Why is everyone so bad?
There’s more than enough articles out there detailing how bad men are, the ways they undermine and abuse women, how they only want women for sex (and these are just the men’s magazines).
Though there probably exists more ‘literature’ out there to build women up, noting such things as sensitivity and empathy being traits much needed in a world of power and domination, there remains plenty focused only on women’s bodies, usually detailing how bad they are.
Bad, wrong, erratic, misguided, defective, inaccurate. All words being slung around pretty consistently about human beings in general. On the opposite end of the spectrum are a few “heroes” that we place high on that pedestal until they inevitably prove us wrong – they too are human, fallible, and we must now proceed to tear them to pieces like all the rest of the trash.
Undoubtedly, these words generally piss other people off, particularly when attached to a group of people by another group. Like most human beings, I got pissed as I followed the debacle a couple of weeks ago at the Good Men Project about a Twitter-conversation gone horribly, horribly awry.
I won’t write about the event in great detail here (you can read about it here and here and all over the GMP site) other than to say that articles about the presumption male sexual guilt led founder Tom Matlack to feel attacked by several feminists, and they in turn felt attacked by what followed from him. There was also some heated discourse on a racial comparison made by Tom that some others found unsettling.
I absolutely had my take on the situation, and the side I sided with. I even planned to write about it here the day after it happened. But now I’m glad I didn’t, as my position has softened, much as I’m sure most of the people involved probably feel (though I’m not naive enough to believe there weren’t some permanent rifts produced).
It’s not that my beliefs have softened, but rather the idea that fervently fighting for your own side leaves us, well, sided. And that really gets us nowhere.
And that’s really all that’s happening across the internet these days, with the exception of top 10 lists like which plants to grow in your shower and how-to’s like properly unraveling a ball of yarn.
Are we really wasting this much time?
Let’s Make it Better
Time is becoming more important to me. I certainly feel like I waste too much time. I read too much garbage on the internet under the guise of ‘research.’ Thing is, it’s insidious garbage because it looks important. Really, though, it’s almost always a re-hashing of something that has been discussed a million times before.
When it comes to women, it’s hard for me not to stand up and point out all of the massive issues still present in our ‘evolved’ society. But I’m also beginning to realize that I, like so many others, continue to bark loudly without even changing trees.
If we really are going through an evolution of humanity as many of us hope, then maybe it’s time we start taking about what it means to be a good man or woman, instead of continuing to point out what makes either gender bad.
- Each person has to remind his or herself that each human is a whole and complicated person. That means there is no man out there that only lives via his penis, and there is no woman out there who is solely looking for money. Stereotypes can begin to melt when we think about the fact that everyone experiences joy, pain, suffering, happiness, and that our words always have an impact. What kind of impact do you want to have?
- It occurred to me the other day that discussing the end of an overly- testosterone-laden military is not necessarily an answer; rather, the military could be used primarily for all of the natural disaster rescue missions that will certainly continue to increase over the coming years, with that whole global warming thing and everything. What a great way to use bravery and protection, minus the force.
- Women can stop accepting, playing into, and feeding industries that makes billions off of making women feel fat. Accept that (most) women’s bodies are meant to be curvier, that what you got is beautiful if you believe it is, eat real food that nourishes you, and let the rest work itself out.
- Talk about gender issues in school starting in 1st grade. Talk about what society expects of boys and men, and girls and women. Explain why those don’t have to be true, how any number of other possibilities exist in terms of who we are as an individual. Talk about how some kids will identify as the gender they weren’t born with. Talk about how love knows no boundaries.
- Let boys cry. In fact, encourage it. Let girls get dirty and loud. In fact, encourage it. Tell boys they can be both strong and sensitive. Tell girls they can be both sensitive and strong. Teach everyone that they have a higher self they can tune into to find their own answers.
There are a million other ways to shift out of the place that we are in. Continuing to fight over it all isn’t one of them.
[Feature photo: gingerpig2000]