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
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 jk_rockin
!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.