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Leave now if you don't like people tearing off on occasionally self-righteous #%*#&%* sessions.

Right. Thanks for stopping by.

This rant is for July 17nd, 2001.

Let's try a knee-jerk reaction. Shall we?

You've finally given in to the desire to have a child and are dedicated to raising them well, giving them everything you've never had, protecting them from anything that could hurt them. The pregnancy was difficult and both you and your spouse thought it would be disastrous on more than one occasion, but they've turned out just fine so far. When you drop them off at the day-care center, you meet one of the workers in charge.

The credentials of this person tell you that there is a multiple taking care of your only child while you are away.

Does your knee jerk?

Let's try again.

There is another conflict, this time in Africa, involving the very real possibility of all-out war between nations as well as crimes against humanity. You vote, place your trust in the speakers for your political party, watch the news eagerly. One of the representatives takes a major role in the party's status on this matter.

This person who will be instrumental in the upcoming peace talks, requiring a great amount of training and consistency, is a multiple.


You have been in the middle of an unpleasant divorce settlement with your spouse and need an unbiased judge. You are working for a manager whose approval rates very highly for your paychecks and with those your ability to feed your family. You are counting on your local governor to improve on living conditions in your county. You are deep in enemy territory and need the rest of your unit to cover you.

You are going into surgery. You are sending your child to school. You are in the position to count on an unknown multiple group for something very, very important to you.

Did your toes twitch, just a little?

As multiples, we know that we're not only trustworthy--we can be as focused, as dedicated, as careful as we need to be. But we also know how untrustworthy we can be to ourselves. Do even *we* have faith each other? Really? When we know so very well sometimes how mutable and frustrating our own internal interactions can be, can we deny that they happen in other people?

We're our own worst enemies a lot of the time. *Because* we know ourselves, we know that we are both highly competent and untrained, skilled and unskilled--everything you could pin down on a range. Including the endpoints. The only thing we can even predict in ourselves is that we'll try. And we'll survive.

Let's step back for a minute and think about the future. That's what a lot of us intend to do even by living by example, isn't it? Most of us would like to see the day when being known as plural--in whatever degree--is acceptable when out in the open, just like a person's hair color. But what exactly are we looking for? What vision is there in the future we can work towards?

Is it also like a person's religion? Their sexual orientation? Are we going to someday form a cause and rally behind something that is labeled firmly as 'special', if only until we can win equal respects from others?

Let's pull back again and look at it.

Will plurality have to be noted, as in a marking on our driver's license? Can only drive while appearing coherent enough to do so. How can we keep from being misused, with the claim of 'one of you guys said yes'--will we have to note down a list of our fronts as having the legal authorities for the body? How can we keep from being exploited? Do we become a catagory? Yes, I want to protect my rights as a multiple by applying for mental disability.

Will we get to be registered? Unknown quantities must be controlled; they will be placed as separate until they can be considered normal enough.

Dibs on being Mystique. She was always great in the original series. Anyone an early Prof. X?

Shall we cover it up by the blanket statement that the *details* of plural people aren't important? That they'll never be known as different from the main body, since they have to obey the same laws? But doesn't that just tell us that we personally don't matter if we exist or not, so long as we obey the picture of the body?

I want to be known as real. I want to do this without being automatically attached to another group, but I'm not sure if this will be tolerated. Can I claim that my personal existance here is a job, and so there is my recreation time, my work time, and the hours that I rest?

Multiplicity is even more nebulous a concept than homosexuality--come on, guys, we know that we're as hard to track as smoke if we really want to be. Will our marriages be legal? Can we be trusted with state secrets? Can we be relied on by the government, by the people? Damn right we can say yes... but at the same time, isn't there that little voice that says, those of us who are what we are will be who they are. We will not stomp out those who are not fanatics to your cause just to appear 'safe'.

We won't be limited by you. We aren't going to be anything you will force us to be, because by our very *natures* do we circumvent that sort of thing. We'll be anything and everything and it's a given that you'll only be friends with half of us and never really know the rest. That always sounds like a threat to some, doesn't it?

There's the ideal of things--let's all realize that plural shades and states of life are the average, not the rarity--and then there's the path to get there. Let's check out where we're walking.

*Do* we even want plurality to be listed? Naturally it'd be easier if it was just accepted--but hey, how much can any of us really be tolerated to working on our own then? Will we get tagged under even a wide range of labels--complex multiple, centralized multiple, midcontinuum, average, singular? Can we get called subsets of each other, so that I could be (body's name here) p. Reb? "Hi, I'm so-and-so, currently e. Rebekka. Pleased to meet you." Insert shake of hand. "My colleges, e. Kyth and e. Stella will be along shortly once they've assembled their notes."

Will the *collective* manifestation be that which is registered? That we are allowed to be as open as we need to so long as we fall into the same loosely knitted impression that we internally decide upon--like simply noting ourselves down as a culture or a corporation with a motto? Do you think we'll be able to get away with that? That way, at least, when people look at us they can see a shadowy mini-nation hovering around a single, arbitrary body.

Hi. I'm M-(bodyname)-i.Reb. I'm here to pick up a car for us. It's registered under M-(name)-i.Kyth.

Think of an entire society where you have collectives open on a regular basis. Would people continue to be lumped together if only for the ease of it--who really, really has the time to learn the ins and outs of a group when they just want to deal with a single client? We'd have the same issue that all the people in the network are considered as automatically in tune with the others, but we have that anyway these days.

Maybe that's what we need, though--for it not to be so much on that we *are* multiple, but what we *do*.

Systems all over know that we must be responsible for the collective's actions. One of the biggest reasons multiplicity has hit sensationalism and then misuse is how people seem to think that it excuses a single soul from the group. And yes, the taints of one person catch up innocents in them unfairly--but yet, that's the hard fight we all have to go through, isn't it? That which we do and do not do and that which we suppress lest it give others the bad impression of a kindly one. If we took away the illusion of it being an excuse, can we save ourselves?

Still, the problem with that comes back to the root again; do multiples have the luxury of getting different treatment? Of course we *don't* really need it. But, speaking for us, we need the occasional break from being thought of as an individual. Living rigidly by singlet's standards is *not* what we either need to do or should; our traits, strengths, adaptabilities, virtues, they all come from being able to be fluid and to be able to depend on others. We don't need 'special' treatment. We need the ability to be accepted and still be ourselves.

Being open gives us more potential for being misunderstood as well. That's the downside to it all--but it's still mostly unavoidable, isn't it? Something so intangible as the mind, seeming both unimportant in practice and important in details...

When's the day going to come when our boss is going to look at us in exasperation and say, "Can't you people just *make* someone to do it?" I don't know if I'd welcome that line, or just resist the urge to punch him in the face.