Who am I and where does society fall?

Sometimes I wonder ‘Do I do these things because this is who I am or because this is who I feel society wants me to be.’ Two particularly recent examples come to mind that bring up this question and I will address each separately.

I recently read a large chunk of ‘Talk Dirty to me’ by Sallie Tisdale for philosophy. One of the discussions was an experiment where people were asked to rank themselves on a scale of 0-6 of how masculine of feminine they were. Very few people are either 0’s or 6’s. Most people fall in the five parts between this, and many more people would be described accurately if this scale was described by infinite real numbers.

Ask yourself that question, on a scale of 0-6 how masculine or feminine are you. Are you really a 1/5, or is 1/5 a number you trained yourself towards? Judging yourself is very difficult and between the face you show the world, and the real you BOTH of these can be determined by society.

  • What everybody else sees?

  • What we feel inside?

  • Which of these do we model on what we believe society expects?

The other more personal example of this came when I recently visited friends and family. Every time this happens, people say I am like my father, and remind me of him. Last time this happened I was a little bit surprised by myself.

On the outside, I am not an emotional or sentimental person. Very few people have ever heard me discuss anything about my father. Well it was a little out of the ordinary; I missed him, felt a need to make him proud and follow in his footsteps. Well I’m not one to really have these feelings. So are they my feelings, or are they the feelings that I believe society expects out of me.

Have I seen so many people on TV being sentimental about their fathers that I believe that is how I am supposed to feel?


Are these actually my feelings but I’ve been hiding them away for years because that is what society says?

Tough questions. Look at yourself, find the distinction between how you act, how you feel, and which of those is most impacted by society.

No comments:

Post a Comment