I’m writing this straight after the last post, bad practice, but I discovered something by talking to a friend about all this stuff and i think that it is something that needs saying.  This post may not be safe for work, because it is likely, thought i don’t know yet, to contain things that are shall we say, “not current thinking”.

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You might have seen the post Dad, if you ave not, read it, don’t read it, some of what it says may seem to be at oods with what I say here, some will not.

In a funny way I miss him, i always have, and always will; the weight physical abuse I suffered as a child falls on him, but in that post I tried to take some positives, because no life is entirely negative, and he left me some things that means I can do things for myself if I must.

But…

Yes, he was abusive, and I was a sensitive child.  A stubborn one, I surpassed some of his abilities when i was 3 years old, I could read and he could not, and the never learned to.  I had to keep it a secret.

When i was 14 I was my mother’s chaperone, I realise now that this was because he thought she was having an affair and drinking too much.  he thought this was ok, we were his possessions after all, and I should have been old enough to enforce his will.  I didn’t.

How could I possibly enforce his will against my own mother?  She drank what she wanted to drink and saw who she wanted to see.  She did not as far as Know actually have an affair, but I was, however intelligent, just child.

My mother was an intelligent woman, and my father was an intelligent man, but she was slightly educated, and he was not.  The last of five boys and a girl raised in India to moderately prosperous parents, (My paternal Granddad was from Yorkshire), he suffered from a lack of education due to the start of the war and the privations of an educations system that had to be paid for at the point of entry.  he didn’t get an education, but he did drive the local chief of police around in his car when he was to young to have any sort of licence.

The boys in the family were all various educated or not, but I felt that he never had respect for his brothers, educations was “soft”.  (Contrast this to what he said to me on his deathbed when I was just in the first semester my my degree, that I was finally “In the right place”).  He worked in communal rented garages, running with my mother’s and his brother’s help a business for himself, he thought that working for other people was for wimps.

I wanted him to respect me, as Sons do; and I wanted to help in the garage, so I was raised around driving, (I have been doing fine manoeuvres in cars since I was 7 years of age, and driving longer since I was nine, these garages had a lot of communal space, not on the road), and raised around Page 3 Girls, (which I disapproved of and still do), and other Men who thought Men had to be MEN and thought a good clip around the earhole was the answer to practically anyhting.  Few of them could read, so I was a rpecious resource.  i said what I wanted and did what I wanted and they never hit me, because one they were afraid of my Dad, and two, equally as important they thought I might actually try and have a conversation with them.

Having “A conversation” with me was a risky thing, my mother was not very well educated, because of her sight, (wouldn’t happen now), but was educated nevertheless.  My aunts, and there were many, above and beyond the family boundaries, which were large anyhow, and female cousins all had been or were going to at least college.  Men were expected to apprentice and work, mostly work.  Leaving school as early as possible was de rigeur for the men of my family, getting a job, being smart, and rppeferebly able to read, but getting job was the important thing, in fact, education was for girls, who could afford to “fuck about until they get married”.  No I was a girl in their eyes, precisely because I was soft and weak and educated, and one other important thing; I may not understand humans very well, but I do have some pretty good analysis tools, and as a child these tools were even more powerful than now, in fact my whole self was a lot smarter way back then, and if spoke to these garage people, really spoke to them,  I was capable of disassembling them just with my words. They bullied and humiliated me sometimes, but I could make them break down and cry, I could reduce these men to tears whenever I liked because I had the power of words, the supreme power of being able to dissect and divert them, to tell them what they were thinking and mould them to my ways.  When they could get a grip, which was rare, they often said that it was like talking to their wives, no matter how they squirmed, the could not get out of what i wanted, which was to see them squirm if they had pissed me off.  I shamed them and humiliated them, and they did not understand how I had such power, but I did, by instinct and training, self-training, I had all the words, more than I do now.  I could be a wicked child.  More than once my Dad forbade me to talk to them, a garage shut up for a few days while someone had “Gone Fishing” was usually a sign that someone had got on the wrong side of me, and that they could not come and face their fellows.  That was my power.  I have put it away for more than 30 years now, because I realised that using my powers for evil, that is morally questionable.  Mind you it did save me from being bullied in the street, other kids wouldn’t thump me if they had to gone to their mommies and say that I “spoken” to them and they were afraid to go out.  Didn’t save me in school, but everywhere else, yeah.

Back to the point, which is that around me when I was young, women were educated, men were not.  it wasn’t the done thing in our extended family, I know that my Uncle Ritchie did have a fairly decent education, and was quite good at electronics as it was back in the day, but he did not have any respect.  I was compared to him for intelligence most often, but I got about the same amount of respect, which was really none, because I did the things the women did, which was to know things and be educated.

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Now, where does that get us?  All the mathematicians I know are girls: OK, not true, I have met some of Jenny’s colleages, still MOST of them are girls.  Some of the courses I have taught have had girls outnumbering boys by a long way, and when it is not the case the girls do better.  They work harder.  They score more, generally.

there were more women teachers in school, and in primary school this is still the case, so I grew up with women being the educators, the source of wisdom and learning.  All my dots on learning come down on the side of feminine, because those dots that don’t, I don’t like’em.

Food for thought.

Oh and Ada Lovelace rools!

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