Someone Twittered about this post at the atheistnetwork.com Forums, and rather than join just to respond, I thought I'd write something here.
Do you feel socially acceptable? Do you like or do anything that is not the norm where you live? How important is it to you to feel accepted by those around you?
I currently live with a very special set of circumstances that allow me to "pass" for normal in many ways that I feel I'm truly not. I'm an atheist, bisexual, identify as a mixed-race Hawaiian/Caucasion American, have communist and socialist leanings, support legalizing drugs, and I'm clinically depressed with various other un-fabulous ailments. Thing is, I look "normal", boring, "mousey", and caucasian. When was the last time you were in line at the market behind a white 30-something clad all in Old Navy and you had the burning suspicion she was an atheist? Questioned her sexuality? Wondered about her drug use or mental health? Did I mention that I live just outside of Seattle? And now that Prop 8 passed in California and our Right-to-Die law is in place, we're the crazy-liberal state. So people here are less inclined to wonder if you're "different", or care if they find out that you are.
This all makes me feel a little guilty, especially since all of these "differences" are very important to me. And I do crave social acceptance more than I wish I did. Take all of this together, and I've developed very definite opinions about almost everything and I'll talk to anyone who asks about it. But I don't usually go out of my way to shout it from the roof tops. Usually.
Do you ever take the road less traveled just because you are anti-social? For example, if everyone likes a certain movie and it gets great reviews, does this automatically make you look for reasons to not like the movie?
Is that really the meaning of anti-social? I must admit that I tend to question anything that is too popular. But that's because I don't want to be a lemming and go with the flow. Investigating on my own to come up with my own conclusions is important to me. So I don't necessarily look for reasons not to like something. If anything, I prefer to look for the reasons that others like something and then decide if they may be right, or full of shit, or just lemmings themselves.
I feel like sometimes I place too much emphasis on what other people think about me instead of doing what makes me happy. Other times I think I rebel against the norm just to take a stance contrary to everyone else.
I'm pretty sure this is a common feeling for just about anyone. I also think that once you realize you're somehow "different" than the norm, usually between the ages of 5-10, you start to have these feelings a little more often than "normal" people. I think it's linked to self-esteem. As a child when I was ostracized for being "fat", I told myself that I didn't need anyone. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes I revelled in my differences, sometimes I hated them. As a pre-teen, I was a Duranie - I worshipped Duran Duran. But after moving to a new state and starting high school where no one else seemed to share this fascination, I lied. I had a project to visualize my personal history on posterboard, and Duran Duran was right in the middle. But when it came time to present my project, I saw the dull-eyed reaction to my admittance of adoration, and immediately followed it with the words, "I don't know why. It's kind of silly."
I like older women with gray hair and crows feet around their eyes and some sag to their breasts and ass. I like scooters and Madonna and emo's. None of those are usually popular choices in my community yet they make me happy. At least when I don't feel judged as being abnormal by people for liking them. Or not macho or manly. Or sick or disgusting.
I like Big Beautiful Women, androgynous men, man on man action, and thin women creep me out. Again, not popular choices, but they're small vices compared to the taboos of atheism and homosexuality, so it's much easier to enjoy them and roll my eyes at people who may judge me for them.
I like thin 16 or 17 year old girls too. I think a lot of guys do. Why are there all those porn sites that say barely 18 if they didn't? The reason they say barely 18 must be because they like young teenage girls but don't want to go to jail for fucking or looking at a 16 year old but since 18 year olds look young and are legal, then it is OK. I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a 16 year old girl but admire their beauty. Is that perverted or normal?
I'm pretty sure this is just our genetic conditioning. Girls just past puberty are fertile and at their peak of health, so they can produce more offspring. And if you've taken any classes about animal behavior, you should be familiar with science's idea that attraction at its core is based on finding the healthiest, most fertile sexual partner to produce the most healthy offspring. That said, I've noticed that the older I get, the younger teenagers look to me, which usually saps out any sexual attraction for me. Maybe that's the true reason why Hollywood likes to cast 20 somethings as teenagers - because they stil look young enough to appeal to teenage audiences, and yet old enough to be attractive with us middle-agers. On the other end of the spectrum, I've also noticed that I'm attracted to older guys that I never would have found appealing when I was a teen. I guess your sexuality really can grow with you. Mostly.