i want the government to make climate change issues a top priority. i want them to put out a very basic guide, like the food guide, that would inform all citizens of the simple ways they can reduce their negative impact on the environment on a day to day basis. i think it’s possible to help people feel less powerless, and therefore less paralyzed, in the face of this overwhelming problem. i think people just need to know what they can do, they need to be given the opportunity to visualize a different daily routine for themselves, they need to know what their alternatives are. at this time, i don’t think information is being disseminated in a positive, simple, empowering way. people don’t respond well to fear and threats. tell them what they can do, and put it all on one little postcard, or in one pamphlet, spelled out nice and simple. stick it in everyone’s mailbox. put it in the curriculum. include only the most doable things for now. help people feel they can make a difference, and then reinforce it by informing us of the difference we’ve made, no matter how small.
fleeten said: just remember that men created the standards that men are held up to.
maybe their biology created the standard back in a time where brute force was necessary for survival. now that we are a “civilized society” it would be nice to make room for the men who don’t identify with john wayne.
been reading a lot of negativity about boys/men lately. firstly, and most obviously, i don’t think it makes any sense to make sweeping generalizations about their characters, just as it doesn’t make sense to generalize about any group.
but i’d really like to draw attention to the fact that males have been dealt a shitty hand by society as well. the expectation to “be a man” (with all that entails) is imposed from birth, it is pervasive, and it is reinforced over a lifetime. so many guys have a hard time expressing themselves, or even knowing their own feelings. there are so many relationships where the girl wishes the guy could understand/communicate/compromise better, and the guy feels at a total loss regarding those things because those things fly in the face of everything he’s been taught he’s supposed to be. “i pay the rent, i bring home food, i make sure we have transportation… why isn’t she happy?” from early life boys are alienated from their real feelings, and therefore from themselves, and then later find intimacy difficult. surprise surprise.
surely you’ve noticed the panic in the eyes of a man who has just been accused of engaging in some pursuit or behaviour considered feminine. terror! sheer terror at the thought of being booted out of the club of male privilege. a club you only get to belong to if you exhibit the appropriate traits of dominance and stoicism. dominance in competition, dominance over women, stoicism in the face of every trial or tribulation… it always makes me really sad to see how scared they are to be exposed. there is such shame in it, and that shame is devastating. that shame makes loving themselves difficult, it makes them confused about their identities as men, and it leads to anger. angry men, men out to prove their manliness, men insecure about their manliness… these are the men with the potential to be called emotionally unavailable, or even dangerous.
so for those who complain about men in general, i hope you will make sure your boys, should you have any, are raised as ACTUAL HUMANS, and not as future strong silent types. a type that is unfortunately still considered an ideal. if we think progress is lagging for women, i would argue that it is lagging even more for men where identity is concerned. male identity is stuck in the stone age. still expected to play out the tired role of silent hunter gatherers, whether they like it or not. if boys can be raised in an environment that tolerates their true identities as vulnerable, emotional HUMANS then i think we will know fewer aggressive, macho, emotionally unavailable men. fewer rapes, fewer assaults, fewer psychopathic CEOs… we can have more loving, empathic men with whom we can communicate, share, and be understood. imagine a world full of boys and girls all raised with their humanity intact. i know it’s idealistic, but i think it’s something to aspire to.
(i know this is a really complex issue, and i know there’s a lot more to say, and other groups to consider. i don’t deny that men as a group enjoy certain privileges. it’s very complicated of course. i’m making my point in a relatively simple way in response to the simplistic way some people talk about men in the first place. discussion welcome.)
yes please rain
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