There are still many questions to be asked

…which brings up another one. Well, not really a question. But it’s something that gets one’s grey matter working, you know?

And here it is. It sort of hinges on the arguments of feminism and equality and all those things I go on at length about that I’m sure you’re tired of hearing. It also hinges on being the ‘ist’ mother of boys. First, if my boys want to wear tutus, lip gloss, and nail polish, I think they have that right. And I think we have the right to let them express themselves free of disapproving looks and comments like “what are you trying to do to that boy? Why would you let him wear lipstick?” A better comment might have been “why are you letting him wear lipstick that clearly has not been in style since 1992, and even then was on the shady side of ‘style’, which indicates you’re letting him wear expired lipstick, which is probably Not Good For Him”.

Second, what makes it okay to say horrible and disparaging things about men, when you’d probably take men to court over saying similar things about women? Similarly, what makes it okay to say disparaging things about *any* group of people, when you’d bleat like a goat over someone saying those things about you? Now, I say this with one foot firmly planted in the “I do this crap ALL THE TIME” camp. Usually not in too public of a forum, and usually only around people who can tell I’m being facetious.

But here’s the thing. I think I’ve talked about this before – you get a group of women together, and the first thing that happens is we start bitching out our husbands, which is fine; that’s part of a social encounter, but let’s just say we’re at work. Where there is a “zero tolerance policy” for abusive, harrassing, or degrading language. Someone says, “men are just so insensitive” or “men aren’t capable of thinking about other people” or “men are afraid of intimacy” (these are some examples of comments I’ve heard in groups of women). Nobody does anything or says anything. So much for your ‘zero tolerance policy’. In fact, what you have is a ‘fifty per cent tolerance policy’. It’s okay to say crappy things about men, about the size of their privates as relates to the size of their hands/feet/noses/thumbs, but the minute a man makes a comment about a woman’s breasts, all hell breaks loose and there’s a meeting. Or a series of meetings. Or a court case.

So my question is – where’s the line, here? A lot of these sorts of comments are made in jest, or are the sorts of things we might rib each other about in a social situation. Is the workplace a social situation? If I come to your house and make comments about the man of the house’s virility, is that cool? And why do folks assume that there is some kind of magic gender-based osmosis barrier? I mean, when do we get to the point where we can just say “that thing you said offended me”, and not have it be about gender (or for that matter, religion, culture, sexual orientation, hair colour, intelligence, ability, etc.)? I mean, why do we have to issuize everything?

Well, that’s just one of my questions.

Question 1) Why is it okay to be demeaning toward men, but you’ll get fired and fined if you do it to women, especially if you’re a man (other women sometimes get a walk on this one)?

Question 2) When do we get to stop talking about ‘isms’ and just accept that some people get offended by the things we say, and that we need to learn to just say we’re sorry and be *nice* (Gah. I keep harping on this ‘be effing NICE to each other’; but it’s just so gorram SIMPLE, peeps. Really. Just don’t be a douche. I think I’m’a make some shirts that say DBAD and give them out FER FREE. Want one?)

Question 3) Is this what one’s 30s are about? Trying to figure things out? I mean, is this why we’re all essentially idjits until we’ve passed our mid-twenties (how’s that DBAD treating you, cenobyte? Good? Excellent then. Love, under-mid-twenties peeps)?

Question 4) Are you bored yet? Tired of hearing cenobyte rant? Suggest a topic! Try to derail cenobyte’s train of thou….SHINY!

Question 5) What is WITH these people?


The Comment of the Day goes to Our Friend Ferlak, Jedi Master:

Despite decades of progress things are still unequal. Simply put: men are from the Empire, women are from the Rebel Alliance. Blowing up Alderaan is a tragedy, blowing up Death Stars is heroism

  17 comments for “There are still many questions to be asked

  1. 30 December 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Exactly.

    And yes. I think that 30s are when you stop being an idjit…unless you don’t…which means you are no longer allowed in the 30s club where things are shiney and happy…except when they are not. Like today. And now thirties are the new twenties and twenties are the new teens and fourty is the new fifty except that midlife midlife crisis are coming in our 30s and who the hell even knows what age is supposed to be doing what anymore…can I just skip ahead to 70?

  2. mrgod2u
    30 December 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Answers:

    1) It’s not OK but since we are still trying to ignore the fact that women don’t make what men make and get the same opportunities it would be bad form. Kind of like how when White power groups talk about the downtrodden White man, most people roll their eyes.

    2) Well people are designed to fall into -isms, and use them to create barriers and groups that they can then be a part of. There will be a gentle pull and sway of humanity within these groups, but as long as there is good money to be made by lawyers, there will no shortage of outrage and entitlement.

    3) I think so, our 30’s are when we gain the power to essentially define our course, be it nice or DB. Plus it is where you learn a lot about how the world works by watching your children rediscover it (generally).

    4) I like ranty Cenobyte, and nope not bored yet.

    5) These people…. but what about THOSE people, in my book they are the true problem… ;)

    As for the topic of raising a boy and other people’s takes on it… As long as you aren’t forcing your child to go against their grain, everyone else can take a long walk off a short pier into leech infested water. I have been lectured on parenting by people who’s kids are, frankly, monsters, so I basically just do my deal, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

    • 30 December 2010 at 1:59 pm

      Re 5) Good point. The bastards.

  3. Wade L
    30 December 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Yadda yadda privilege , yadda yadda not as vulnerable, yadda yadda same actions different impacts, etcs. In essence: Yeah, disparaging men is also bad, but because of male privilege equivilent acts have less capacity for actual harm. Not no capacity, and certainly in specific situations they can be more vulnerable, but on a general level attacks on men generally don’t have the same ability to compound harm. I personally don’t think the lesser impact is a reason not to act on it – ideally, I’d like to see all discrimination and belittlement treated equally and with zero tolerance, but that is often the point in the conversation where I get told to “check my privilege “, so take that as you will.

    Also, I suspect your thirties will appear as the time period in which you stop being an idjit, until you reach your forties, wherin you’ll reflect on what a dolt you were back in your thirties. ;)

  4. Chris
    30 December 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Despite decades of progress things are still unequal. Simply put: men are from the Empire, women are from the Rebel Alliance. Blowing up Alderaan is a tragedy, blowing up Death Stars is heroism :)

    • 30 December 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Chris wins the Internets. Also, the comment of the day.

  5. 30 December 2010 at 3:59 pm

    When you rant, I think. Here’s what I thought about today.
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/pa-the-series/205/
    I also though about how Wil Wheaton’s catch phrase is “Don’t Be A Dick” so he may have beaten you to the punch on that one.
    Also I thought that Chris is awesome.

    And now, back to bed, I work tonight!

    • 30 December 2010 at 4:51 pm

      With all due respect, “Don’t Be A Dick” is NOT the same as “Don’t Be A Douche”.

      Also, I’m against publicly decrying people’s bits as parts of catch phrases. I have a shirt about that. Okay, well, no I don’t. But I *could*.

      ALSO-too, neither Wil Wheaton NOR Evil Wil Wheaton has offered to make people shirts BY HAND that have his HAND-MADE logo on them. Um. Has he? Wil? Are you reading this? Oh, and if you are, I think you owe me five bucks.

      • Thunderhowl
        31 December 2010 at 1:36 am

        I was refering to the “DBAD” which I think he has called dibs on. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

  6. Stark Raving Dad
    31 December 2010 at 5:55 am

    1) Yup, the double standard is alive and well – though not legally. Legally, its just as much of a sexual harassment case to discuss Mr. Jones’ hand to penis size ratio as it is to comment on the size of Ms. Smith’s breasts. Far fewer men make formal complaints about this sort of behavior though, which is a bit odd. Though if/when they do, they have the exact same legal rights as women. You _can_ be “fined” for making comments about men. Just FYI.

    Yeah, equality is a delicate dance that we still don’t know all the steps to though.

    2) I long for this day. It means I am out of work, but I’ll find something else. :)

    I can’t tell you how many times, in the course of my work, I have wanted to just shake the parties until their teeth rattled, yelling all the time, “Don’t be an asshole! Apologize and be a decent human being and this will all go away!!!!”

    3) I thought our 30s were all about reflecting on the idiotic things we did in our 20s???? That’s what I have been doing anyway. Well, that and trying to understand other people. Which brings me to…

    5) Those people have been pissing me off since 1982. I feel like Dennis Leary lately, constantly going off on one rant or another about the sheer idiocy of those frikkin’ idiots!

    • 31 December 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Those GODDAMNED PEOPLE.

  7. Ernst Bitterman
    31 December 2010 at 9:13 am

    I spent a quantity of my 30s contemplating these very questions, as well as the relative merits of starting a Human Rights investigation of my predominantly female workplace. And I’m still not sure why I didn’t pursue that latter, apart from a fear of job disappearance. Bless you for comtemplating it out in the open, though– it’s a topic a man dare not broach, lest he be accused of inverted double-reverse sexism.

    • 31 December 2010 at 1:36 pm

      *mind boggles at the idea of “double-reverse” anything*

  8. the_iron_troll
    1 January 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I’m told that my foray into the “I do this crap ALL THE TIME” camp was in poor taste. Such a difficult thing, humour. Next time, less public forum.

    2) In general, I agree. Don’t be a douche/dick/dbag/drillbit/dancedancerevolution.

    4) If I think of something I’d like you rant about, I’ll let you know. Atlas Shrugged comes to mind, if you have time to give that sucker a re-read.

    • 3 January 2011 at 10:09 am

      Or when someone was *already* extremely upset.

    • 3 January 2011 at 10:09 am

      Also-too, I probably won’t “rant” about Atlas Shrugged.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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