Posts Tagged ‘women’

4,000 Words on Elliot Rodger – Much Ado About Nothing

I keep reading so many perspectives on this whole Elliot Rodger perspective. Who he was. What was wrong with him. How the tragedy could have been prevented. Because isn’t that what we always search for? Someone or something to blame so we can somehow move on after a tragedy. Somehow feeling safe or like life isn’t totally out of our control. I’m a control freak, I get that. But in these cases, I have no control. Society has no control. And people aren’t one-dimensional. We are a product of our past, a product of our minds and a product of everything around us and our perspective.

I Rodger’s manifesto this weekend before there was much written about him. I read it in an attempt to build my own impression of the guy. I watch who he became unfold and evolve as he “grew up” in his “story.” I realize his story is his own. Ten of us could have the exact same night, and our perspectives of the night and our stories would all be different. We would talk about things that are important to us, and from our perspectives. We might leave out details that are important to us, or integral to understanding who we are.

All that said, there are so many things going in in this guy’s head. Some things I feel sorry for the hand he was dealt. Social anxiety and Asperger’s. Not an easy way to make lots of friends. Other times I wanted to shake him and scream, “LIFE ISN’T FAIR!” or, “JUST BECAUSE YOU CHECK ITEMS ON A LIST DOESN’T MAKE YOU ENTITLED!” He commonly thought if he did certain things, he should get certain things. Part of that might be a manifestation of Asperger’s. And an inability to connect with people. If you can’t connect with someone, it’s hard to 1. Be empathetic or see their perspective and more importantly 2. See there’s more to a relationship than looks and material things. I do feel bad that his brain works this way, and that his parents didn’t or couldn’t correct some of his entitled thinking. But I also think we’re all creating our own destiny. If you want to meet someone, you have to put yourself out there. If you want to be successful, you have to take risks. If you want to be smart, you have to be willing to work to learn, and accept that failure’s part of it. Life isn’t easy. Growing up is hard. And being an adult is a lot different than we think it’s going to be when we’re kids.

We don’t just get what we want because we want it, even if we did when we were kids. In life, there are winners and losers in EVERYTHING, even if we never won or lost at a sport or in a contest as kids. We aren’t entitled to love or affection. And if you aren’t willing to give and risk, you won’t find or receive love, especially romantic love. Jealousy, envy and rage don’t make things you feel are unjust go away. And even if you don’t like something or think it’s “fair,” it doesn’t mean you’re right to want it to be different. We are all good at some things, but not at others. Everyone struggles with stuff, and everyone has things they’re good at. If you think you’re not good at anything, you either haven’t tried enough things, or your self-esteem is really low. The bigger your world gets, the more you’ll realize there are a lot of really smart people. Really good-looking, confident people. Really ambitious people. Really creative people. It’s nearly impossible to be “the best” at any one thing, let alone at everything, like many kids think they are or should be. It’s a lot of work to be successful in anything: love, career, or even personal ambitions.

No one of us is owed a romantic relationship. Some people look their whole lives and never find love. Others don’t look at all, and feel like they deserved more. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone complaining about something he did very little work to attain, but in a world of entitlement, that’s what’s expected. Only a parent can’t setup “play dates” to find a girlfriend or boyfriend. At some point, children need to learn to adapt and survive in the “real world.” And if they don’t have the mental or emotional tools to do that, it’s tough. Parents are expected to encourage independence and self-worth, but sometimes the children are resistant. And they’re left feeling lost and helpless. We’ll never know enough of the full details of Rodger’s childhood and young adulthood to know if his story is an accurate portrayal of his life. My guess is he’s left out a lot of details. Victims always do. He was a victim of his own mind – a theme that runs deep and heavy in society today. We enable victims. We accept excuses. And we encourage blame-placing. Continue reading

Well Screw You, Too, Vatican!

What the hell is wrong with the Catholic church? I used to be Catholic. Hell, I guess I still am, it’s not like there’s a formal way to say, “Thanks but no thanks.” I stopped tithing years ago, telling myself I’d start again when they got some of their shit together. But after awhile, even attending church seemed like such a scam to me. Seriously? I’m going to fill the seat of a place I disagree with so strongly?

  • A place that hides pedophilia – protecting the criminals, hurting the victims further. I do not approve of pedophilia. But beyond that, I abhor cowards. Those who aren’t strong enough to protect children. Those who are more worried about the bottom line than the right thing. Those who are more worried about image than ethics. Screw that. This is the biggest reason I gave the church the oust with tithing.
  • A place where there’s time to redo the entire mass, the whole thing, changing inane words and phrases… But can’t get their shit together to take care of the pedophilia? THIS is the point I stopped going to church. Well, I hadn’t been going religiously. But I remember the first time I went post-change. It was the last I went because I wanted to.
  • A place where women are sub-human. Where they’re expected to bite their lip and turn the other way. A place where it’s “not remotely realistic” that a woman could be ordained a cardinal. Well, screw you, too, Vatican! The church is openly sexist. And we follow along like it’s OK. What makes men better priests or bishops? What makes men more qualified to be cardinals or popes? And don’t reply with something awful, or I’ll delete the comment. Women are as capable as men to do this stuff. And for the Vatican to come out and scoff at it like women are sub-human and not qualified pisses me off. To the core. Fuck you.
  • A place that claims to be built on love, but is fueled by hate, hypocrisy, and greed. The Catholic Church is the biggest, most profitable corporation in the entire world. Yes, seriously. And where there’s money there’s greed and corruption and skewed moral compasses. Is this really what religion is about? For Catholicism it is. But beyond that, they hate everyone. And are so filled with self-righteousness it makes me sick. In their sanctimonious world, everyone is evil and a sinner. Everyone except the one throwing stones. The church worries more about condemning everyone than finding a way to love. They hate because they’re scared. They hate because that’s how it’s always been. They hate becuse they refuse to be undrestanding or compassionate. They hate because they’re not good people. And a bunch of these not-good-people get together and stew… Making a bigger pot of hate than the day before. I don’t want to be a part of an organization that condemns gays. Or that judges premarital sex or birth control or some other personal thing others are doing that is none of your damn business. You don’t want to use birth control, fine. Stop calling others sinners. I think you calling them a sinner is a sin in itself. But when you’re so full of vengeful pride, you can’t see beyond your own ego.

The sad thing is, I was starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had hope Pope Francis was going to make changes. He was starting to preach love and acceptance, only to have some asshat at the top come out and say, “That’s not what he meant. Nothing will change.” Then he sends out a survey asking about perception with divorce and same-sex marriage, and someone from the top reassures everyone it means nothing. And the Pope discusses the idea of women cardinals, and for some small-minded dick to come out and scoff at it like women are dirt under his feet? It’s so frustrating.

Once upon a time, slavery was considered accepted. And when they worked to abolish it, many people said, “This was always the way.” Well, just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s right.  It doesn’t make it OK. And look at our world now. Many people still marginalize the worth of non-whites. Even in a world where we’re all mixed breed. We still find a way to hate.

So Catholic Church will likely never right this ship during my lifetime. But I did have hope they’d start to turn the wheel. Breeding hate lasts far longer than the moment you spew it. It creates stereotypes and accepted ideals. It makes people think they’re better when they’re actually worse. So many crimes are committed in the name of religion. Maybe we should start to see that such radicalism, such hate-breeding isn’t good for anyone.

Maybe the Catholic Church should start to oust some of the higher ups. Those who keep undoing the good Pope Francis is trying to do. He should find these anonymous sources and get them out of the church. Many people I know who have lost faith in Catholicism have started to have hope the church might be in their future. But it almost makes it worse when the pope makes some grand declaration, only to have someone come in behind him and not only knock down what he said, but kick it one more time, making sure no one anywhere could ever take anything from them.

When, if they were doing the right thing and doing a good job they wouldn’t be threatened at all. They’d embrace improvement. They’d embrace change. And they’d want the foundation of the church to find its way back to a moral-based, loving, encouraging, compassionate, sincere foundation.

Who Needs The Right Fiance When You Have The Right Ring?

I don’t know why I preface my blogs with caveats, because I can never hit all of the, “but what if…” scenarios. In this case, I’m speaking specifically of one event, with one person, and the situation she’s in, and the irony.

I say this because while I’m speaking of one person, I know this CAN BE a phenomenon. And it’s maddening.

That said, let’s do this!

I have a friend who somewhat recently found out her boyfriend was cheating on her. With multiple girls, across multiple occurrences. His excuse? She was being a bitch during that time and he needed someone who wasn’t. So he stuck his dobber in a bunch of randos.

Can we pause to say how disgusting this is, people? I mean, really. One in three people has some type of STD/STI. And many cheaters (and closeted gay men) don’t use condoms because having/using a condom is often a sign of premeditation. If it’s all “in the moment” then it’s not as guilt-causing. And if it’s all in the moment, then who has a condom? This is spontaneity, people! But, I digress.

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Thru The Years: Swapping Places And It Feels Good

Now that I’ve settled into life past the 30 year old mark, I realize it’s not as old as it felt when I was sixteen. In fact, thirty has been a pretty good decade so far. Got rid of some carryover (carry-on?) baggage from my twenties and am happier than ever being single. It’s liberating, actually. I’m not sure exactly what it is. Like most things probably a combination of several factors.

First, the general self-esteem you get as you grow up. As your self-worth grows through compound interest and the time value of confidence, you realize not only do you not NEED anyone, but you also don’t want just anyone. This, my friends, is my favorite part of being over thirty.

Second, social pressures seem to ease a little. There are a few different kinds of pressure. Familial pressure (coming from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and all of THEIR frends) eases if you’ve been alone for awhile. The human brain is incapable of NOT adapting. If you’re alone for awhile, those who used to notice and comment simply stop noticing. Those who have parents whose happiness seems to hinge on their child getting married and having babies? I can’t relate, but empathize. Not sure if that ever goes away unless you pay for them to get therapy, or get remarried to someone else, or find something that will occupy them and make them happy.

The same general eventual adaptation to being alone happens with your friends, of course. But, the friends who were so pushy also start to see how great being single can be as opposed to marrying just anyone. Men complain about nagging, how much work parenting is, and joking (or not) about being single again/choosing better next time. Women are annoyed by filth, lack of intimacy/magic and being only a mom/wife, rather than her own person. While it’s always easy to think the grass is greener, there is often times a gap between the fantasy and reality of marriage and parenting, for both sexes. And on those days, they see how their ingle friends are genuinely happy and not crying themselves to sleep in a puddle of lonely misery.

And, finally, the more of us singles there are out there, and the more divorce numbers climb like STD rates, the more everyone appreciates holding onto your S card. Forever or until it’s right. Ignoring the social norms pushing us all toward marriage is a big relief on many people feeling like failures until they do get married.

Women feel this pressure in their twenties. Our self-worth is large defined by how desired we are by the opposite sex. If we are attached, we are valued, beautiful, respected and complete. If we aren’t courted, we are somehow appraised at a lower value. And through this time, the men are in a position of power. They have the ability to legitimize us as worthy or otherwise. This results in a lot of highs and lows based on a questionable resource.

However, as we move into our late 20s and see the marriages of our friends reach their five and seven year marks (and some fizzle out), we realize how important choosing the right mate is. We are also reaching a stride in our careers and generally are financially able to take are of ourselves, afford luxuries we used to think we needed a man to buy (or split the cost of – like vacations, rent, houses, cars jewelry). And it hits us – we can provide everything we NEED. And furthermore, why would we want to get in a relationship with a guy who could take it all away? Spending our nest egg, making our house smell like feet while hosting his friends very weekend because our place is nicer than his, then cleaning up their mess because he doesn’t gleam, picking up the tab because we earn more, being dragged down by a no-motivation, slacker, likely alcoholic momma’s boy. Yeah, suddenly our standards skyrocket to where they always should have been.

Meanwhile, these guys we used to put up with don’t know how to treat a woman respectfully, don’t know how to put in more work than a post-bar text, and suddenly find themselves alone when this no longer cuts it. They know there are smart, beautiful, interesting women out there, but they can’t seem to get their attention. They dip into the pool of younger girls for awhile. Then become desperate.

This happens generally around their 30th-35th birthday. They realize they’re getting “old” and are alone and the women they’re dating now aren’t as interesting at they used to be. Many of their buddies are married and that’s really how they always saw themselves anyway. They think, “OK, I’m ready.” But the girls of their dreams don’t crawl out of the woodwork like they always imagined. They start to panic. Try to settle with any girl who comes along. But their baggage they picked up in their twenties still follows them: drinking until they’re sloppy and belligerent is ok for a 22 year old, not a 32 year old, their dinky, dirty, grimy bachelor pad apartment near the bar district doesn’t scream sexy, and their inability to look forward in a career or be able to manage finances isn’t exactly quirky and sweet anymore.

Suddenly the tables have turned. Women don’t need men, and men are desperate.

It’s called poetic justice, people. And apparently it’s what your 30s are made of!

Author’s note: While I am cynical, I want to be fair. I know a plenty of women with the same issues I’ve listed freely as men’s issues. And also know just as many men who are great catches. The point is, I’ve noticed the trend of women getting into their thirties and approaching men the way men did in their twenties, and vice versa in men (who act now like we did in our 20s). This is a generalization for illustrative purposes.

Hooking Up Is A Hoax

I’ve thought a lot about our “hookup culture.” On one hand, I can see the benefit. In the the time between finding someone you want to commit to, it’s quick, easy and no strings attached. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on a relationship you don’t want to build and work at. And, well sex is fun. Plus women’s lib and all. If the men can do it, we should be able to without shame, right?

Here’s the problem: Women and men aren’t the same. I mean there’s a lot of gray area with some women and men more in the middle. But by and far, of all of the women I know (and I know more than I should), women WANT commitment, they’re just scared to ask for it. Scared to demand it. They see hooking up as an interim phase between meeting and getting that commitment. And they continue to hookup as a short-term attempt at boosting self-esteem and self-worth. They figure if ANYONE wants to sleep with them, then they’re attractive, sexy and cool. And if they’re not getting laid, they’re undesirable and lacking sex appeal. And in some cases women can do the “no strings” thing without it affecting their self-esteem, self-worth or health. But I believe those cases are rare. And are definitely a very, very, very small fraction of girls who claim to be doing so with no repercussions. In many cases they don’t admit it until they find a “real” boyfriend. Or until the guy they were hooking up with stops hooking up and they admit their real feelings.

You know when it hurts the most? When he tells you he doesn’t want a commitment, the he wants casual and fun, and then suddenly he dumps you for a GIRLFRIEND. Yes, commitment strings and all. That’s when it sucks. That’s when you feel worthless.

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