A Reeducated Postscript

An important principle of Reeducation was that you should do what was uncomfortable. This was because what you thought right was necessarily wrong, and also because you had surely never stretched to do anything differently before.

There are several reasons why this idea did not apply to me. Here are some of them, listed in no particular order.

1. As children, we have to do things that feel or perhaps are wrong all the time. A great pleasure of growing up is to be able to do what is in fact comfortable and does in fact feel right. Why one should relinquish one´s judgement once again, especially when one is now of age, is a great mystery to me.

2. By the time I got Reeducated, I had lived, worked and studied in three U.S. states, six U.S. cities, four foreign countries, and six foreign cities. In each of the foreign countries I learned the language to a very high degree of proficiency. It is not as though I do not know how to adjust to things.

3. By the time I got Reeducated, I had at least two advanced degrees and a great deal of other mind- and mentality- stretching experience. I had scientific training. It is not as though I did not know how to question presuppositions, interrogate methods, and consider alternatives.

4. When I entered Reeducation, doing as I saw fit and what I was comfortable with had never caused me any trouble in life. Acting against my better judgement, under pressure from others, had done.

One thing I was seeking — perhaps the thing, I am beginning to see — was further support for using my judgement. This was why it was so shocking to hear that my judgement had to be off by definition. When I have an opinion which dissents from that of the person in power, I notice, I still quake in fear — especially if that person is ill or feels hurt in some way.


6 thoughts on “A Reeducated Postscript

  1. It seems that a lot of people do although I am quite friendly and unassuming, really. How can you tell he felt threatened? I am truly curious.

  2. Long, sad experience with American men, mainly. Most of them feel exceedingly threatened by a woman with the experiences and abilities you have. Friendliness and being unassuming have nothing to do with it. They need to dominate in order to feel okay about themselves, and this often means tearing women down. In ordinary life, it’s merely an annoying nuisance that can be dealt with, but in what should be a therapeutic relationship, it’s malpractice and abuse.

  3. Interesting — except for the Cajuns, many of whom really are like that (and this Reeducator was Cajun, gay Cajun but still Cajun), it´s mostly women (acting as agents of patriarchy) I´ve noticed act that way. But it is a fact I did not recognize what was going on at the time; it has taken something like 20 years to understand and get over it. Perhaps it happens even more than I realize and I do not realize.

    1. I think I realize it because of my brothers, not because of men I dated. My brothers inoculated me against dating such men, so I suppose that’s something in their favor.

  4. Male colleagues are often like that in Louisiana, and I so don´t expect it that I don´t recognize it or don´t know how to interpret what is happening.

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