Mittwoch, 10. April 2019

feminist or equalist?

if you believe in equal rights for both women and men, than you are a feminist. that's it.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash
that's what the popular opinion says. okay, when this is your definition, than i will not deny that i surely am a feminist in your eyes. but i do not identify with this term only through this criteria.
like, if i am against right-wing politics i'm not automatically left-wing. i am maybe progressive, liberal, humanist, tradionalist, eco but in any case obviously anti-racist.
for me the same goes here.

some say, that people who do not see theirselves as feminists are part of the problem.
avoiding the f-word is mostly connected with being ignorant or too gutless to speak up for women's rights in public. like if not going along with feminism as a term, nessecarily means, not going along with its concept and attitude - or at least not wanting to admit this in public.
besides, people who call theirselves only equalists instead, would ignore the fact that far more women are disadvantaged compared to men. i personally think, that the term "equalist" does not nessecarily make a statement about the actual distribution of problems. it just claims the goal neutrally: equal rights for both women and men. so, the same that feminism claims for itself.

yet i can understand, where the aversion towards people who do not use the term feminism comes from. i know, there are really some ignorant people, who don't want to see and understand the ideas of feminist movement and refuse to be called this way. but like i said before: just because somebody say the same, it does not mean that they also thinks the same way about feminist ideas. just because one does not call theirselves feminist, it does not mean he/she is a "antifeminist".  it depends on the context.
- but most of conversations do not even reach this far. many people in this debate, only hear "someone doesn't identify as a feminist" - and the rest is getting emotional like an old conflict. they react as if they assume to know your explanation anyway and do not wanna hear any further.

a reason to not call oneself feminist, like, not calling oneself any other term can be, that it is just too trivial. so it can be kind of modest - because people might see their intentions as a normal thing, as common sense. because they maybe were raised this way, and do not know any other attitude for theirselves. so they maybe already thought this way before they knew some "term" for it and don't need one. like someone who self-evidently lived sustainable, and has only consumed when he/she is really in need of something, as long as he/she can think, maybe would not call his/her lifestyle "zerowaste" or "minimalist". for this person it might just belong to his/her personality, as a matter of course, without giving it a name.
also there are not always categories required, because fitting into one can often be too oversimplified. the meassage and intention can be spread and lived as well without any label.

back to the argument that there are more disadvantaged women than the other way around. -
yes there definitely is a bigger problem of discrimination against women, which exists since hundreds of years. and that definitely worth to be denounced, fought and to be upset about. but to get to a solution i do not believe fighting is a way. it's the same like with every old conflict - if it should be solved, than there comes a point at when it should not be weighed up anymore, who began and whose fault it is more. at the point when a solution should be found, both of the conflict partner should look forward to find ways and options. and also find things to change at theirselves which can play a role to arbitrate.

but the main reasons why i cannot get friends with just the term (not with most of the content and ideas of the movement!): it sounds too onesided for me. discriminaton of women is rooted so deep in society, that its cause is multifactorial. there are so many oldfashioned yet so present structures which makes it hard to rethink them. a very big problem lays in the gender roles which are still taught. and at this point there are not only women, that can suffer from all those unhealthy structures. there also for example young boys, sensitive men, transgender and homosexual men who are put at a disadvantage.
how many feminists state, how much power is in the choice of words, and demand gender-appropriate language. that people should not be "also meant" but addressed correctly.
i don't think that a sensitive teenage boy, who is maybe bullied for being too girly, can feel addressed by a term which says that it is "for women". even if the ideals of feminism also include the fight against discrimitation of other groups of people besides women, i do not think the term fits.

so i personally prefer the term equalist, because it describes my conviction, the basic module for any solution. to aim equal chances, equal opportunities, equal duties and equal rolemodels. the term feminist describes the problem, the disadvantage. it points out the imbalance and concentrates on one aspect of inequality.
maybe a universal term could also be "anti-sexist" - that surely includes all the problems feminists and equalists also denounce. maybe it is unimportant how one considers to call him or herself, maybe it does not aquire a term at all - as long as we all fight against sexism, discrimination, and empower each other. let's emancipate together

Samstag, 19. Januar 2019

the biological clock

the ominous biological clock. - you get to hear more and more about it, when reaching the late twenties. friends get married, build houses, and have babies. - 'and when will you do?

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash
...actually - not at all. but that answer is accepted in the rarest of cases. 'wait, you will reach this age...' or as said before - the biological clock is mentioned. people hear your biological clock ticking louder than you do. it must sound fairly threatening.
people suddenly treat you like an immature twelve y/o teen which surely has "just a phase" when you claim you don't want to have kids. or ask in a shocked way "why?!". not to listen to your honest answer, but rather to try to refute your reasons and convince you that a life with baby is so much better and would complete you. 'but you still have a little time left to reconsider' 

since i was a teenager until the beginning of my early twenties i never asked myself if i want to have children, because i was not really aware of it being an option. it was rather an obligation and i never excluded it (in contrast to marriage, which sense i already did not see in my early teens - but that's another point). so i also cannot tell a certain point where i started to change my mind. 
but the more mature i became, the more i began to think about the world, society, the more experiences i made, and the more i became aware about my own circumstances, past, and future-goals. and the more the concept of raising a child did not fit into my imagination of my life. this was not a choice or decision, but first of all a feeling! an intuition, a gut feel that fitted. i think a multifactorial process led me towards that conclusion, which i still hold on to since over a couple of years: I do not feel the urge to have a child. And neither do I hear a sound of any clock.

i do not have "more arguments on the contra side". but i also have "little arguments on the pro side". 
i de facto grew up without a family. (which did not traumatize me, in general i enjoyed becoming self-reliant and haven't missed it being different, though sometimes it was less easy to get ot of trouble without family-support of course)
but so i just don't know this feelings many people long for, like conviviality, cohesion, being so close to each other and taking care of each other in a family-way. i don't have these needs, and there is nothing wrong about it. actually i have many negative examples which stress and trouble this family thing can cause, even ending in reproaches, disputes, violence or else. often i think that i am glad, i don't have this troubles and can do my own thing. i appreciate my self-determined and independent life and that i don't owe anyone anything. 
additionally through my experiences standing for myself alone part of my reasons also are, that i know my limits and know that i surely would not have enough energy to care for two. but that is not the main reason. it is not like hidden traumas or fears would hold me back, though my secret wish is a happy family life as a mother. 
nope. the main reason is, even if i maybe could bring up the energy (which is sooo worth it, because when your baby smiles at you everything is forgotten - like people say) - i simply do not want to.
my life fulfils me and i am simply satisfied with what i am - though that's obviously not what's expected of women.

 - no interest in reproduction over here.

the thought of being a mother is for me connected with sacrificing. like that is the way of life, you sacrifice to give new life. so first of all you sacrifice your body. nine month carrying a child, having pain, nausea, in the end the body might be deformed etc. when the baby is born you sacrifice sleep, time for yourself, (sexual) time with your partner, and for the next years you sacrifice real self-determination (a key quality for me in life), your career and the freedom of choice in some essential elements (for example you cannot just leave an unsatisfactory job when you're in need of the money). though surely nothing is impossible and no "all or nothing" thing, it is always a lot of struggle.
so i voluntarily forego. thanks, but no thanks.
some people get easily upset and find it coward or selfish. and maybe it is, but it's nobodys business. as long nobody gets harmed where is the problem with being selfish, huh? who has the right to judge about peoples decisions? and isn't it the same selfish when people just get children to be "not alone when growing old?" (which is another killer-argument of people wanting to convert you).
i don't have any interest to put some other life over my own. period.

- my life is my diamond 

i already mentioned that i do not have so much positive examples for families that makes me think "oh yeah, having a baby is a great idea". so massively bad examples are of course oldfashioned conservative people with sterotypical, misogynic idea(l)s of family life.
but even young couples who see theirselves as modern and progressive - that of course includes equality! - live the traditional roles anyway.
okay - nowadays men take obligatory two month of parental leave! and they sometimes take care of the child, too!  but all in all, care work is women's work. it is still the man who must earn money for the family, who "just cannot" take parental leave. who "just cannot" leave work to pickup an ill child from the kindergarden. who is so busy working that he cannot do the housework. okay, at least they "help around the house" - like it is still obvious: that's the women's job, and the man should be praised that he takes part. when parental leave is over and women get in job again (part time of course, because - you maybe already presage: the man just cannot negotiate a part-time-position in his job!) it is still self-evident, that the most care-work is done by the woman, and not seen relatively to the time she works in her job. it is suggested and promoted in media, society, and even in modern feminist mom's-blogs: "women are so strong, they do their job, care for the baby AND do the housework" - at least nowadays it is largely common that also women go to work and bring money home. BUT still it is silently expected that they have double (or triple) burden, and they get uncritically hailed as heroes for their engagement and how they manage all that.
it is modern to be a "working mom". but what does this term actually say? Why is there no such thing as a "working dad"? Is it an ideal to be able to "reconcile work and children" as a mother, whereas a father never has to struggle with something like that?
In my eyes this message tempts women in a wrong direction and a consistent imbalanced construct is maintained further.

exaggeratly said: what is sold to women as a progressive lifestyle is actually mockery. like "you women wanted equal chances and the right to work. here you got, and now see, how you get along. it's needless to say that carework is your job, and don't expect us men to help."
of course this wording seems overdone, but in my opinion the key message is not so far-fetched.
because breastfeeding is a thing only a mother can do, everything else a mother typically does should still be maintained as such. and don't you dare to have other demands as a mother. only a mother can bring a baby to bed, comfort it when it's ill, and anyway, a father just can never be as emotionally attached as a mother can. like this beliefs are still so present it is difficult to leave, because you are urged to feel bad, if you deviate. at least you are questioned, have to justify yourself or even get offended or shamed.
in the end you are a bad mother (and/or wife) if you dare to have own needs, let your partner alone with the baby while you go for a night out, or want to go back to a fulltime job soon.
(but of course nobody is a bad father wo does it the other way around.)

this message is spread, even if many more subtile, through media, society, and like i said before even through numberous modern-mum-blogs of actually confident, business-instagram-moms.
yes, mums! besides patriarchal structures i also blame women for spreading this beliefs, excusing the behaviour of men wo don't participate in carework by 'that's the way men are' and take it as given.
or making other women feel guilty for enjoying personal freedom though being mother at the same time. i expect women who run own businesses and call theirself progressive or even feminist, to be able to question rolemodels and see the problems they cause instead of sharing them unreflectedly.

i think the society is still far, far away from some thing like equal rights and fair distribution of tasks when it comes to being parents, and that is an absolute big contra having children for me.
though i know there is a also small percentage of couples who are parenting in an emancipated and real modern way (and i hail them as heroes more than "woking moms" who take all burdens as a matter of course and don't stand up for a change.) the majority seems still to be retrograde, though it's more subtile as in the 50s.
for me being a mother with my expectations of life in this society wouldn't work, because it would be always a fight, a struggle, discussions, stupid comments and questions, to justify myself (more, than for not having children).
besides it would mean to experience a still retrograde stereotypical education for the child.

- when it comes to parenting even modern couples seem to be still retrograde 

so there are still several other reasons for that makes me feel like i do. and in the end everybody has to choose for theirselves how their family planning should look like, and nobody else should care about. some want four children and some want none. 
and do you think someone who is persuaded to have children just because everyone told her so and she wants to "fit in", will get happy and raise happy children? 
or ever thought about being insensitive because maybe a woman wants to have children herself but it does not succeed. how will she feel when she's permanent asked with a reproachful undertone: 'when will you finally get pregnant? isn't your biological clock ticking?'

Mittwoch, 7. November 2018

no, i can't!

despite the trend of posting all those motivational, inspiring quotes and words of wisdom in several social media, i expierience widespread thoughts of discontent, plus the belief to be incapable of changing something about the own situation at the same time. too often many of us tend to see themselves as powerless victims of circumstances.  

Photo by Shane Aldendorff on Unsplash
the good news is: this does not apply as often than we might think. the only half as good news is: you need to get your ass up yourself!
here it already begins with you - you have to make a decision: change it or leave it. is a situation worth struggling? or does it seem unpromising to waste time and energy with it after weighing both sides accurately? choosing the second way, means choosing to stop wasting time and energy being annoyed about it. it depends on you. 
the majority of dissatisfying conditions can be navigated by our own, even when we cannot change every situation, often it is up to us, to choose how to deal with it. 

  we might not be powerless victims of circumstances as often as we think.

the key tool for this to me is honesty. honesty, especially towards yourself. to make decisions to come to a result you want, you first have to know, what you actually want. you have to truly know yourself and your needs, to listen to your gut feeling. being honest to oneself means, being able to reflect about oneself neutrally (without assumptions, assessment or justifications). reflecting things objectively, both positive and negative aspects, without getting (too) emotional helps to keep track of a situation and about who and how you really are. we can draw possible conclusions and decisions based on that compiled information. by (re)acting accordingly, we gain experiences, and develop a feeling for our needs. we built selftrust - the second key tool for becoming selfreliant and take on responsibility. 

only when you know what you want, you can develope strength of will. so this to me is only the second essential quality - and the harder part. like it's in the word, it requires strength. not everybody would call oneself strong, but, if you are dissatisfied with anything, do yourself a favour and start trying to become it little by little. baby steps count! Just saying "i can't" means "i don't want to"! Not even trying does not count - otherwise, the situation you are unhappy with it can't be so bad at all. 
If you do not know where to start or you feel unable to get out alone, feel welcome to seek for help. supposed pride isn't appropriate here - not every problem can be solved on ones own. its quite natural and surely nobody gets along only as single player. so, contact your family, friends or if required even mental health professionals. there is nothing to feel bad or weak about. 
the only things weak are hiding from problems (means hiding from oneself), finding excuses, not leaving an unpleasant situation, yet going on complaining. expecting change without showing any sign of changing oneself. for some extreme cases i would say that this behavior even verges on ignorance or some people are happy being unhappy. 

- honesty and selftrust - the key tools to become self-reliant.

for those who truly want to allow changes to happen it can be possible. like we know the concept of training the body similarly we can train the mind. or better said when following the goal of a welltrained body what we actually do is training our mind: to be consistent and holding on the workouts and the diet. so there are not many differences between going for an athletic body or for a self-reliant mindset.
number one enemy which has to be taken off the agenda: excuses!
excuses are multifaceted, omnipresent, yet so inconspicuous that they aren't revealed as such often enough. but also they are comfortable, easy, by looking for scapegoats, by telling you there's nothing you can do, by handing over your responsibility. but did you ever question how valid they really are? 
most excuses translated mean: "it does not work, because... it just does not work" or "i could not do anything about it, because...i just couldn't." 
with some simple questions you can expose excuses easily. everytime you come to the conclusion that you "can't" do anything, or something "won't work" anyway, try to ask "how can i?" or "what can I do that it will work?" feel free to imagine differing scenarios and solutions - even if they might seem unrealistic first. maybe by taking a closer look they are easier to achieve than you thought? maybe it just needs some time for some investigation into an option, to make yourself a realistic, managable plan. at last it requires your confidence and courage in any case.

like i said before about strength, fortunately also both of these are not default properties. they can be developed by practise. and it is so important to just start anywhere, whenever you want to reach a goal that matters to you. do not be afraid of trying. do not expect too much - everything needs time and not everything works with the first attempt.
I guess a big problem is the own expectation and self-perception. many of us might feel intimidated by an imagination of perfection. by the idea, that success is given, for it looks so easy for others to reach it. it is usually forgotten, how these "other people" got there. (or intentionally overseen - to have another excuse, a proof: "what works for them just does not work for me.")
most successful people (no, not the "rich and famous", but those who get their shit together and live a balanced life) just work for it and learned to believe in theirselves. 
although it sounds like a flat phrase; everyone have started off small - so let go off all your inner voices, everything that holds you back. dare to leave your comfortzone and try something. stop whining, start doing. don't be afraid of failure. it is natural. you can learn and rise from it. embrace losses, too. 
practising and adopting this attitude depends on you. 

"- it does not work, because... it just does not work"
figure out and cut out excuses!

ban negative doctrines. did you ever experience that when you start something with pessimistic assumptions they fulfilled themselves? it seems fairly inevitable that something will go wrong when you are completely convinced that it will. so stop degrading yourself. stop pity yourself.
the major weakness is the belief to be weak. don't ever let someone tell you that! you and your choices should never depend on what others say or do. do not hold on to stereotypes which pretend you would not have a choice. do not seek your happiness in anyone else than you, you are not dependent on others. 

figure out, what actually causes your misery. often we just see the problem and a whole network of reasons: maybe the society, the overall structures in the workplace or the environment or something like that. in any case a bigger power that we seem to have no weapons to conquer,towards that we feel powerless. but if we take a closer look and decrypt all of the factors that take their part to drag us down, maybe a concrete one turns out to be the crucial factor. 
and here is, where honesty plays is part again: maybe it is clear; toxic behavior of a person or a bad habit is the main cause of our dissatisfaction. at this point is where we most prentend to be blind, when the person is a one we love or the habit is a one that's comfortable. then we start to play down this real reasons and seek bigger circumstances to blame. why? because it is easy! it is easier to call society unfair, than the own partner. who wants to admit that a) their beloved ones might be mistreating them and b)they seem to be to weak to defend that. 
so better, close ones eyes, and seek any other circumstances to blame. it's socially accepted to feel like losing against a bigger system, which everyone knows to be unfair, and complaining about it.
that is a dangerous trap in my opinion and far away from self-honesty. plus i think it is not fair to protect offenders silently by relativizing their behaviour, by looking away and pretending the reasons only lay somewhere else. 
facing the truth is uncomfortable first. but it is indispensable for really seeing, understanding, and changing things and ourselves.

- don't close your eyes for toxicity coming from your immediate environment. 

at least with all this i do not mean selfoptimizing myths like "everybody is capable to do everthing they want" that is simply not true. we cannot deny that everbody got different preconditions, circumstances, needs, privileges or obstacles. nor it is my intention to make people believe that everybody's happyness solely lays in their own hands or that every feeling or situation is "their own fault". i don't want to blame. it doesn't matter whose "fault" something is. but what i really want to say is: despite of real existing injustice or inequity, there are still numberous situations we can handle! we are not only victims to external circumstances. circumstances play a part that formed our life to what it is, but also numberous decisions we ourself made (or we did not make), led us here.
so we all can train and practise to be aware of those, and speak up for ourselves every once in a while. whether we decide for changing or leaving frustrating situations.
if both of them does not work the least decision that can be made is accepting them. that means: accepting the fact that they cannot be changed, and therefore are not worth caring about anymore and getting done with them, to find peace for yourself. - not: doing nothing about it, try to suppress and ignore them although still being upset at the inside.

- make your own decision: you can!

so, get to know yourself and become a partner you can rely on. than turn your can'ts into cans and leave your comfortzone way more often, to get out of your self-imposed limitations. 

Yes, you can!

Samstag, 30. Dezember 2017

family means hypocrisy forever

now that the holidays are over many of us are happy to be on their own again - on the very days of christmas with all its festivities it often comes to stress and disputes more or less. just when everything should be picture perfect and harmonious it turns out to become the opposite. 

of course, this problems do not only occur on holidays. but i especially find it ironic, how everything is decorated festively, christmas songs are playing, a delicious feast is served, people fake smiles although you can feel the present strain in the air.
here i do not want to adress balanced, actual happy families, who also get into arguments or trouble from time to time. nobody is "perfect" (there is no such thing as perfect) and conflicts are the most natural thing in the world. and because it is always a struggle to get along with a group of many different people it is not remarkable why it should not be this way within family constructs.

but what i mean are structural problems which often occur in family relationships and are swept under the carpet the same often. i also do not mean extreme things like domestic violence or something like that. but i think, it is a similar mechanism and in some cases even a preliminary stage to violent behaviour. i mean people who are constantly commanding, demanding, manipulating or suppressing other family members, in lighter or more severe ways. mostly it affects relationships with imbalanced power relations - and the people who act this way, exploit their position and oppress the other ones emotionally.
so, this behaviour also occurs inbetween people out of families. for example within groups of friends, in the workplace or anywhere else where different people has to come together. now and then there are people who want to control the group and to call the shots. but the difference is, that out of family relationships, people defend themselves against such a thing earlier.
in families such circumstances are usually withstanded longer (or forever) to not endanger "the peace in the family" but what kind of peace should that be?

honestly, is it really about keeping a fictional "peace" or just the lack of courage to rise against? the fear of the consequences someone threats with? the fear of being the one who gets blamed, to provoke an escalating fight? or the emotions and the pricks of conscience which arise? or maybe all of the above.
as you see, there are many reasons why people might put up with abusing behaviour. it requires much courage to defy such things. especially, because we are taught that families always have to stick together, you are ungrateful or heartless if you dare to fight them.
but all of these "reasons" mentioned above are not plausible, and in total they depict a typical reversal of perpetrator and victim!

first of all, in any healthy and sincere relationship one should be able to talk about problems and things which go wrong. depending on personality types it can of course be more or less complicated, but should be possible somehow. one might be offended, get louder, maybe mean, but then apologize and reconciliate again. in any way it is not right, to force someone to silence or to forbid contradiction.
nobody has to feel guilty for defying unfair behavoiur, no matter if it comes from family members or someone else. you should always ask yourself, would you tolerate this if a coworker or friend would do it? if you think it is still within the limits, and you decide you do not have to intervent and can accept it, then it's fine. then you can withstand it and it does not have to bother you furthermore. but if not, then it is also okay, to tell a family member that you will not put up with it anymore. there is no reason to have a guilty conscience, cause neither has the person who treats you bad. when he or she (or others around) use arguments like "i am still your father/mother/husband..." or "remember all things i have done for you". yes of course, and these are two different pair of shoes. the unfair behaviour does have nothing to do with other, loving or caring situations. just because someone did something good for you, it is no excuse to do something bad now. and it is nothing wrong about critizising a certain behaviour (not the person in general)

it is not rare to see, that the first one who stops putting up with a situation gets accused of being the troublemaker in the family. who provokes a fight unnessecarily and it "has been so harmonious till then" and "it did not bother anyone over the years, everybody has get used to it, why do you have to make a fuss?" like i said before, t h i s is exactly a mean kind of reversal of perpetrator and victim.
the fight is provoked by the one, who shows the unfair behaviour! if you have tried to adapt yourself to this person, and to always please him over the years, it has nothing to to with a harmonious relationship for a long time no more. this does neither exist if you cave in (even then it seems to be one) nor if you stop accepting it.

by constantly being annoyed by a certain behaviour, but still not doing something against, one probably plays a perfect world for the rest of his life. but does this make one happy? - no!
in most cases people in such situations are afraid, because it is unfamiliar to defend, to say no, to stop obeying, to put up with things quietly. because nobody ever dared to do it before. but what kind of "loving family" is that, where you have to be "afraid", to "dare" things?! shouldn't you interact with people respectfully and honestly when you have a loving relationship? and yes, even if it is not always easy to stay objective in family conflicts like it might be for example in the job,  because of upcoming emotions - a constructive discussion should not fail because of being afraid of, or intimidated by a person.

by staying in this submissive role and showing it, the other person notices and learns that she can just go on and get along with the wrong behaviour very well. it proves that he/she still has the power, and holds sway over oneself and continues to decide about ones emotional state.
it is well known from raising children, that you have to act strict and consequent, to achieve changes. who is not able, to set clear limits and most of all, to assert them consequently, does not have to wonder when the children walk all over him/her. parents often get weak, because they fear the children get mad at them if they are too strict. when they did not set limits before, it is normal that they first might be mad, and try to test how far they can go. the same mechanisms apply to adults.
of course, it is not our task, to educate or train them. but it is definitely our essential task and more than our very right, to set clear limits within all kind of relationships. it is important to make others clear how far they can go, and to intervent, when they disrespect this limits.
always caving in, is like confirmation, that their behaviour is right and they can continue exploiting.

whenever someone brings you in a situation which makes you feel uncomfortable (family or not),  you should first figure out, what stops you to make a stand against. if they threat consequences, often it are just empty phrases. just like children, people try to test their limits and if they experience strength and consequences instead of submission and fear, they might change their view and behave more respectful (some thing that is even taught in educational reality tv shows.). the earlier you begin to defy undesirable behaviour patterns, the more successful it might be.
however there will still be people who are unconvincable and you really reach nothing except more fights. but if they treat you bad intentionally, without feeling bad about it, ask yourself if the relationship is worth it anyway.
sometimes also a frightening end might be better than an fright without ending. don't let yourself be blamed for something unfair, someone does to you. and although it definitely is not always easy to assert yourself, someday you do not have to wonder about a situation anymore, if you have never tried to change it.

Sonntag, 10. Dezember 2017

beautiful lies

everybody demands honesty, but scarcely anbody is able to bear the truth -

Photo by Mickael Gresset on Unsplash
we want to whitewash the reality and like to wear our rose-coloured glasses. of course life is easier when we don't have to face the uncomfortable truth, so this behaviour is probably quite natural. thus it is also not uncommon that we get upset for hearing things we rather suppress. It is often something emotional to deal with such thing so it might lead to anger and conflict as an impulse. but after calming down and reflecting in silence, i think a mature, stable person should be able to admit unpleasant things to theirself. this is the only way that leads to changes and so to become more satisfied with the circumstances (which obviously disturb us when they make us react so upset)

the mechanism of suppressing is familiar from little children, who cover their ears and behave like "what i cannot hear/see does not exist", and get stubborn or angry when they are confrontated with the issue they are upset about. also it is also well known that often the messenger of bad news is the one to blame. but through all experiences during growing up, at some point this childish attitude should be put aside. as an adult having both feet on the ground, one should be able to deal with the truth (said as its meant) with objective criticism, or any other issue that somehow is uncomfortable.
i don't get, why people want to be lied to permanently and i don't want to appreciate this so-called  "politeness" which i rather like to call "hypocrisy". that does not mean i don't want to be empathetic or sensitive when it's required - but also in case of comforting i don't want to deviate from the truth. there it is more about how you say something. the art is to act honestly but also see, to whom you have to talk and act in which way. or how important the facts are in this moment and if i think, confrontating would result in a solution.

in my opinion when hearing something hurts, there are two ways: after spotting why it exactly hurts, you can choose if you want to change it or leave and accept it.
[of course this is not always easy and for some painful issues maybe not always possible, such things are not what i talk about here. and what i also absolutely do n o t want to say is that it is okay to offend people, or constantly critizise them (unobjectively) without a reason (on the contrary: this might rather support the "childish" behaviour as a protetion reaction and is also childish as well (or even more))]
but what i find absolutely wrong is accusing people who speak out the neutral truth of being offensive.

there are several everyday aspects which are declared as no go to be spoken out. for example talking about the age of a woman or someone being overweight. of course nobody should get personal and insult someone because of this. but why should things like this not also be stated as a fact, like being brown-haired, small, young, green-eyed and so on?

i weigh too much. i know that - my scale shows that, my mirror shows that, my dress size shows that. it obviously can't be denied. but when i normally talk about that ( e. g. "i hardly find a good pair of trousers because i have too thick thighs") people start telling me "no you aren't thick!!" and my initial reaction is "are you kidding me?" of course i am. and i did not say that it's something negative. but if everybody wants me to believe that i am not thick - so obviously it has to be something negative for them? is it so unusal that somebody is honest to themselves that people think they have to cover me in lies to seemingly comfort me where there is no reason to comfort?
the other way around people sometimes seem to be puzzled when i do not use such euphemisms for example to describe a person in a neutral way as maybe "long blonde hair, thick and wearing glasses" i feel like sometimes it is seen as mean oder offensive.

even more unintelligible to me are situations in which a person adresses the aspect by oneself and than feels insulted by a honest answer. - "honey does that dress makes me look fat?" or "i think i put on weight" are prominent examples that might put the counterpart into trouble easily. i will never understand why people do so? i mean - when i put on a dress and ask someone how i look in it i usually want an actual answer. of course i may be disappointed that the beautiful dress does not fit me, but i rather know that, instead someone telling me i look good and in reality it is really unflattering. when i note i absolutely do not fit into my favourite jeans anymore, and state that i gained some weight, what does it help me when someone says that i did not? when i'm annoyed about my extra pounds, then i should work on getting rid of them, not pretending they are not there and being mad at people who agree with my perception. and at least when i do not want to hear such things i should not ask for.

another aspect i occasionally hear or read, is that it should be self-evident that talking to women about their age or weight is a no go in general. everybody should know that. even selfhatred and eating disorders are promoted because of this. - yes it might be this way, if you bully and harass someone therefore.
but by making it a general taboo in my opinion it even more promotes the thought: being thick is something bad, so i have to be thin or have to hide it.
stating, that it should be clear that one must not talk to women about this, also includes the thought, that women in general are unconfident and have to define theirselves by their outward appeareance. the fact that many women indeed are sad when they have no ideal body weight is mostly based on the idea that a woman has to be perfect and beautiful. this idea is further fed when it is tought, that you should not say to a woman she also has flaws. when friends joke about each other, it is common to make fun about chubby guys - so when some of my friends pinch me in my belly and make a joke, people often are looking like it's unbelievable someone dares to do so - or cannot understand, why i not feel insulted by that. they often cannot believe their ears when i say, that my boyfriend tells me honestly when i put on weight and i am not mad at him.
i know that i could weigh less, but i know that in the moment i don't do, so i am fine with that fact. if i were not, i had to be more disciplinated and eat half as much. when i had to describe myself at the moment, the word thick would be in there. not - at many people assume - to blackguard myself because i am little confident, but the contrary: i am confident enough to see being thick as nothing to shame about or hide. although i liked my precious body appearance better i see no reason why i should pretend, that i still weigh less?

the body type is just one out of plenty examples which embodies the thin line between honesty and rudeness in everyday life. it is another example for rather fighting symptoms instead of causes. in the first place of course it is more comfortable to wear the rose-coulored glass and rather get featherbedded by others to feel well. but the comfort is over in any situation where the truth cannot be denied or suppressed. so why not face the truth for one time, and change it or be fine with it later. once the rose-coloured glassed are put off, no effort has to be made anymore to hide and pretend anything. it would lead to less emotional disputes and that we do not have to think twice if we call things by their name or have to euphemize them.

Samstag, 4. November 2017

liberty, equality, feminity?

wait what? - well, when thinking of gender roles, and females it's rather unlikely to associate that with such thing as equality.

-  and personally i also think they have barely something to do with each other. with the growth of mankind and society the stereotypical roles developed and couldn't even been abandoned till now. yes it probably is a man's world. where man are smart, well-educated, successful, earn money, they have to be strong, athletic, confident, have an important job and a good loking wife. whereas a woman
has to be pleasant, nice, take care for her man and for their kids, shouln't be too bossy and accept that the man is the one who calls the shots. when dealing with this topic, i was fairly shocked when i found out which oldfashioned mysogynic ideas has still dominated societys minds just some decades
or only years ago and partially actually still do. the courage and the progressive state of mind of women and also men, who do not want to accept such inequality and inequity, constantly leads to changes in societys perspective on gender questions. but does fighting for equal rights for women always mean fighting for equality? and here is my opinion on something i can't really relate, something called feminism.
What i believe is, that it should not matter at all which biological sex you have, everybody should have the same rights and also have the same obligations. yes both of them. all benefits and all drawbacks.

feminism is one-sided and extreme in many cases. for example there are also inequalities for men, which feminists refuse to believe. they accuse people who claim such things of chauvinism and misogyny, because they supposedly relativize the actual issue. but it is not about relativizing something (that would mean, it's displayed to show, that the actual issue is less serious) 
that's not the intention in most cases - but just to display that they are assets and drawbacks on both sides. another factor which has to be taken into consideration is, that feminism often takes the easy way for itself. the problem of gender inequality is complex and lies deeper in society.
but with nowadays comprehension, legal situation and possibilities you cannot only put the blame for the course of the problem on "the other", the "evil menfolk". to face it, it demands self-reflexion as well as self-responsibility. women are not only worse off, for being a women, but because of their traits. if they're cautious, shy or insecure they might be worse off in business, but so are men who own that traits, compared to a loud, self promoting co-worker

if the "complaints of men" would seriously be taken to account, and discussed, it would contribute to equality: custody, family and childcare would no longer be woman's business. in the long term, employers would not have to concern hiring a woman, cause she might be busier taking care of her children. this would be a both male and female "problem" and there where an urgent need for action finding new solutions and ways. it wouldn't nessecarily lead to the fact that women give up their full time position to look for their children, if it would be socially usual to share this task inbetween both partners, regardless of gender. i'm convinced that the distribution of roles would lead to a differing result if it were socially acceptable.
but as different as people just are, there are possibly just as much of them, who consider this completly normal and right, that it simply has to be the role of the mother.
and then there are this type of women, who really appreciate to take on the motherrole (and by this i mean the actual role. not being biologically a mother, having children!) and demand all privileges in their professional career at the same time. for them, as well as for society it is immediately clear, that it's mysogynic and discriminating, when an employer might be sceptical and more likely to engage someone else. to be quite honest, i can understand this scepticism. but what i understand less is the expectation of those kind of woman. i mean: "reconciliation of family and worklife" means on the one hand that the employer should offer me familyfriendly work conditions, but on the other hand it is also my part to ensure that the circumstances won't affect my work. for example by splitting the necessary responsibilities with my partner so they are evenly distributed.
having children plus a desirable job is neither a big problem for most men, nor for the employers who hire men with family. why? because eventually it's clear that that's women's job. and as long this role tradition is still taught and lived as well by society but also by the women who put theirselves in the traditional role, it's no wonder why it might be deterring for employers to hire them.

another problem, which exists without any doubt: prejudices - women are too [nice, insecure, well-behaved, bitchy, stupid, weak  - insert a random degrading adjective]. yes definitely it's offending to hear such things. but over time i more and more actually wondered: is that right? yes? no? maybe a bit? after closer consideration about those things which really upset me i felt no longer personally insulted by that. kept in perspective; these assumptions grew out of the oldfashioned role models. it's time for them to disappear and nobody needs insulting, arrogant macho phrases. but unfortunately society supports and promotes stereotypes. and finally there are those "cliché women" who are proud of being "handsome ninnys". but i find it even more appalling, that actual self-confident, educated, intelligent women say about theirselves things like: "i am a woman, so i don't understand technology." - when it's about checking, if a cable is plugged or to install a programm on the computer. everytime i here such statements i can't believe my ears - and adopt some kind of understanding why men see women as unconfident when they seem to see theirselves this way.
does ones technical skills not correlate with their interests, their logical thinking and their apprehension instead of their biological sex? to justify the lack of know-how with being a woman is exactly what proves the assumtions chauvinists have about women. a woman with a claim for equality, who wants to be taken serious, shouldn't shout out self destructive cliché phrases in the same breath.

"nice, insecure, well-behaved, bitchy, stupid, weak" - as well as "intelligent, strong, confident, competent, objective, brave" - in my view all personal attributes which could apply to both genders equally. to not get associated with first ones, the best you can do ist to prove the "opponent" wrong.
therefore i do not approve feminism, it puts women automatically in a victim role. it suggests, that women are in need of a special treatment, because they wouldn't be able to prevail theirselves. what i think is, that instead society's total overview is in need of letting role models and stigmatizations go, to allow a gender neutral development. to reach that, inequalities in both directions has to be seen and be dealt with. the disadvantages of women in world of work as well as mens disadvantages in family policy. everybody should have under same conditions and with equal chances, the same rights and the same duties.

and that's another limitation of feminism. like i said before, argumentation patterns are often:
because men are largely privileged anyway, they shouldn't complain about their few problems.
this way of argumentation is neither constructive nor factual, nor less one-sided. also all men get lumped together by doing so. a caring husband who wishes for more father rights, to care for a mutual child the same way as a mother, gets accused of relativizing and being misogynic, as men do already have enough rights. without seeing, that father rights would change the distribution of roles in favour of women. further, there are definitely plenty of situations in which men can suffer from sexism. "you're not trained enough" , "you cry, are you gay?", "what a sissy". men, who don't fulfil the expectations of the manly rolemodel, have to deal with such superficial sayings frequently. not least from women wo call themselves feminists and actual complain about sexism. and ironically the reactions to this being adressed, are often exactly such answers. "what kind of men are they if they complain about such little sayings - go, cry into your pillow"
- what a double standard?!

lots of women demand equal rights but refuse to get equal duties. bringing money to the family, having a house built, getting your hands dirty, paying at a date, assume responsibility, driving by car? all jobs for a man. but if men say, cleaning, cooking, ironing - womens business, its discriminating.
of course also here are couples which are comfortable with that distribution of roles, cause it incidentally fits. but women who are bothered by inequality, should not only pick the benefits, when they really wish for gender neutrality.
it's quite easy to look for others to blame (who definitely can also be found), but to every problem which you want to be solved, you should reflect, on which parts you can assume responsibillity yourself, to make an actively change, instead of just denouncing.

the accusations and also the possible solutions, if applicable, often only target the symptoms of gender inequality, not the basic causes. for example; in a recent discussion was mentioned that it's disadvantaging of women, that health incurances don't take the cost for oral contraception, and women get ripped off constantly. what i really wonder instead: why does this woman assume, that birth control is solely her part? isn't it possible to share the cost for that in an enlightened, equitable partnership? if he isn't willingly to do so, maybe he is the one who disadvantages his girlfriend/wife?
- by the way, personally i do not understand why "the pill" got a symbol for emancipation anyway. women get indoctrinated to take in hormones for their whole life, beginning at early teen ages, with risk of side effects - like getting a risk score of thrombosis equivalent to smokers.
for me exactly this is a textbook example for a subtile omnipresent oppression of women. she has to do everything what society demands from her as a matter of course.
a literal horror, just like comedians making full shows at prime time about women who can't park, girls and boys kinder eggs and other extremly stereotypical prepared toys, which already put children into pigeonholes; slogans on toddlers clothing, the man as the patriarch pictured in school textbooks, and all those things too numerous to mention.

so for me it is all the small things, which happen in everyday life and affect us both concsiously and unconsciously, that leads to inequality and disadvantage. it's probably an utopian idea to believe that it's possible to get rid of this completely. but the more you reconsider certain habits and traditional behaviour and mind patterns, the more you can break stereotypes. it would be even more effective than superficial regulation mechanisms, which subserve promotion of women and therefore also pose a distinction between genders. the ascpects of disadvantages of men shouldn't be seen as threat oder offense, but as an aspect that has to be discussed instead of being tabooed.
children shouldn't be conveyed a predetermined rolemodel depending on gender, no so called  gender-specific conduct should be instilled. and everyone who does not want to spend his life within the bounds of a traditional role, should appeal to self: "what can I do myself, to escape that?"

- #beyourownsuperhero