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The Patriarchy Wants To Make You Cassandra

March 27, 2008
My ability to communicate when it comes to a topic that I am passionate about (which is just about any topic that I am interested in discussing) becomes almost non-existing. Most people must give me the benefit of doubt or dismiss me all together. I have become used to the dismissing. Particularly because I am not good at speaking or writing in an inductive way, it is part of my learning disability, one that has been hindered further by a poverty that gave me a poor education and kept me around people who were not privy to middle-class language and nuance, or more specifically, the ability to speak in white-American-middle class approved code. I am now still not around it because I cannot surround myself with people that I don’t understand or even if I were receptive which I guess I could be if I tried hard enough, I am not willing to tolerate their disdain when I am repeatedly told how obtuse I am.
It is also my personality type to a fault. I know what I know. I cannot tell you what, I just know. I can however tell you most definitely what I don’t know, because people who know what they know know for certain when they do not know. Of course it will work against me if it turns out that I do not in fact know what I insist that I know, and that is always a threat because when I cannot prove thorough speaking/writing that I know what I know then it is concluded that I don’t know what I am claiming to know. To complicate the matter, I most often know what I know through instincts and senses and our culture/society is not big on crediting instincts.

For example, the persistent male cop who has a gut instinct is trusted (to a degree) and is followed and respected accordingly, so is the male president who knows his course is right even though every thing around him says he is wrong. The female who says it (whatever it is at that time) is what it is because her instincts tell her so is labeled a quack, angry, must be suffering from a rape, or at one time a witch and murdered because of the infer threat her instinctual assertion invokes among the insecure. Or to bring that to 2008, dismissed because she cannot get her thoughts into understandable soundbites. “Quickly bitch, give me the soundbite code, are you on my side or their side, it is us or them.”

I don’t care though, because I know what I know, I can feel it. I am not Cassandra. Although I do love Cassandra and will fight for the Cassandras of the world until the day I die.

9 Comments
  1. momo permalink
    March 27, 2008 3:16 pm

    For what it’s worth, I have never found your writing to be confusing or inarticulate, although I recognize that in the moment you may experience your knowledge as a gut feeling first.

  2. Debs permalink
    March 27, 2008 7:43 pm

    I love Cassandra too, and I love this post. xx

  3. Chris permalink
    March 28, 2008 10:11 pm

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the book Blink, but it’s probing into how our “intuition” works was interesting. It covered how it works and when it might mislead. I just would have liked it better if the author had gone more into how we can control it.

  4. Rent Party permalink
    March 29, 2008 12:05 am

    I *am* Cassandra. I accepted this long ago… 😉

    You’re an incisive thinker and more perceptive than most people, this is why you get stuck in the Cassandra role. And people then try to ignore or intimidate you into not believing what you’ve seen. But you’ve seen it.

  5. Unsane permalink
    March 29, 2008 12:47 am

    You can’t win with that. I understand exactly what you are talking about, as I spent about 10 years wandering in this particular wilderness. What it comes down to is realising that when people ignore the meaning of your speech, it actually ISN’T because they don’t understand it. They are wilfully misunderstanding it, in order to cast a net of social control over you. When you realise this, you realise that their anger and denial of your integrity is actually because they feel small and threatened themselves. My solution is not to associate with such people. They seem to be in the majority (what Nietzsche would call “the herd”) but there are actually plenty of people out there who will make an effort to understand what you are saying. They are your real friends and colleagues.

  6. kaya permalink
    March 29, 2008 1:02 am

    its tough because you COULD go the route of “maybe i don’t know, but humor me and listen anyways.” and maybe people would listen because they wouldn’t feel threatened by your knowledge. but then that would also be bullshit and you’d be angry about it.

  7. Anna permalink
    April 2, 2008 12:45 am

    This classic Kitty writing (which I have sorely missed – knew something was missing from my life lately . . . !) I not only understood every word BUT I FELT every word. This is your unique gift.

  8. Level Best permalink
    April 2, 2008 6:44 pm

    You speak right to my heart both on AROOO and on the blogs to which you contribute comments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your communication, and many, many things that are wonderful, insightful, and pithy. If there is fault to be assigned, lay it to men’s refusal to grant women credibility and reluctance to acknowledge communication which undercuts unearned privilege.

  9. Kitty Glendower permalink
    April 5, 2008 12:32 am

    You are all very good to me. As usual I am too clumsy when it comes to accepting compliments. But I do know what I know. {wink}

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