Our Society  

Posted by H in , , ,

It's fucked up in so many levels. Yet I keep being optimistic, thinking lots of people are dedicating some resources (some of them all of them, including their lives), to make it better.

But still, sometimes you wonder how it's going to turn around, or how long it will take, and if it's even possible, as it seems a huge part of the world population is not ready to cooperate to turn things around as long as they can put their personal pleasure first. And I don't mean (only) politicians. They're the easy ones to bash here. But I see countless people who would just not frown up much to just get richer. And the sad thing is, some would do naughty stuff to just get by. Hey, they have too, we know that, but does anyone have a sense of community, of sacrifice?

It doesn't take as much as one might think...

And when I see "so many levels", I don't even know where to start. Education; discrimation of gender, races, opinion, faith; vindicative economic ideologies and historical battles...

For instance, to stick to my blog's subject, when I read Sol Smith's blog "How to be a Badass Dad", especially this post, I agree with him I just don't know what to do. What if I have a daughter? How can I choose between having developed her own sense of self-identification, feel whole and complete, safe and not discriminated, and at the same time not have the feeling that I would be stealing bits and pieces of her girly childhood away from her? It's so persistent, so part of our customs that we just *accept* that girls are supposed to be different from guys. Different toys, different clothes, different colors, different perceptions, different abilities.
My kid would see other kids with parents who don't feel the need or aren't even concerned about that, and these kids would have had the ballet dance classes. And then my daughter would come for me, and no one wants that. Freakin' dilemma.

If you ask me, most of it comes down to education. The moment you start reading a kiddy book to your children, and you see a stereotypical representation of a boy with blueish shorts, pants and shirt and of a boy with a pinkish/redish dress, even if it's drawn like a minimalistic figure, you start formatting your kids for what is to come. You're telling them what life is supposed to be.

You give them different toys. You let them watch TV propagating the same ideas. You let your boys hang out and think they have to develop a (even if so slightly) macho attitude, even if disguised by chivalry and manners.

Yes bodies, physiologies are different. Which means our minds also probably are. The inner workings of our human forms are different, depending on our genders. But come on, I don't think my freakin' DNA tells me that from 1 to 6 I should be wearing damn blue pants with yellow ducks on them!

Nor does it tell me that men cheat by nature and that women are sluts. It doesn't tell me that Arabs are terrorists, that followers of Christ all have to be dumbstruck by the idea of abstinance, or that the Dalai-Lama or Che Guevara are modern saints.
What makes me think, or believe these things, are fragments of my environment, of my education.

My education doesn't end when I leave the school. That would be too easy. It starts getting fucked-up the moment I can receive sensorial stimuli in the womb til the day Alzheimer would make me senile! It's developed by my parents, my teachers, my classmates, my roommates, people in public transportation systems, reporters, TV guides, tour operators and many others.

I argued this over and over with friends, relatives and strangers. Lots of them often *refuse* to see that they are a product of what they have gone through. A common life of defense, especially for the ones having had rough pasts, is that they had [some particularly extreme kid story] and ended up radically different. Yes, they ended up radically different, but because of millions of tiny factors that influenced them, and decided whether they'd follow their models, or try to break free from them. They're still products of their childhood's martirdom.

But hey, parenting is hard, and there's *no* perfect plan here. And even if you would do it perfectly, for you local environment, you cannot control everything. Send you kid to his first day at school, and keep in mind you're sending him off to an horrible world. A world with good and horrible parents, diseases, flawed politics, and carried-on beliefs that are not being analyzed and revoked by families and friends because they come from a chain of people part of your circles of trust. But guess what: you'd be well advised not to treat information given to you by friends in a different light than if it had been by a complete stranger. Your friend might honestly not know he or she's wrong. Or don't want to admit and prefers to keep bull-shitting his or her idea all the way through (come one, we've all done that, right?!).

The other day on Facebook I saw in a (quite pathetic) thread a comment that made me infuriated: "ideal sizes for girls are 90-60-90" says a "Doctor" on this thread (login and subscription required). And then gives a link to a plastic surgery facility in Lebanon. Fck me! Fuck that! How many insecure girls is he turning in Barbies?!

And I instantly think that guy is a damn motherfcker, another one of these guys abusing girls, selling them dreams. But what the Hell do I know? Maybe he's broke, maybe he's got to do it, maybe he doesn't really believe in what he's selling and saying. Maybe it's just how the game's got to be played where he is, like in Brazil or Floria and California, where if you don't have a perfect body, you're no one. You've got to fit in. To be part of the dream, so don't you dare fuck it up for the others. Be a good soldier and get in rank.

It makes me sick.

It makes me sicker when I hear friends of mine, girls and guys, abiding to this shit. When I see guys who think they've got to be someone to be the tough kid on the block, or the genius, or the hard-core driver, or practice martial arts or work out and go to the beach for the sake of showing off. And when I hear girls tell me we're hypocrites because we want them to be these objectified dolls, but I still see them enjoying their shopping saturdays and putting on their new (more and more poorly designed, but still more and more expensive) clothes, and giggling on the streets when they go out to think they'll have a good time, and that the good time necessarily includes to get drunk and/or high, and most probably laid.

Not that I see any problem with any of the last, I know people who keep off some or even all of them, and some who use them like there's no tomorrow. But not in a way that makes them sheeps or tools, just because they have a personal, genuine interest in these things or the ambiance they generate. Yes they still are products of their environment, but some of them manage to see the difference between their controlled and prefedined acts - shaving and putting on decent clothes for work, to maintain appearances and tust - and the manipulated ones - following this season's shoe trend (and mock it in 2 years), talking the new talk and buying the new car -.

Of course, there's a global trend. People, (real) fashions, languages are dynamic. They evolve, and it's OK. And yes, personal relationship also need to be based on trust, and you'd definitely trust more someone showing off attributes you care for. But who defined these attributes? And why do you have to rush things? If he's got a car, aviator glasses, a stupid emo-haircut that shows sensibility but tight clothes to show that he's a man, does that mean it's enough and safe?

I don't know, sometimes I hate myself for becoming part of this modern world and not trying to stop it. I hate gadgetry surrounding progress, but I do believe in the improvement of the human race's condition through automation and computing. But for crying out loud, stop making classes easier, and add more of them. My school level was already miserable compared to what my *father* had to deal with, and the kids *I* taught right when I got our of school were already happily dealing with reduced programs. What's is gonna be when *my* kids go to school? I don't believe in super strict eduction. I believe in practical, hands-on, constructivists approaches. I believe that curiosity is not something you have when you're born but something you foster when you're an infant and a kid. I can't believe I'm awake when I meet people at friends' parties and clubs who dare to tell me that they don't read, or who just talk about tv-shows and celibrities when I try to ask them about their opinion on the latest headline news.
I can't stand people who think that because the society is rotten, they've got to let it rot more, and be OK with it; though complaining at length and asking for their leaders to change it, when they are the ones who *now* have the power. Political leaders are just representatives, at least in democracies or even in other constitutional regimes. Hell, even Cubans, though controlled, could be in control of their lives. What the fuck is up with that? Why do people tell me that because all politicians are liars, they just don't go to vote? Well go, idiots, go and vote blank, to at least show your dismay. Make up your damn mind, because sometimes you don't have a choice, and you've got to select the best of two evils. And better start acting on it and trying to watch over that new leader of yours to be sure he or she doesn't fuck up, and start planning for the next mandate, so that this time you have a decent choice.

But who am I to judge? I'm just a guy, who accepts that his girlfriend makes a living out of fucking (and being fucked by) other people. Well I don't care, I think marriage is a limitation anyway, it's also a preconceived ideal that forces pressure on people's shoulders, on their self-representation of their reputation, that adds in another layer of rules and boundaries, as if they did not already have enough.

And no I don't agree with this business. So why am I here typing on my computer and not doing anything about it? Some people tell me that I'm a coward and don't do a thing to change it. Maybe I don't change it radically for G., that's true, maybe I'm a fck-up that way. But I know it, and I aim for other other goals. My goal here is to talk, to spread the word (that's at least one liberty I have), and not to follow these ideas of our society, of my fcked-up education, that girls are objects, men are the abusers, and al.
I believe in the projects I see starting online, in sex-workers fighting for their rights, their right to work in safer environments under governments taking their voices into consideration, and ultimately their right to see prostitution or pornography not be just that: an (il)legal bi-polar activity perpetrating social and mental dicatorship. But turning it into a part of a society where sexuality is not frowned upon and only discussed in a low voice, with paraphernalia sold in dark shops in dirty alleys.

There's a lot to learn from our world. Each country often identifies better solutions to its problems in different countries, but fails to find the best out of the cards she has in hands. Then at least pick one that is better, give it a shot, and then improve on it again later. I don't see that many sex maniacs in Germany, though I see soft-porn adds on the street in plain view in city-centers, and on TV at 11. I see lots of rapes and sexual assaults in Australia because of the way youngsters are let to deal with their lives with no control and have no realization of the consequenes, but I don't see so-called sexual "deviances", even though I have pornographic TV-ads at 11PM. I don't think I have a much higher HIV/AIDS rate in Las Vegas, where prostitution is legal. I don't think I see the product of lawful prostitution in Sweden turn the country in some 12th century representation of Hell.
I do sexual abuse in Japan out of the diminishing position of women, and younger generation of men struggling to cope with their status change and wondering what their identity is now that they're being told gender should not matter. I do see desenchanted kids in Canada who know the kamasutra by heart by 14 because they haven't seen on TV that sex is not about either (one or a combination of) fun, pleasure, bonding and emotions, but quite the contrary, that it's supposed to be a social contract and that girls have to take pleasure in pleasing their boyfriends, but nothing else.

I'm done with writing for now. I feel like throwing my laptop through the wall and fcking crying right now.


Very interesting ... I hope the laptop survived. :)

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