I have grown to hate this “word” more than almost any other, and while I don’t fully understand the level of my reaction to it, I can certainly tell you why it bothers me.
If I tell someone about a problem I’m having, and they respond with this word, I am being told they either don’t see my problem as an actual problem, or they’re — at best — unwilling to engage in a conversation about the issue. It is a two letter expression of indifference that hits me far harder than it should.
It doesn’t help that this two letter shrug is also a two hundred year old joke.
Sooner or later, everyone looks for closure with some issue they’re struggling with. The unfortunate truth is you can’t ever just get closure. You can’t even give closure to someone else. That’s not how it works.
Honestly, if you want closure, you’re not ready for it. You’re still worried about that thing, and not quite ready to put it to bed.
One day in the future, you’ll think about that thing you wanted closure on, and you’ll realize you have it. You won’t know how, or why, but either you’ve somehow achieved closure, or you just don’t care anymore… which might as well be the same thing.
Or you die. That works too.
Twitter recently gave me cause to wonder what our would look like without men. Ignoring the whole procreation problem because “life finds a way,” it comes down to one question: Has a woman ever looked around her peaceful, life-fulfilling home and said “I’ve just got to get the fuck out of here and never come back?” I don’t think so.
The actual question posed on twitter was essentially how would the world change on a day without men, and of course it’d be a fucking paradise! No shootings, no rage. Maybe a little more snarkiness, but so much more could get accomplished.
But… while nearly all of society’s problems come from men, many of us benefit from the spoils of conquest and comfort that comes from the pathological need to explore the edges of our physical and technological world. That drive comes almost exclusively from men, if history is to be believed.
So just one day without men still means living in the world of men, and that seems like cheating. Let’s make it all or nothing:
So while ancient man-free humans might eventually make it out of Africa to the Middle East as their population grew, it would probably be a peaceful agrarian society where everyone coexisted in tranquil bliss, living simply off the land.
Turns out a world without men would be better.
I’m very anti-abortion: no one should ever be in a position where ending a pregnancy is the best choice. To prevent as many abortions as possible, I support sex education for children before they’re sexually active, easily available contraception for everyone, the free provision of the best prenatal care possible. As a last resort, I support the stress-free ending of pregnancy within 90 days for any reason — as do a clear majority of Americans — and ending a pregnancy at any time should significant medical reasons arise.
If you’re “anti-abortion” and you don’t support proven abortion-reducing measures, you’re actually just “pro-forced-gestation” … and an asshole.
Not convinced? Read “Access to free birth control reduces abortion rates” by Diane Duke Williams.
The United States of America was created with inequality built right in. From the enshrining of slavery into the constitution, to the establishment of “the police” to enforce property laws — including slaves, to banking regulations that in many cases prohibited selling houses to people of color, racism has been baked into the very fabric of American law and culture. Critical Race Theory is the study of this inherent bias.
If you’re complaining about critical race theory being taught in high schools, you have absolutely no idea what critical race theory actually is. Misunderstanding this topic is a clear choice on your part, and your continued willful ignorance is ever so slightly helping to destroy our society.
Not convinced? Read “What Is Critical Race Theory” by Juliet Masiga.
Sure they do, that’s the problem. For centuries in America, Black Lives have been seen as less than white lives. “Black Lives Matter” is simply a humble request to value the lives of Black people, and not treat them as 3/5ths, or any other value less than fully equal to your life.
If you’re angry about this, you’re actually angry at the country you live in being so horrible to people not like you for literally centuries. Please get real.
Not convinced? Read “Why you should stop saying ‘all lives matter,’ explained in 9 different ways” by German Lopez.
Sometimes a conversation turns to my children. My daughter is comparatively easy, but my son is not. I used to tell people the number of years he’s been in our life, and hope the topic would change. When it didn’t, we entered into treacherous, uncharted territory.
We still might enter that territory, but these days we’ll take a different, less dangerous route. How old is he? I’m not giving you a number.
If I told you his age, you would have so many assumptions and misconceptions that we could easily spend the rest of our time correcting them. Let’s skip that part.
I don’t mean to be coy, but as I struggled to explain our family’s unusual life, there are so many words you could intentionally or accidentally utter that would make me very angry, if only for a little bit. I’m trying to avoid that too.
You would likely be overwhelmed by the things he can’t do, and probably be unable to appreciate the things he can and does accomplish. Some of your questions would be predictable, others not. I would be unable to answer most of them to your satisfaction.
You might be curious about the drama, all our planned and unplanned trips to the doctor, his setbacks and victories, and what the future might hold. But I won’t burden you with our past, and none of us knows the future.
You would eventually be compelled to offer an unpredictable mix of sympathy and advice, almost all of it personally painful and infuriating. This is the part I’m most earnestly trying to avoid. My son isn’t a problem to be fixed, and I know you mean well, but…
Let’s just agree that he is far more exceptional than you or I will ever fully understand, and leave it at that.
Now, how about that weather we’ve been having?
I hate to be the one to tell you, but you’ve had so many things trying to keep you stupid since the day you were born.
In the 1970’s, everyone was breathing in lead from gasoline because while it permanently damaged our brains, it made cars run a little quieter.
In the 1990’s, before the internet, you had almost no opportunity to learn about other countries other than to physically go there and try to learn. Rumors and stereotypes passed as wisdom.
Even in the early 2000’s, news only came from just a few sources. There were a handful of networks on TV, and only a few other news agencies in newspapers and on radio. And they were so horribly slow.
And today? Your high school education that passes for history has giant chunks of it erased, massaged, forgotten or whitewashed. You were lied to about the past more often than not.
To top it all off, every single one of us had parents or caregivers from an even simpler, dumber time who usually have or had decades to influence the very way we think about the world and the people in it.
All this makes it critical that you do everything in your power to be a better person and overcome your own biases and misconceptions, so the children and adults you influence have just a little less bullshit to overcome than you.
So get busy getting better… and smarter.
There’s a disease spreading all over the world that’s killing hundreds of thousands of people, and you have an cheap and easy way of making it less lethal for those around you, but you won’t do it because you might look silly, and you feel fine anyway.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, wearing a mask will help reduce the odds of anyone you come in contact with getting this life-threatening disease. How it makes you feel is far less important than saving just one life. How can you not figure this out?
Not convinced? Read “COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?” by The Mayo Clinic.
This word is verbal blackface. Sure, it’s offensive on the surface, but it’s sooo much more disgusting when you consider the vulnerable people abused and tortured for centuries because of what it represents.
Governments have used this word — and others like it — to imprison and kill people for simply not being “normal,” or a “burden to society.” Knowing this agonizing history and still using the word says far more about you than anyone else.
Not convinced? Read “An Open Letter to Ann Coulter” by John Franklin Stevens.