Monday, November 13, 2017

How I Was Raised

© by Gerald So | 10:00 a.m.

I hope the wave of Hollywood sexual harassment and misconduct revelations leads to lasting, positive change. I've done my share of thinking aloud about it on Twitter and have read several "How I was raised" responses. I offer my own as context for my tweets, grateful for all that went right in my upbringing and the wise decisions in hindsight I made for myself.

My attitudes were largely instilled by a well-educated extended family of mostly women on my mother's side. My father's was smaller but more distant. His mother favored two sons over three daughters, and his father's punishments were traditionally physical. Fortunately, my father was strong enough of character to reject that favoritism and break the cycle of abuse.

Both doctors, my mother probably had greater stature in the Philippines, but sacrificed working in America to raise my brother and me. I'm not sure which parent had the stronger personality because a single, soundly reasoned message always came down to us.

I should also mention the message I received from classmates, that I wasn't very desirable. Some did express attraction, but too playfully for me to know if it was genuine, so I did nothing. My experience, such as it is, leads me to want the right things in a relationship. More than physical attraction, a deep mutual understanding and desire to be together.

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