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What can be done about this sort of thing?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by srebak, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    I’ll come right to the point and say that when I first realized that it was International Women’s Day, something deep inside told me that it was only right to at least try to observe it. So I looked online to see what I as a man could do to celebrate this pro-feminist holiday and found at least two things that I could do if nothing else. One of which was to watch something with a strong female lead and so I attempted to watch and/or hear a few things that were pro-girl power, but as usual, my mind went off the rails with the way that I thought, I kept on thinking of things that made me feel embarrassed and almost crossed the line into sexist territory a few times. It did also make me feel that it doesn’t really seem fair for the media to enforce the idea of Girl power through the practice of making men look like idiots, I mean isn’t that just sexism from the opposing side, women believing that men are lesser than they are in place of men thinking that women are the weaker gender? Both sound pretty unfair in the grand scheme of things. Anyways another thing that I could try to observe International Women’s Day is appreciated the women in my own life, which at the moment I believe are my mother, my grandmother and my older sister. Although, to be perfectly honest about the whole thing, the problem with this is that whenever I try to think about how much I care about my mother and sister, I wind up remembering all of the times that we didn’t get along and when they said and/or did something to me that was so bad and hurtful that I could never forget about them.

    Any thoughts about all of this?
     
  2. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

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    I will not comment on your personal life.

    There are many excellent films, cartoons, comics, and books out there with strong female leads and characters that are not created from a political viewpoint, they are created to convey a good story. Modern media is a shoot-and-miss affair, there will be things that one does not like while others do like it. I do not ascribe to father's day, mother's day, valentine's day, woman's day et al, one does not need a government/corporate-mandated period of time to appreciate those in one's life, one either does or one does not. This is merely my personal belief.

    My response to this thread in general is that I like a piece of art or I do not, regardless of culture/nationality/gender/language/beliefs of creators and/or performing artists. The film Alien has a strong lead character in Riley; books by such as Ursula K le Guin and Robin Hobb are excellent reads. One series I've recently fallen in love with is 'Raised by Wolves' -- without too many spoilers, it describes the travails of two androids raising a human family on a far-flung planet. Amanda Collin's acting is superb, and the last arc of the first episode is masterpiece in my view. A game like Tales of Numenera has a great variety of NPC's, both humanoid and not, that enrich the story. And so on and so forth, lotsa stuff out there.

    Anyway, what I wanna say is that there might be works more up your alley than those you have recently perused -- if your method of selection remains based upon gender.
     
  3. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Maester

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    Do you really think girl power is about making men lesser?

    It's about dividing the pie more equally. When you automatically receive more than your fair share because of your gender (which men as a group do, even if individual men's circumstances may be more complex), it feels like you're being lessened when those who got less than their fair share are claiming it. But it's not about disempowering you. It's about making all of us more equal.

    Your personal relationships with your mother and sister are another story. How these individual women have treated you is a whole different issue from sexism in society overall. If that's your primary experience with the female half of the race, it will naturally color how you see women, and that's a whole other thing to unpack, but it doesn't change the imbalance of gender privilege in society as a whole.

    Are you familiar with the male privilege checklist? There are multiple versions of it floating around. One is here: http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2008/10/unpacking-male-privilege-jockstrap-by.html
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  4. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Inkling

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    The thing about your mom/sister is the type of thing that could be handled with a therapist. That's not a thing we can really help you with, unfortunately.

    Some people when they see pro-women stuff, they see it as anti-men because it's taking away [x] from men. A film like Captain Marvel is "bad" because it's keeping a man from being the starring role. But look at literally every other super hero movie. Men are well represented. Yes, there are pieces of media that make men out to be idiots and those are bad, too, but those tend to be rooted in misogyny as well. Think of a commercial where a dad tries to do some basic child care thing and screws up really badly. The wife shakes her head and then takes over. This isn't an example of sexism against men, it's an example of sexism against women, because it's saying that only women are suited to take care of kids, so that's what they should be doing.

    My mom was suuupper "all men are idiots." Her flavor of feminism was that men were idiots and women knew better. But she also believed that a woman who put her kid in daycare to work a job was a bad mom and that I should strive to marry a football player, doctor or pilot so I could have a lot of money and not have to work. (I'm ftm transgender so I can only imagine what she'd say about me choosing to take dumb idiot man juice).

    What you could do is think about how many things are secretly just misogyny with extra steps. Being gay is bad because it means one of the men has to "be the woman" in the relationship. Being lesbian is good, though, because two girls making out sexy. Being transgender is bad because why would a man want to be a woman? And of course a woman wants to be a man, because they want to just instantly gain all that sweet, sweet male privilege. Teachers and people who work in hospitality/service roles (people who cut hair/do nails, servers, cleaning ladies) are mostly women, and they tend to be the jobs that pay the least. But that's fine, because a woman shouldn't be working, that's what her husband is for. The only people who scam welfare are "welfare queens." Where are the welfare kings? :thinking emoji:
     
  5. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    Well, I guess it all stems from my desire to not be viewed as sexist and to not actually be such either. I mean, like I already explained; when I found out about how close International Women’s Day was (the day before), it felt only right that I made an attempt to at least try to show my support for pro-feminism, since the idea of not acknowledging the holiday felt like an insult towards women on my part. And so I looked online to see just what a man could do to show his support for this occasion and at least two of them seemed doable for me. But, the problem was that whenever i made an attempt to watch and/or listen to something that was pro-girl power, both my mind and imagination (both of which are always on the move even when I don’t want them to be) wound up taking over my thoughts and then brought them to some rather sexist and anti-feminist areas. Areas that caused me to, for whatever reason, actually agree with some of the more male chauvinistic attitudes of society in regards to women, which is just plain wrong and you would think that someone who was raised by a single working mother alongside a rather dominant alpha female older sister wouldn’t be thinking of such things. But think of them I did and so I attempted to go online to see just what to look for in regards to a sexist person, only to grow more concerned by the prospect of me possibly checking some of the proverbial boxes. This has even prompted me to wonder how many times I have actually been sexist in the past, although I cannot remember that many off the top of my head and thanks to my pride, the ones that I can think of do still seem up for debate

    I just don’t want to be one of those men who either thinks very less of women or thinks that they should have certain roles in society, that is just not right
     
  6. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Maester

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    Honestly, I don't always remember it, and I'm a woman. And consider myself a feminist. Especially under pandemic conditions when the usual marches can't happen. I would not feel insulted if a man told me he hadn't thought about it.

    What you're doing is honest reflection. That is a GREAT step to take. I don't think it's possible to live in this world and not internalize some sexism. Seeing it in yourself allows you to work with it, and become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

    Sexism is a complex issue. And we all internalize it to some extent. I think men have it worse in that regard: you have much more to gain than to lose from sexism, and naturally, we all want what we gain from. Women tend to see sexism more readily and speak up about it because we're usually on the losing end of it. For a man to get there takes a lot more work. And it's complicated by the fact that some points on what is and isn't sexist might be legitimately debatable, might be situational.

    It's not so helpful to think of yourself as a sexist person as to think that sometimes you've thought, and perhaps behaved, in sexist ways. Thoughts and actions can be changed. It's not about what you inherently are. Inherently, you're someone honest enough to take this look at himself.

    You aren't. Your posts here show that.
     
  7. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    Well, I must admit that I thought that I would have been back here with a much earlier and far depressing new problem that occurred within my life recently, and yet, here I am with a much more trivial problem that has been hounding me

    I’ll come right to the point and say that there are certain annual events within the year that I feel the need to react to in some way, shape or form. Be it a major holiday like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, or a somewhat minor occurrence within the year like say the graduation timeframe or even holidays that I acknowledge and understand but do not celebrate, like Passover, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, I always feel the need to get in the mood for these events in some way or another and that hasn’t really changed in long while either.

    And now, with Easter not only on its way, there is also Passover to acknowledge due to my respect for the Exodus story, as well the spring break timeframe that is at play at my old senior high school. I feel the need to get into the mood for Spring Break, since it used to be an event that I looked forward to every year back in the day, but I just don’t feel it these days ya know. At the moment, my mind is more set in the Passover mood and the plan to not let the Easter holiday pass me by. I’m also rather hung up on making some more progress with some of the stories that I am trying to write. And as if that were not enough of a problem, when I finally did get a moment to actually get into the spring break mood, it felt like my mind was trying to fight the idea of me getting into the mood for that you know?

    Does anyone have anything to comment on for all of this?
     
  8. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Maester

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    If you're no longer in school, it's natural for spring break not to mean anything to you. Breaks are only meaningful when they're really breaks.

    Holidays matter if they're holidays you celebrate. If they're just holidays you acknowledge, thinking "today's the day" might be enough. If you want to acknowledge Passover out of respect for the Exodus story, why not just read the Exodus story? Doesn't have to be a big deal in itself.
     
  9. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    Whelp, I’ll just avoid any dancing around and just come right to the point:

    Within the last three days this week, I have signed the adoption papers for a new dog, a pit bull, and actually picked him up after we was neutered on the following day. However, that first day with him went sour in very big way.

    For you see, everything initially started out as well as could be expected; I had everything that I needed before I left the house, I had gone to the bathroom, I had eaten breakfast, I had brushed my teeth and I had left to go meet my mother at established time of when we were expected to leave; 2:30pm. And for a while, during the time that it took to attend to the other few errands that needed running: one was to retrieve a purchased dog cone and another was to pickup some prescription medicine for me, my mother and I were getting through all of this without any issues, as is somewhat natural for our relationship. But when we finally got to the vet’s building where I supposed to pick up my new dog, there soon came a quick altercation between my mother and myself and looking back she might have had a point. However, after all of that and we got my new dog, who was behaving himself rather nicely during the drive: to my house, things soon slowly but surely began to go downhill.

    For one thing, when I tried to get my new dog out of the car, my methods on how to do so warranted another one of my mother’s annoyed and exasperated tones and prompted her to help out as a result of it all. Now we, of course, did manage to get my new dog out of the car, but there was a slight clanging noise at the end of it, which made me believe that I had hurt him in some way. I immediately began to apologize for that, which prompted my mother to say to my dog that this is what he’ll have to look forward to “a bunch of ‘I’m sorrys’”. This annoyed me, of course, but my main concern was that, upon bringing my new pet back home, I was supposed to put his cone on and not give him anything to eat or drink until 6 o’clock on that very day. I was also supposed to start giving him his medication the following day, today, so my mind was mostly focused on all of that, because I wanted to do right as a pet owner. I even told my mother that, for the first day, I would give the dog free reign of the bedroom and, when we got home, I followed my mother’s advice and let him survey his new home as I brought him in. This was where things got even worse.

    Not only did my new dog refuse to let me put his cone on, thus prompting me to stick to simply keep an eye on him so that he doesn’t mess with his wound (though, I’m not even sure that I’m doing that anymore), but he also wound up ‘marking’ my rug twice and even dropped a load on it. According to my mother and the internet, I supposed to put him outside first, but i had no idea that he would just do it on the carpet without a warning or second thought, especially since he is supposed to be a year old already. Anyways, after a whole lot of trouble involving him messing with my trash bin, me trying to tie him up outside, but feeling guilty about it when he starts to struggle, me removing the leash and letting him run around in the yard for a time before I went back inside to clean up his mess, and after I used an old squeak toy and a stick to get his attention away from me going back inside so that he wouldn’t try to rush back inside, I finally managed to clean up the carpet just enough. But, then I decided that this was as good a time as any for me try and give the pooch some leash training, and then things went bad for again.

    It was already enough that the dog was proving to be too energetic and defiant for me, but my mother soon started watching me from her house next door and first told me that I was not sounding authoritative enough for the dog. That bothered me because I didn’t think that I wasn’t sounding authoritative enough and being told that was made me feel upset because I was being told that I was wrong, I hate that. Anyways, my mother soon eventually felt that she had to step in with this, which made me feel upset because it seemed like she didn’t think that I could do this on own. She then proceeded on to tell me that I was trying to teach him too much at once, and after a lot of me saying that I was trying to do what I could and do right and her getting more and more angry with me and the dog, even going as far as to say that I was doing the opposite of what I was told about him not being given too much physical exercise because I used the throwing object ploy; we both managed to create a technique that will be used to get my dog inside of his pet crate. Also, during this whole ordeal, she kept telling me that the dog was trying to assert dominance over me and that secretly hurt.

    The main reason for why I wanted an older dog was because I wanted to skip over the puppy issues, but this feels just as bad. And to make matters worse my dog is apparently trying to get clever with me. Also, when I tried to talk to my mother via a text message about my POV and how I was feeling about this day, it resulted in her deciding that she didn’t want to be apart of my “script” for the days we’re together, even though what I was trying to say was that I hated how, no matter what I did, my attempts to get through the day without incident didn’t work out. She also said that she wasn’t going to talk to me anymore or give me anymore advice, since my note made her think that I thought that I was always making a sacrifice and thought that I was always right and everyone else was wrong. I was just trying to point out that i get frustrated when things don’t go as originally planned and that I don’t like it when it seems like she thinks that I can’t handle things by myself

    I’m going to regret asking this, but, what happened people, where did I go wrong?
     
  10. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Maester

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    Sounds like the real problem is your mother being so overbearing. She's making you second guess yourself every step of the way.

    You're obviously an adult. No law requires you to live next door to your mother, let alone allow her to be such a big part of your daily life. How feasible is it for you to move?

    It's really your mother who's secretly trying to assert dominance over you, not the dog. She told you exactly what she was doing when she said that.
     
  11. MrNybble

    MrNybble Sage

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    If you can't show a dog you're the dominant alpha, then get a cat.
     
  12. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Maester

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    Because cats are always the dominant alpha!

    Seriously, the mother is the problem here, not the dog. Without her gaslighting--and yes, that's exactly what this is--OP would be better able to trust himself and figure out how to handle the dog. That might mean seeking advice from someone experienced with pitbulls, if he isn't experienced himself. Veterinarians usually have resources for dog training. So does the SPCA. And dog rescue groups.
     
  13. MrNybble

    MrNybble Sage

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    Actually cats are independent and don't need human support unlike dogs.
    Besides that point, get professional help as nobody here is qualified to provide assistance for real life problems. As for me I would have let the dog fight with the mother to see who wins. Either way one problem is solved.
     
  14. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    I appreciate the thought, but I done think that my mother is the problem. Looking back I really think that she was only trying to help.

    The problem for me was that my first day with my new dog went so poorly and that I had such bad luck in controlling the way that things went and him. I only wanted my mother to understand how I felt when I texted her, but things just went south from there
     
  15. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    Whelp, it has been exactly an entire solid week since I first adopted my new adult Pit bull dog, at least by the time of this post, and after dealing with his attempts to assert dominance over me and essentially fighting him and trying to outsmart him during it all, I finally reached my wits end exactly two days ago and wound up reaching out to my mother. At first she just made a few suggestions on how to handle this, one of which was using water as a means to handle the dog, which I did consider using, just in a different type of way, which my mother claimed was the wrong way. But then, later on, on that very same day, she decided to help me with some obedience training since I decided that (for whatever reason) I was not going to be taking him back. And on that very first day of training, although at least some semblance of progress was shown (mostly in my dog’s relationship with her), my mother did still toss out the idea that my dog has been controlling me up until that point, which I found to be incorrect, she also said that I can’t get angry at someone for telling me something that I didn’t know. I wouldn’t say that he was controlling me, so much as we were at a bit of a stalemate in a fight for power, so to speak. My mother also played the whole “you chose this dog” card on me, even though, to be honest, that choice was made out of feeling like I was being forced to make one on the spot at the time. I do not like being forced to make decisions on a moment’s notice. What’s even more so is the fact that, much later on, I attempted to text my mother about how all of this was a real blow to my pride. Because, you see; I have already lived with three dogs in my life, two of which were under my ownership, and yet it was only at that point that I was able to gain at least some semblance of progress with my new dog and it was only because I was getting someone to help me. It’s kind of embarrassing for me to be honest.

    Then, yesterday, during the second day of training, we were trying to continue from where we left off and during all of it, I was able to take notice of something; my mother might be able to command respect from my dog, but, whenever it’s me who is holding the leash, my dog is certain that he can get away with more. He even actually jumps up on me and tries to get the leash out of my hands, it’s infuriating. My mother then went on to say that I was trying to make it all about me and even said that I am not her equal, which was infuriating all on its own. She said that I cannot know how to deal with this dog instantaneously and that this is the first time I’ve ever had to do this, which is why I pointed out that I have had two dogs already. But then she kept on pointing out how they were both different from this one and how I can’t expect the dog to respect me because I brought him home and how everything he is doing is completely normal. To put it simply, I find the idea that my dog doesn’t respect me very hurtful, since he believes that to be what allows him to try assert dominance over me. Anyways, we carried on with the training and at the end, it looked like my dog was starting to understand the concept of sit, which is when we called it a night and my mother even offered to give me some treats to give him. However, when she was essentially praising me for making some progress with my dog, my demeanor about the subject wound up causing her to ask whether or not if I thought that I was making some real progress. Honestly, I wasn’t all that certain if my dog sitting at the end really was actual progress or just something that wound up happening at the moment, and the fact that I felt that way seemed to slightly frustrate my mother for a bit. Not how I wanted to end my Earth Day this year.

    As I went back into my house, I decided to test my dog with a treat and when it seemed to work, I gave it to him. But later that night, things took, in my opinion, a major step backwards. For you see, ever since I first got him, it has always been a massive wrestling match of sorts just to get the dog outside directly and back into his kennel crate. But last night was particularly difficult, I even tried doing the thing that my mother told me to do if he tried to jump on me through it all, but it accomplished nothing. This felt like more proof that my dog was certain that he could get away with more whenever he is with me, I even straight up told him that we were not friends anymore, not that he understood it, and we were never really friends in the first place. Getting him outside today was fairly normal in its level of frustration, but when I tried to get him inside much later, he fought against me so much that he actually got himself and me tied up to his kennel by leg and it was painful. I got us unstuck but it resulted in him getting sent back outside.

    My mother keeps telling me that the dog likes me, but I’m not sure if I believe that anymore. He just keeps pushing my buttons and at times, I’m afraid that I might be made to be so angry that I might be doing something too harsh with him. However, for whatever reason, I just don’t want to take him back, although that might just be because A.) I really can’t afford to have him taken away and B.) if I do I might not be able to get another dog. I suppose that I could just not have a dog at all, but that just doesn’t feel right either.
     
  16. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

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    If you don't want the dog, find it a new home. Dogs need love and company, if you don't like this one, at least get another so that it's not lonely.
     
  17. srebak

    srebak Troubadour

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    Well I have exactly two major problems at this point.

    For thing since it is June I have tried to keep to the spirit of the season for things like Graduation, the Last Day of School and Summer vacation by watching media related things that relate to them in one way or another. And for the Graduation side of things, that included watching the DVD recording of my very own High School Graduation, it’s sort of a sentimental/nostalgic type of thing really. Although for some strange reason, not only did some unexpected issues involving my dog cause me to actually skip doing all of this on the actual anniversary date for my graduation, but whenever I try to think back to a time when I was trying to say my goodbyes to some friendly faces back at my old high school on the day that came before my actual graduation, particularly when one specific student who, as I recall, was always generally very polite and nice to me, was trying to say goodbye by saying that the class in general will miss me as whole, I wind up recalling two very unhappy moments from my high school life whenever I try to think back to the point where I actually respond to that very same heartfelt statement. So needless to say it is very distracting and undercuts what should be a very emotional memory within my mind

    Next up is the fact that on this very same day it is Juneteenth, a holiday-like observance that have only just been made aware of a little earlier this year and have only just recently been able to bring myself to actually look into. And so, suffice it to say, I am just not entirely certain about how to actually observe this occasion, especially since I have Father’s Day and the First day of Summer to think about, and that is a problem because of how truly significant that Juneteenth really sounds like and how truly significant that it should be for someone like me

    Any thoughts on all of this?
     
  18. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    At least your dog acts like a normal dog. Mine just ignores me and keeps typing.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. Fox

    Fox Dreamer

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    srebaksrebak I'm not going to take a side on the very politics that made me jaded, bitter, and lonely. The only benefit I've ever gained from its discussion is frustration and misanthropy. If you're looking to constantly talk past people, sift through people's accidental or disingenuous misrepresentations or deck-stacking, go in circles, or get lost in an argumentative Mirkwood, the topics you present in the OP are the way.

    To approach this indirectly: My favorite anime series is the Monogatari series. On its surface it is a harem anime, but if you actually bother to either watch the show or read the light novels, it's a lot more complex than that. Its character development is superb, it subverts common tropes, and the harem is constituted by numerous strong female leads. You will find yourself asking questions like

    is it wrong to enjoy the thought of having a "harem" (i.e. to be the kind of guy who gains the interest of a multitude of women through genuine virtue)?
    is it wrong to choose to present the female characters as being cute or sexy any more than it is to present the males as being strong, debonair, macho, etc.? That is to say, what are you trying to achieve with your fiction; dull realism or wonderful idealism?

    The truth is, you can choose to construe a work any way you want, if that is your goal. The fantasy genre is no stranger to... I'll just say interesting allegations, such as Lord of the Rings being a work of racism. Unfortunately, some people are generally not concerned with the "diagetic" for lack of a better word, but playing a game of mental Twister in which by any means necessary they'll connect certain dots. By killing the author and treating feelings as if they are facts, everybody has conveniently made their own positions technically irrefutable. They feel a certain way about a certain story, because of whatever their personal political disposition might be, and they make it their mission to not reach greater understanding about a story, but to drag it through the mud.

    You sound self-aware, OP. I would say that's a mistake, because blundering through life in obliviousness is a lot easier, but it's already too late. The scales have been lifted from your eyes. My advice is to treat this whole political show like a drama from middle school or high school. You privately talk to the woman and hear how awful and dreadful the guy was. But you think to yourself, I thought he was an alright chap, I've never heard him say or do anything of the sort, so did I misjudge him? And then when you're sitting with him in class later, you talk to him about his recent break-up and he tells you a completely different story that contradicts or possibly disproves certain things that she told you, but also says things that are patently untrue about her.

    Meanwhile, her friends are out to construe every thing he does (or has done) as creepy or rapey, to destroy his reputation and relationships, and his friends are out to construe everything she says or does as proof of her being a whore, and destroy her image as well. However, the catch is that if you dissent from the one side, you're labeled a "sexist" or whatever they can get to stick; on the other, you're an uncool *insert female genitalia* and to be excluded from your male peers. Who do you associate with when you're aware that they are both wrong?

    It's tiresome, but that's the literal state of our society. Anybody who unquestioningly believes the first thing they hear about other people, will also give you the same lack of grace. Therefore that raises the question: is that how you want to be treated?

    Get out while you can and don't allow yourself to be gaslighted. If there's one thing I've learned through reading and writing, everybody has skeletons, and everybody should be very lucky that only the stuff you post on the internet can be doxxed, not the things you forgot that you did when you were 7 years old that are buried deep in the bowels of your memory, or the disturbing things you don't even think on purpose.

    You're not a bad person because you've discovered you sometimes disagree with a popular ideology. It doesn't even make sense logically, unless you're acting on the presupposition that the beliefs of the ideology in question are the perfectly infallible gospel of the universe. You can try to be as good of a person as inhumanly possible, and you'll still end up like Christ.

    Just my two pennies. Peace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
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