An American Perspective.


American Voice
#1
I feel driven out, within just one month.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#2
Why?? You are a thoughtful, interesting poster, everybody reads what you write and everybody appreciates your words.

Give this thread purpose: what is your American perspective on Canadian differences? How did you come to be on this forum?
 
WildFire
#3
I'm American and I don't feel driven out ^^

Nice to see the perspective of another nation.
 
Reverend Blair
#4
Why would you leave, Voice? Your posts are appreciated.
 
American Voice
#5
I think I was over-reacting. I am not able to accept anonymity. What makes these formus attractive to me are the personalities. I need to characterize the relationships, and that seems to make people uncomfortable. I picked up on what distinctly looked like anti-American sentiment the other night, in a game I'd started. That bothered me. I admire and appreciate Canadian civility, but that kind of reserve reveals a latent hostility, on occasion. It's a cultural thing. Jimmy Buffet wrote a song, "Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes." I have often thought I was born too far south. Anyway, I hope I didn't make too big a fool of myself. Am I still welcome?

What broke my heart was encountering it in the games. I mean, one expects it in the politics. Par for the course. I think I over-reacted. In my line, I had to acquire a toleration of things that would make a rhinocerous flinch--like water off a duck's back, it tickles, sort of thing. Games entail a baring of the soul that is at once both fascinating, and emotionally risky. Like I said, I picked up on some bad vibes, and it felt like anti-Americanism. Just a little touch of paranoia, I suppose. Still, as in all relationships, it's good to have some insecurity, it keeps you from taking each other for granted.
 
Reverend Blair
#6
I'm not a big fan of anonimity either, Voice. That's why I post under the same name everywhere and have the Reverend Blair moniker attached to my real name on my column. I think people deserve to know who they are dealing with, warts and all, so I try to keep at least some continuity on the internet. It's caused me some problems, but I'm happy with the result overall.

I haven't been following the games much. I've been busy/sick/involved with the election and something had to be cut back. Anyway, the result is that I don't which posts you are referring to.

Most of what I see construed as anti-Americanism is generally a reation to George Bush and US government policies. With all that's gone on in the world in the past few years that's bound to slip beyond the realm of politics, especially considering the mean-spiritedness of the last Canadian election.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

I think people deserve to know who they are dealing with, warts and all, so I try to keep at least some continuity on the internet. It's caused me some problems, but I'm happy with the result overall.

I have been doing forums for over ten years. I used to post under my real name, and I certainly made no bones about who I was. However, over time I noticed that the dynamics shift quite dramatically when gender enters into the equation.

On this forum, I have never stated one way or another, yet people drew conclusions. Those conclusions were most emphatically not from any innuendoes on my part. My greatest 'sin' was not to correct the first person who assumed wrong.

I adamantly maintain that the act not stating one's gender in no way inflicts a hardship on any forum member except those who are interested in online romance.

As for anonymity, it exists online and will unless you make it a requirement that everybody fill out a form with their personal information: gender/age/weight/hair colour/eye colour/sexual preference/income/occupation/hobbies/et al. Oh, and such facts would have to be checked to ensure that nobody was attempting to be anonymous through lying. Sound ridiculous? That's because it is, but the question remains, who decides what constitutes an unnecessary level of anonymity? When does anonymity become secretive?

I would be interested in learning one valid reason why specifying gender is relevant on a forum of this nature.
 
American Voice
#8
I think it might be useful to make a distinction between gender and sex.

I see gender as inevitable. Sex, on the other hand, while desireable, has no place here. I sometimes am feeling a little naughty, and maybe tell a risque story, but I do so with discretion (I think). There is sometimes a little more or less overt flirtation in the games. That's just fun. I mean, I wouldn't flirt with someone who I suspect might not accept it as it is intended--at least, not twice. Nothing improves one's behavior like a good, hard slap in the face. For my part, I would never slap anyone. It's not in my nature to be aggressive. If someone embarasses me, or makes me feel uncomfortable, I will usually just ignore them--they'll soon move on to someone else.

I think you are miscontruing what I mean by "anonymity." I agree, I think filling in personal data forms is silly, unless you are giving a medical history. But I think of all the personal anecdotes and revelations I read here, and assuming that everyone is being truthful and honest, I find that interesting. My gender is an unalienable part of my identity. Correct me if I'm wrong, Haggis, but I don't sense that you are concealing your identity so much as you are reluctant to make a specific disclosure, on account of a concern that you might thereby unwittingly, and unintentionally invite the distressing attentions of some sexual sociopath, of whom there are, unfortunately, many prowling the internet.

As for me, I find it easiest to just be truthful. Lying and concealment are too hard. One would have to be compelled to be deliberately deceiving, it must be exhausting. Gotta keep on the run, I imagine, when the inevitable slip-up occurs. I have a pretty clear layman's understanding of the signs of psychogenic paranoid disorder. It's a disorder or degree, and is actually quite a bit more common than most people would suppose. All you have to do is turn on the television and see all of the programming and advertising that is clearly directed at them.

Anyway, I'll sit down now, and take a breath.

Thanks, guys, for being patient. (Oh, in America, "guys" is considered to be a generic address. Even women will address one another, in groups, as "guys.")
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by American Voice

I think it might be useful to make a distinction between gender and sex.
I see gender as inevitable. Sex, on the other hand, while desireable, has no place here. I sometimes am feeling a little naughty, and maybe tell a risque story, but I do so with discretion (I think).
I think you are miscontruing what I mean by "anonymity." I agree, I think filling in personal data forms is silly, unless you are giving a medical history. But I think of all the personal anecdotes and revelations I read here, and assuming that everyone is being truthful and honest, I find that interesting. My gender is an unalienable part of my identity. Correct me if I'm wrong, Haggis, but I don't sense that you are concealing your identity so much as you are reluctant to make a specific disclosure, on account of a concern that you might thereby unwittingly, and unintentionally invite the distressing attentions of some sexual sociopath, of whom there are, unfortunately, many prowling the internet.
As for me, I find it easiest to just be truthful. Lying and concealment are too hard. One would have to be compelled to be deliberately deceiving, it must be exhausting. Gotta keep on the run, I imagine, when the inevitable slip-up occurs. I have a pretty clear layman's understanding of the signs of psychogenic paranoid disorder. It's a disorder or degree, and is actually quite a bit more common than most people would suppose. All you have to...

Quote has been trimmed
Hi American Voice... may I call you America? 8-)

Thank you for you response.

The initial reasons for not stating my gender had nothing to do with fear of stalkers, I am too mean and old to worry about such things. In other words, god help the stalker who messes with me.

To be honest, when I signed up, I didn't think much about it one way or another, at least not until the first time I realized that at least one person thought I was male. At that time, I just didn't see the big deal, so ignored it.

On the other hand, I guess it was something of a conscious decision since I like my words to be taken for their value, not as 'something written by a woman'. In another forum, whenever I 'won' an argument, some of the male members would start making thinly-veiled remarks derogatory to my gender in reference to my argument (ie 'just like a woman to think that way', or 'oh, you just can't argue with a woman'). it was highly counter-productive and highly annoying, as you can imagine.

The other thing that I did not welcome was the flirting, both on the forum and through a myriad of private messages. It was necessary to be quite abrupt in the PMs in order to stop the problem and this, in turn, resulted in the person becoming rather unpleasant to me on the forum. I have no problem per se with a little harmless flirting, but only in real life and never ever online simply because it is fraught with problems; a lot of little games get played out there.

The bottom line is, I like to interact on forums in a way that is uniquely possible in this venue, as a personality stripped of the often-distracting factors that are unavoidable in 'real' life. It isn't deceptive, but is, in a sense, actually more honest.

The interesting thing is, our way of acknowledging an idea is greatly affected by who it is that tells us. We can hear an idea from a rich successful man and it will be perceived completely differently by us than if we hear the exact same idea from a bum begging on the street. That is sort of what I was trying to get started on the 'Assumptions' thread.

Different perspectives, I know. I wanted to say my piece so that you might better understand that I had no intention to deceive or be secretive, I simply wanted to be known for my views alone. As for the fact that I am now 'out of the closet', as it were, no problem. It just wasn't worth the fuss to maintain my preference. Sometimes it is better to just go with the flow, and so I did.
 
Diamond Sun
#10
Haggis, you're a woman?? How wonderful!

Anyhow, you put it exactly the way I would have, only better! I like the internet because you can post your ideas and they don't automatically get discounted because of gender. This forum, I went right ahead and let everyone know that I was a mid twenties (ok, ok, late twenties) woman with a husband. Why not? On another forum, I didn't specify anything and my reception was quite different.

Like Haggis said, it's all about assumptions and stereotypes, and it's so refreshing to not have to wade through those assumptions and stereotypes in order to get your message accepted.
 
researchok
#11
Haggis had some thoughtful points.

Rather than rehash her thoughts, I'd like to add something.

Gender is not a reflection of who we are. It is no more than a descriptor of our chromosomes.

Who we are is reflected by our ideas, how we choose to live our lives, our morality (especially when we are alone) and how we treat others. That is who we are.

Same rules apply to our chosen work. Law, medicine, art, butcher baker and candlestick maker, etc, are descriptors of what we do. As their are immoral lawyers,artists and candlestick makers, there moral ones.

I suppose in my line of work, I'm fortunate-- I work with people whos qualifications, analytical skills and talents are the only arbiters of merit. Thus gender has never been a factor.

Yes, I thought my (now understood appendageless ) twin was a brother, it matters nary a whit that my twin is a sister. Mea Culpa, smartypants.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by researchok

Haggis had some thoughtful points.

Rather than rehash her thoughts, I'd like to add something.

Gender is not a reflection of who we are. It is no more than a descriptor of our chromosomes.

Who we are is reflected by our ideas, how we choose to live our lives, our morality (especially when we are alone) and how we treat others. That is who we are.

Same rules apply to our chosen work. Law, medicine, art, butcher baker and candlestick maker, etc, are descriptors of what we do. As their are immoral lawyers,artists and candlestick makers, there moral ones.

I suppose in my line of work, I'm fortunate-- I work with people whos qualifications, analytical skills and talents are the only arbiters of merit. Thus gender has never been a factor.

Yes, I thought my (now understood appendageless ) twin was a brother, it matters nary a whit that my twin is a sister. Mea Culpa, smartypants.

Research, your words have literally given me goosebumps. When we were kids, you gave me goosebumps when you put those snakes and spiders in my pockets - what a bugger - now you give me goosebumps with your words. When will it end?? Mom? Mom? He's picking on me again, AND he's calling me names. What, no supper for him? No, that's too harsh. Serve beets. A big bowl of the little red suckers. That'll fix him, see if it doesn't.

To be accepted as a human first, the rest of it second, is a wonderful thing. Thank you for expressing it so well.
 
researchok
#13
Beets...beet juice.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Seriously haggis, couldn't ask for a better twin.

Looking forward to lots of conversation-- thought provoking, humorous and everything inbetween.

Good news is that thanks to you, I'm a poet and didn't know it.
 
American Voice
#14
Haggis, I assumed you were a man because a woman would have better sense that to eat haggis. So, you toss any cabers lately?

I find your honesty charming, disarming, and endearing.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#15
Incorrigible twin brother writes:

>>Good news is that thanks to you, I'm a poet and didn't know it.

You sure are. I knew you were a poet, your feet show it... they're Longfellows. I'm enjoying our poetry thread.

American Voice writes:

>>Haggis, I assumed you were a man because a woman would have better sense that to eat haggis.

Hey, I may call myself Haggis, but I sure don't eat the stuff! I don't play the bagpipes either, but those I love. I suspect that haggis is actually a form of Scot-brewed chemical warfare.

Thank you both for your nice words.
 
American Voice
#16
Another thing, Haggis, you recall that private conversation we had a while back? It may interest you to know I would not have confided to you as I did on that particular topic if I had believed you were a woman. For me, it was guy talk.

I have bantered with DS about things I would not feel comfortable bantering with a man. It was all in the open, in games forums; first this, and first that. Brother/sister.

You are right, Haggis, gender does influence dialogue.
 
researchok
#17
Gender can influence relationships-- if thats where you want to go.

Mostly, I'm on here to talk to nice people.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#18
Interesting points indeed, America!

>>It may interest you to know I would not have confided to you as I did on that particular topic if I had believed you were a woman. For me, it was guy talk.

This statement begs two questions; why not, and why did you assume I was a man?

>>You are right, Haggis, gender does influence dialogue.

Yes, it often does, but it doesn't have to be that way. The responses I gave you were just honest, and you responded in kind. That is actually the way it should be between men and women too.

In 'real' life, men tend to be very natural, very comfortable, around me. It isn't that they treat me as 'one of the guys' so much as they very quickly get past the treating me as a woman. They treat me as a human, and that makes them feel comfortable. I think it is because I don't react to their words in what they assume (more assumptions!) would be a woman's way of reacting.

I think relationships between men and women would be greatly enhanced if more people could somehow get past the gender thing. Ahem, clearly there are areas where this is not feasible, but for conversation, it does work better, other than in flirting situations.
 
researchok
#19
Only one flirting with me lately is my ex.

I really do need to get out more.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by researchok

Only one flirting with me lately is my ex.

I really do need to get out more.

Now that is the biggest drawback of the Internet, I think. People put too much o their energy into this invisible world where everybody can be pictured as perfect or damn close to it. It's easier, it's safer, but it isn't real in the sense that matters.

Research, what is your town like for singles? How does one meet somebody in this day and age?
 
researchok
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Haggis McBagpipe

Quote: Originally Posted by researchok

Only one flirting with me lately is my ex.

I really do need to get out more.

Now that is the biggest drawback of the Internet, I think. People put too much o their energy into this invisible world where everybody can be pictured as perfect or damn close to it. It's easier, it's safer, but it isn't real in the sense that matters.

Research, what is your town like for singles? How does one meet somebody in this day and age?

Instinctive response to 'how to meet someone nowadays" is 'Don't ask'.

But you can meet people anywhere-- though Im not a bar type, so thats out-- but you know, don't discount online.

While Ive met some absolute fruitcakes, Ive also met some really nice people.

So, I just go with the flow.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#22
[quote="researchok"][quote="Haggis McBagpipe"]
Quote: Originally Posted by researchok

So, I just go with the flow.

Good plan, best way to be. I don't really discount the Internet, I have made some damn fine friends on the Internet. Years ago, on the Atlantic Monthly forum, I met two terrific people. Didn't meet them in person, but the friendships lasted for years. One is still strong, the other faded off after awhile.

One is with a young man in Los Angeles who was studying for his PhD in computer sciences. It was like being a mother again, I got to see him get his PhD, get his company started, get married, have a kid, buy their first house. It is really cool. We have known each other now for about ten years, haven't met yet, although my husband and I were invited to his graduation and wedding. Unfortunately we could not make either one.

The other was an old lady in Atlanta, Georgia. Cool old lady, she had a big old house that she managed to keep after her husband left her with four small children. She kept the house by renting out rooms and by writing screenplays. She writes plays about elders in particular, and the Cancer Society has put on several of them. She is also on some Atlanta elder studies thing. An admirable lady indeed. I am not quite sure what happened with her, she kind of faded off, started just sending forwarded emails instead of writing her own. Finally one day we just stopped emailing each other. That happens too.
 
researchok
#23
Very nice examples of the possibilities.

Thats one of my buttons-- possibilities...

At any rate, im off for a while.

Gotta catch up on a call to an old classmate-- he's in BC too.
 
American Voice
#24
Ya never know. I posted this thread as an act of desperation, and it appears to have resonated with a number of people.

As for the gender issue, I am a regular volunteer blood donor with the American Red Cross. I have donated gallons over the years, but one fact remains constant: I don't like to see the needle.

Men tend to be outcome-oriented. In my experience, women are process-oriented. One thing I always specify when I go in to donate blood, and that is my preference for having a woman doing the sticking.

XY and XX are distinctly different, in a variety of ways. To discount or attempt to suppress that fact is, to me, a great mistake. As a Frenchman once declared, "vive le difference!" I love the fact that women are women. I am sometimes chagrined by the fact that men are all-too-frequently "men." White men are a small minority on this planet, and ought to be reminded of the fact.

I once had a letter published in our local daily newspaper, and it has long stood as the most brief ever printed.

"All of man's wisdom can be summed up in one brief statement: women are different; which is to say, they are not inferior versions of men."

I love the fact that I am a man, and that women are women.
 
Diamond Sun
#25
So AV, what defines a woman to you then? You like that "women are women", but what is a woman? I'm genuinely curious.
 
American Voice
#26
A woman is a woman. She is distinctly different from me, who am a man. As deeply as I comprehend my manliness, so I am able to perceive a woman's womanliness.

Add: As I adapt to the needs of a woman, those aspects of her which are distinctly feminine call forth from me, as it were, those aspects of me which are distinctly masculine. I find a part of myself in her, no pun intended. To me, the personalities of women are more interesting than those of men. The awareness of latent sexuality is also exciting, even where and when its expression would be clearly inappropriate. I think that's what makes flirting such a rush, for both parties.
 
peapod
#27
Oh Haggis you dog you Although you did use a phrase once in a posting that I though was something a women would have used. Still tho, score one for the girls. I have to say this board caused me alot of trouble this weekend Everyone was pretty happy to dump me off at home, in fact I swear the car was still moving when I got out.

The board has awakened all things monty phyton to me. And that darn lumberjack song was the cause. It started off inocently enough. Someone asked me why i did not like sushi, and I said because, Im a lumberjack, and I'm ok, I work all night and I sleep all day...yada yada. At first this was a riot to all, and everyone joined in for a sing along. But than I kept inserting my lumberjack answer when ever the opportunity would come up, and there were plenty of opportunities After about the 8th time it was begining to annoy everyone. I could'nt stop myself, it was beyond my control. I kept wishing I had gone to the grocery store before I left and bought a couple of coconuts. I could have had alot of fun with those.

Well I think I need a starbucks to digest your new Haggis, or to think about assumptions, either way I need that Lattie.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#28
Welcome back Peapod! You have a lot of catching up to do, so better make that a double latte.
 
American Voice
#29
Ditto Haggis or your return, Peapod. I once actually bought a coconut for one of my girlfriends, a horse person in reduced circumstances, and unable to afford the extravagance of a horse. We had seen "The Holy Grail" together, and both loved it. I cleaned out the shell, and bisected it. Drilling a hole in the bottom of each, I connected them with a length of leather shoelace. She pretended to like it. Well, anyway, glad you're here.
 

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