Ways of seeing

Tim saw it as “feminine” and “masculine”- as a “Beta male” he has a particularly feminine way of seeing things. In the school, the head was an alpha male, the deputy head was an alpha male, the other deputy head was an alpha male even though she was a woman.

I find “feminine” and “masculine” meaningful and frustrating. You are so strong, so charismatic, so able to-

-did I misperceive? No. You are all these wonderful things, though sometimes you take on too much-

and so feminine.

Do my ideas of feminine and masculine map more onto confident human and hurting human? We talk differently to babies, depending on whether they wear blue or pink (rather than whether they are male or female, oh those sneaky psychologists!) Big Strong Boy!!

oh how beautiful you are, how sweet, let me kiss you-

For Tim, and for me, our “femininity” lies in our desire to reconcile conflicting opinions, and keep people happy. Considering the quotidian dispute between Trustees and Area Meeting in session, John would make decisions by the rules- this is the law about financial accountability, this is the budget, this is the Governing Document describing the relationship- and Tim and I would make decisions by human relationships. For Tim, if the budget does not cover it, that is what reserves are for, and this is what people want so let us facilitate it- unless it is unequivocally contrary to the Charitable Purposes. The Rule-enforcer will only seek reconciliation if they find it desirable. That I find it desirable does not mean everyone does.

D suggested considering The Rules was a less mature way of being. His stages of spiritual growth theory says people should pass through that one in their teens- though he may mean obeying the rules as a way to be safe, rather than enforcing the rules on others. One of us takes care of the Meeting House, regularly checking if anything needs doing. Another found this difficult: give him a calendar of tasks, and he can undertake them at the appointed time.

Sabina says that many schools have circle time and “Nurturing”. After Nurturing circles, which are given more for those who need them more, you can talk to a child differently. Rather than “Stop it! That is Bad! Don’t be Naughty!” the librarian can say, how do you think what you did made the other child feel?

Tell me how I may be good! Don’t say everything I do is Bad!

How might one reconcile people with two different ways of thinking? Can we come to an understanding? Do you actually care how the other person feels?

We are moulded by our society. I find the thought of killing my sister, under any circumstances, impossibly revolting, and yet people commit “Honour killings” for the honour of their family and the good order of their community, as they see it. I like to think that they would be revolted by killing anyone, far more someone they should love, were it not for a twisted false morality, but whether there is any default state separate to the culture, I do not know.

This does not make my femininity inauthentic: as I grow within my culture, and as AMAB folk grow within widely different cultures across the millennia, we express ourselves female.

(c) English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

2 thoughts on “Ways of seeing

  1. I read once that the feminine type is more likely to wish to seek praise for compliance. This was used to explain why as a group little girls tend to ‘perform’ better in primary school but why in the workplace – where bullish tendencies and risk taking tend to be rewarded , the boys do ‘best’


    • Thank you for that. I have heard that trainees with Ordinary degrees were preferable to those with Honours, because the Honours bods read and thought about it and the Ordinary bods got on and did it.

      Do you find the word “feminine” meaningful? Do you feel that you are “feminine”?


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