I hear every day that I am just not working hard enough; that other people have overcome worse issues; that I’m just being lazy or unwilling to do the “hard things.”
It doesn’t matter if they are talking about my mental issues or my physical ones. In fact, with both sets of problems, I am simply considered to be “malingering” or worse, I am a “hypochondriac.” The nicest way to say it is to say that I have a “somatic symptom disorder.”(SSD)
I don’t understand unreasoned hatred. I define this as a generalized emotion that is felt about a person, place or thing without any form of a logical cause.
It isn’t that I don’t understand the emotion of hatred. I do. It took me a long time to let go of my hatred of the man who killed my little brother. But, as you can see……it certainly did have a logical cause.
I don’t even hate my ex-husband. I choose not to waste any emotional energy about him.
But a hatred of a certain type of person? It doesn’t matter if the type is based on sexual orientation, chosen gender, religious affiliation or color of skin. It is tarring an entire group for the choices of a small percentage.
There is always a temptation to make comparisons between your own situation and the situations that others are living in. Sometimes, it can be a jealousy or envy about someone else’s life. And it doesn’t just have to be about money, either. You can look at someone else’s life and wonder why they have what you want to have — whether it is a loving relationship, financial security or simply a slightly better situation than your own.
Other times it can be you (or other people) comparing your struggles with theirs. Just like the jealousy of someone, this is a toxic attitude to have.
My issues are just that — mine. It is unfair and unjust of me to say that my struggles are either worse than someone else’s or that someone has it worse than I do.
And the temptation to tell someone that they should just “try harder” because someone else has worse struggles than theirs is a not just toxic. It is bullshit. And it often makes the struggle worse, because the person struggling becomes overwhelmed with the need to “push harder” or “overcome the obstacles” before they are truly ready to do so.
I’ve actually had a few people tell me that I am just being lazy, that I need to push myself and “get back on the horse” about work. Because much of the issue relating to my ability to work has to do with emotional struggles (my depression and my anxiety), I should simply take my medicine and “act like a responsible adult.”
Heading in a different direction for a while. There is a reason that I often link to the definition of certain words I use. That reason is that I want what I am saying to be understood.
Sometimes, words can be confused even if someone has the definition for it. There is the strict, literal definition of the word (called the denotation of the word). But, there is also the connotation of the word which is the varied cultural overtones, social implications and emotional resonances with which certain words can be associated.
For example, the word “patriarchy” can have completely divergent connotations while it still retains the denotation. For some, it is a buzz word that has become an immediate trigger for ignoring any information associated with it. For others, it is an easy way to describe the cultural tendency to give men (particularly white men) the power and control.
Particularly when we are attempting to persuade someone, we tend to use what is called “loaded language.” This is the intentional use of a word with a strong emotional connotation in order to subtly change the listener’s (or reader’s, if it is written) opinion.
As stated by the writer of the article linked above, this is not about Trump or his supposed “locker room talk.”
For me, this is about what we are teaching our children. I have given up hope that we can teach a certain percentage of the adult male population that “rape culture” is a real, provable thing.
We teach our children that males can get away with behavior that females are not permitted. That even though certain behaviors are clearly negative and thereby considered “wrong” in our society, males will be excused for that “wrong” behavior.
I do understand the reasoning the authority figures give for excusing such behaviors. They don’t want to “destroy a young man’s life” for a “simple mistake.” They want to give him a “chance” because it was “just bad decision-making.”
The problem with that is that we are ignoring the victim of this young man’s behaviors. We are telling the victim(s) that they are not excused for their “simple mistake” of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We vilify them for their own “bad decision-making.” And it doesn’t matter if that victim is male or female.
I considered letting this one slide on by. But, even though it is Australia, the company (Weight Watchers) is located in New York. Additionally, WW has made massive amounts of money by fat-shaming women all over the world.
I had been to one of their “support groups.” I’ve in fact been to a lot of the different fat-shaming weight industry – including corporate sponsored “Overeaters Anyonymous” meetings (yes, they even use the 12 step program to make people feel ashamed of themselves). Not a single portion of any of these companies really gives a shit about you. All they want is that you continue to keep throwing money at them. They feed off of the idea that THEIR particular choices are the magic bullet that will make you thin.
But let me tell you something. While I may have initial concerns about my body the first time I have sex with someone, it goes away the moment we start touching each other. In fact, I love having the lights on. I love exploring my lovers’ body and having him explore mine. And I have had enough men in my life who literally stop moments after the last piece of clothing hits the floor. Not because they are disgusted by what they see – in fact, most of them have said it was the most beautiful sight they’d ever seen.
I promised myself that I would no longer get into any discussions about politics. And, guess what? This is NOT about politics.
It’s about making sure my body is MINE — and not owned by some random man who thinks he owns any woman’s body whenever he wants it.
Like this woman, I have been “touched” by a man against my own will. And, I spent a good portion of my life actually believing I had NOT been a victim of sexual assault. Why? I’m glad you asked that question.
The answer, however, is probably something you don’t want to hear.
Unwanted sexual touching has been normalized in our culture for pretty much not only during the entire history of our nation, but was previously normalized in the cultures that spawned our nation.
Women born in the late 50s, the 60s and the early 70s got stuck with the “Superwoman” concept (meaning we’re between the ages of 40 to 70). We were taught that yes, we could be absolutely ANYTHING we want to be. However, in the process of “being who we want to be” we also needed to excel in the so-called “traditional roles” of women.
We could be a CEO, but we also had to be a perfect wife, a perfect mother, a perfect housekeeper and a number of other time-consuming roles that meant we did absolutely NONE of them well. So, we spent a good portion of our lives feeling we were failures.
It wasn’t until the latter 80s and some of the 90s that we even had a GLIMMER of support in being the person we wanted to be, whether or not that had anything to do with the “traditional female gender roles.”
And, we are STILL fighting that same damned fight.
This isn’t about politics. It isn’t about who is better or worse. It isn’t even about ideologies.
It’s about us……and what kind of a world we want the next generations to live in.
The woman who wrote this is 27 years old. She IS the next generation to someone like me. If I had had a child at age 20, she would be this woman’s age right now.
She, like many of us, has experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault — but she, like me, has been one of the lucky ones. One of the ones who somehow lucked out that their responses got the men (oh, how I cringe to say that……because they aren’t men……they’re spoiled rotten assholes who have been told all of their lives that this kind of thing is OK to do to a female) to back off or protected themselves just enough to not get raped.
So, according to Trump and his supporters, President Bill Clinton is a sexual predator and Trump is not.
While I may not think positively about the ethics of either Clinton in that marriage, there are some real facts behind the truth. And it is NOT kind to Trump.
Of the 8 women who have come forward about sexual assault and/or harassment, there are three who were not in a consensual relationship. Now, given that I think even ONE non-consensual sexual interaction is too many, I have questions about those three.
Kathleen Willey — This is a woman who has changed her story repeatedly. It was, at best, sexual harassment based on the investigation report. She claims to have (and has affidavits in support of it) spoken to two friends about it. The part that bothers me the most? The fact that Ms. Tripp was one of those friends — this being the same women who illegally taped private discussions at the encouragement of a LITERARY AGENT (i.e. so she could write a tell-all at a later time). An independent prosecutor found that there was insufficient evidence to prove it happened.
Juanita Broaddrick —Both the original TV interviews and later the investigation could find no real proof that she had been assaulted. In fact, she repeatedly denied the assault in the 1970s until Clinton’s impeachment pushed her to come forward. With no physical evidence, repeated denials, ONLY a he-said/she-said situation and the fact that at the time she was conducting an affair with the man who later became her husband, I have serious concerns about her veracity.
Paula Jones — This is the only one of the three I give any credence to. She went straight for a sexual harassment suit immediately. It was inappropriate behavior (i.e. propositioning and exposure of private parts) but no assault. I’m a bit bothered by the fact that she was willing to settle the suit out of court, as I would have thought that this was an open and shut case of harassment. Does this excuse Bill’s behavior? Hell, no.
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