Models of Femininity

Talking about psychology, there is a young contestant from Moldova on Project Runway, and she’s so totally like me that it’s hilarious. Not physically, obviously. Moldovans are a different ethnic group and look very differently. But in the way her post-soviet femininity is so different from the North American version.

There’s also the constant feeling that everybody around her is too slow, the capacity to do everything faster than everybody else, the irritability, the entitlement, the self-assurance.

I’m glad to see that the Soviet femininity is alive even for women born since 1991. Everything about the USSR was horrible. But it’s a lot easier to be a woman when you are from a post-soviet country. It’s much much harder to be a man but a lot easier to be a woman.

It’s a lot easier to live as a woman in the US but it’s a lot harder to carry the burden of North American femininity. Many women don’t understand that the discomfort and the pain they experience don’t come from any external circumstances. They try to project the problems caused by this defective model of femininity into all sorts of invented boogaloos like the ‘toxic masculinity’ or the equally non-existent epidemic of sexual harassment in academia (just to give a couple of examples).

But the real cause of the pain is the heavy weight of the North American way of being a woman that would defeat Goliath. Like Hasidic Jews who thank G-d for not making them a woman, I thank God for not making me a North American woman. Not because there’s anything wrong with them – they are definitely nicer than we are. But because it’s so damn hard.

A Temporary Conclusion

I have concluded my work with the analyst for now. Which doesn’t mean I won’t need him again.

Many people mind the length of the process and its lack of a definitive ending. But psychological problems aren’t similar to a cold. They are similar to Type 1 diabetes. You spend your life managing them. And after you figure out your regimen, you are fine most of the time. The blood sugar has to be tracked and meds have to be adjusted but people accept that and it all works.

Nobody tries to cure their own diabetes by applying willpower and nobody refuses insulin just because it won’t cure you instantly and completely. Curiously, this type of an utterly barbaric attitude to psychological dysfunction is widespread only in the US.

As for me, I would probably not be alive right now if I hadn’t contacted this analyst years ago.

Creative Chaos

I always watch reality TV competition shows like Project Runway, Top Chef, that kind of thing. I love watching talented, creative, driven people at work.

And here’s what’s interesting. Whenever there’s a team challenge, if a team is working in perfect concert, everybody is agreeable, everybody is in sync – that team’s going to lose.

But whenever a team is in total chaos, everybody is arguing, pulling and pushing, debating and fighting – that’s a team that will create something great.

Because creative work doesn’t happen in a conveyor belt environment.

Movie Notes: The Little Princess

Oh my God, what a horrible movie. Reader Shakti warned me I’d hate it, and I should have listened. Because I really hated it. The only characters that made sense were Queen Victoria and Bertie, and they are not even in the novel!

The book itself was mangled to the point of utter ridiculousness. The utterly unneeded love story, the idiotic musical numbers – and why, why do there need to be musical numbers in everything? – the fact that the Dad was turned into a hero of the Boer war instead of a shifty capitalist type and a total flake, oh goodness.

The kid was super cute but she’s a stoic British introvert like I’m Maya Plisetskaya. The whole point about Sara being a little princess in the book had to do with the idea that even in the midst of poverty and hunger she preserves her dignity, poise, and a sense of self-worth. She doesn’t run around throwing garbage on people’s heads like a typical American spoiled brat.

The horrible Victorian poverty was completely erased. The exploitation of child labor, the unbreakable class barriers, the snobbery – all gone.

The whole reason I like the book is that it teaches kids about the value of humanity, of imagination, of books. It teaches that you don’t have to be pretty, or rich, or sociable. You can be an awkward, unattractive, bookish child but your intellect and strength will keep you going.

Klara loved it although she didn’t understand a single thing people were saying. But she is a screen-deprived child who’ll stare at a soap commercial on a loop if anybody lets her.

Competing for the Vote

So Biden is like, “I love drunk drivers. Especially illegal drunk drivers. They are more American than any American because their drunk driving is so expert.”

And Bernie is like, “Hah! I take your drunk drivers and raise you murderers and rapists. Voting rights for the most evil bastards ever! It doesn’t get woker than that!”

And Warren is all, “Hey, I’m so much woker than you, old white males. I’ll have a cabinet that will be 99% non-binary! I have no idea what it means but it will be truly representative of the population. I mean, I’ve never met the population but my advisers tell me it’s all about non-binary these days.”

And voters are like, “you crazy.”