"I don’t think it’s terribly controversial to note that women, from a young age, are required to consider the reality of the opposite gender’s consciousness in a way that men aren’t. This isn’t to say that women don’t often misunderstand, mistreat, and stereotype men, both in literature and in life. But on a basic level, functioning in society requires that women register that men are fully conscious; it is not really possible for a woman to throw up her hands and write men off as eternally unknowable space aliens — and even if she says she has, she cannot really behave as though she has. Every element of her life — from reading books about boys and men to writing papers about the motivations of male characters to being attentive to her own safety to navigating most any institutional or professional or economic sphere — demands an ironclad familiarity with, and belief in, the idea that men really are fully human entities. And no matter how many men come to the same conclusions about women, the structure of society simply does not demand so strenuously that they do so. If you didn’t really deep down believe that women were, in general, exactly as conscious as you, you could probably still get by in life. You could probably still get a book deal. You could probably still get elected to office."

— Jennifer duBois, Writing Across Gender (via florida-uterati)

(via liberalchristian)

"As to the pure mind all things are pure, so to the poetic mind all things are poetical"

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Unitarian, poet)

(Source: uuquotes)

Tags: perspective


“[A]nother important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.” ― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky


“[A]nother important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.”
― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky


Whether this geocentric image of the universe matches the way the universe actually works is beyond the point of its value. In fact, long after Copernicus and Galileo demonstrated that reality is very different and heliocentric, the older model of the universe persisted. After all, with a few minor adjustments, it worked for the moment and became a staple of farmer’s almanacs.

At some point, however, this model or image was no longer tenable in light of new discoveries about the reality of the world and it was discarded for newer models. For (C.S.) Lewis, this change was not simply because human beings were now somehow brighter, rather, the model itself no longer gave meaning to the world. “We can no longer dismiss the change of Models as a simple progress from error to truth,” writes Lewis, “No Model is a catalogue of ultimate realities, and none is a mere fantasy. Each is a serious attempt to get in all the phenomena known at a given period.”

In other words, transition from older models is not merely about discovery, it is about how human beings understand the facts in light of what else they believe about reality. Models can change because of “an unprovoked assault of new facts” or because we, not the facts, change. We become discontent with what is and discard what no longer makes sense.


— Brandon G. Withrow writing in the Huffington Post

The fact of the matter is I don’t actually know what it feels like to be a “straight woman.”  I don’t know if I am typical of that category or not.  I don’t know if my heterosexuality is like other people’s heterosexuality or if my femininity is like other people’s femininity.  I can’t claim to know how it feels to be anyone but myself. 

 It would be terribly boring, though, if I only wrote about myself.  Believe me, no one would be interested in reading that.  So I do what any writer has to do.  I trust that I can combine my observations of what other people do and say with my subjective experience of thinking and feeling and use that material to tell the story of a fictional person.  I know how I feel and I take the chance that feeling things is fairly universal.  Being attracted feels like being attracted— not gay or straight attracted.  Falling in love feels like falling in love— not gay or straight falling in love.  Worrying about social status feels like worrying about social status.  Fearing rejection feels like fearing rejection.  Jealousy feels like jealousy, and so on.


If I am full of myself, there is no room in me for what you bring. I keep myself intact when I convert you; I keep myself intact when I politely tolerate you; in a mutual interaction, I lose something of myself to create an opening for your perspective, your experience to enter my world…

'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares' (Hebrews 13:2). This ancient advice to “entertain strangers,” to be open to others, to invite them in and offer them food and listen to their stories, point to the reward that comes from this “entertaining,” this response of mutuality: in that other, we may just find an angel.

Now I admit that I have never seen any sort of mystical angel, a divine glowing being with halo and wings, and I suspect I never will. But I have met a fair number of angels in human guise, if an angel is also someone who offers me something I never expected to receive, tells me something I never expected to hear, shows me something I never expected to see, helps me understand something I never expected to grasp, or otherwise breaks into my usual mindset. When another manages this feat, moving past my defenses and my absolutely true opinions to remind me that I really, finally, do not know everything, then I have been visited by an angel.


— Rev. Dr. Kathy Hurt, Unitarian Universalist minister

(Source: bucmi.org)

Many years ago I was the moderator of a pretty active set of GLBT message boards. One of the most active participants was a heterosexual woman who was “straight but not narrow.”

One thing she didn’t understand was the proverbial bumper sticker of “sticking in people’s faces.” Because she was sincere, and not a jerk, I took the to ask her what she meant - “Why do you have to mention the type of relationship you’re in, or who you’re dating? Straight people don’t do that.”

And the challenge was on.

I told her to try and go for a week without mentioning husband or kids (this was long enough ago that would create a heterosexual presumption - heck, it still does).

She assumed it would be easy, and said, “You’re on!”

She was abashed the first evening she came back to report. “You’re right. I couldn’t do it.”

When I asked what happened, she noted that on her way to work, that very first morning, somebody noticed her keyring, which her husband had given her, and had a picture of him and their children. How could she say what it was, who it was from, without “coming out” as a straight person.

She began to understand further when she got to her office and noticed that she had  pictures of her family on her credenza. Should she take them down? They said “what” she was - and even if they didn’t, what if somebody asked?

This was towards the end of the week, and as folks started discussing their weekend plans. She and her family were going camping. How could she discuss that - “My roommate?” “My, uh, well, friend and, uh, our kids….”

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."

— Zora Neale Hurston; Their Eyes Were Watching God (via wordpainting)

(via nocureforcuriosity)

"The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they’ve really done is they’ve shifted their relationship with time."

— Caroline Myss (via commondense)

(via thankgosh)

"We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is. Someone - our parents, teachers, analysts - hypnotizes us to “see” the world and construe it in the “right” way. These others label the world, attach names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter, we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other things to us. The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become undeaf, unblind and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us in new voices and write all its possible meanings in the new book of our existence. Be careful in your choice of hypnotists."

Sidney Jourard (via journeytoenlightenment)

(via ferananda)