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O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
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to see oursels as others see us!

Probably everybody knows this couplet from Robert Burns, and the question being raised by Jane and Kestrel is an interesting one:

Are you a different persona here on the internet/blog than you are in real life? And for women who work, are you a different person at home and at work? Which is the real you? Do you use the internet to express fantasies and outrageous ideas that you wouldn't dare utter to boss, family or friends? Is the internet alienating us from ourselves or enabling us to express the real selves we've kept hidden from the world?

For me, wysiwyg. It's true that I am careful at work about being politically correct; I am careful to speak in a way that would not be misinterpreted as sexist, racist or leftist. I am also careful to reflect my boss's policies and procedures on a number of issues; I watch his back.

At home, it has been more difficult to be myself; it has been a gradual process over a number of years to establish an equal partnership and to break down the usual stereotype of husband/wife patriarchy and power structure, replacing it with something more equitable. Hard to do without causing personal damage and destruction of the relationship altogether. Marriage always changes a relationship; it takes work to get it back to what it was.

The turning point came about 3 years ago when I bought a car without his permission. And I bought a new car; he had ordered me to buy a used one. Sounds outrageous that he should be telling me what to do? That's what often happens between husbands and wives, no matter the liberal equality words spoken. I finally had to remind him that I was the one with the job and the money; I was buying a car for me.

If the roles had been reversed, he would have "consulted" me on the color and let me drive it to see if I liked it, but he would have made the decision beforehand.

The times they are a-changin' but it's hard and oh, so gradual.

Here in my journal I pretty much say what I want and think as I please. I figure we make a pretty nice community, you and I, and we appreciate each other for who we are and we don't criticize or demand for what we are not.

Thinking about the Robert Burns lines, though, I sometimes wonder how you see me from the outside looking in.

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