Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Balancing The Scales [Nine's Perspective]

Hallo, ladies and gents. It would seem this place has gone a month without a post. We cannot have that, can we? No, we cannot. So, I am here, on behalf of the lovely Lady Lili to post this place up once more. Lady Lili continues to be quite busy with various things, but fear not! She will return, at some point. Until then, let's get to something else straight outta my head. *Bush plays in the background* Ah, ambience. It would be ideal for me to not sing on Lady Lili's blogsite, so I had best occupy my mind before temptation overcomes me!

    Today, I have been thinking - not of equality, but of another deep social issue that touches all of us, in every culture and country. I speak of the presence of good and evil,  and the breeding ground for which the latter forms in.

    Evil is all around us, especially in today's society. Morality seems in shambles these days, at least from my perspective. 11 year old girls are getting pregnant, little boys are selling drugs on the street, lazy parents that do not correct or teach their children run around in high numbers, hitting up clubs on the weeknights, shooting up heroin and soothing their sexual drives while their offspring fend for themselves in tiny, rundown apartments. I could go on and on, but to save you the space and headache, stuff is effed up. We know this. And now, guns are being taken into schools and teachers are being shot up. Serial killers are on the rise. Rivers of blood run down our city streets. It splatters through the skies, the cries of children and innocent people - the symphony of 21st Century America. Evil runs amok! With the scales so tilted, so unfairly adjusted, what can we even begin to do about it? Where do we start? Where is the evil coming from?

    One could argue that we are all born 'good.' What can we really define as good? Well, due to the complex nature of the human mind, you can get a very different answer, depending on who you ask. But let us assume the answer the majority would give, in a generalized statement - The willingness and desire to not harm others, to live amongst one another in harmony. Yes, does this not fit children? Children are innocent, filled with love and affection. Dogs and children are much the same way, in that sense. You may hurt them. You may strike them in the face for NO reason, whatsoever, completely unjustified. However, when you come home an hour later, they still run to you, loving on you, even though you do not deserve it. Us humans surely are despicable creatures. However, children will absorb all this lack of love. As they age, they are changing. They grow to understand this world slowly, but through what color and shape lense? This is where we come in. Strike your child long enough, they will stop running to you. They  will stop running to anyone. We have a RESPONSIBILITY that we are taking far too lightly! If we want this world to change for the better, we need to start by looking at ourselves. Children are the future! They are the future lawyers, teachers, presidents, Congress members, everything. Children are the future. They will be here when we pass.

    With this said, what are we doing to children when we beat them mercilessly? When we deprive them of the love that they are born to need, and to give unconditionally? The early stages of a tree's development are the most important. A large, strong tree may take much punishment, even from gale force winds, but when it is in its infancy, does it not require much love and attention? What of the trees that survive much punishment and brutal weather during those early stages? They are ugly to us - cracked, weathered, missing branches, rotting roots. It is a hard truth, but we contribute to the deterioration of a child. Are we truly to blame for Charles Manson? No, but at the heart of it, some humans have contributed. What am I saying here? Should we be all hung? Certainly not. Most of the time, we do not even realize we are contributing to evil's growth as we do it. It can be a simple act of unkindness. Everyone has a breaking point. Humans must reach this breaking point sometime. Everytime you cuss the teenager behind the Mc Donald's counter for screwing up your order, when it may not have even been his fault anyway, the screaming at your kids for accidentally breaking another one of your precious things, the reving of your engine while stuck behind some student driver - these are all things we do, on our more guilty days. We as humans are not, nor will we ever be perfect. But can we lower how much hatred we bath others in? I think so.

    Some may argue that this is a fruitless endeavor, that internalizing our negativity, instead of tossing on others would never lower evil. Ask yourself, what have you got to lose? Is it that hard to be nicer to others? If we want world peace, we all need to lend a hand. I'd say not pegging a teenager in the face with your soiled burger is not much to ask. We cannot be perfect, as I have mentioned earlier. But we can try to be less hateful, right? If we do our best, each day, that's something to be proud of, in a world filled with murder, assault, rape and plundering. Changes do not come quickly, this is fact. Changes require a great deal of effort from many, many hands and feet. Many listened to President Obama with smiles as he gave his speech on change. How many blame him for not giving us that change? Are we, as a country, a civilization that worked for change, or did we put it all on one person? Just an example that comes to mind. No intention of a political agenda here; this is food for thought. All of this is.

    In closing, let us think of plants. Many plants start as a seed. Those seeds are just fine. Once they are planted, a lot of the growth process is up to US. We must oversee it, and this will never change. If we want more good in today's youth, we had best start planting. Wait! Guys, before you start pumping your fists in the air and run outside to find ladies to start 'planting' with, let me finish! Settle down, gentlemen! *ahem* We had best start planting, yes. But this is not the only important stage. We don't ditch our gardens when we plant seeds, do we? No, good gardeners do not do that. A good gardener or famer must see to it that the plants and crops are doing well, and treat them according to their needs every. Single. Day. There, aren't you glad you listened? We cannot reduce evil by running around and mating. [If you listen close, you can hear the unhappy sighs of many males!] We can, however, reduce it by making sure our little ones do not go without love and affection, guidance and punishments. In that same hand, we must also try our best to not lash out so quickly at society's blunders. If we can do this, if we can unite for this one goal, perhaps things can slowly start to change.

    This is a very broad, deep topic, and I feel I've barely scratched the surface on what I wanted to say. Therefore, I will cover more on this in a future post. It should be noted that this article is designed to share my current thoughts. I am not pointing fingers at anyone, in particular. Nobody should be offended by this article, and if you are, you may very well have a guilty conscience. Think about it. And that, my friends, is my final word for today. Stay kind. Stay considerate. Stay human. Maybe then, we can start to balance the scales, if only by a little. -Nine-

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Social Pressures, Role Reversals [Nine's Perspective]

     Hallo. As I am sure many of you have noticed, Lady Lili is very busy these days, with her college studies and things of that nature. She will be back to post sometime in the near future. I am here to make that wait a little less plain and post-less. You may call me Nine. I am a male that often ponders similar things, and thus I have been given permission to share some of my male views and insights on her lovely blog. Therefore, from here out, each of my posts will be part of a segment on this blog called 'Nine's Perspective.' I hope my posts will entertain you, and prove to be thought-provoking. Let's move onto the first, shall we?

     Lili often speaks of sexism, and un-equality. Her most recent post, 'Pointlessly Gendered,' started me on a path of thought. Things are indeed a bit unbalanced these days. Things marketed to females tend to follow the confines of social and cultural stereotypes, such as using the color pink. But, when we get down to the issue, I believe things run much deeper than we sometimes allow ourselves to realize. Today, we will focus on the cultural influences on how the opposite sexes treat one another when they reverse society's pre-determined roles for us.

     Let me ask you something. Do you believe that a couple should make their own decisions and choices? Does it matter who does what? You may say no, without thinking about it, and maybe, just maybe, you are not being honest with your true feelings. Society puts an extreme amount of pressure on all of us to be how they feel we should be. Both males and females experience this pressure, and we are bred to accept our 'roles.' Case in point? Let's say you all met this wonderful couple. They got along really well, and were all lovey-dovey with each other. Now, before you know anything else about these two love birds, they tell you that the Female works all day, and the Male stays home and takes care of their three children, and cleans and cooks. What would your initial reaction be? How would you view that male? How would your parents view that male? Odds are, even if you aren't willing to admit it, you would think less of the male, simply because he is not assuming his pre-determined role.

     In American culture, there are many pressures on Females to assume a certain role, but it is important to not forget that many Males suffer the same pressures. People think less of a man who does not work. What do they think of him? Lazy, no good, not a real 'man.' Ladies, think about it. What if you had a job you were REALLY happy with, and you loved working there, and it more than paid the bills? Let's say you had kids, and your husband was smart, could work, but his job wasn't that important to him, and it meant a lot to him for you to keep the job that made you so happy? You would probably adore him for it. He's sacrificing his work life for yours, so he can take care of the house, and the children. But, what would your parents think? They will both most likely dislike him, immediately at that, especially your father. This becomes worse if they do not know much about him. Already, just because you are happy with your current setup, you have brought down the possible wrath of your parents against the man you love. He will now have to endure the nasty stares from your father, the drilling questions, etc. Perhaps your mother will pull you aside frequently, asking you why you aren't being a 'true woman.' You might want to make your own choices, and you both might be very happy with your lives, but everyone is going to sneer at you for it.

     What is my point here? Is it that we should just accept our roles and not complain? Certainly not. We should not give into the pressures that we endure, or accept the roles that society attempts to force on us. We should be ourselves, and work with our partners to make one another happy. A great relationship is two bodies, two minds, and one heart. Do what you can for each other. Is role reversal a truly equal relationship? Not exactly, but there is something good to be said about a man that is willing to make sacrifices for his lady, just as she is for him. If we want true equality, we should pay more attention to these types of things. Social pressures seek to drive us from doing a lot of things. I don't really find that, in a relationship, you have to assume any type of role, whatsoever. But there is something to be said that, should we want to assume roles, we get chastised if we do not assume the 'right' ones. We should examine ourselves, and make sure that we are not adding to the problem by pressuring others to do things 'our way.' I am Nine, and this is my final word for today.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pointlessly Gendered Roundup 1

Okay, due to insistent complaining by a few of my readers, I am finally writing a new post. With december finals and the holiday madness, writing fell by the wayside. And with classes starting again on tuesday, this may be the last post for a while again... but we'll see.

I've been meaning to start my own "pointlessly gendered" series, a concept I've seen on many other soci blogs. I've collected a few pictures since deciding to include this in my blog, so here they are.

These first two I found in a christian bookstore. Not-so-surprisingly, the place was actually teeming with sexism. But here are a couple of the most obvious/humorous.

Despite all of the violence and godly wrath, apparently the bible is too girly for some men. Not anymore, thanks to the "everyman's bible"... a version not only written by men, but meant exclusively for men. 

Christian jewelry for teens... separated by gender, just in case God needs help clarifying the sex of his followers. I guess to get boys to wear jewelry, you need to give them a direct association with God... or use a z instead of an s.

This last picture I found at a gun shop. Yet again, not that surprising.

There are so many things wrong with this picture, it actually hurts my head. The colors, the designs, the sizes... 

This picture also represents a concept known as "women vs people", wherein being male is neutral and the norm, and being female is the alternative. Notice the names: "whoopass" is the one for men, and it's the normal one, whereas "ms. whoopass" is the alternative, for women. This is actually quite ironic, since pepper spray is generally geared toward women... so why isn't the pink one "whoopass" and the army one "mr. whoopass"? 

Just shows the millions of tiny ways this culture is still very androcentric.