trinsy: (bovvered)
Argh, I am so fucking frustrated right now!

See, I have to write this research paper on Jane Eyre. Which is fine, whatever, because there are actually a ton of resources on Jane Eyre, except none of them are about what I want to write about and I don't actually agree with any of them. Because I really don't care what a bunch of academics say, Jane Eyre isn't a feminist novel, it's a stupid story about stupid people being stupid about the stupid problems they have because they're stupid! That's how I feel, and no number of articles arguing otherwise is going to change my mind.

Okay, so Jane refuses to be Rochester's mistress. Bully for her. You know, he's only tried to trick her into bigamy because, to paraphrase, "I knew if I told you the truth, you wouldn't marry me, and I wanted to marry you because I love you so much, so I didn't tell you the truth, but now that it's come out accidentally, even though I tried to trick you into doing something I knew you wouldn't want to do, will you be my mistress anyway?" And then when she refuses, he physically assaults her. Yeah, I can't imagine why she runs away from him after that. </ sarcasm>

Having said that, when she does run away, she does it in the most idiotic way possible. Yeah, I get that she doesn't have time to contact her uncle or gather money or whatever, but at least take your jewelry to hock along the way. My god, woman, do you have any idea how to be fugitive? What the hell is your plan?

And then - and then - she finds these long lost cousins (and let's not even get into how convenient that is) and her guy cousin is a total controlling asshole, and she lets him control her. "Oh, I want to learn German but you want me to learn Hindustani even though that will be of absolutely no use to me in the life I've planned for myself? Guess I'll learn Hindustani then." Wow, what a strong, independent woman! </ sarcasm> And the only reason she doesn't give in to said asshole cousin's demand that she marry him and become a missionary with him (and in the proposal he not only insults her in every possible manner but attempts to emotionally blackmail her by telling her she'll be damned to hell if she doesn't do what he says)? Because she hears the voice of Rochester! That's right, she doesn't give in to one manipulative bastard because the hold of another is stronger! Hurrah for women being able to think for themselves! (And that's not even talking about how afterward she hopes her bastard cousin will forgive her, even though she has nothing to be forgiven for and he should be the one begging her for forgiveness!)

And then she goes back to Rochester and immediately starts back into referring to him, even in her head, as her "master", which is way creepy, and he's all, "Why did you run away? I know I said I would break you in half if you didn't comply with my demands, but I only said it because I'm so in love with you! Of course I would never hurt you (even though I totally did)! I was so worried about you! Why didn't you just trust me?!?!" Oh gee, I can't imagine! Maybe because you tried to trick her into bigamy? I mean, just possibly. Also, great, so in real life, Rochester is totally the guy who beats his wife and then cries about it and blames it on her. Awesome. Yeah, this one epic love story right here! </ sarcasm>

And you know what? I get it. I get that it's fiction, which means when Rochester says he's reformed, he probably has. But in real life, that doesn't happen. In real life, Rochester is so very much the guy you don't want to date. I can make that distinction, but a lot of people can't, and it disturbs me. It's what disturbs me about Twilight and The Notebook and a lot of other "Epic Love Stories" that in real life would be very bad news. And it's why I have a problem with Jane Eyre being held up as this paragon of feminism when in real life we'd probably be trying to get her into counseling for Battered Wife Syndrome ASAP.

But the most frustrating part is that I can't write any of that for my research paper because I can't find any research that fucking agrees with me! Because everyone thinks Jane Eyre is this amazing feminist declaration. And you know what? It isn't!
trinsy: (I can see that)
I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre. Or rather, I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre so much more than my classmates. In fact, I think I've figured out why people think I hate men.

See here's the issue:

I've never liked Cinderella. I mean, I've NEVER liked Cinderella. As in, even as a four-year-old kid I hated it. I hated it because I didn't understand it. I didn't understand why Cinderella was such a doormat. I didn't understand why she let her stepmother enslave her. The only version of the Cinderella story I genuinely like is Ella Enchanted (the book, not the film, obviously) because that actually makes sense.

This is my problem. This has always been my problem. I don't understand how slavery works. As in, I learned about the events leading up to the Civil War back in fifth grade, and I didn't understand why, if there were so many more slaves than plantation owners, the slaves didn't just burn down the owner's house or something.

The same goes for Stockholm and Battered Wife Syndromes. I mean, I'm educated, okay? Intellectually, I understand the psychology behind all of those things. But I still don't get it. I don't think I'll ever get it.

Guilt trips, emotional blackmail, reverse psychology, peer pressure -- they all don't work on me. Not really. It's like, whatever part of the brain it is that causes people to act and react in these twisted ways is disconnected in me. It doesn't work. I just don't get it.

It's like when I was a kid and my parents split up and people would say to me, "You know it's not your fault, right?" And I'd be like, "Duh! Why would it be? I wasn't married to them." And I always felt like kids who did think their parents' divorce was their fault were stupid.

And that's the problem with Jane Eyre. I think she's stupid. The End. Yes, she's starved for love, and yes, Rochester is the first man she's really ever met (who counts, I mean), and yes, she's constricted by her time and class and whatever, I don't care, she's still a MORON! Intellectually, yes, I know why she does the things she does. But I still don't get it. It makes no sense to me.

I cannot comprehend letting someone treat you that way. I cannot comprehend allowing someone to make you feel that way. I literally cannot comprehend it. I just can't wrap my mind around it all. It doesn't make sense to me.

And to people who think this is some backlash from my dad or whatever: Guess what? It's not. Because I've always hated Cinderella. It has nothing to do with being angry or hating men or anything like that. It's just that a part of my brain doesn't work (or a part of my brain actually does?).

And you know what? I'm perfectly okay with that.
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m so insistent that being single doesn’t mean you’re less of a person because I subconsciously know I’ll probably end up single, and it’s easier to convince others – to convince myself – that that’s okay now. I hate myself for thinking that, but … I don’t know. To be known so completely by someone else. It’s not what marriage means, but it is what a relationship means, or should mean, or was meant to mean. I want that more than I want marriage and everything that entails, I think. To be known; to be validated. To not have to hide any part of myself, to not have to pretend. And that’s not what happens in a relationship, really. Relationships are compromise.

Well, I’m tired of compromising. I’m so, so tired. Tired of giving up little pieces of my soul every time I’m not alone. Tired of being stubborn, of waiting for the world to give me what I deserve, of thinking the world owes me something, when it doesn’t, really, nothing that I didn’t give it willingly, anyway, because I was four and stupid and thought that’s what it wanted. It’s funny, that, a decision you made at four haunting you into your twenties, practically (probably). It’s funny too, you get into college and people start telling you that “the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life”, and I can’t help wondering why people weren’t telling me that at four, that the person I chose to be in public at four would be the person I had to be in public for the rest of my childhood, for the rest of my life, probably. Set down the neurological pathways, or whatever they call it. The cycle’s gone on too long, runs too deep, can’t be changed. Some habits are impossible to break, and if you choose to be who you think people want you to be when you’re four, you’ll always have to change for people; or, alternatively, the backlash will come, and you’ll be in your teens and hate people, hate them for doing this to you, for making you think at four, when you didn’t (couldn’t) know any better, that being yourself around people wasn’t okay, that it never would be. They don’t tell you to be yourself at four, not until you’re older and it’s too late, and they don’t mean it then, anyway, not really. They mean don’t be stupid, don’t be who the bad kids say “yourself” is. And you don’t know who “yourself” is anymore anyway, because you lost that at four when you changed.

And just … where did I learn that? Where did I learn that being myself wasn’t okay? How did I know, at four, that people will always want you to be someone you’re not? Tuck away your real thoughts and feelings in a corner of your brain, only visit it when you’re alone, live in your head and talk to those imaginary people in the bathroom because that’s one of the only places you’re alone and thus safe. It makes me wonder, really, how many people are just wearing personas, how different the people you interact with are from the people they are in their heads. You can touch a heart, fine, it’s just an organ, albeit an important one. But to hold someone’s brain.… That’s where they live, that’s where the true person is, and the heart swells and breaks in a firing of neurons, if you really get down to it. Hold someone’s brain? You might as well hold their soul.

My grandma had surgery and suffered some minor brain damage, lost a bunch of inhibitors, and it’s like she had this complete personality transplant. But sometimes she says something and I just sort of think … I can’t help but wonder if that’s who she actually is, you know? If maybe she’s become the person she kept tucked away in her head for seventy-five years. Like, there is the person everyone knows as me, and then there is actually me, the me I keep in my head, the me I know. And I can’t help but wonder if I suffered the same brain damage as my grandma, if I would become a completely different person, or if people would think I’d become a completely different person but I would actually become myself. Like maybe the person I present to the world would actually be the person I am inside, if that makes any sense at all.

Now I’m just rambling, and this went in a completely different direction than I intended it to go, so I’ll just wrap it up for now.

trinsy: (doctor/jack)
Why I Hate Romantic Movies
(and why that doesn’t mean I hate love)

Last night, my friends were going to watch the movie Serendipity, and I said, “Oh, is that the dumb movie where she writes her name in a book or something, and is all like, ‘Let Fate decide’?” All my friends gasped and said, “It isn’t stupid!” Then one of my friends said, “Gosh, you don’t like Serendipity, you don’t like The Notebook … why do you hate love?”

“I don’t hate love,” I replied, “which is exactly why I hate romantic movies.”

My friends laughed. “That makes no sense! Way to contradict yourself!”

“I didn’t contradict myself,” I said. “Romantic movies don’t show love. Love is better than that.”

I believe real love is better than its Hollywood imitation. Real love doesn’t involve stalking or pining or obsession or petty jealousies or control. Love is better than that.

Loving someone doesn’t mean never letting them out of your sight (see: Twilight: Cullen, Edward). It doesn’t mean drinking yourself into oblivion for seven years after you’ve broken up (see: The Notebook: guy whose name I cannot be bothered to look up, the main). It doesn’t mean looking for someone to “complete” you (see: just about every chick flick/romance novel ever made/written: main characters). Love is better than that.

I don’t believe in soul mates. I don’t believe in “The One”. The idea that only one person in the entire world could be compatible with you is ridiculous for a number of reasons (happily remarried widow[er]s spring to mind); and equally ridiculous is the idea that any person in the world is perfectly compatible with you. No one is flawed in the perfect way to complement your flaws. Sorry. I think this is such a dangerous idea that’s been ingrained in our society because the implication is that there is someone out there who completes you.

You don’t need to be completed. You are one whole person. You are complete.

I love the film Sabrina (mostly because I have a weakness for Harrison Ford), but there is one line at the end that makes me cringe every single time. Sabrina’s dad says, “You don’t deserve her.” And Harrison Ford replies, “I know. But I need her.”

No, actually, Harrison, you don’t. Love isn’t a need. Love is a want. We all of us could make it on our own. We just don’t want to.

And that’s why love is better –– for both parties. Because you choose it in spite of everything. It’s not forced on you by Fate; it’s not something you need; it doesn’t even necessarily make your life better. But you choose it because you want to.

This is where it gets tricky. Because love is what makes you want someone, but real love is also what makes you let them go and move on if you have to. Frankly, if dated someone for a summer, and then we were forced to break up, and then seven years later I met up with him again and found out that he had spent that whole interim renovating some house we’d admired together and drinking himself into oblivion, I would definitely not sigh, “True love!” and dump my fiancé and get back together with Drunk Guy. I would instead be like, “Wow, I’m glad I dumped that loser’s ass!” And then I would move on with my life.

That isn’t real love. That’s obsession (and frankly, pathetic). I’m not saying not to wait for someone if that’s what you’ve both agreed to. But if circumstances force you apart, it’s okay and healthy to move on. It doesn’t mean you stop loving them; it doesn’t mean you don’t remember your time together with tenderness; it doesn’t mean you don’t wish them all the best. You do wish the other person happiness. And then you move on and live happily yourself. Pining does not equal love. You do not want to be with someone who cannot function normally without you. You want someone who can live without you – quite happily so – but just doesn’t want to. That is love. That is what makes love better than Hollywood. There is nothing special about someone who wants to be with you because you are the only way they can be happy. That is the most selfish reason to want to be with someone. Love is better than that.

So yes, I do hate romantic movies; and I hate them precisely because I don’t hate love. Romantic movies take love and cheapen it. They turn it into something frightening and pathetic, and then they tell you that this isn’t just what you want, this is what you need. You don’t need that. No one needs that, and you certainly shouldn’t want it.  Love is what you want.

And love is better than a Hollywood romance.
trinsy: (I came back)
So I spent Thanksgiving with Kira and her family, and you know what? It was fun and fantastic, and I could not love her family more. Her family is so fun and funny and just nice to me, and I love them all, from her crazy grandma to her sarcastic little brother. But I was really struck by something yesterday morning as we were driving to brunch that has a lot to do with her family, but not just her family.

We were driving to brunch, and her dad asked if we should go to Cheesecake Factory or some other place I’ve never heard of, and Kira was like, “Well, that other place is really expensive.” And her dad said, “Nothing is too expensive for my girls.”

And that hurt a little, because even though that’s really sweet of him, the truth is, I’m not “his girl”, but more than that, I’m not anyone’s “girl”, and I never was, and I’m never going to be. Kira’s ringtone for her dad is ‘I Loved Her First’. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that. I was born not going to have that. And that sucks.

We went to her brother’s football game over the weekend, and we had to stay in a hotel with his team, and her brother forbid her from swimming with the team because he didn’t want them making comments about her. And she complained about how “overprotective” he is, and I really wanted to be like, “You know, at least you have someone who cares enough to be ‘overprotective’.”

Over the summer, I stayed with my uncle for about a month, and his girlfriend bought me this tank top, and he was like, “You can’t go outside in just that!” And I laughed, and rolled my eyes, and said he was just being overprotective … but honestly? It felt really nice. It felt really nice to have someone actually care about how guys were looking at me. It felt really nice to have someone want to protect my modesty or virtue or whatever.

This is something I have such a hard time with, because I totally believe in the independence and self-sufficiency of women, and that they don’t need to be protected, and all of that. But the truth is, I’m that way because I had to be that way. I had to take care of myself, I had to protect myself, because there was never anyone else to do it. I didn’t have a dad; I didn’t have brothers. I never chose to be an independent woman. I was born an independent woman. And you know what? That’s awesome. But sometimes I see what Kira has and … a part of me aches for that. It just does.

And I hate that.
trinsy: (are you my mummy?)
You know what I really hate?  I hate when I hate something, and then someone I really don't like also hates it, and then I want to like it just to spite them.

Also, the guy that my friend just broke up with is very probably definitely probably gay, and he had a (guy) slumber party at his house the night after they broke up because his roommate was out of town and he "didn't want to be alone", which ... like ... I mean, it's sad that he's heartbroken or whatever, but my god, man, strap on a pair!  What did they do, eat ice cream and watch romcoms and trash talk girls?  Yeesh!
trinsy: (cold)

Everything in this entry is true.

Not that that makes much difference to the few of you reading this, but it would make a difference if my RL friends read my LJ.  They’d think that I’m exaggerating, being overdramatic and cynical.  Well, I am cynical, but I’m not exaggerating.

Last week I was visiting my uncle, and I finally got to meet his girlfriend after hearing about her for two years.  I was rather wary about her because she’s nineteen years younger than he is (only one year older than my oldest cousin, in fact), but I absolutely loved her.  Anyway, they were dropping me off at the airport yesterday, and she went to the bathroom, and my uncle asked me where I thought their relationship should go.  It was the first time we got a chance to talk about it, or rather, the first time we had a chance where he brought it up; I think he waited until then because that guaranteed the conversation would be brief.  But anyway, he asked me what I thought, and I said, “You and I both know anything I say isn’t going to make a difference in what you decide to do.”

“You never know,” he said. “It might.”

I shook my head. “You know even if I said she’s a great girl and I love her –– which, for the record, I do –– you still wouldn’t marry her if you didn’t want to.”  He didn’t say anything, and I added, “And that’s how it should be.  It’s your life, and you’re the only one who really knows if it’s going to work for you.”

He said, “You’ll understand when you get there.”  Looking back, I’m not entirely sure what he meant, but I do know that he meant it in the least patronizing way possible, which is a refreshing change from all the similar yet extremely patronizing comments I’ve received from my mom and my friends.  Anyway, then he sort of laughed and said, “You’ll probably make some snap decision.  Just meet a guy and be married in a month.”

“No,” I said, “it’s going to take a lot to get me to marry.”  He frowned, so I continued, “I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.”

He nodded. “That’s understandable.” Which, given how great my mom’s marriage is supposed to be, was an interesting response.

It’s funny how much your perspective changes as you get older, and it’s funny how much you realize people … well, I don’t want to say lied to you as kid, but they didn’t tell you the true nature of things.  When you’re a kid, all the stories end with the wedding like marriage is the ultimate, like after that it’s all sunshine and daisies, and that’s just not true.  Isn’t it funny how you never stop and wonder what Cinderella’s dad and step-mom’s marriage was like?  Or how the girl in Rumplestiltskin felt after marrying a guy who loved her for her money?  You just think, “Cinderella and her prince lived happily ever after.  I want that too.”  And no one bothers to tell you that that’s not how it works.

I don’t want to get married anymore.  I used to be leery of it for the reason everyone is: divorce rates.  I was just talking with my roommate about that last semester.  But after living with my mom and stepdad for over a month, I’m no longer scared my marriage will fail; I’m scared of the price I’ll have to pay to make it successful.  I’ve seen what making a marriage “successful” has done to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.

My mom has always had this sense of guilt that she couldn’t make things work with my dad because she thinks she “failed” at showing my sisters and me what a good marriage looks like.  That’s not speculation on my part, by the way; she told me that.  But now with my stepdad she’s overcompensating, and she doesn’t get that it’s backfiring.  Yeah, I guess my perspective on marriage was always a little messed up; but living with my mom and stepdad for over a month completely killed any desire I ever had to get married.  I would never tell that to my mom, of course; it would devastate her.  But it’s true.

She’s into this whole “submissive wife” thing now, and it’s absolute crap!  I know why she’s doing it, too.  She’s afraid that the girls and I, after living with our angry-with-men grandma for sixteen years, hate men.  What she doesn’t get is that strong women don’t make me hate men; weak women do.  I hate that a man can turn my strong, intelligent, independent mother into a ditzy, kowtowing housewife.  I hate that my friends have to ask their boyfriends for permission to go out on the weekends.  I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I’ve seen what relationships have done to my friends, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.

Relationships change people, and in my observations, ninety percent of the time it’s not for the better.  That scares me about relationships, too.  I spent my entire childhood changing for people, acting like someone I wasn’t because I thought that’s what people wanted.  It might have been worth it if it had gotten me the love I craved, but it didn’t; it just made me forgettable.  I’ve morphed so much over the years that I don’t even know how to act like myself anymore.  Even now, at college, I have a reputation for speaking my mind, and it’s so cruelly ironic because people have absolutely no idea what’s going on in my head.  Not even my family know who I really am.  God, that sounded emo.  It’s true, though.

I don’t change for people as much anymore.  Sometimes I still catch myself doing it (old habits die hard), but for the most part I’ve stopped.  But I know I’m susceptible, and I’m scared that any intense sort of relationship will make me weak again.  I don’t want that.  I don’t want to fall into the relationship trap.

I don’t want to get dependent on someone; I don’t want to have to get permission to go out at night; I don’t want to change.  My independence is worth more to me than the gamble that maybe I won’t end up alone.  Because marriage doesn’t guarantee you won’t end up alone, not anymore.  And I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.  It’s just not worth it.

June 2013

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