Selection and Weirdo stereotyping
From: DCS (
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 00:12:31 -0700 (MST)
Sounds like an awful lot of stereotyping going on in this post below, as
well as a desire to be stereotyped in order to rebel against the

Interesting dynamic.

I believe cohousing works because of trust and faith; these would be my
only criteria for selection if we were forced to come up with a
selection process. Fortunately, we didn't have a selection process, and
we "took" whoever was attracted to us and our message. We ended up with
a great group of people, very white but still very diverse in life
experience and points of view. 

In the end, it's not who you say you are, but what you do with your life
that really counts. I look at my neighbors here and am so impressed with
how they choose to live. We defy stereotyping. I wouldn't have missed
this for the world.

Christine Della Maggiora
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham NC

> ------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 13:54:41 -0600 (CST)
> From: Matt Lawrence <matt [at]>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: Re: "Weirdos"

> Actually, I've been thinking about this from the other side.  Most of the
> cohousing groups I've corresponded with here in North America seem to have
> many of the stereotypical middle class, white collar predjudices and
> intolerance.  Since I'm a bit non-traditional, this worries me.
> 1) I'm a computer geek.  I have a routed DSL connection at home with a
> 5-bit subnet.  I think discussions of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis and how
> it applies to computer languages are absolutely facinating.  I have a copy
> of the O'Reilly book on Lego Mindstorms on my bookshelf.
> 2) I want to build airplanes.  I've found that a number of white-collar
> types don't want to work with their hands.  For me, a top-notch workshop
> is a requirement and I would love to share it with others who restore
> antique cars, build furniture, etc.
> 3) I ride a motorcycle and have been mistaken for a bad-ass biker.
> 4) I do amateur radio, so an absolute prohibition on external antennas
> would be a problem for me.  I'm probably better socialized than many ham
> radio operators, but that's not saying much.
> 5) I'm Pagan.  Groups (not just cohousing groups) that open their meetings
> with a very Christian prayer make me uncomfortable.  I don't mind a group
> celebrating various religious holidays, I just don't want to have problems
> observing my holidays.  I've also run into the problem of people assuming
> I'm Christian and getting upset when they discover my beliefs.  I don't
> proseletyze and I'm very low-key about it, but I'm probably more religious
> than the average American.
> 6) I'm middle-aged, heterosexual and single with no children.  I'm not
> quite sure how I managed to never get married, but it puts me in a very
> small class of men and, again, it makes some people uncomfortable when
> they try to catagorize me.
> 7) I serious dislike the current American model of "you live in the
> suburbs and drive into the factory in the city to work".  I'm very
> interested in a mixed residential/commercial development.  This has rather
> horrified some of the cohousing folks I've spoken with.
> Well, there are some of my concerns.  They don't apply to all cohousing
> groups, but I've run into these problems at least once.
> -- Matt

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