value

We Created This and We Have to Fix It

*sigh*

This is what we have done. My faith, Christianity, says that women are second class. My “programming” says that they are there to keep the home…and by extension, be mothers first and women second. Western Culture is finally breaking out of the Puritan view that women are sexually depraved and morally weak. We allow ourselves, men, to believe that we are “owed” whatever we want from women because they are incapable of doing anything without a man. We are taught, from an early age, that some things are “women’s work”. We have created a stereotype that makes them only menials.

*****

Kipling wrote this in “The Female of the Species” and this is what WE fear…

“When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the other’s tale,
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations-worm and savage otherwise,,
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger,- Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue, to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity, must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions, not in these her honour dwells.
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions, in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!,
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges, even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons, even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish, like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it cames that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice, which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern, shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.”

*Yes, this is a 19th Century sexist view. It is gender divided along strict biological roles.*

We know this to be true…and it terrifies us. We HAVE to exert power or we have to admit weakness. That is the perception.

*****

That quiet girl in the corner at the party, her boyfriend raped her and no one believes it. He’s a nice guy… The one that’s very loudly drunk, her father abuses her and her mom blames her… The girl that was walking home from work because her car broke just got blamed for wearing shorts and a halter top in 105-degree heat. The cops told her she was asking for it…The college student that passed out at a frat party should have expected it…The one you just ogled, she dressed for herself and NOT you…The girl that has a string of abusive relationships, the first was her father and, now, that’s all she thinks she deserves…The one you just called a b**ch, she doesn’t trust anyone because she can’t. Everyone she did trust told her he loved her and betrayed her. You were staring and the only way she feels safe is to push you away…The older lady with the bad attitude in the grocery store, her husband has been an abusive drunk for 40 years…

The random indignities, the disrespect that men don’t see, the verbal abuse we think is flattery, the casual disregard, the turning to stare, the whistles and comments, we don’t even realize we’re doing them and women have to put up with them. We think it’s normal. We think those are compliments. We think they’re our right…yet, if we had to deal with it, we could not.

Women didn’t invite this. They for damn sure don’t deserve it. No one does.

*****

Guys, men, we created this. We are the cause and the solution. We have made the world so that we are not trusted. We have told women that they are second class, that they are servants, property, sexual objects, stupid, and only good for bearing children. Every right they have, they had to fight for. They had to fight to be able to vote. They had to fight to be able to decide when to and not to have sex. They had to win the right to choose contraception. Now, we have the nerve to blame them for not trusting us to act in their best interests when we have proven time and again that we will not…

The answer it not to “allow” them to have rights.It is to, finally, shut up. They well and truly earned their space and rights. If men had to put up with the s**t that women have had to, this would be long over. It is not “giving up” power, it’s sharing it with the other half of Humanity…Women shouldn’t have to fight to get what is theirs. We, men, have to finally get over ourselves. We, Humanity, can be greater than what we are when half of humanity doesn’t fear the other half…and, yeah, I mean both halves fearing the other…

What the Hell Was He Thinking?

“Hey Sarah, I can make you straight”…so what he really said was “all you need is a good f**k” to her. I wasn’t there but, I’m assuming it was a casual comment. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he said. He could have added, “You’re not really human. You’re just legs to be spread and tits to be played with. Every time I see you, I see you naked in bed”. He could have just as easily added, “I know you’re a dyke but, that won’t matter if I rape you. You’ll like it…” Every bit of that was in that comment that was casually made.

All that in one passing comment to one woman. I’m finding out that those comments are far from uncommon. I know women walk in public being undressed with the eyes of men. I know it happens more often than it doesn’t.

Even when it’s someone we know, we don’t see people, we see objects. How can you really believe she’s human and tell her you think that doing something to her that she will never want to do is good for her? If you had just been with the “right man”…Hey, A$$hole, she’s a Lesbian and has kids. She’s been with a man… more than once… What the hell do you think you could do? She knows the f**king difference and likes women.

Every woman I talked to said the same thing, every day they feel like someone is “undressing” them. You can not go a single day without seeing casual comments about “b**ch slapping”, rape, “men like women who…” and myriad  other things. The simple and casual degradation has become so pervasive that we don’t even think about it…

Even to the point that I’m questioning myself. I catch myself becoming angry…and possessive…and begin to wonder if I’d be so angry if it was someone else, someone unknown? Were it not, “MY best friend” “MY loved ones” but, just some person that I don’t know?…

I started this blog writing about two Ladies I love. I was writing about Religious freedom for one of them and LBGT Rights for the other. The context was that they were citizens and deserved the same rights. That was and still is true. It missed a bigger issue…

We have a culture that sets the status quo as treating women as objects and possessions. We tell women to accept the casual comments and random offers of violence as normal. We tell them they are at fault when they are raped. We don’t even think there’s anything wrong when someone goes to a Lesbian and tells her she needs a good f**king to “make you straight”. We don’t even see humans, all we see are tits and spread legs.

I thought this was just going to be one post, a few days ago, about how women are talked down about when they have other things to do than date or sleep with some random guy. I was writing one for Aj because she was pissed about how casually it happens in the workplace…I was wrong. The more I talk to people and the more I see what happens around me, the more I realize that things are totally effed.  The more angry I become and the more I realize that someone, me, needs to say stop. It isn’t a “teach your kids” issue. That simplifies things far too much. There is a huge double standard…it’s an “open your damn eyes” issue. It’s a “what is wrong with you, don’t you have a mother?” issue.

I wonder if that guy that made the comment to Z would think it’s ok if some guy came up to him and said “I’ll give you a good f**king and you’ll never go back to women”? Would that be good with him? I mean, he didn’t think he was saying anything wrong to Z when he said essentially the same thing.

Until we get past that attitude, the “all she needs is a good f**k” things will stay wrong. Blaming her for what is done to her, meaning rape, assault, or emotional abuse, is wrong. Blaming her for your own inability to get laid because YOU are an a$$hole, is wrong. Saying “If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him … If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk. Who else’s fault can it be?” (Chrissie Hynde) *yeah, a woman said that one* Means things are so pervasive and invasive that we are beyond effed…

Too angry and frustrated to write any more, all I have left is a string of profanities that would end with “Hey, A$$HOLE, SHUT YOUR STUPID F**KING MOUTH” so, I’ll just let this one end…

We Told Them They Were Worth Less…

The Three Hundred Pound Gorilla in the room is an attitude. It is the belief that we are able to treat half the humans on the planet as less than the other half. Specifically, the idea that women are not worth as much as men.

We tell women, over and over, that they are objects, “Sex sells”. We call them “my woman” or “baby mama”. We pretend to be “enlightened”. Yet, we hide from the things that are true. Rape is the most under-reported crime in the country. Physical and emotional abuse is ignored, hidden, or denied. We attack the victim and defend the men by saying “boys will be boys”. We blame her by saying “you shouldn’t have provoked him” or “you shouldn’t have dressed that way”. Every one of these is wrong.

I have been that. Not the violence or emotional abuse but, the rest. I have been around people I knew were in abusive relationships and done nothing, ignored it. I have stood, beer in hand, while the conversation was “she just needs a good f**k” or “that Dyke needs a f**k to show her what she’s missing” and said nothing. I’ve blamed the victim when I watched it on the news “couldn’t she have just enjoyed it?”  “Hell, she had it coming for dressing that way, there.” I was wrong. I was part of the problem.

I was not raised that way. In my parents house, that would not have been tolerated. There was never any abuse, physical or emotional. When I left that home and moved out on my own, it was easier to be “one of the boys” and act like the rest. After a while, those attitudes became my own. Getting along was more important than doing what was right. Luckily for me, I grew up. The more I saw what was happening to me, the more I realized how far from who I was I was becoming, the more I realized I could not go on with those thoughts. Even while I was actively an addict I realized that the casual misogynist that I was becoming was not me…and I stopped him.

Every day, every woman I know faces these. Every  woman that goes out in public is judged by some man. Her clothes, her voice, her body are looked at as if she’s a display in a window. They are NOT given the same room that men are. If she’s having a bad day, she’s a b**ch. If she dresses up, it’s to impress a man. If she happens to wear what’s comfortable, that too is judged. If it’s 105 outside and she dresses for the heat, she’s showing too much…not considering a man can go without a shirt and not be commented on. If she breast feeds her child in public, someone will be offended. If she has an opinion, she’s “bossy”. If a man carries too much weight, it’s “man, you look like you could drop a few pounds” and a joke is made, a woman is “that fat cow”…Even while I’m writing this, an article shows up with the title “Study Proves That Men Really Do Prefer Curves…”…

It surprises me that my closest friends are women. Given what happens every day. Given the prevalence of ignored abuse. Given the “blame the victim and ignore the abuse” mentality. It’s a wonder that ANY woman trusts ANY man. Period.

It keeps rolling around in my mind. I keep trying to see “why?” Why do we tell women that they are not worth as much as men? Why do we tell them to accept abuse? Why do we teach men that women are possessions? Why do we not believe the victims of physical or emotional rape? Why do we treat half of our population, 169 million roughly in the USA, as if their lives had less value? “She’s JUST a girl…”

It’s not about being a “feminist”. It’s  about no longer remaining silent. The only way that things change is for individuals to decide they need to change. It is that we, male humans, need to change our actions. It means we have to look inside ourselves and see the wrongs we’ve inflicted by our own actions or lack. It is letting women know that they are our equals and not a possession, toy, pet, or punching bag. It means that we accept culpability for blaming the victim so that we don’t have to face our own weaknesses. It is being responsible for what we say and do.

We need to grow up. We need to stop being silent.

 

You Are Not Damaged, You Are Loved

Sometimes what I want doesn’t matter. It makes not the tiniest bit of difference if something causes me discomfort. This period of this blog is a time like that…

I was an addict. Specifically, I used I.V. Meth…the alcohol and weed don’t matter in this context…I am able, still, ten years later, to see the scars on my arm from that usage. In a sense, my body was violated…by ME. I have huge issues with “trust” because of who I was around and who I was. I hated myself. Those were things I inflicted on myself. I WAS NOT A VICTIM…There is no one to blame but myself. The things that were done to me were acts of volition…

I can not imagine what it is like to hate yourself because of something  that someone else did. I can not imagine what it is like to not be able to trust anyone around you because they either could be someone that will violate you or tell you to accept what happened. I can not begin to think about how I would deal with that fear.

Specifically, I do not want to think about how I would react to being raped.

There is no part of that action that should be tolerated. We have a system that blames the victim. That tells her to “get on with your life” as if nothing happened. We pretend like the pain ends when the scars fade.

Distrust never goes away. Being violated never ends. Those may be pushed into the background but, they always live there. The nightmares fade but, some days are worse than others. Looking over your shoulder and expecting it to happen again becomes a way of life.

*editorial, the ONLY basis for comparison I have is as an addict. I am not making any moral equivalent between what I did and being raped. It merely gives me a tiny bit of insight into “surviving”*

I don’t know how to “fix” it. I wish I did. I am good, mostly, at dealing with what I did to me. Some days are bad. Some days, everything reminds me. Some nights, I am afraid to sleep because the monsters come out. Those things I do understand. You are never “cured”. I know that from me and what I’ve been told by friends that have survived.

*sigh*

I wish there was a way to tell the real victims that the pain would end. That there was a way to make them believe that everything will be all right. There is not. All I can do is to tell them that from the outside there is nothing wrong with them. That they had no choice.  That what was taken from them can, in time be replaced. That you can learn to trust. That the only person that sees you as “dirty”, “damaged” or “flawed” is yourself and, to us, you are worth being loved and cherished. That you are not an “object”. That you have value.

I think that, we as a society, have a skewed set of values. We blame the true victims and praise the recovering addicts. Why should I get support and praise for not being a criminal when someone that was harmed by a criminal is made to feel ostracised? Why do we not do everything in our power to help them? What I am able to do is say “You are loved. You have value. Your courage is astounding. That you are able to go on when I’d curl up and hide shows strength I can not imagine having”.

I know I wrote a similar “support post” yesterday. I will probably write more in coming days.

If I thought it would help to write exploring ways to stop the crime, I would. We know it’s a crime. We have made the penalties harsh and extended the punishment far past the time in prison. Those have not stopped it. No child old enough to know what sex is thinks that rape is legal. If you took a poll here, no one would say it’s good, yet it still happens. No amount of penalty seems to make it not happen. *editorial, I AM NOT advocating lighter penalties. My view is far harsher than that. I am in favor of “boxes” for that crime, not rehabilitation* I do not want to understand the psychology of  rapist. No amount of “education” has changed the fact that they exist. They, rapists, know what they are doing is “wrong” and just don’t care.

What can be done is to show empathy to the victims. We, men, can show understanding for “distrust” of us and put our egos aside. We can react with compassion and caring. We can not say, “get on with your life” to someone that has had their life shaken to its core. We can give time and space for healing. We can reassure the victims that, to us, they are the same loved person they always have been. We can let them know that nothing has changed in the way we feel for them, that they are not “damaged goods”. We can let them have room for the “bad days”. We can say “I love you” and let that be enough when they need to hear that and only that…

I love you. Nothing will ever change that.

There Is Nothing About This That I Want To Write…

I wrote yesterday’s and then, later I talked to one of the people I love. *sigh* There are things that I wish I could change. There are hurts I would take on myself to take away from people I love…

It is never ok to blame a victim. It is never ok to say “she brought it on herself”. We have this idea that coming forward “ruins the promising life of a young man”. No. His actions hurt a promising young lady and, now, his actions have ruined his own life. It isn’t the victim’s fault if she comes forward. Blame has NEVER been her’s…

Rape victims did not bring it on themselves. Saying “she’s a tease”, “she shouldn’t have been drunk”, “she shouldn’t have dressed like that”, “she could have said no”, “she was asking for it”, or any other excuse a rapist can make does NOT excuse rape. Period. If she doesn’t say “yes”, the answer is no. Her body belongs to her. She is not an object or a possession to be used. Even after the fact, she is not “damaged” or “ruined”. Something was done TO her against her will. To me, that is the ultimate crime, making the inside of someone “not safe”. To have given them a reason to think they deserve what happened or how they feel afterward is the true violation.

What we have, all we will ever be, is inside our skin. Our hearts, minds, and souls occupy that space. It is the only one we have and the only thing we will own. To violate that is to presume that what we want is more important than that person. We are not. There is no value in my life that makes it greater than another’s. When I die, the world ends…for me. It is the same for every other person on the planet. Why, then, is the perception that HER life and body would be any less valuable?

*sigh*

There will be more posts. For now, this is all I am able to process or write. These NEED to be written. Men need to be told, by men, that women are not objects. That they, women, have just as much right to dignity and possession of self as any man. Women need to be told, by men, that they are cherished and treasured. That they are our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and cousins. That, no matter what is done to them, they are in no way diminished.

Still, for this day, this is a start…

 

She’s a Slut, B***h, Dyke, or a Whore?

“She has to be one of them, right? I mean, any guy could see that. She’ll sleep with ANYONE”…except for me …”Maybe she’s a Dyke?”…or it could be that she isn’t…

We have a huge double standard that has been given tacit approval by most of the guys I know. We, the reasonable guys, keep our mouths shut.

I’m no one’s excuse for a Feminist. I don’t need to be. The women I know and love are more than capable of competing with any guy in any arena that doesn’t involve brute strength. They don’t need me to say “she is Woman, hear her roar…”

So…here’s my take, for what it’s worth…

Let’s get the easiest out of the way first…She might be gay. In that case, deal with it. There’s nothing wrong with either of you…

Second, she might have just gotten out of a relationship, either good or bad, and isn’t dating/sleeping with anyone…again, no reflection on either of you…

Third, she might not be dating because she’s going to school or working on a career and doesn’t have time in her life…

Fourth, you might be an a$$hole or stink or any of a million other reasons like you’re a moron. In which case, the problem is YOU.

Of course, since the original premise is men complaining about women not having sex with them, the odds are greatly in favor of option four…

Here’s the deal. We have NO right to the use of another person’s body. There is no right to sex. Period. We have no right to demean or degrade another person just to feed our ego. That some guys think that they do is just so much horses**t. *editorial, to write bits of this, I had to look into the Men’s Rights nonsense. I wish I hadn’t*

I freely admit my bias. My closest friends are women. I have siblings, cousins, and a Mom that are all women. I don’t really think I have a “feminine side” but, I enjoy the company of women, most of the time, more than men. *editorial, I don’t “get” fashion but, that doesn’t matter one way or the other* As a result, I tend to side with them more than I do with a bunch of b***hy whiner guys that are really egotistic misogynist twerps.

Look guys, deal with it. Put your ego on hold…or don’t…either way, realize that SHE has just as much right to dignity as you do. Figure out that, if you continue to be a jerk, you’ll never be in a relationship because you’ll chase away any person you might stand a chance with. Take some time and step back. Examine yourself and stop blaming others. Get over yourself…

*editorial, most men are reasonable, so this is not a blanket indictment of men. Please don’t take it that way*

 

An Unexpected Post…So I Cheated…

I have an unexpected day off so, an unexpected post…

The Muse is off with her kids for the end of Summer Fun. The Surrogate Muse is doing family stuff. Aj is working. I’m on my own and staring at a blank screen…again…*grins*…I think I’m going to cheat. I wrote some “rules” that are really the way I do stuff, just written out. Maybe they make sense. Some are generalizations. Some apply to me, alone. Some are just the way I process information…

*****

1.   Having something greater than yourself to believe in is important.

2.   Be fair in your dealings with other people.

3.   Do not believe your own bulls**t.

4.   Be sparing with the loyalty you give and, once given, do not be disloyal.

5.   Tell the truth to yourself and others.

6.   Everyone has their flat sides.

7.   Being generous is fun.

8.   Being surrounded by nice folks is better than being surrounded by exciting folks.

9.   Adventures are for kids.

10. Laugh at yourself.

11. Love someone.

12. Treat people with respect and dignity.

13. All politicians lie.

14. Different people do things differently than you do. That should not exclude them from the people you love. If you exclude them, it is your loss. Some of the finest people I know do have made choices that I would never  made. I am a better person for having them in my life and would be much diminished for having kept them out.

15. Some days you will be a complete jerk. You will pay for those days.

16. You will never understand women unless you are one. I am not.

17. It’s ok not to see eye to eye with your spouse on the little stuff like politics.

18. It is not ok to disagree with your spouse on the important stuff like faith and money management.

19. Never ever disrespect your spouse in public or private. If they were worth marrying, they deserve your respect. Teasing is not the same as disrespect.

20. The most beautiful woman in the world is the one you look at and see “forever”.

21. Be good at something.

22. Your spouse is not your servant. Your spouse is your partner.

23. Your emotional energy is not your own unless you are single. If you have a spouse/partner, your emotional energy belongs to them.

24. There are two people in the world that you have to keep happy. They are your spouse and your boss. You are not the third.

25. Having an active imagination is important. You have to practice to keep it that way.

26. Be a goof sometimes.

27. Be serious only when you have to.

28. There are two times of the day, on the clock and off the clock.

29. It is not all about me. In fact, what I want matters very little.

30. Don’t stress stuff you can do nothing about.

31. Different views and different ways of doing things do not make people evil. It makes them different. Being evil makes people evil.

32. What people do in their own private lives, if it does no harm to children or violence to anyone, is none of your business.

33. Protect the rights of others. Particularly protect the rights of folks you disagree with.

34. Don’t spend money you don’t have.

35. Show public affection for your spouse. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Someday, you’ll be dead and then it’ll be too late to do it then.

36. You’re gonna argue and fight with the people you love. Fight fair.

37. Be grateful for what you have.

38. Have friends that are women, if you are a guy. That way when you screw up with your wife, they can tell you exactly how bad you screwed up. Also, women aren’t afraid of hurting our male ego’s, so they’ll be more honest with you.

39. Make damn sure your wife knows that you have the friends in 38 above and realizes that she has zero reason  to be jealous of them.

40. Never ever give your wife a reason not to trust you. DO NOT EVER. This is not a conditional, “I wish I hadn’t gotten caught” thing. It is a moral absolute. Never break the faith. Period.

41. Put the seat down. Your life is easier for it.

42. Put your dirty dishes away and help fold the clothes.

43. If you have places in your past that you can never go back to, stay way away. Doesn’t mean not to revisit them in your mind to remind you why, but to stay away from the edge. There was no water in the pool the last time you jumped in, there isn’t gonna be any this time, either.

44. Read books.

45. Study failures so you don’t make the same mistakes. Study successes so you can figure out what they did right.

46. I am a big boy. If I screwed up, I’ll take the heat for it.

47. At some point every day, I’m gonna screw up.

48. Aches, pains, and headaches happen. Being in pain is not a good reason not to get on with the business at hand.

49. Do not live as an angry person. Anger is easy. Anger is also counter productive.

50. Do not let emotion rule your decisions. Think about them when you are calmer. A knee jerk is only good in the Dr’s office.

51. Don’t depend on other people to take care of you. They have themselves to take care of.

52. There is NO provocation that justifies violence toward women. Not one single reason. Not even “she hit me first”. If it gets that bad, leave. Period.

53. Related to 52, I reserve the right to leave.

54. If you hurt my wife, you’ll be dead and I’ll be waiting for the cops to show up.

55. I know a bunch of people. I like a bunch of people. I depend on very few.

56. Be a team player.

57. Hate is a bad thing. It should be reserved for the truly despicable. Dislike, on the other hand, happens all the time.

58. Life is fun.

59. I had no idea there were this many d**n rules.

60. When I was a kid, I thought I could do whatever I wanted when I was an alleged adult. I was not correct.

61. Sometimes, you look up and realize that your closest friends are people you never expected to be friends with.

62. For me, some of the people I’m closest to I will probably never meet in person. That doesn’t mean they have any less value to me.

63. I’m a homebody and like it that way. My house is dark and quiet. It has the woman I love in it. Home is safe and secure.

64. My wife is my best friend.

65. Some of these are specifically about a few people. I hope they see these and realize that I am talking about them.

66. I’ll add more to this list.

67. They did not teach mind reading in school. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt and do not assign motive without input from them.

68. Think for yourself. Fact check. Draw your own conclusions. Do not assume that everyone that says they are an authority actually is one.

69. Don’t be afraid to be wrong and admit it. Just don’t be wrong about the same thing twice. Find a different thing to be wrong about.

70. Minimize your hypocrisy. It’s ok to have views that conflict with others of your views. It’s not ok to have views that conflict with your actions.

71. Don’t be a Christian and have “Stone Him!!!” as your first response. If that were the case, we ALL deserve to be stoned.

72. Appearance is over rated. What’s inside is more important.

73. Male vanity is just dumb. If we were supposed to be good looking we’d have been born women.

74. Discomfort or minor aches are not a good enough excuse. You’ve been cold, wet, hot, tired, sore, itchy, or whatever. Eff it and drive on.

75. There is no excuse for not being on time unless you are on fire or bleeding. Early is better than late.

76. No one cares how well you did in high school or college. What matters is how well you did 5 minutes ago.

77. The reward for working hard is more hard work.

78. You can not control an other person. The only person you can control is yourself. Clean your own side of the street.

79. I am not responsible for trying to figure out how anyone other than my spouse thinks. I can not do that either.

80. The retarded wildebeest at the at the back of the pack is the one the lions eat. Don’t be a retarded wildebeest.

81. *added 8/22/2015* My friends and loved ones are of many faiths and orientations. I love them more than I like you. Given the choice, I’ll be on their side, every time. If you are homophobic or anti-whatever-their-faith or insulting to them in any way, you’re gone. No argument or discussion just removed from my world. I need them. I don’t need you.

*****

I wrote these over a period of some months and my life. *grins* I hadn’t really revisited them for a year and a half. I looked at them again, today, and realized I needed #81. Other than that, feel free to comment, critique, or suggest additions…Thanks for following along…

 

Baking Cupcakes With Purple Spray Paint or, Stereotypes Are For Suckers…

Usually, I’m editing posts by this time of the morning. It seems odd not to be. I woke up late without the tiniest clue what to write about. Maybe that’s a good thing. Nothing within the context of this blog has p/o’ed me. The trolls, meaning people in the world like idiot County Clerks and Public Officials, are becoming marginalized. No one has made any majorly vocal attacks, lately, on the people I love. Yeah, I’m sure some “pop culture” bonehead or politician has said something dumb but, I avoid those like the plague. So, maybe I’ll just wander around for a couple of hours and see what comes out…

Don’t get me wrong. Prejudice and fear haven’t mysteriously gone away. Religious persecution hasn’t ended overnight…nor do I expect to ever end. People will insist on interjecting their views and hates into issues untill there are no more people. I get that. It just seems, for now, that we’re all taking a tiny step back and regrouping for the next go around…

I’m a soft hearted cynical old grouch. *grins* I don’t want to like people. I want to limit my exposure. The problem is, what I want me to be and what I am don’t always coincide. Would that it were that easy. *sigh* My life would be much simpler if I didn’t find myself actually liking people. *Yes, Aj, there is the truth* I can not quite bring myself to only having Aj, Z, and Sweety for friends. Every time I turn around, the list seems to get bigger. *Yes, Kelladillo, this means you*  Go look at the people I call “family” on Facebook…well, you can’t because I’ve got it locked down, never mind. I digress. If you could, you’d find several that are “family by choice”. It seems that I’m nicer than I want to be. *editorial, looking at the number of times I’ve used “I” so far, I’m also more narcissistic…* Anyway…I keep finding people I like. It seem like a bad thing because it makes me have to expand the amount of “energy” I don’t get to keep but, it seems like a good thing because maybe my cynicism is misplaced…a bit…because there are more decent people in the world than I expect and I’ve just been looking in the wrong places…I suppose *sigh* it’s a good thing that I’m finding people that are giving me reasons to be less cynical. It just makes me question my own world view, too…just like I try to convince other people to do…

*grins* I’ve learned, am learning, that there are more people to like and enjoy than just the people that are “just like me”. It’s kind of a running joke, at least to me, to ask “where did all these damn Pagans come from?” The reason for the humor is that I used to not even think they existed. I really did. I thought it was a joke. “Witches, you’re kidding, right?” They, the Pagans, have made me welcome in their world…even though I’m really not part of it. I keep finding out that there are not really any stereotypical Pagans. You won’t see them walking down the street in black robes and pointed hats…*Yes, Shelby, I expect that you might…on Halloween…* They just happen to have a different spirituality than mine, not different morality or ethics…

The same is true for the people I know and love that are gay. I’m sure that someone somewhere fits the stereotype but, the ones I know don’t… In fact, go ahead, try to stereotype Z. I dare you. Try to pin her political views to the stereotype. Try to make her style fit a box. Nope, she doesn’t fit any mould you think she should…

For that matter, neither do I. I can’t seem to find a box to fit…damn boxes again…My past, addict turned Conservative Christian to become sober, should dictate a closed mind. My upbringing, upper middle-class Texan conservative, should have narrowed my views of what I think is “acceptable”. Oddly enough, I can’t do it. I have this tiny difficulty. I can think for myself. I don’t want to have friends that are “just like me”. I’m not “just like me”. I don’t mind that people are “differently normal”. Those are the fun ones. They make you think. They give you reasons to question your perceptions of “proper”. They let you see a different world than the one you thought existed. Sure, there are things that people do that I despise. There are actions and beliefs that I will never condone but, the people I associate with, and that allow me into their worlds, don’t do those things. I’ve never really asked about the rituals of Paganism. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what other friends do in their bedrooms. Neithe of those are “my business”. I do want to know, and they sometimes tell me, how their path became what it is. I am curious to know how we got to here, where out paths join for this season…

So, maybe I’ve just grown up a bit? Maybe I have become “nicer” in my middle age? A little less willing to look at the outward appearance or the differences? Maybe I’ve been wrong that “anyone under 30 has nothing I want to hear”…*yes, N and S, there are “kids” that are giving me reason for hope for the future*…and that the world won’t be an effed up place when they are running things?

I think that’s today’s lesson and post. I think that people defy being stereotyped and, if you are able, seeing beyond those is a good thing. Looking for the parts of people that don’t fit your norm or expectations and finding common ground anyway, is not a bad way to live. I wasn’t invited into the lives of my friends and people that are becoming friends because of the diversity nor were they invited into mine for that reason but, *grins* it can be really cool to find something unexpected and marvel at it. People, Humans, are the most interesting thing you will ever find. The good ones are a gift beyond price. Take those unexpected gifts. Learn that stepping out of your world and into another is a “good thing”. It’s worth the effort, I promise…

 

You Know Those Thoughts That Wander Through My Head? This Is Another…

Yeah, this is another “not a clue” post…

I am still pondering “labels”. I wonder why we insist on having them? I write these because of labels and descriptions and find myself trying to get away from them. If I were to wear every label that fit, I’m not sure I could even finish the list. I’d just keep adding stuff. Defining who I am is based on the needs of the moment. Here, it is important to point out the fact that I am different than the people I defend and the same as the people I defend them from. Other places and times THAT context doesn’t matter.

I met a nice young Lady, today. She defined herself like this ” I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24 year old who is a full-time nanny.” That’s not what I would have said about her. My first thought was what I said. “a nice young Lady”. I still think that. The description she gave also fits, and does not detract but, it isn’t all of her…

Labels are never all of a person. To an outsider, they may be all we want to see. To the person living them, they confine us and restrict us. I can, and sometimes do, wear the label “ex-addict” or “Meth Survivor”. That is nothing close to all of who I am…

The converse is also true. How and what we think of ourselves, how we define ourselves, helps us to fit in. By calling ourselves something, we find community with others like us. We are able to find a place to be in a world that seems endless…

I still don’t know where I’m going with this…

We can use labels to divide. Are you an “us” or a “them”, friend or foe? We call people horrible things without knowing them at all.

Usually, these posts are about being LBGT or Pagan and an “outsider”, me, saying it’s ok to be those. They, the posts, are support for groups, labels, that I am not.

*editorial, usually, by this point in a post, I have an idea of what I’m trying to say. This time I’m really bumping into stuff in the dark…*

I think what I mean is, we ALL have things that define us, our labels. Being LBGT or Pagan or Christian or Straight or any other fairly narrow group is just a bit of who we are. We might pick some of those bits to identify with but, they don’t come close to expressing the whole…I use “straight, Christian, married, male” to define myself here, in this context. I use “Texan” to define my attitudes and heritage. I use “husband” to define the most important job I have and “butcher” to define the next most important. I may use “meat nerd” to define some of my interests. *editorial, I love cooking and what I get paid to do*

*sigh*

Context. Sometimes our own labels depend on the context. I can be a “goof”. That’s what my wife calls me when I’m being one. Sometimes, I can be “you a$$hole”. The labels we pick depend on the context of the moment and the interactions we have. Here, I’m an author. There’s a group of real artists I belong to that call me an “artist” even though I disagree. I have a friend that thinks of me as a “protector” because I pray for her and write for her. In that context, I suppose I am.

Outsiders also impose their own context on the way they define us. They rarely see all of us and NEVER the inside. Yet, they insist that their view and, by extension, definition, must be the correct one…

*sigh again*

This is making my brain hurt. Ugh. I’m not really confused. I’m just finding that, as I write this, that even putting the way that people are labeled refuses to fit into its box…

Where I started was, way up there, with this…”I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24-year old who is a full-time nanny”. She gave me what she thought I would think was important. She gave me what she thought was important. She gave me some context for who she was, is, and where she’s going “now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is)”. She defined  herself in the barest of terms giving me reasons, if I chose, to either accept or reject her based on those outlines. Interestingly enough, to me, most of the things that she thought were important to me, aren’t. We all are some form of sexuality…or none. We all have faith…or none. We were born. We have some type of way to generate income. I’ll stick with my view, for now, “nice young Lady” and find my own labels for her. Perhaps, given time, the label “friend” will replace “acquaintance”…

Labels and boxes seem to defy reason. I think I’m going to just let this one taper off here and let it be food for thought. Feel free to tell me what I missed.

Thanks for bearing with this one.

 

What Are You For?

There’s a scene in “Bull Durham” where Crash tells Annie what he believes in. It’s a great scene because it shows not what he’s against but, what he’s for…

We seem to be stuck with the idea that we have a right to be offended by everything and everyone. We think that, because we are offended, everyone must not give us offense and have to stop. Allow me to disagree. Yeah, you or I may be all the offended we want to be. I’ll give you that. Where we disagree is when we say that someone has to stop offending us…

It’s easy to be offended. It’s comfortable to feel like a victim. It doesn’t take any effort at all to say that someone has wronged me. No introspection. No questions. Not really any thought at all. It’s just “poor poor me…”

We can make lists all day long of what offends us…Christians, Pagans, atheists, straights, gays, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians…somehow or someway we can take offense at all of them…Southerners, Northerners, Texans, Californians…pick one…pick a bunch…

So, here’s a challenge. What are you for?

I’ll start…

I’m for my wife, peace in my house, hugs and kisses, holding hands, stray dogs, Aj Z Kelladillo and the family, rare beef, remembering ALL of our history the good and bad, honest politicians, naps, snacks, quiet days off, Spring and Fall, telling the truth, loyalty toward friends, honor, treating everyone with dignity, giving people room to be themselves, marriage being between two people that love each other, fishing, air conditioning, comfort over style…the list is endless.

Being for stuff means, to me, living with gratitude and not anger. It means setting aside jealousy and envy. It means I’ve decided not to invite stress into my world. *editorial, sometimes I do invite it in. Sigh*

My list isn’t really all inclusive. It was just a start. I could, and sometimes do, go on all day. I do have a question, though…What are you for?