The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, April 08, 2005

Soul Mates Part 6--Cleaning up some issues

wanted to take a moment to speak specifically to some of the comments that have been made in response to my story thus far.  A few people have been offended, or wondered what I meant by this or that.  Let me please speak to this, because I need to complete this story, and bring it up to date, and I don't want misunderstandings.

1)  No, I don't expect people to follow my pattern.  I do think that the place I came to, of self-acceptance, clarity, self-confidence, and willingness to walk alone and not waste my sexual or emotional energy, IS valuable.  I spoke of the way I reached this place.  You may be able to as well.  But other routes must exist.

2) The "Beauty-Power Axis" clearly relates to the dynamics that create families.  In other words, it is most powerful and accurate for those in heterosexual relationships through their 40's.  Beyond child-bearing age, or in gay relationships, the power transactions are more equivilent--value for value, with beauty and power equally important.

3) The new model for relationships in the 21st century seems to be leaning toward equivilent power as well.  But I VERY rarely see the power poles switched: i.e.--her power for his beauty.  I know of a few cases, but in none of them are th4ey actually building a family and life together.  This does not mean it's not possible.  In several cases, I watched the woman go out to earn the living,a nd the guy take the traditional homemaker role.  And in every case, the sexual energy went right out the window.  Cultural?  Perhaps.  I don't know. The jury is out.

4)  Weight issues.  This one is tricky.  I thinkthat the first 5-15 pounds of excess weight or so is no big deal.  Just lifestyle and personal preference stuff.  But by the time your secondary sexual characteristic become obscured, by the time joints are hurting, backs hurting, and it becomes a burden to walk up a flight of stairs, this is no longer lifestyle.  It is no  longer a little metabolic situation.  It is emotional.  I've simply had too many former obese people tell me that when emotional issues cleared up, they were able to drop the weight.  Too much evidence that it relates to depression, anger, pain, fear, loss, and grief and resentment.  I jsut don't believe what I was told growing up: that overweight is simply a choice, or that it is a physical condition that can't be helped.  No.  I don't.  Sorry.  Ive had too many friends die.  DIE.  From obesity-related illness.  If I had spoken the truth to them, maybe they'd still be alive.  but they surrounded themselves with people who would tell them pretty lies, and allow them to continue on down the road to self destruction.  I will be damned if I will EVER do that again.

5)  What we consider attractive usually relates to damned good reasons.  Much (not all) of human behavior relates to survival of self and family.  Most of what we consider beauty relates to health: clear complexion, strong bones and teeth, symmetrical faces, high energy.  Or emotional health, like discipline, self-love and respect, clarity of purpose, emotional endurance, resistance to fear.  when women say they are attracted to ambitious, intelligent, successful men--what the living hell is wrong with that?  Aren't they supposed to seek  out the healthiest mates possible?  and men are attracted to women who, by visual appearance, give them sexual stimulation: secondary sexual characteristics, self-confidence, sensuality...all of these thingsrelate to mothering and fathering.  Subtract these from the equation, and the entire human race collapses.  So if you have moved beyond the need or desire to raise a family, have a partner in these sense, fine!  but better than 80% of the human race wants these things, so it's legitimate to address them. In no way, shape or form do I suggest that those in non-reproductive relationships are unhealthy, any more than if you're in a marriage you are automatically somehow healthy.  No.  but if you've had a string of failed relationships, I suggest you want to look at that closely.

6)  I don't consider myself enlightened.  I do consider my self on the path of enlightenment.  There is a subtle and powerful difference.  Part of the reason I am exposing myself here is to directly discuss issues that I can address only obliquely in my writing, and allow people t give me direct feedback.  this isn't just about having a good life.  It's about having a good death, to be clean with myself about who and what I am in this world, and to do absolutely everything I can to leave it a better place than I found it.  I barely even spell-check this stuff: it's pretty raw, but that's what it has to be to be as honest as possible.
Well.  Enough of that.  Next, we're back to what happened with me and the spectacular Tananarive.  Can't wait!


1 comment:

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