and Marvin Harris, and — gender being something of a significant aspect of all that (/understatement) — the interest just followed naturally.

First got involved with blogs about a year ago; somehow stumbled onto Shakespeare's Sister where I discovered what struck me as a surprisingly intelligent and empathetic discussion of the particular difficulties encountered by boys in school, and — anti-male sexism being something of a bete noir of mine (can you tell?) —was drawn into leaving a favorable comment.

From there I checked out occasional blogroll links or the blogs of particularly interesting commenters.

On occasion, though, I'll do the 'show me a random blog' thing that some of the services have, which is how I stumbled onto "unsane and safe", which had that interesting segment about how emotionally mangled American boys are by the time they're six, which linked back to you. That's how I found your blog, which is a tad ironic since now I'm noticing your site listed on the blogrolls of a lot of sites I've been frequenting on a regular basis for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, ballgame.

Laing I know a bit about; Harris, not so much.

belledame222 said...

whoops! i dunno why that didn't take my login

Anonymous said...

I'm a forty-four year old retired dishwasher, now in tertiary education (studying for an MPhil in European Culture and Literature). Lived on three continents and six countries for prolonged periods (including a year in New Jersey from which I am still recovering). Cooky-cutter- liberal pro-feminist chap.

I got into feminist websites more or less by chance about three years ago, when an encounter with Dworkin's "Right Wing Women" in a library made me wonder if there were any feminists still around who believed as she did (because none of the women I asked knew what I was talking about). And it occurred to me: "Why don't I use this internet thingy to find out", and a couple of Google searches later I was at Heart's "The Margins" where everybody was up in arms about some guy I'd never heard of who had had the nerve, apparently, to appear on a feminist radio-show. After that I just went from link to link and found myself in what seemed to be a sort of soap opera. It was totally engrossing and it had the added attraction/temptation that you could actually try and alter the course of events by posting yourself. After three years I'm still watching.

I've been reading "Axe" for a few months now. I like its style a lot, and I particularly appreciate its feminist blogging on feminist blogging. I view it as a sort of episode guide, if you take my meaning.

Anonymous said...

I've posted a couple of times on here, but I'm taking the call out to delurk anyway, since I comment rather infrequently.

Let's see. I'm 27 (less than month from 28), a college graduate with a double major in Literature and Philosophy (focusing on moral theory), and I work for The Man.

To answer your questions: My mother and father would both identify as conservative, I think. It's sort of hard to say, for sure, because my father has very, very little interest in politics, and is a C&E Catholic, while my mother actually holds views that are all over the spectrum, and is from a strong Southern Baptist family. Regardless of what they'd call themselves, I'd call my father socially conservative, and my mother as fairly moderate with a few right leaning beliefs because of her religious background. She's opposed to the war, she supports welfare as long as there are strong checks for abuse, and thinks that medical care is a right that everyone should have, not just people with money or insurance. On the other hand, she's opposed to gay marriage (but not patnerships), and is opposed to abortion outside of certain cases (the usual: health of the mother, rape, incest).
I have very different political views than my parents, but, in a way, as a direct result of them. My mother never really tried to push her own beliefs on me or my siblings, and strongly encouraged us to think about and work through problems, and come to our own conclusions. She wanted us to have our own beliefs, not just echo hers, and I think that's worked out really well. We can sit down and talk about any number of topics, and even when we don't agree, it's nice, because we'll often open each other up to new ideas.
As for my own beliefs: they're constantly evolving, so sometimes it's hard to articulate. Lately, I've actually been in a post-college rut. When I was in college, I was a fairly active feminist and LGBT ally. Since college, though, I feel like I've really lost a lot of energy on that front. It's not that I don't still have strong feelings about a lot of the issues, but, rather, that I've stopped acting as much on those beliefs, which is really frustrating. I still do a lot of reading on the subjects, but I definitely miss being involved in things. Plus, I miss being in the classroom.
Anyway, that's my long, rambling, and probably incoherent introduction.

Courtney said...

I've posted a few times, but never been properly introduced (my mother would be shocked! Shocked, I tell you!)

Anyway, raised in Oregon by two republicans. They're pretty old school R's, really, not too interested in anti-choice or religious nut-jobs, but hate taxes and welfare and all that. They're fairly frustrated with where the Repubs have taken the party lately, although not enough to switch sides.

My dad's a bit of a bigot when you come right down to it, but Mom's got a little bit of growth in her... they got invited to a lesbian wedding and my dad freaked out, but my mom attended and said it was "lovely." She's very country club that way.

I guess politically I take after my feisty grandma, who was an INDEPENDENT (never claimed the D's, but never voted for the R's). We had some great conversations about politics before she passed away. I miss her these days.

Anonymous said...

OK, it's delurking week. I'm almost 51, male, a reasonably content marginal academic with a Ph.D. and some sense of achievement in a nontraditional way.

My parents were both Republicans but I rebelled, it was the 60s, and became a long haired liberal. They were the kind of conservatives who respected learning, in fact encouraged me to read and never censored my voluminous reading. I was an only child and very loved although we argued a lot. I was well ahead of my classes in a number of subjects.

I think I actually became liberal because in schools the liberals were the ones who treated me better. I was being bullied in a rather pressure-cooker, many on one dynamic, and my closest friend was a liberal, and conservatives were prominent among the bullies. So I associated leftish thinking with kindness, not always an association that works well.

My mother, who died of breast cancer when I was 23, was a very strong woman and independent thinker, though not always overtly so. She went back to work when I was just about a teenager, infuriating my father, and she made many woman friends at work who became in some ways influences on me. She was Christian and went to church but had her own ideas and felt she had a right to them. She liked Margaret Sanger and didn't much care for the apostle Paul.

So in some ways I can only ever identify as a feminist, to honor my mother, who probably never would have done so.

Although in my voting life -- and I vote religiously -- I have been pretty consistently a liberal Democrat, in my thinking I have been influenced by other ideas. In high school I read fairly deeply in anarchism, which struck a chord. (Does anybody ever read Paul Goodman anymore?) I have never lost the anarchist suspicion of authority, including benign regulations instituted to control me for my own good, but I have never been tempted by modern so-called libertarianism because government isn't the only authoritarian system out there. And I tend to like exactly the functions of government that conservatives don't (social programs and environmental regulations), and probably vice versa.

I have been an environmentalist since childhood, actually since first reading some biologist about human caused extinctions -- not an issue in the news back then. I have some academic training in the matter, now.

My college experience more or less immersed me in the human potential movement, so I'm familiar with a lot of ideas that float around in this space. I also became, there, the kind of straight guy who listened to Holly Near and Cris Williamson, and even went to their concerts. This will only be meaningful to people of a certain age.

I am a cultural relativist -- not totally one, but I am very suspicious of people who think that there is One Way to Be.

I did eventually cut my hair, in about 1980.

Clampett said...

I randomly drop by here blue moonishly to get a reality check, so i think you deserve to be indulged considering the public service you provide by smashing my predjudiced of charge:

"What kind of politics/worldview did your parentals/primary caregivers have?

Calvinist Capitalism; voted republican party usa.

To what degree do you share that worldview/those politics?

The 10 commandments, also...I bask in the idea that hard work is sanitizing & regenerative.

What else shaped your current worldview?

Learning and experiencing.

and (more or less), what is that?


Egalitarian marxist humanism; doesn't vote b/c voting endorses a 'representative' system that is intentionally insulated from the people; liberal democratic government is a suprestructure of capitalist injustice and so doesn't deserve our obedience/respect.


Neoliberal patriarchal white supremacist american exceptionalist imperialism; Votes democratic party usa.

Otter said...

I don't know how to email you. So...I just read this on and thought of you and the whole fufarah earlier.

belledame222 said...

thanks, PH. I'll take a look at it.

for future ref, you can contact me at the email address via clicking my profile:

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm ginmar. I'm the person you keep bitching about because some conservative women disliked what I had to say about the patriot act. Strangely enough, you never post that pre-amble. Can't imagine why.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

Oh, hello there.

Actually, I generally tend to agree with you there -politically.- And, yep, I get why you'd be angry at someone who hadn't actually been there countering what you'd actually seen.

Therefore, clearly I, along with others who also are not in favor of the Patriot Act, and who agree that yep, we're doing seriously shitty things over there, found that exchange striking for other reasons.

I'm not going to argue about it, or anything else, with you any further. Or talk about that link any further, here or elsewhere.

andi said...

My parents are conservatives, they were even mores so when I was a kid.
I think being first generation/ Depression babies made them that way.
My worldview is warped enough that I consider Rush Limbaugh a comedian. As far as politics go,I am pretty disenchanted with most of what I see.
And depending on the issue I go from liberal to conservative. My candidate of choice is Denis Kucinich if that's any clue.

belledame222 said...

hey, welcome andi.

Cruella said...

My wildly abusive father was very right wing and my mother loudly and publically agreed with him, but occasionally, quietly, confessed to some guilty left-wing sentiments.

Not as left as me though. That said my Granny, who I adore is very right wing too but in her case I just put it down to reading the wrong newspapers and being too doddery to discern the rubbish from the rest.

belledame222 said...

hey, welcome, cruella.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say hi. I've been reading your stuff for a little while, and I like it :)

In fact, I liked it so much, I bought the company. Wait, that was someone else.

belledame222 said...

hey, thanks, welcome, Mike. and adkphoto, whose comment i didn't see till just now.

lankydancer said...

Hi. I wandered over here from Renegade Evolution's and have been reading for a while, but am kinda wimpy about commenting, especially as I tend to get to comment threads pretty late. I guess this is me de-lurking.

I live in Canada, so my political views get categorized a little differently wrt parties. I tend to vote Liberal in federal elections, because they are the most viable alternative to the Conservatives (who are kinda centrist by US standards, from what I gather), though I might vote Green Party or NDP if the elections didn't keep being so close and I could vote for the party I like instead of against the one I dislike.

I was born in Poland in the 80s (read: under the Communist regime) and my parents and I left the country a few years later because of the political and economic situation. I've been in Canada (west coast) for 18 years now. I think both my parents' political views and my own were strongly affected by the system we ran away from. They were both hippies and artists and generally free-spirity, with a serious grudge against the regime and a protesting habit (apparently I took place in a protest march when I was still in a baby carriage--I don't remember it, but there were water cannons involved). They were also really open minded about sex/sexuality and gender and worked consciously to get away from the xenophobic attitudes of the old country.

The outcome of all of this is that I picked up a lot of their open-mindedness about drugs, sex and race/culture and am damn happy that I ended up growing up in one of the most multicultural and LGBT-friendly (though it's nowhere near perfect) cities in Canada. I'm a leftie--maybe a "small 's' socialist"?--because I see that having universal health care and other social safety nets actually helps people, but the North American (especially among uni students and other academic folks) fondness for Marxism still gets my hackles up. I think it's safe to say that I'm quite leery of ideologies in general (political & religious), especially those that call for violent revolution.

And sorry, that was pretty long.

belledame222 said...

welcome, LD, I was just remarking that I really liked your post wrt the latest RE/IBTP/appearance/etc. business.

Elena said...

Hey Belledame222. Thanks for an awesome blog and for the opportunity to connect.

My parents were D-D-D-emocrats. New York Jewish working class LES/Bronx liberals, no time for Shabbat. My dad voted communist and is a devout and pious athiest. They were George McGovern all the way. Nixon, Viet Nam war, -isms and phobias, inequality...all things to be fought! I knew who Che was, who Cesar Chavez was, certainly MLK. My parents had an eclectic mix of friends, gay, trans, a rainbow of colors, even republicans. So I picked up my politics from them.

I think that I developed my current worldview from 3 things: 1. Watching my mom in action - protesting, boycotting, and its too bad she doesn't have email because that woman can engage a letter-writing campaign like nobody's business.

3. (yes, I know) Being a non-profit lifer has offered me the day to day opportunity to see that much of life is about falling on the spectrum and being open to process. Recognizing that it really isn't helpful to label or pre-judge, whether in life, politics, work....

I had #2 in there and then decided that I was putting out too much...suffice it to say, there was a third thing!


belledame222 said...

Hey, welcome, Elena, and thanks.

Lucy said...

My mom was/is technically a Republican but she inherited that so I don't hold that against her. She was a professional Girl Scout so she's pretty much a liberal feminist though she grew up pre-Second Wave. She's also a United Methodist. My dad really wasn't involved in my upbringing except as an occasional patriarchal authority figure.

I started off with my mom's worldview and still share it to an extent, though I identify more as a postmodern feminist if pressed to label my feminism. I've drifted spiritually into a personal goddess worship/pagan/atheist thing (it's complicated).

My worldview has also been shaped by being a transdyke (which I've only recently started coming to terms with), suffering from lifelong mental illness, and attending college with two different generations of students.

My worldview is pretty socialist though I prefer to call myself a progressive. I'd probably vote Green if I had the choice. I'm a college activist in both feminism and LGBT issues.

belledame222 said...

Thanks for sharing, Lucy. Welcome.

Sabertooth Screaming Lemur said...

Hi! I was raised by a quasi-liberal mom and a conservo-traditional dad, and decided I wanted nothing to do with the latter and that I could improve on the former. I've been called "a difficult, demanding little woman" by an ex, and have accepted it as accurate ever since. I just started blogging, figuring my wild rants and random opinions might have some validity after all. I talk about LGBTQ rights and issues, butch/femme dynamics, feminism in general, and things that piss me off. I'm somehow managing to enjoy reading I Blame The Patriarchy AND Renegade Evolution; I guess that makes me some kind of weirdo? As does being a femme and a feminist. Ah well. Just wanted to say hi, and I like your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hiyas - I was just having a general browse around picking up news on mad right wingers (more so PUMAs) and found your blog.

My mother is a pretty small c conservative Catholic Labour voter (church each week etc) and I most certainly am not.

I kind of adopted the antithesis of the catholic lifestyle, becoming quite liberal politically, celebrating my gayness and generally having a complete opposition to much that the catholic church stood for.

My world view has been shaped by coming from a poor background, making a load of dosh and losing it again, it is actually a positive to be reminded of your roots.

So - hi, glad to find you in the vast blog world and I will certainly be lurking and commenting.

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Anonymous said...

I want to give thanks to the great doctor Lawrence who help me in getting back my ex-boyfriend i saw a testimony post by miss Kate from Spain about how the great doctor Lawrence had helped her, i decide to email him and to my greatest surprise my ex-boyfriend came back to me after three days of contacting him.i simply want to say thanks for what he had done for me and am so happy may he live long. if you have any problem just email him ... Chalie

Anonymous said...

my ex-boyfriend dumped me 8 months ago after I caught him of having an affair with someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don't know what to do, so I visited the INTERNET for help and I saw a testimony on how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problems to him..... he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3 days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my peter came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr Ohehen spell caster, you are truly talented and gifted contact his email:(}

Anonymous said...

My ex-boyfriend dumped me 2 year ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I wanted him back in my life but he refused to have any contact with me. So after researching around I found this site and contacted Dr ativie. When I had my reading done, I was nervous and scared. I thought he said he wouldn’t be able to help me. But in the end, he told me he could help me to bring him back. I was expecting to have to spend a lot of money because I saw his prices are expensive. So I was really really surprised when he told me all I had to do was to have two candles burned to bring him back. I ordered the candles that Dr ativie burns and had him do my candles. He sent me a prayer to say everyday and I did what he told me to do. Two and a half weeks after the last candle finished, my ex was calling me again and came over. He slept over that night and in the morning he asked if we could work it out and get back together, to which I said yes of course! And we have been back together ever since. Thank you Dr ativie, you and your Spirits, you are of great help in the community and I think you are the best. I will be back again to have you help me on a situation at my job. Dr ativie is really a wonderful, nice, kind and caring person. He really cares about his clients and I would recommend him to any and all who need spiritual help.

Anonymous said...

I and my boy friend as been separated for a long period, I cam across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my lover back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a spell man called DR Ohehe, who helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn't believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his contact if you need his help.

Unknown said...

My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Utimate has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Utimate email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Utimate is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR UTIMATE NOW VIA EMAIL: or call +2347031362391 or He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship…….

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

























If you are facing any of these problems all you just need do is to contact him immediately email ( )

Joan said...

My names are Joan am from USA i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great Doctor brought my husband back to me, i had 3 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought then will never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i couldn’t control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and i always wish he will come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so i contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just seven days and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after four days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that is why i want to say a big thanks to Dr iayaryi. This great man made me to understand that there is know problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at (

Stephanie said...

Am Stephanie, from CANADA, I want to say thanks to Prophet Vicky spell temple for everything so far. To everyone who doesn’t believe in spell, I was one of those ones at first. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do this since I’ve tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read through the testimonials of other people at this website and after I talked to Prophet Vicky who answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my guy back. So my story is that I was at my office when the guy I am in love with told me that he wasn’t in love with me and never will be and that he didn’t want to speak or see me again, especially since he was talking to this other girl. When I talked to Prophet Vicky, he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the ones that was to get him back to me and stay with me and want to marry me. As soon as he started on the spells, my guy came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful for that. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what Prophet Vicky the spell is done. I’m still waiting for the spells to completely manifest, but with all that has happened so far I’m very happy because given only four months ago in March, if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! Lara. To contact him

Unknown said...

I am Natasha mchl, I want to use this possible means to appreciate one man i hold in sincere gratitude and high esteem for his help and his kindness he has rendered to me. I want to say A BIG THANK YOU to high priest ozigididon, indeed you are the WORLD GREATEST. without compromising words, high priest ozigididon helped me in getting back my long lost relationship and also bring back my life to lime light when i thought all was gone. I am a new creature now with the help of his powerful spell. friends out here please i plead with you search no further for spammers who act as real spell casters, the REALEST AND MOST TRUE SPELL CASTER is HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON THE WORLD GREATEST. he is so true to his words and his words are substantial. contact him now on he is more than willing to assist anyone who needs his help. I AM GRATEFUL HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON

Leila.unlimited said...

what are wonderful work Dr ogun has done for me and my children, I am Mrs. Leila from Canada, my husband left with three kids and go for another woman, I tried all my possible best I could to get him back but it was not working out at all, one blessed day I read many reviews concerning Dr ogun and this make me feel so good that this is the end of my problem, I was so impressed with the reviews I read concerning him, and this gave me the motive to email doctor and call him so I explained everything to him, he told me that he promises me with his words that after three days my husband will come back to me, I thought it was a joke and I was so annoyed while he did not do it instantly, so I decided to have some patients, and wait patiently for him, to my own surprise mu husband really came back when we was about to have breakfast, he has never had breakfast with us before, he apologized for his wrong and have breakfast with me and our kids, we were so happy to have him back again he our lives, and he has promise to spend all his days of his life with us without any problem, what are wonderful work Dr ogun did for it, if you are having relationships issue this is your best time also to contact the great Dr ogun so that he also can help you via, call him via +2347032286452

Unknown said...

HELLO to my friends out there i am testifying about the good work of a man who help me it has been hell from the day my husband left me i am a woman with two kids my problem stated when the father of my kids travel i never help he was living but as at two weeks i did not set my eye on my husband i try calling but he was not taken my call some week he call me telling me that he has found love some where easy at first i never take to be serous but day after he came to the house to pick his things that was the time i notice that things is going bad i help he will come back but things was going bad day by day i needed to talk to someone about it so i went to his friend but there was no help so i give it up on him month later i met on the the internet a spell caster i never believe on this but i needed my men back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it for doing sake but after three day my husband called me telling me that he his coming home i still do not believe but as at the six day the father to my kids came to the house asking me to for give him the spell work to said to my self from that day i was happy with my family thanks to the esango priest of (abamieghe)esango priest he his a great man you need to try him you can as well to tell him your problem so that he can be of help to you his content email is this indeed you are a priest thank you for making my home a happy home again. remember his email is

Anonymous said...


An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me.. My name is Andy Sowers,i live in Australia,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn't love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn't call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster DR benedict. So.
So,if you are in a similar problem or any kind of problems you can also contact him via his email(}he is the solution to all your problems and predicaments in life.his email again is{}.


(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) If you want to be promoted in your office.
(3) If you want a child.
(4) If you want to be rich.
(5) if you have any sickness like ( H I V/AIDS ),(CANCER) or any sickness.

once again make sure you contact him if you have any problem he will help you. his email address is(

Unknown said...


My husband Left me and my two kids for a new woman 12 years after our marriage. Then i was totally devastated and cried all day and night for aid. My Love life completely turned out to be a mess, because i couldn't just carry on with it anymore.. I was at the point of doing whatever thing that will save my Marriage and make him mine again, because i knew he was my soul mate and i fell deeply in love with him. We were both head over heels and over the moon for one another, and his feelings for me was so strong and he promised me love eternal. Life and pressure got in the way about two weeks before our marriage anniversary, And was pressured by his found new love to divorce me, and forced me to sign the divorce papers after seeing the attorney.. For weeks after our divorce he still remained in contacts with me, and after some times he no longer (calls non texts) anymore. So i had no other choice than to cry out for help to Voodoo Doctor a spell caster i found online, so he assured me positive result after 24 hours.. For the first time in 12 months my ex husband did called me for apologies, and he felt so sorry and remorseful for ever leaving me, and he told me how much he love and miss me. And this spells made me so unique in the Sight of my husband, and did open his eyes and made him remember why and how we fell in love in the first place..Thank you for your help! From the depth of my heart of hearts I know we are meant to your spell really helped me. Contact Dr Arley Spell Home at { } or call him { +2347036123581 } he will help you end your worries.

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