Small Town Living
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09-06-2017, 07:54 PM
Small Town Living
Living in a mostly Republican area, I can tell my fair share of moments where redneck farmers, whose IQ was 'The temperature of the room' (Read that somewhere, thought it was funny.). I can say certainly I know mostly what it's like to have hard times being a rational person in the midst of very illogical people.

One that really sticks to me is when everyone in my highschool, Patrick Henry Highschool, thought 'All wars are caused by women.' was a fact. Whenever I stood up for the fact I'm a women and I say women can be as strong as men. I was laughed at and when giving a fact that child birth is higher than the pain declaims in which a person should pass out, but yet a women is often awake, I was asked 'Have you ever had a child.'. It was embarrassing as I froze up, thinking back on it I should have said back. 'Have you, I can imagine pushing a baby out of that hole you call you ass would be really hard.'

Other times it felt like everyone ignored me. Whenever I had a good idea that would work, I was ignored and/or called an idiot. I was expected to sit back and let a 'Authority Figure' tell me what to say and do.

When asked what I wanted to do with my life, I would often say 'I don't know... Maybe get a job, support myself.' again I was laughed at. Everyone women there told me they wanted to.
'Get married, have kids, live at home.'

I just never could see myself letting another hold me up. I wanted to do things, to get out there and be happy because I saw something new or did something new. What's the point in living in a small town just to always stay there? Often in this town I was pushed, since going to middle school, to find a guy I liked to get used to dating. But, I can often remember I was never interested in men, I never found myself swooning over them like other girls would when talking about them. I couldn't see the appeal in two guys throwing ball or wrestling each other.
Because of this I was pushed away, like I was the Belle or something of the whole school. Some pretty nasty rumors spread because of this.

But this isn't a sob story, just recounting the events of my childhood. Often times we like to think we've moved on from the whole 'Village of men and hard working women at home.' cliche. But, they are dotted all over the US, and I have to say I might have lived in one.

Personally I feel I am lucky to have pulled away from this 'Village' and bothered to think for myself.

Anyone else had a life like this?

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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10-06-2017, 12:44 AM
RE: Small Town Living
(09-06-2017 07:54 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  Living in a mostly Republican area, I can tell my fair share of moments where redneck farmers, whose IQ was 'The temperature of the room' (Read that somewhere, thought it was funny.). I can say certainly I know mostly what it's like to have hard times being a rational person in the midst of very illogical people.

One that really sticks to me is when everyone in my highschool, Patrick Henry Highschool, thought 'All wars are caused by women.' was a fact. Whenever I stood up for the fact I'm a women and I say women can be as strong as men. I was laughed at and when giving a fact that child birth is higher than the pain declaims in which a person should pass out, but yet a women is often awake, I was asked 'Have you ever had a child.'. It was embarrassing as I froze up, thinking back on it I should have said back. 'Have you, I can imagine pushing a baby out of that hole you call you ass would be really hard.'

Other times it felt like everyone ignored me. Whenever I had a good idea that would work, I was ignored and/or called an idiot. I was expected to sit back and let a 'Authority Figure' tell me what to say and do.

When asked what I wanted to do with my life, I would often say 'I don't know... Maybe get a job, support myself.' again I was laughed at. Everyone women there told me they wanted to.
'Get married, have kids, live at home.'

I just never could see myself letting another hold me up. I wanted to do things, to get out there and be happy because I saw something new or did something new. What's the point in living in a small town just to always stay there? Often in this town I was pushed, since going to middle school, to find a guy I liked to get used to dating. But, I can often remember I was never interested in men, I never found myself swooning over them like other girls would when talking about them. I couldn't see the appeal in two guys throwing ball or wrestling each other.
Because of this I was pushed away, like I was the Belle or something of the whole school. Some pretty nasty rumors spread because of this.

But this isn't a sob story, just recounting the events of my childhood. Often times we like to think we've moved on from the whole 'Village of men and hard working women at home.' cliche. But, they are dotted all over the US, and I have to say I might have lived in one.

Personally I feel I am lucky to have pulled away from this 'Village' and bothered to think for myself.

Anyone else had a life like this?

Welcome to the real world. In most of the South and Midwest, where most of that nonsense is "standard" culture, that nonsense exists only in the rural spaces between more urban and educated areas. They had nothing other than menial jobs, forever, and so most of the brightest minds have moved away. The remainder stick to "easy-answers" culture: religion, friends/family, and whatever they're fed via their various media that reach the above. Why wouldn't they? The religion teaches people to turn off their minds and make no worry for the morrow-- just accept your lot, don't ask questions, and that will make you a HappyGoodPerson™.

I'm glad you made it out. I did, too. But I'm quite content, as an adult, with the new culture I've managed to build, apart from my indoctrinated friends/family.

Now that I'm free, I see much of that stuff as a bit of a sad, cautionary tale of what happens if you let someone convince you to turn your mind off. Got to the point I wouldn't even go on Facebook anymore, to not have to listen to such nonsense spewing out of people whom I love.

But I'm happy, now, even as I continue to live in a (liberal-urban part of) Super Red State, in all the "spaces between". God, Guts, Guns, and Greed. It's the American Way.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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10-06-2017, 01:36 AM
RE: Small Town Living
Folks,

There is a similar social distinction here in the UK, between those who move away from small home towns/villages and those who don't.

D.
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10-06-2017, 04:49 AM
RE: Small Town Living
It sucks, and it's not surprising that you have ambitions to get out of there. I hope you find somewhere more welcoming soon. I grew up in the Bible Belt, left for college, and never went back. I've been happier ever since. One of the irritating things I remember about growing up was being told repeatedly that I needed to stay in my place (which as a female and someone without money was pretty low) and never try to go above it.

I wonder sometimes, though, whether these days getting out is the best option, society-wise. (I agree that it's the best thing to do at the personal level.) Now that low-skill jobs in factories and farms are being automated out of existence, when small towns lose the bright and/or nonconforming kids at every high school graduation, it's a slow death. No one to start new businesses. No one to challenge the prevailing group-think. Towns filled with closed businesses and open churches. Angry, fearful, failing people muttering a susurrus of discontent and blame--"somebody did this to us..." They did it to themselves, as they always have, but now the option for a small town to sustain itself in smug mediocrity is fading.
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10-06-2017, 08:32 AM
RE: Small Town Living
"...in smug mediocrity"

Brilliant. Also, a good name for a book describing this phenomenon.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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10-06-2017, 08:39 AM
RE: Small Town Living
I've lived in both small towns (less than 3000) and big cities (over 2 million).

Personally, I much prefer small-town living over the big city. Less noise, less crime, less traffic, you can see the stars at night, people generally are friendlier. Yes, sometimes that means you don't get the best restaurants and the first-run movies, but so what? I prefer going out at night, in the backyard, with a beer and some friends and listen to the coyotes howl in the distance while we look at the stars.

Your mileage may vary, I guess.
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10-06-2017, 08:56 AM
RE: Small Town Living
I shared a hyperbaric chamber with a mother of three. She said the bends were much worse than childbirth pains. We both survived that.
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10-06-2017, 12:06 PM
RE: Small Town Living
I don't see small towns quite the same way. Of course, I am a red-necked farmer who doesn't get off the farm much, but the attitude of low expectations for girls and women come from backward thinking rather than from small town or rural mentalities. Backward thinkers can be found anywhere.

And...yet, Julep what you wrote is often true; small towns struggle to stay alive. We got an influx of gay couples fleeing the city about a decade ago. They bought historical homes and revived them. Unfortunately, we also got an influx of gangs in the nearest small city, which spread outwards to the small towns, influencing our youth and bringing the drug culture more to the front of our resort areas on the ocean.

The worst and best thing about small towns is everybody knows what is going on in your life. That and the press of people would drive me nuts. I like my isolation. We are 30 minutes from nearly everywhere we need to go and 15 minutes from the small town where my husband attended school. I lived "through the forest" in another small town.

I would guess, however, that each small town is unique and can't be pigeon-holed into a bad or good category.

Glad that you got out of what was for you an intolerable situation, Ruby. Have you found that the men and women you met outside of small town life are each and all better people?

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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10-06-2017, 12:22 PM
RE: Small Town Living
(10-06-2017 08:39 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  I've lived in both small towns (less than 3000) and big cities (over 2 million).

Personally, I much prefer small-town living over the big city. Less noise, less crime, less traffic, you can see the stars at night, people generally are friendlier. Yes, sometimes that means you don't get the best restaurants and the first-run movies, but so what? I prefer going out at night, in the backyard, with a beer and some friends and listen to the coyotes howl in the distance while we look at the stars.

Your mileage may vary, I guess.

I grew up on the edge of the suburbs of DC, back then my street was full of racist bigots, the DC suburbs have exploded and I could not recognize where I grew up when I visited back in 07, cant imagine the expansion since.

I now live in the rural coast of NC. I cant stand traffic so I don't miss DC for that. But the politics here is conservative for the most part. That part I don't like.

Outside of temperature and scenery you will find humans really no different. The closer you get to more global cities the more pluralism there is, the further away you get out into the rural areas the more xenophobic it is.

But having said that, I do think liberals make a huge mistake writing off middle America. I think Hillary losing the rust belt states should tell us that. Liberals exist in every single state and if we expect expand our map, we cannot take anything for granted.

So to the OP, yea many of us here have or do live as minorities in conservative areas, but what is more important is your own happiness and simply moving while it might resolve the social aspect, also may come at the cost of more expensive living.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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10-06-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: Small Town Living
(10-06-2017 12:44 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Welcome to the real world. In most of the South and Midwest, where most of that nonsense is "standard" culture, that nonsense exists only in the rural spaces between more urban and educated areas. They had nothing other than menial jobs, forever, and so most of the brightest minds have moved away.

Now that I'm free, I see much of that stuff as a bit of a sad, cautionary tale of what happens if you let someone convince you to turn your mind off. Got to the point I wouldn't even go on Facebook anymore, to not have to listen to such nonsense spewing out of people whom I love.

But I'm happy, now, even as I continue to live in a (liberal-urban part of) Super Red State, in all the "spaces between". God, Guts, Guns, and Greed. It's the American Way.

Heh, reminds me of graduating with my Masters. As I walked across the stage, my Dean hooded me, the university President shook my hand, and the then Governor, now a U.S. Senator, asked (from what I can tell, every Masters graduate), "You're going to stay?" I had to reply, "Actually sir, I'm going to Pennsylvania for a PhD program." "Why not this state?" "We don't have a doctoral program in my field anywhere in the state." He grimaced. The idea of a "brain drain" is such a sad truth in a lot of more rural areas, and (to get a bit political) a lot of politicians seem to go "Well if you're gonna leave, why would I do anything to try and keep people here?" Not when there are people who will never leave, never make waves, and settle for the menial jobs.

Now I live in another relatively rural state, and my workplace straddles the 3rd and 4th largest cities in it, both of which are still pretty darn small overall. It's relatively "liberal" for this part of the state, but one of my colleagues had a student get up in his class and say he was "indoctrinating" his students with a "liberal agenda" for discussing privilege in a class on Race; he also has faced discrimination from students for being gay.

As for FB; I've found that using Unfollow and creating Lists somewhat helps. I've unfollowed several relatives and post 90%+ of my posts to a "No Drama" List, to the point some relatives have IMed asking why I never post. Tongue

So yeah, understand (to an extent) Ruby! Like talking on the phone with my father will result in 20-40 minutes of stuff like how my best friend should be sterilized as part of how he gets food stamps.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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