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|spud (profile) wrote, |
on 2-6-2015 at 12:11am
|Subject: I'm Gonna Talk About Feminism, So Please Ignore Everything I Say
i have a penis, which automatically disqualifies me from having any authority on this topic. i'm okay with that. but it has been coming up a lot in my wanderings around the internet, which is a good thing. it needs to be talked about. the first step in addressing the problem of the patriarchal system is acknowledging the fact that we're in it. i'm on board up to this point.
but what are the subsequent steps? as much as it's good to talk about this problem that needs to be changed, is there any plan of attack on how we're supposed to implement any changes? and what changes? surely it's not a wholesale thing, there's bound to be some useful stuff in the existing framework. what stays? what goes? and what takes its place? and how? i do wonder how long it will be before simply bitching about it isn't enough any more. could be quite some time. god knows we all love bitching. it will be interesting to see how society answers those questions.
i think the thing that really bugs me about what i read is the assumption that, because i'm a dude and i obviously benefit from the way things are right now, that i don't want it to change. i am in every way a majority demographic in this country, so everything is designed to be working for me, right? and in some ways, it is, i suppose. i have certainly benefited in ways that i don't even realize. it is admittedly difficult to take particular note of when something DOESN'T happen. countless instances where i haven't been raped. or objectified. or marginalized. i don't notice, because there's nothing there for me to take umbrage with, and the moment passes without a thought.
please do not expect me to suddenly start noticing all the things that could have possibly happened and didn't. there is debate on whether or not a physical difference exists between how lady brains and dude brains operate, but believe me, i have severe dude brain. i just also happen to be smart enough to have a little bit of capacity for lady thought tacked on there. but proportionally, it is minute, underdeveloped, and it operates sporadically. so, i have moments where i might be able to think like a young girl. but most of the time them shits ain't happening. and the dizzying web of fully developed adult woman thought is well beyond my capacity to comprehend. my brain just won't do it. it can't. maybe some guys can, i don't know. i can take one thought and go extremely deep with it, but i cannot see how that one thought interconnects with every single other thought simultaneously. i would have to examine each connection one by one, which would take a very, very long time. which is why i am never, ever, going to notice all of the things that don't happen. it is not because i'm too lazy to actually try. it's because my single-core brain, while wicked fast, was not optimized for multi-threaded applications. i have accepted that. i recommend everyone else does too.
this video says i'm full of shit:
in the headphone test, i managed to discern neither side, because i was so overwhelmed with thinking about trying to draw with both hands at the same time, and how hard that would be. the audio was just noise. just to let you know what you're dealing with here.
but if you're willing to venture down the google rabbit hole, there's a lot of conflicting science stuff that basically boils down to: we don't know, maybe brains are like snowflakes, we guess. so the fact that my brain can only focus on one thing at a time may not be caused by amniotic testosterone levels when i was a fetus. or it might.
either way, the important part is that we are all people. we all have brains. our brains enable us to think of ourselves as people. every last one of us has a sense of self. i think my biggest problem with the way many feminists are approaching this issue is that they are not acknowledging the heart of what's causing the problem. it's not because it's a man's world, run for men, by men - although that may be true. it's because our sense of self, our whole identity, is so intertwined with our gender. if you are a shining example of womanhood; a beacon of strength, beauty, power and compassion, then you will never be able to be equal. nor if you are all that is man, can you ever hope to bridge that gap. duality is not equality. having cake is not eating it.
this problem is not going to go away until society as a whole starts thinking of itself as people. that can't happen until we stop thinking of ourselves as men and women. that's a scary thought. since day one, i've been told i'm a guy. i've thought of myself as a guy. i grew up learning how to be one of the guys. if i give up on that lifetime of developing into a guy, then where does that put me? my perceived worth, my body image, my value to society, my existence as a human being, my relationships with other humans, are all viewed through that qualifying lens of guydom.
this is why it is such a volatile issue. as soon as the topic is broached, our ego senses a threat to its existence and immediately fires up defense mode. the ego exists for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. it has wreaked no end of havoc on my life, and continues to be a real prick. it tells me all kinds of lies about who i am, and most importantly, what's gonna make me happy. it always says that just one more thing, that next whatever it is, then i'll be satisfied. but it isn't. ever. and for the longest time i thought that WAS me. it blew my mind the first time i was introduced to the idea that my ego was not me. that self and me could be two separate entities. that completely blasted the doors off my reality.
it's still very new to me, and i'm not entirely cozy with it, but i do like the idea. it makes good sense based on what i've experienced. it is certainly reassuring to know that my core person doesn't have to be the same as some of those insane thoughts i have floating around. that i can take a step back and watch my ego think. watch it burn its wheels up in futility. that used to be me. still is, far more often than i'd care to admit. i'm reticent to fully let go of my ego. i have a lot of time and resources invested in that facade that i spent a lifetime unconsciously erecting. and even if they're lies, at least it's familiar territory. they're lies that i believed for a long time. the great white unknown is far more daunting. it's weird to be a grown ass man, and then suddenly realize you don't know who you are, and maybe you're not even a grown ass man in the first place. but it's also kind of exciting, you know? i'm curious to meet me. there's got to be somebody in there, right? i just hope it's someone nice. and i have to believe it's someone whose opinions and emotions are no more or less legitimate and valuable than anybody else's. regardless of what they look like, or how smart they are, or how they identify themselves.
so, 'i am woman, hear me roar' is all well and good, (and right now, we need that roar to generate awareness, so don't stop) but just know that in doing that, you're still in some ways a part of the problem. and i don't blame you in the slightest. literally everything in our social world depends on that gender-based, dichotomous foundation. so, until we're ready to base it on something else - like, mustard packets or something - this is going to continue to be a problem.
this article is what got me started, if you want to know. i had snarky answers for all the questions too:
1. I am angry. And no one will fuck me. There is not necessarily causality between the two.
3. They already run the show there. Trust me.
4. It's 'mascunazi', jeez.
6. I'm not married.
7. I have had trouble, but that's not why.
8. I am not a father, nor am I established in my career.
9. Never, which is probably why my ego has attached itself to so many things other than my physical appearance. Regardless, all ego must die. It's a constant struggle.
11. No. People seriously do that? Why? Man, people are stupid.
12. Nope. The more someone else carries the conversation, the less I have to think about how to phrase my contribution. I do waste entirely too much energy on phrasing things that I never even wind up saying.
13. No. I'm sensing a trend here. People place a lot more value on their body image than I do.
14. Wait, I'm not a hyper-sexualized object of fantasy?
15. Yes, although I am very dismissive of many men's shows
16. Not always, but sometimes. Seriously, I have.
17. I am not an independent young man, and I resent that it is what is expected of me. It should NOT be a given, but it is.
18. Only when I worked with someone else who had the same initials.
19. I don't game, but again we're dealing with the ego thing. You're attempting to identify as something. To attach your sense of self worth to that moniker. And you resent that the name is stereotypically masculine. But I'm telling you, I don't care how gender neutral that thing is, as long as your sense of self is being derived from an external title, then it is going to be subject to the whimsy of the public sphere, and you will never be fulfilled. It doesn't matter what kind of parts you have, or what you want to have sex with, you are doomed to unhappiness as long as you are entwining your 'self' with 'else'. As long as you are discontent with being you, what the outside world perceives you as being is largely irrelevant.