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Scrabble War
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We've been playing Scrabble most every night after dinner. It's a fun way to end the day, spend a little time in conversation and just play.

But and however, I've spent most of my life suppressing my competitive side. As a woman, it was expected of me to be supportive, cooperative, building for the common good, forgiving and loving and tolerant and unassertive.

And every so often in Scrabble I'll make a word, just because it opens up another part of the board for play, not because it's the best word possible. That's the "good girl" side of me.

However, little by little, my competitive edge is reasserting itself after decades of suppression and repurposing to others' benefit. Last night I made four 7-letter words, with a 50 point bonus for each. It was hard not to yell, "Yessss!" and pump my fist.

Oh, yeah, I like to play and I like to win and I don't like losing and I'm cooperative and subservient only by training, not by instinct.

That instinct to hunt and to win is there, under the surface. Not a very feminine trait, and I'm somewhat embarrassed to discover that I'm still the same person I was when I was young enough that I hadn't yet been conditioned to be "feminine". I remember my mother teaching me that people (boys especially) don't like girls who win...'let the boy win' was the message. This was in high school.

My mother was right. In the workplace, men have very ambivalent feelings about successful, competitive, competent women. They respect us, sure; but they also resent and dislike us. We're not womanly enough. Read: helpless and subservient.

Anyway, regarding Scrabble, it helps to have a broad vocabulary, though quite often I find myself wanting to make words that exist in other languages, not in English. Being a polyglot can be a disadvantage.

And I'll try not to be embarrassed when I win.

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