Suzanne McCarley

susanI was born in the mid 1960’s, bringing up the tail end of the Baby Boom.  My dad was a retired cop who taught criminal justice at a community college and my mom was a homemaker (previously a psychiatric nurse.)  Both of them were older than most of their peers when they married and they are still alive and still married after five and a half decades.  I was the fourth of five children and the youngest girl, and yes I identified with Cindy Brady, although I was jealous of her perfect hair.

We were raised in a small but growing town in the distant Chicago suburbs.  Although all five of us were born in Albuquerque, I for one am very Midwestern at heart.  My childhood was perfectly dull and fairly ordinary, though I regret to say I took for granted the proximity of Chicago.  It never occurred to me until adulthood that the world was not full of people who routinely took family trips or school field trips, to some of the finest museums in the world.  We kids shared a paper route, and throughout the summers we were free to ride our bikes all over town.

For a few years there, our front sidewalk was “home base” for nightly neighborhood games of Kick the Can.  On those occasions when we all met on someone else’s front steps, the whole “gang” knew the tone of Dad’s piercing whistle when it was time to head home.  We also watched a lot of “educational” movies on the screened porch, that Dad checked out along with a projector, from the college library.

I was a mediocre student, very bright but introverted and rather lazy, and reading was my favorite thing in the world.  Hiking through the local nature park and writing were my second and third favorites.  My career goal was to be a high school English teacher, though I secretly wanted to be a cop.  In hindsight I’m glad I never became either.  I attended college for three years, majoring in English with enough electives to minor in French, Psychology and the Sociology of College Town Bars.  I dropped out in 1986, hoping to finish my degree at a school closer to home, but I never did.

Two years later I was married.  We bought our first house, had our only child, and transferred to rural central Indiana where we stayed for eighteen years.  That was an education.  A whole lot of Hoosiers don’t quite know how to use helping verbs.  Or turn signals.  Overall though, it was a good place to raise a child, and I now live on the east coast.  Throughout those years I worked at a series of “mom jobs,” full or part time as needed, with flexible schedules, and often low wages.  Although I had to work, “Wife and Mother” was my career.  My job titles included retail clerk, cleaning lady, machine operator, bank teller, Ford salesman, realtor, day care “teacher,” substitute teacher, veterinary receptionist, library clerk and bookmobile driver.  Not surprisingly, also during those years I neglected my reading and writing almost entirely.

When my son joined the military, I thought I’d try to write a crime novel, to give myself some focus while adjusting to my new identity as an empty nester.  I joined Blogger to follow some cop blogs and familiarize myself with their world, and I started a blog of my own.  Through the cop blogs I found a few gun blogs, and heck I love to shoot, and what a cool community of writers!  Then I discovered Captain Capitalism, who introduced me to Dalrock, and suddenly I found myself immersed in the Manosphere.  And the world finally made sense.

Not only am I an introvert, I have never been “one of the girls.”  I never understood girls and how girls think and interact.  It was as if their words had different definitions than those found in the dictionary, and I never caught on to their usage.  All my life I have been more comfortable around males than around females.  I knew where I stood with guys; they said want they meant and they meant what they said.  Not that they confided much in me, but what they did say was open and frank.

Needless to say, discovering a dozen or so websites where men speak freely, was a revelation.  It wasn’t just a new perspective on old questions, it was all new questions!  Important questions that I had never thought to ask.  Questions that I soon realized nobody was supposed to ask.  And for me personally, questions that would likely have profound effects on my son’s life, whether I addressed them or not!

I spent the better part of a year reading and learning, debating and thinking.  I started making regular donations to a couple of sites but I knew I could do more if I wanted to, and I probably should.  However I’ve never been political; I have always despised the naked hypocrisy of every political movement I’ve encountered.  I’m not a “joiner;” groups and communities don’t hold much appeal to me.  I was not a reformer and I was not a proclaimer.  But I am now.  One day I emailed Paul Elam and asked if there was anything I could do in West Virginia, to help publicize Judge Lori Jackson’s kangaroo court.  There was.  I hit the ground running and I have no intention of stopping.

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