Argued with Jesse about the movie The View from the Top, which I stopped watching as soon as I saw the initial image, in the titles, of Glyneth Paltrow cocking her hips in her 1960s stewardess uniform, making a nice curve of the stripe down its center. Typical sweet nicegirl glowing smile.
He enjoyed it, especially the end, which he insisted on showing me. Now I think I’d better watch the whole thing, because he said “You don’t even know what it’s about.” I sure thought I did, from that final scene when she gives her big speech about her relationship with her true love being more important than her career, because otherwise she didn’t have anyone to come home to from her gallivanting.
Seemed to me it was about indoctrinating us females to put our man first. It didn’t say that but the message was clear in the context of our culture. How many movies have men giving up a career for love?
Jesse didn’t respond to my issue, and so without thinking I started identifying with it and perhaps getting more and more emphatic. He certainly kept defending the movie, and that rankled, so I responded with more criticism, eventually telling him I felt hurt when he defended it because he was ignoring my issues.
He said he felt like I was saying he was a “schmuck” for watching it. I looked at my attitudes, and responded “I was getting there.” I disliked his ignoring the issue, disliked it more and more… but felt initially he was simply programmed to accept that, ignore the sexism. Not a schmuck for being programmed, just oppressed. When he refused to be enlightened by me, however, that seemed unreasonable!
I do think he’s sexist. I do think he defends it too much. But he’s defending himself — from my anger, my 60s rage he’s never gotten over. Boy it’s easy for me to feel depressed about that!
It’s possible to heal this. I insist on believing this mistake can be forgiven and used for growth — both mine and his. How can I use it for mine, since I must lead?
I apologized for escalating my criticism, admitting I know that doesn’t work for getting a message through, but it’s still a bad habit. Some ignored kid in me still feels I just have to let the other know how much it hurts, is convinced I just have to show the hurt more obviously, pound on the other’s walls harder… and surely they will open up and care. Poor hysterical Kay.… Poor foolish hungry kid. Is that why I was chubby? Hungry for love, ate for tranquilizer? Yep, think so.
When will I learn to comfort my hungry kid? I believe it’s possible. May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May my hungry kid be filled, may my … Filled! is that sexual association tied in here, too? Probably.
Ack, I don’t know how to deal with this old pain; all I can do is pray. May I be free from harm. May I enjoy mental well-being. may I enjoy physical well-being. May Jesse be free from harm. May Jesse enjoy mental well-being. May Jesse enjoy physical well-being.
May Jesse and I enjoy the partnership of allies, kindness to ourselves and to each other, mutual support in our spiritual journeys, and a lively and nourishing sex life. May my hungry kid be loved and nurtured and feel contentment and happiness.
Does Jesse have a hungry kid? He was skinny, not chubby like me. Is sexism a response to neediness? Men wanting to control women, to posess them, in order to ensure love? Jesse’s mother’s doctor told her not to pick up the infant when he cried….
 Barreto, dir. View from the Top (Los Angeles, CA: Miramax, 2000).