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  1. If you do, Elaine, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I remember being vaguely ‘meh’ about “Wuthering Heights” when I read it as a young woman, and not really getting why so many of my friends gushed so excitedly about it. :)

  2. Read through all these posts now. VERY interesting. There’s a heck of a lot rings true!

    Jut a thought… as an interesting exercise, I wonder what it would be like to read the book “Wuthering Heights”, by Emily Bronte, from start to finish, with your “women, bad boys, nice guys” posts in mind?

  3. I’ve been to quite a few enormously extravagent weddings. I’m saying right now: if I *ever* get married (unlikely, as I’d first want to convince her to a non-marriage monogamous relationship, at worst) I want it to be a modest affair.

    I’m going to try, anyway. I certainly know there’s going to be a lot of pressure from family members to have a proper wedding, as they were grown up to believe in, even if it’s as simple as a couple dozen friends and family, a simple service done by my step-grand mother with the UU, and a small reception and dinner afterwards (like with my eldest stepsister.


  4. This makes me wonder if the best thing I’m doing for my girls is not having any more children, thereby reducing (almost) to nil the possibility that I will ever give them a brother.

    Mind you, when I was about to have my second, I consciously evoked the “helper” persona for my eldest daughter, because I knew enough about birth-order roles to know that it would be the healthiest one overall. It also happened to suit her personality best, so she was falling into it already. I talked to her about how the baby needed our love and attention, and wouldn’t understand how to play nice for a while yet. When my newborn gave a gassy smile and the older one looked at me and said, “She’s smiling at me! She likes me!” I didn’t explain that it was just gas; I said, “Of course she likes you! She loves you, you’re her big sister!” And so on, and so forth.

    I wonder if, instead of teaching her to fawn on men, I’ve taught her to fawn on her little sister.

    As for the little sister? I used to nickname her my sunbeam, because her name is Claire. I’ve changed that. She’s not a sunbeam – she’s a lightning bolt, so a lot of the time, I now call her “éClaire.” It’s a peculiarly Canadian nickname, isn’t it? In any case, she has the speed and feistiness that comes with high intelligence, and the need to prove to the world that anything her sister can do, she can do better. No one is ever going to walk all over her – which I remind myself of, every time she’s exasperating me with her dangerous levels of independence. :)

    1. It’s lovely to hear how well your girls are doing together. Do you think their having a brother is important, though? Won’t they have plenty of opportunities- hm, no, just thinking about that, I know that’s wrong. I was the eldest of two girls, and when I first “noticed” boys, I was utterly clueless on how to deal with them. Guess what? Little boys don’t like being excitedly punched as a sign of interest any more than little girls do! ;)

    2. Just a note, Erin; don’t ever let anyone else know you call her ‘Eclaire’, or she’ll end up teased that she’s chocolately pastry.

      Young people will latch onto anything. I was called Greg the Egg. How I hated that nickname!

      As far as your daughters are concerned though…there’s a certain amount of bluntness that’s definitely worth avoiding in regards to your kids. Telling your eldest that ‘it’s just gas’, while not cruel and unusual punishment, is very likely not going to produce a better result (unless she’s very inquisitive, and this knowledge encourages her to learn biology!)

      Fawning on her sister isn’t the most horrible of fates unless it leads to a disfunctional relationship when they get older. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to know that till it happens, and no good way to teach her, at that age, how to guard against it. And besides that…trying to manipulate your kids into happiness and stable relationships is a recipie for disaster.

      “The life of pawns is no life at all” -Elaine Belloc, ‘Lucifer’

      Just continue to provide the best overall rolemodel you can, and let them live their lives.

  5. I would like to note one thing:

    men are more likely to assume a friendly woman who is simply talking politely to them is in fact sexually interested in them.

    This is not always arising from the societal trope that women should be subservient to men. In many cases, it is ironically out of a lack of self-confidence on the part of an unhealthily introverted man: ‘My gods, she’s talking to me! To ME! I must be desirable to her! She must find me desirable if she’s talking to me!’ These are usually the guys who ask plaintively why women prefer ‘bad boys.’

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