A Woman Visible

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Is visibility only skin deep?

Beth made a a really interesting statement in her response to my first Coffee Klatch Discussion that I think is worth considering. She said,
"I usually make myself visible through words. I tend to argue and I really like to be sure that someone understands my point. I got into an argument with a friend who people don't usually stand up to. I became very visible that night to a lot of people. I became stronger in their eyes."

Most of us that are writers tend to make ourselves visible via words. I am a vocal woman, as Beth can attest to because we are in a class together. For a long time, I wasn't so vocal. My divorce changed a lot of that. I learned that if I wanted to be visible as a person, I had to speak up. That speaking up got a work out when I went back to school, and then started writing on the Internet. So, I guess I've been visible in that sense for a long time. I'm just not sure that my visibilty has always been attractive.

I have moments of real abrasiveness. I say what I think. I never thought about how that would impact anything, I just shot for honesty. Now I wonder about my judgement. My daughter, who is now eleven, exhibits some of the same outspoken traits. This is good, but also bad. She has a tendency to become very visible in very harsh ways. I wish, sometimes, I could have modeled something more than harshness, and loud criticism about life and things around her when she was small.

So does vocal visibilty count? You bet! I think that just like visual visibility, presentation is everything. What I find especially interesting is that there isn't as much written about our vocal visibility as our visual. I guess it's societal. We want to be nice to look at, but I've learned that if I am vocally awful, then my visibility is going to be awful too.

What about you other vocally visible women? What do you think?


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