Sunday, May 15, 2005

On Limits

Much of life is learning about limits, points at which you get stuck, points beyond which you can't go or points beyond which the hell breaks loose. Many of these are physical limits, like learning that throwing 240 pound guys on the mat when you weigh 120 pounds will break your back over time, or mental limits, like learning that nine different blog posts on three different blogs in one Saturday makes a goddess resemble the corpse of an insect and makes her fall asleep for the next twenty hours and so on.

But other limits are societal, determined by outsiders, and you learn what they are by seeing what happens to others who violate the rules, or if you're really unlucky you learn by being the violator yourself. Authoritarian societies have more limits and more punishments for violating them, but all societies have some, and many of them are hidden ones, to be found only by breaching the point.

The reason I'm a feminist is that there are more of these hidden limits for women, on the whole, and the punishments for violating them are more severe if the woman does the violating. But I can also see the other kinds of limits, and I get mad at all of them unless there are good reasons for the limits to exist and unless the limits are set fairly for all of us.

Then there are the overall limits. Like the point at which all sane Americans will rise up and say that this administration has finally gone too far. I keep hoping that we have reached that limit, but, alas, I have so far been wrong. That's one reason for the rant below, and the other one is the dead-insect thingy. But I wake up optimistic most mornings. The sun rises and one day so will the American people.