For a while now I’ve wanted to write more personal writing pieces, but never quite gotten there. Every blog I’ve tried to make has either felt forced, or neglected. Monthly is my best answer to that problem. In an effort to weed out over-posting for the sake of content creation, and posting one thing every 5 months and looking like a person who’s neglected a website, I’ve created a blog that this year will get exactly 12 entries. One for each month. I don’t really know exactly what it’s going to be about, except that I’ll probably be in it.
It’s been a weird month. Not for me, really. I’m mostly fine. More for the world.
As weird as it feels, I’m going to talk about feminism and women’s suffrage for a moment.
I feel strange writing about this because it’s something I know nothing about but it’s also something I am 100% complicit in, whether I acknowledge my involvement or not. I think this is something that’s difficult to wrap your head around, and potentially the reason why so many people are so angry.
To put it briefly: I cannot remember a time in my life where there’s been so much overt angst against women. And just so I don’t seem like an asshole, yes, I know the 1950’s and everything before that happened, but in my life this seems like the first truly gaping divide in opinion.
I can’t help but look at how women are treated in this country and map it side by side along my own experience growing up. Not me personally, but the culture that I think every generation experiences to some extent, just magnified. It’s that process you start when you’re maybe 4 or 5 and you’re a little boy (if you were a little boy) and all of a sudden girls go from being similar but slightly different to “gross”. I can’t speak for everyone but I have distinct memories of being 7, (or something like that), and having the worst thing in your life be physical contact with a girl. Or, anything else like that for that matter. Talking to girl, speaking with a girl; you know, childish bullshit that we all know is childish bullshit.
When you’re 13 or 14 the rules change a little bit. You still have that thing where you’re using derogatory comments and using sayings like, “You fight like a girl”, but now chemistry is working against your idiot child brain and sex boners become a reality in addition to the need to draw tits in the shower via the convenient steam on glass medium. And remember, you still don’t really know what you’re doing when it comes to women.
Basically, it’s a recipe for disaster. You’ve got kid thoughts and misconceptions floating around your teen brain, but now you’re attracted to your other. Meanwhile this is all exacerbated by the fact that kids can be cruel. You may have been one of those unfortunate teens to exist in the early 2000’s where technological marvels like the internet existed, but where jocks also still called you a faggot. You’re this weird, geeky in a bad way 15 year old, who’s been shunned by normal society and you maybe even had your feelings undeservedly hurt by women. I’m sorry about that.
Here’s where I think things have changed in the last 10 years.
There’s always been a class of people who’ve been made fun of in their formative years; call them “geeks” for lack of a nicer term. Some of these guys ended up alright. They realized that despite the hardship they endured, not all people were cruel. But then there was the flipside: Angry, hurt, geniuses. Before the internet, these dudes had no outlet. Of course they had their friends and coworkers and wherever they could spread their gross bile, but that was the end of it.
Now though, we have this amazing tool that can spread information across continents in microseconds. It’s effectively made the world a smaller place, but it’s also changed the way these hurt people communicate. It’s like a twisted version of 90’s nostalgia.
I used to think the most annoying person was some asshole born in 1988 who couldn’t shut up about Disney movies, but things have escalated far beyond that. I only wish there were more people who couldn’t shut up about The Little Mermaid. Now, instead of obsessing over cartoons, we now have emotionally stunted people, who can’t move beyond how they were hurt when they were younger. People who’ve always buried themselves in their work because it’s all they had, and now that they’re medium is actually mainstream they don’t want anyone else to have it.
In the most bizarre way possible, women now have “cooties” again, and we’re all 7 again.
I don’t know who’s going to end up reading this, but if you’ve ever been part of a Men’s Rights group, or if you’ve ever been pro #Gamergate, I have this to say to you.
Women are not your enemies.
Furthermore, this isn’t the internet. You can’t send out death threats like their FB likes and not expect to be hated for it.
Human society as we know it has been dominated by men. Has a women ever got something that maybe could’ve gone to a dude? Probably. Have men ruled 99% of human history just because? Absolutely. I guarantee you it’s going to feel weird at times and you’re going to feel slighted when a woman gets something you think you deserved, but understand that even in 2014 after wave upon wave of equality movement, women still don’t get paid the same as men. In many states the existence of a fertilized egg smaller than the period at the end of this sentence has more rights than a living, breathing, emotional person. All the time, for no other reason than simply existing, they’re harassed, and cat-called, just because they are there and so is some thinly veiled ape masking as a goomba.
Many times in my life I’ve lost perspective. I’ve found ways to marginalize, be cruel, and in general just be a dick. What’s made me get through these times is taking myself out of the equation and really thinking about what’s going on. Not a passing mediation or occasionally thinking the obligatory, “Do unto others”. Deep intense reflection. Humor me for a second:
Close your eyes. Try to tune out everything around you. Imagine walking down a street. You could honestly be doing anything; grocery shopping, running, meeting a friend, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that instead of doing whatever you’re doing, you’re stopped. Impeded. Someone is stopping you purely for the reason that you are not them.
Ask yourself this question: What are the repercussions of helping yourself? Because if the answer is marginalizing half of human existence, then something is wrong.
Just be decent people. I know most of you are.