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.