It has been mentioned by some commenters on previous posts that I talk a lot of common sense. I take that as a compliment because it infers that I have an open mind on most things in life. I do think of myself as being able to identify the most straight forward and logical way of looking at different situations.
My mother was a practical woman, she was able to turn negatives into positives, whatever life threw at her, her coping mechanism kicked in. Although she was feminine she was a strong woman. Perhaps I have a little bit of her personality in me. On the other hand my father was a man's man, drinking with the lads, working to bring home the bread, and only being involved with the child rearing when it suited him, which wasn't very often. There is a little bit of him in me as well.
Putting that aside for a minute, I believe there is another reason I am like I am, my brain is wired up differently. A few years ago I did an Introduction To Psychology course, free at college I might add, and there was a particular light bulb moment which hit me between the eyes. I listened very intently to what the teacher was telling us, and thought, blimey, she is talking about me. I was gobsmacked, I didn't know there was a word for it.
My brain has been puzzling me for some time, why does it work in the way that it does? Does everyone think like me? How come I get it and other people don't? It can't be because I am clever because I got away with the minimum of education, and couldn't get out of the school gates fast enough. Yet I know enough to get by in life, that's what puzzles me.
OK, so now I am going round in circles, but that's what I do. My brain goes off in all directions. I ponder a lot, I contemplate a lot, I look for the meaning of life a lot, there has to be a meaning, that's why we are here. Looking inside ones head is the most satisfying past time I have, that's why I spend so much time alone. To put together all the little jigsaw pieces of ones mind and end up with a complete picture, leads to a greater understanding and contentment within oneself.
So what was the word that the teacher used which opened up a whole new train of thought? Androgyny. Now I am going to borrow a bit from Wikipedia, you can look at the whole article if you wish. 'Androgynous traits are those that have no gender value or have some aspects generally attributed to the opposite sex.' 'No gender value,' what does that mean? The way I see it is that both physically and mentally some are born male and some are born female, and some are born as both. My working with men for a great many years may have contributed to the way I think like a man, but the trait must have always been there for me to take that career path in the first place.
Another quote. Sandra Bem 1977 says this, 'The androgynous individual is simply a female or male who has a high degree of both feminine (expressive), and masculine (instrumental) traits.' This explains why I could haul a 40 ton truck around, and break down in tears at the side of the road. At times I admit I did struggle with my identity, I often felt that I was straight down the middle.
On the brighter side, it seems my androgyny is not a bad thing. There have been a lot of tests conducted on the benefits. According to Sandra Bem we are more flexible and more healthier than either masculine or feminine individuals.
Also, (quote from Suite 101), 'The resilience of androgynous individuals helps them to deal with social pressures. They do not adhere to the same standards that gender typed individuals do. As a result they exhibit higher levels of self esteem and psychological well being.'
I didn't always have high self esteem, it grew with me once I realised that I could control the path of my life. It used to gall me when people said I was taking the job off a man. I would retaliate with fury, and a few choice words. It isn't a mans job it is anyone's job. I was bloody resilient alright. Then I would go home and cry, in private.
Discovering my identity has taught me a lot. Whatever questions you have about your life, the answers are all there inside you, if you look. It took that one word prompt from the teacher to make me explore more, and I'm pleased that I did. Question yourself but look for the answers inside your own head, and I deliberately say head and not heart, because that's how a man thinks.
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