Learning to speak up

I hate when people put the word real before a term as a way of excluding others. Real weightlifters don’t do this, real chefs don’t do that, etc etc, and the worst one of all is of course putting it before a gender. There isn’t any behaviour that makes your sex any more or less real. As long as your body has matter, you’re real.

And I can feel someone, somewhere saying they don’t identify as being made of matter but I’ve got to crush past it.

Luckily my hatred for this delicate bit of shaming is mirrored in most of society. Any time a real [gender] meme pops up it gets countered instantly. Even pandering, well-intended slogans like real woman have curves get changed to real woman can look like whatever the fuck they want.

So all that said, hurray, baseline opinion stated and on to the nuance.

For all the flak that ‘being a real man’ there is one trait taught to boys which is great and ultimately should be taught to everyone. You gotta earn the ball.

Life is a sport and if you can’t earn the ball your team will leave you behind and the other team will crush you. When boys pass a certain age the teachers stop trying to make it easy for you to play games. If you want someone to pass you the ball you have to be in a good position, you can’t just ask. Some people mis-learn this as if you want something you gotta take it but the better lesson is if you want something earn it. Get in the position where it’ll be given to you.

It teaches boys self-determination, agency, and a sense of control.

Non-spoiler Bojack reference: Diane holds a gun and says for the first time she knows what it feels like to not have her safety granted by a man.

And obvious disclaimer that I don’t know exactly what that’s like: I’m not a woman, blah blah blah.

Writing about gender is like a volatile mafia sit down with your super ego.

Anyway the feeling that Diane’s words reminded me of was being a kid, when your personhood is granted to you by adults. Which means, analogous to Diane’s point, that it can also be taken away by adults.

When were kids people talk to you or talk over you at their discretion. As you grow up you learn that adults think paying attention to you is a gift, getting the real attention required to earn respect is swimming up stream. And boys are encouraged to do that. You gotta speak up if you wanna be heard otherwise no one has any qualms about leaving you out.

Woman apparently learn to pretend it’s fine for twenty years then call each other heroes for speaking up on twitter.

That wasn’t all that funny but I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Really woman are taught to just keep waiting, someone will pay attention to you eventually because your worth is determined by your cuteness. This is wrong and it raises contempt in the ethical heart.

Which of course is why Patriarchy Pat (King Of The Broflakes) thinks she should have said something is the be-all-end-all legal finishing move of the harassment conversation.

But the stream that pushes a boy back from the acceptance of men and the stream that pushes a girl back run a really different strengths. Men test other men hoping they’ll pass, men test women to make them surrender.

Really big HOWEVER, that being said I don’t think it changes anything. If you know what the problem is and ask other people to compensate that’s not a solution, that’s pity. That’s still a case of men granting respect to women. Women, and everyone, should have the right to be heard, not the privilege.

And Forth Wave Fran will say that if a woman speaks up she gets called a bitch and blah blah blah but that’s actually not a gender issue. There are tons of guys who hide behind telling it like it is as a way of being tactless ignorant douche bags. If someone calls you a bitch, you’re probably being a bitch. You haven’t gotten good enough at getting your point across if you have to resort to being bitchy.

Like I said trying to say anything honest about gender in this age is psychological self warfare which is why most people resort to pandering to a demographic or to silence. Who’s to say which i worse.


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Put action before mood

I learned when I was on tour with the band that no matter how terrible I felt day of a show, five minutes before stage I’d be fired up and the show would be great.

In all my years of shows I’ve maybe once had a low mood before hand effect my mood on stage.

And it’s much the same with exercise. Want to be in the mood to work out? Go start working out. If you’re feeling low and think you don’t have the energy it’s because you’re not working out yet. Your body isn’t going to give you energy while you’re doing nothing.

In all aspects of life I see people trying to make themselves feel like doing something before they do it. Even, or especially, when they want to do it intellectually but not emotionally. Because people are afraid that if they do something they don’t want to do they’re a sell out. Or something.

So people drug themselves, trick themselves, lie to themselves, all to put mood before action.

And it’s just a shit use of your time.

What wrecks it for people is they tend to think about the middle of project before they start. They’re sitting, calmly, stiffly, on their laptop or in front of the TV, and when they project that mindset into being mid-run the psyche goes nope. This is wrong and it arouses contempt in the runner heart. Honestly, just get changed. Don’t focus on the hard part, focus on the next part, the first part. Just get changed into your running clothes (or whatever, pick up your paints, open your writing file, grab the kettle bells, whatever impossibly easy thing is actually the harmless first step) and then see how you feel. See, you feel a bit more like getting after it. With no effort you’ve started giving your project momentum.

I’ve had my best work outs on days when I felt the worst because I felt the worst, because I almost talked myself out of it then took the pressure off, said I’d just get changed, then found myself really getting after it, to prove to myself that nothing can stop me.

And this doesn’t have to be about working out, that’s just my every example this month because it’s my new hill that I’m conquering. When I was working on my socializing I did things like have a phone call with a friend or family member before going out. Actually my best ritual was to get dressed up, do vocal warm ups for singing and breathing, then talk to someone causally, before going out on the town and being life of the party.

I think what this boils down to again is the narrative mind. When people say they have an idea for story what they usually mean is the have an idea for an end of act 2 transition. That’s why people don’t know how the story starts, find out the ending they planned wasn’t an ending, etc. The mind mistakenly focuses on the big part in the middle of a project, of an event, and we have to consciously embrace all aspects even the humble, often forgotten beginnings.

After all, it’s all one thing.


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