bliumchik: (fight the system)
[personal profile] bliumchik
Good evening, internet! It is for once Before Midnight and I am writing a blog post!

I have been a busy little maggot this week, for varying values of busy that alternate between internet-cyborg-zombie and person-who-leaves-the-house-wearing-clothes. My casual online tutor work has started up again, so now I have an EXCUSE to sit in front of the computer for hours at a time! Also on Friday I accidentally went to a trance club. The night began promisingly, with young ladies stealing my roll of gaffer-tape to prepare their breasts for later semi-naked acrobatics and all, but I went home early because I had forgotten my wallet and felt too awkward sober. Also, I was hungry. So I came home and made a steak at one in the morning. Class~!

Anyway, a thing which I wanted to talk about was the Ladies: Why You Be Putting Yo'selves Down stuff going round earlier this week. I shall link to the Tiger Beatdown post because that is where I came across it and also because I agree with pretty much all of it, Sady is a sensible person and I love her blog. She and Amanda Hess continue the conversation here, and that post in particular felt oddly, nay, horrifyingly familiar.

You see, people do this around me all the time. I shan't name names, but I've been dealing with various close friends moaning about how fat they apparently are since I was fourteen. And I never got it, and I could never think of an appropriate response, because "no you're not" got old fast when it was clearly making no impact, since the conversation would repeat verbatim ad nausea, and talking about how stick-thin is not the only way to be pretty skirts the minefield of calling them fat by dint of not gushing about how skinny they are. Sometimes I'd cynically think to myself, "She is just fishing for compliments, god!" but I never particularly minded handing them out - it was just, you know. Boring.

I never really thought about this weird female habit in context, in terms of the whole patriarchal structure of feminine downplaying and tearing down and submissive gestures. I never really felt the urge myself - I guess those couple years of preadolescent socialisation I missed out on were good for something, huh? On the other hand, I am always going on about how clumsy and forgetful I am. It's not in a "please reassure me" way, it's more an instinct to lower expectations, I suppose, but now I'm wondering if that's part of this phenomenon, or if it has more in common with the gender-neutral Class Clown syndrome, as I've always thought.

All that can't hide the fact that this really is a Thing, that women are taught to do, and it still sucks. It's hard to know what to do about it. I still don't know how to respond when people (read: women) (...and Shaun, now that I think about it) put themselves down. I'm thinking of a compliment-ambush strategy, or something, I don't know. But if you're reading this, if you're reading the posts I linked above (and I hope you read those because they are awesome) and you are thinking shit, that's me, then I'd like to hear about what goes through your head in those conversations, what it is that I never got from your perspective. And yeah, I'd like it to happen less often, but not at the expense of your feeling able to express your insecurities to me, because what else are friends for? I only want to hear that stuff less because you're thinking it less. And I of all people know how tricky and unpredictable brain-hackery is, but I do believe that sometimes, when we're aware of a Thing we do that we do not want to do, we can do something about it. Remember when I used to have panic attacks on buses? You probably don't. Hell, I barely do. But I do remember it's slow, it starts small. And here this rambling dovetails neatly with a meme I've been meaning to post, via [ profile] jk_rockin and [ profile] mishka_jayne!

Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. Then repost this [if you like] and spread the love.

Except! Amendment! Especially for if you are a lady (or shaun)!

Reply to this post with something you like about yourself. No cop-out complinsults please! I know you've got it in you! And if you don't I will still do the original meme above, so no pressure or anything, but try. For me.

AND IF YOU DON'T COMMENT, Certain People, well... I know where you live (on the internet). I will hunt you down. And some day, when you least expect it... I will... SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT YOU.
branewurms: (Default)
From: [personal profile] branewurms
Tiger Beatdown is great. Idk so much about the "girls bully girls who seem too confident" thing though - in my own HS experience, it was just the opposite. The part about the bullies having been downtrodden themselves and needing to lash out at other people, sure - I always had the impression it was reinforcing the idea that "at least I am not as lame as this person" for themselves. But as far as the targets? They were the people with the least confidence. I was a target, but not of the seriously vicious bullying. That was saved for folks like the hearing-impaired, speech-impaired, mentally disabled girl who took to eating her lunch in the staff bathroom every day.

But maybe the kind of bullying she's talking about is different? I mean, the boys participated in that as much as the girls. Maybe inner-girly-clique bullying is different.

I also saw someone say not too long ago that the question of (paraphrased, obvsly,) "why don't women promote themselves enough and don't speak with conviction, and how can we fix this?" was itself coming from a patriarchal viewpoint - why didn't people instead ask "why are men so pushy, overconfident, and unwilling to accept the possibility of being wrong, and how can we fix this?". And well, while I think it's pretty obvious that women in our society are taught to debase themselves, I've also noted that women seem much more likely than men to question themselves when it's the sensible and appropriate thing to do, so I think the flipside of the question is also important to ask. So much attention is paid to figuring out how to get women to believe in their own human-being-ness (good!), but so little is paid to getting men to actually act like human beings (bad!), and this dichotomy seems a little like putting all the responsibility for the problem on the woman, doesn't it?

ANYWAY! I find your amendment to this meme interesting! Hmm. There are lots of things I like about myself, but most of them are so abstract I don't even know how put them into words. (Because it's not like I want to make a career out of that or anything. Putting abstract things into words. Wait, is that a complinsult?! NOOO THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANNNN -) ahem. Well! I guess! I like the perspective that being such an abstract thinker gives me. Oh! And I like that I seem to have a natural talent for throwing random crap together and getting a smelly-good thing out.
branewurms: (Default)
From: [personal profile] branewurms
Oh man, I have no idea how it would work - not sure there's anyway to do it other than starting at the root (childhood). Because I mean, society's not going to stop reinforcing men's overconfidence anymore than it's going to stop reinforcing women's lack thereof, but whereas with women we can try and counter that as much as possible with praise and whatnot, I think going around and wantonly putting men down would only be psychologically unhealthy for both parties... XD;

There is probably something that could be done on an everyday basis, but I have no idea what that something is.

SISTERS IN ABSURDITY, YEY. \o/ (Actually I didn't realize Bayou was a wip either until I got to the end of what was there and I was like NOOOOOO. sob.)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I have, in my head, a half-devised lesson plan for a research project for third-graders or fourth-graders. They are split into groups, given a question on the board (this should be hard science, ideally a branch of science that has had significant advances over the years, and not one that is likely to be already known by the students), and each group is issued books or periodicals, with the location in the material to look up the answer to the question given to them. All they have to do is basically copy the answer.

They are then called upon to report the answer they got from the material.

All of the answers will be, according to the latest solid research in the field, be WRONG. Ideally, each of the materials they were sent to should be from a different era of research or belief on the topic.

The instructor then explains that all of the reports are wrong, and what the latest research on the topic is. They were not lying to the class, they were saying what they believed to be true according to the research materials they were given. Because people are constantly studying the world and how it works, the best ideas in the world can be proven incorrect or incomplete at any time. The instructor reminds that class that if they had not then learned what the latest research shows, they might have gone home and told their parents, "Guess what I learned in school today!" and shared the outdated information with their parents. And this is why it is important to check what the latest information is on anything they learn, in case the sources that are giving you the information are working from material that is outdated. Even, the instructor should say, me. (The instructor should not challenge the authority of the student's parents; if the students ask, "Even my parents?" the instructor should take it humorously and say to be polite to your parents even if you are telling them that you think they hold outdated information.) The instructor should wrap up by saying that if someone tells you that you are wrong about something, and you turn out to be, it does not always mean that you've been naughty, just that you were incorrect -- unless you knew you were supposed to check for the latest information but didn't bother to!

This lesson, if delivered properly in schools on a wide enough basis, and at the right developmental time, could help break the self-confidence investment in Always Being Right From The Start Of Things, and teach that being incorrect is not the end of the world, although one should strive to become correct.

And that could help with the toxic forms of typically-male overconfidence.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Elective homeschooling for certain topics, rather than whole grades or whole classes? Nice.

Students in my district's Gifted and Talented program could do that, to some measure. It saved my sanity at certain points.

To be truly effective to work with the different learning styles, there should be alternate forms to demonstrate competence to the district standards at the end of any given unit. Some students would do OK with a written test, some would not do well on a test but would excel at an essay, some things you just don't test for as such but a completed painting or performance would work, etc.
branewurms: (Skip Beat - orz is over 9000)
From: [personal profile] branewurms
Why do I always forget to respond to cool stuff? I think this is a great idea. 8Dd
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I've seen the vicious sniping at the too-successful girls in action; think of the wank directed at any BNF who does well for herself: most of us have our faults, but when a BNF gets bigger, suddenly their faults are OMFG THE END OF THE WORLD HOW DOES SUCH A HORRIBLE BITCH GET ALL THIS SUCCESS WHEN THERE ARE PLENTY OF MORE-DESERVING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD DO SO MUCH BETTER BY IT. You know, the <sarcasm> bitches who need taking down a peg or two </sarcasm>.

It's a different class than the picking-on-the-already-weak.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:27 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I am a damn good writer.
I also have a very pretty face.

Date: 2010-02-07 03:31 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Thank you.

Ordinarily I'd waffle about that, but since this isn't the entry for that, I'll say that yes, indeed, I do choose to keep my peace about most issues until I can form a stance or at least ask good questions.

Date: 2010-02-08 02:36 am (UTC)
packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)
From: [personal profile] packbat
Thanks for those links!

I care a lot about other people, and want to help them when I can. This ranges from donations to international aid organizations to writing up ten-page guides on solving nonlinear equations for my Transfer Processes class: if I'm in a position where I can make someone's life better, resources and attention span permitting, I do it gladly.

Date: 2010-02-09 04:06 pm (UTC)
packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
From: [personal profile] packbat
Thank you! I think you are witty and friendly and funny, which make you quite good company.

Date: 2010-02-08 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I like that I can make people laugh.

(its Chloe)

Date: 2010-02-13 03:03 pm (UTC)
amber: ⌠ ART ⊹ Panda&Girl ⌡ (➃ talk to the hand)
From: [personal profile] amber
all your memes are belong to us.

I like my vocal ability; the build and stretch, the mimicry, wrispering and shouting and singing. If that's too much of a cop-out and I need a personality trait, I like that if I have to uses punches I won't pull them. (Metaphorical punches, I'd talk about literal ones but you know, the first rule etc.)

Date: 2010-02-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
amber: ⌠ ART ⊹ Panda&Girl ⌡ (ⓚ (*´▽`*)ゞ)
From: [personal profile] amber
You are not the first person to tell me something like that and I am baffled! I have spent my entire life trying to be someone I'm not. (But sort of pleased, too, so thankyou.)


bliumchik: (Default)
Captain Oblivious

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