Human beings live by misconceptions, making judgments and false assumptions without bothering to get the full story.
An example from my husband’s life: When my husband was in high school, he and a friend visited a couple of car dealerships. Hubby and friend were hip well before the current infatuation with ripped and holey jeans. They dressed in tattered chic. First they visited a Cadillac dealer. The salesperson took one look at them and dismissed them out of hand. What he didn’t know was that my husband’s friend was the daughter of a bank owner and she could have written a check for the full purchase price of a car right then and there. Needless to say, hubby and friend left after the treatment they received. Then they went to a Volkswagen dealer, where they were treated as valuable customers and allowed to test drive a car. Their age and the way they were dressed didn’t matter. Hubby’s friend purchased a Volkswagen.
All of us know stories like this – unfair situations where a misconception was involved. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most of us have been the victim of a misconception ourselves. Take me. I was a quiet person in middle and high school. I didn’t go out to parties. I didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs. I didn’t date, mostly because I wasn’t allowed to until I was 16, but even after that, the whole scene just felt awkward to me. To make matters worse, I liked school and did well at it. For all of these crimes, I was labeled a prude. (Didn’t I tell you I’d come back to this word?)
Prude is such an awful word – like a combination of prune and rude. Yuck! People assumed that because I was an intellectual and didn’t take part in “fun” activities, like chemical use and partying, I was uptight and stuck up. Because I didn’t date, I had to be asexual. Ha! The three children I’ve produced with my husband should be evidence enough that the assumption of asexuality was false. My husband, who is studying the sociology of human sexuality, says, “Do these people who think you are a prude know who you’re married to?”
Women, especially intellectual women, have long had to put up with this judgmental dichotomy. Either we are sexual or we are intellectual; we can’t be both. That’s what the article I linked to in my “More Sex” post was about. What a bunch of hogwash. Just because I’m more concerned with what’s going on in my mind than with dressing to meet someone’s sexual fantasy doesn’t mean I’m a prude. Just because I don’t discuss the intimate details of my sex life, that doesn’t mean I’m asexual. It just means I have the good sense to keep intimate things intimate.
As for the chemical use, sorry, it’s still not an activity for me. I can’t stand smoke, alcohol makes my stomach queasy, and I don’t relish the thought of instant addiction and loss of mental control that comes with drug use. If it works for you, by all means, carry on. See, that’s another misconception people hold about me. They think that if I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or dress in sexually provocative ways, I must be judging those who do. Nope. You life is yours to live. My life is mine to live. As the victim of misconceptions, I try hard not to return the favor.
Now it’s time for a meme, the . . .
For this meme mention one misconception or false assumption people have held about you. Provide details of the misconception, if you desire, and then set the story straight.
Tag whoever you like.
P.S. By the way, my “Sex, Sex, Sex!!!” post got even more hits than the other two. (Woohoo! Best day for blog stats ever!) For those of you lurking about reading my sex posts, feel free to pick up this meme and pass it along.