THE END OF DAYS

If all men are dogs,

Then are all women frogs?

And are all mice men?

What’s that make children then?

 
But we all drink water;

We all have a father;

We all feel the pain

That’s driving us insane.

 

The pain of being alone,

Stuck inside a world

That’s bigger than our own.

 
Do you remember the days of old?

The days when our family

Was more valuable that gold.

 
Days before the calamity,

When we became preachers

Of goodness and chastity.

 
In the days where our leaders

Didn’t sell us out to greed,

And the land was our teacher.

 
Those days when we were free.

Free to be, you and me.

But those good days have long gone past,

The end of the world has come at last,

And machines order us throughout our days,

Because we let them put us in this haze.

——

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BEAUTY IS A LIE

They say you’re beautiful,

But beauty is a lie.

You see that beauty passing by?

 

Now look at her smile.

And the song in her voice.

It could make bitter men rejoice.

 

But for all her magic

All the world can see

Is that she ain’t got double D’s.

 

We misregard her laugh,

And disregard her mind,

But beg to see her great behind.

 

‘Cause that’s all beauty is:

What greedy eyes can see.

They don’t care about you and me.

 

So I’m telling you, son,

Don’t fall for their beauty

‘Cause it’s a mask for cruelty.

——

 

Hello there!

 

Did you like this poem? Let me know by leaving a like and a comment!

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FRIEND ZONED

Hello everyone,

 

Today I wanted to discuss the dreaded “friend zone.” Which is a term I strongly dislike, but at the same time have experienced the feelings that tie to what people often deem “the friend zone.” Before I get into it, in case you’ve been living under a rock (or perhaps you don’t really date nowadays), the friend zone is a space in which a love interest of a person does not reciprocate that person’s interests, however both people still want to be friends. I hear this situation come up most commonly where girls tells guys they think of them as a friend, rather than a romantic partner, though that may be simply my experience. I do not hear women talk about being “friend zoned” often at all.

Ok, so I don’t like the term “friend zone” because it dismisses one person’s opinion. I mean, not literally, in the sense that the person in the friend zone is willing to stay there, but it indicates that the relationship is not what that person wants it to be, despite the fact that being friends is what makes the other person comfortable. The friend wants to be able to say to this person “man I’m having problems with a crush,” and not have them say something stupid back, like “well if we went on a date I’d treat you right.” That does not help them. That’s selfish. I think it is reasonable to assume that if they are friends with that person, they probably view that person as a decent human being.

That being said, it is also a reasonable reaction to a situation in this day and age (what, you thought I would just cram my opinion down your throat? Nah, that’s not what we’re here for). Lets think about it. Today is often about being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. If someone doesn’t appreciate something, they should be able to tell that person how they feel. Someone should never feel trapped. There is always the opportunity to leave, but there is not always the opportunity to stay. Let’s take a Hollywood cliché love example. Guy loves girl, girl rejects guy, but he persists until she eventually comes around. I mean, everyone adores Beauty and the Beast, and that’s pretty much how it goes, right? So if this is the rhetoric that everyone hears, then it’s not unreasonable for a guy to be expected to persist, is it? The idea that love follows rejection leads to ignoring rejection. It reduces the “we are not dating” mentality to “we are not dating right now.”

This concept is supported in our culture in all ways. “Don’t give up,” “hard work pays off,” and so on. If a person just tries hard enough, they can be whatever they want. Even happily married. There’s something romantic about crossing a barrier to win over a loved one. Which I think is what the thought process is for those who believe in the friend zone. They think their interest just has not seen the beauty of them yet. Which is a hard thing to disagree with, especially when we aren’t willing to ignore the feelings of others.

——

 

Hello there!

 

Did you enjoy this discussion? Let me know by leaving a like and a comment!

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STOOD UP

His right leg was twitching. Beating up and down like a drummer in the middle of his solo. But he was stuck on a bench waiting. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out at half past ten and rising. The birds were chirping, the children were playing, the air was crisp, and the grass seemed greener than usual. Yet he looked as if he were sitting in a dark room.

He had been there for two hours. Sitting, waiting, wishing. Hoping that she would show up. He let his mind wander to the dentist, to his classes, to his family, and back around. He’d look at the children playing happily and smile. But if anyone looked a bit closer, they would see the pain hidden behind that smile. The sense of worthlessness that had hardened itself inside. A sense that himself tried to hide away in drinks, parties, and friends. Yet nobody ever seemed to look that closely. They just saw the smile, and thought he was ok.

He stayed through the sunshine and into the starlight, until the happy cries of children had turned to the empty silence filled only by the chirp of crickets. Until finally a gust of wind pushed him to his feet, and he realized the time. With a cool, clean breath of the night air, he began his walk home. He passed by happy couples, warm houses, and smiling teenagers, until he finally got to his flat. He ascended the stairs, focused hard at the ground so as to not think about the let down he had experienced again. He numbed himself to the pain, until he could stand to face himself in the mirror.

He checked his phone. No new messages. No calls. No friends. He felt so alone. He tossed his shirt to the hamper, and left his pants on the floor, and decided to shower. The water was like the warm embrace he had hoped for. He let it drown his senses. The steam built up and cleared his lungs. He cried. First it was small dribbles, then in heavy heaves. He sunk to the ground, legs crossed, and waited. The water poured down on him for what seemed like hours. Until he felt the heat run away and the chill set in. He got up, shut the water off, and got out. It was time to get up again.

RUNNING BACK GENDER BIAS

Hello everyone,

Alrighty, so here we are, typing away on an app again! Today I was going to write a poem but ended up being fired up over another class discussion. Today in class, we discussed gender bias, and I used my example from yesterday’s blog as a starting point. And it was just so difficult to listen to everyone, so I decided I’d explore this a little more today. To give you some context, today’s class has roughly a 2:1 ratio in favor of males. That said, we circled up for group discussion and went one by one through students, hearing their thoughts on our readings.

Now, you might be saying to yourself “but Cassady, if everyone got to talk, the fact that more men talked was simply because there are more men in the class.” And that’s true, but that’s not what I’m fired up about. What’s got me all hot headed currently is the length of time spent talking, the manner of talking, and the diction used while talking. Now, I like to think of my generation as being pretty progressive-there is a greater focus on equality in places of learning, and I think on average my generation has been pushed to think more progressively about men and women. Which is fantastic. However, I still notice a lot of latent problems.

Let’s start with diction. Most males in our conversation are described as “men” or “guys,” where as most females are described as “girls,” or “chicks.” Now, this is pretty nit-picky, but the fact of the matter is that these terms have implications. Boys and girls vs. men and women change the context significantly. By saying “girls,” suddenly these professionals are being reduced to children. And sure, it’s true that this is not as bad as, say, massive pay gaps, but it is the root of the problem. We treat women as the lesser. Less important, less professional, less mature.

Now let’s talk about length of speech. I didn’t count how long everyone talked for, but in general I noticed that the males spoke for longer. This is a simple thing, but it points to the idea that women simply aren’t expected to speak. Which is ironic, because the class was all about how women have been silenced over time. In noticing this, I worry that our generation will fall into being smug about their progressive behaviors, and miss furthering equality.

Which leads me to manner of speech. Now it was clear that the men in my class were dominant in their speech-indeed, I know I can be dominant if I’m not careful. They spoke longer and louder, and they didn’t use phrases like “to extend on his/her idea” to make a point. This made all their points sound original, though many of them were not. In fact, the only time people interrupted-which in and of itself is a manner of speech-were females, who were interrupted by males. We started our class defining “mansplaining” and then the men in our class who had laughed about it did just that. It’s worrisome to me. And enraging too, because I had been enjoying the points this woman had been making.

Yet we see this all the time. It’s systematic and continued, and I hate to repeat myself from yesterday, but the campaign is such a great microcosm for reality-this well qualified, smart woman is being berated and interrupted by a less qualified man, and they considered equals in their political spectrum. They’re simply not. Of course, maybe my extension here is unwarranted, but it is upsetting. What do you think? Am I right to be pointing this out again? Are the flaws I see in class simply a coincidence? Let me know!

THE JOURNEY OF A BEARD

A beard is like an age old friend;

One both constant yet forgotten.

Mine own shades himself like autumn;

Brown with reds to speckle and blend.
And yet, he is also like me.

Once, he was a spry and young thing,

Until life showed what it had to bring.

Now we all know what he can be.
But there is still time for a change.

Shaved, he can be reborn anew,

To show the world what he can do;

Prove nothing to be out of range.
Or, he can sit around and gray,

And watch his strength begin to wane.

To fester his own life’s disdain.

Until white winter comes to say:
“Let me take these hard years from you.

No more kin, and much less than kind.

With me, on your journey you’ll find

The sleep you’ve wished for to be true”
A good friend would not let this pass,

He would grasp the bristles of life,

Like a beard in moments of strife,

And show he had more line to cast.

 

Hello everyone,

 

I recently became able to grow a (small) beard, and my mother challenged me to write a poem about it. So I did. Let me know what you think! It’s a little weird, I know.

ANALYZING A FOUL-MOUTHED FEMINIST

Hello everyone,

 

So I was checking out the photos of this cool Facebook page (which is apparently now inactive, as I noticed after writing this) called AFMF – A Foul Mouthed Feminist, and I was struggling with a concept, which is what I would like to talk about today. The specific picture was a picture of a quote that read “Men who want to be FEMINISTS do not need to be given space in FEMINISM. They need to take the space they have in society and make it FEMINIST. –Kelley Temple.”

Now, I have some issues with this statement, but the quote is out of context (I assumes) and therefore I don’t want to say that Kelley’s position is invalid. Yet at the same time, it makes some borderline assumptions. First of all, the statement uses the verb “want” to describe these men. While that, in one perspective, excuses the men who are feminists, it more so creates a dialogue that men are not feminists. Or that they are less feminists than women are. Which is not true. I mean, it is true that there are men who are less strongly feminist than other women, just as it is true that there are women who are less strongly feminist than men. But that might be a little nit-picky. Then again, our word choice defines how we are conditioned and how we think about various concepts.

In addition, but opening the statement with a phrase that implicates men for not understanding something, there become a tension within the statement that implies that to learn how to become a feminist, one must follow the instructions that are to come: “they need to take the space they have…and make it feminist.” And this statement, again, is engrained in some good perspectives. By “make it feminist” I assume Kelley means a space that is as safe for women as it is for men. Which, while something that our country/our world has struggled with for many years, is a great point. That’s how it should be. Yet this idea that men do not need to be given space in feminism, rather, they must create it, is dualistic.

Feminism is dualistic. Inherently, feminism is contradictory, because perspectives and interpretations of reasonable human beings often contradict. And that’s fine. It provides a safe space for multiple perspectives to be contradictory, so long as things remain respectful. However, as some amount of self identified feminists are in many ways for the progress of women, rather than the equality of them, there becomes an awkward dialogue. If this statement is interpreted as a saying made by one of these extremist feminists, it could be interpreted as saying men are incapable of providing an avenue to the success of feminism. Which I think is a narrow perspective, if not unreasonable. I mean, it doesn’t make sense to cut out the people trying to help you—male or female. I’m sure this could come off as a man trying to assert himself into feminism, which I really don’t mean to do, but then again it’s hard to point out potential errors like this and not come off poorly.

Again, this is just interpretation of a quote, and very easily could have had more context to negate these opinions. But this quote was taken out of context and presented. So I wanted to share the various flaws with how it could be interpreted. What do you think? Are these unreasonable? Is the quote unreasonable? Are both fair? Let me know!

LEARNING DATING ETIQUETTE

Hello everyone,

 

How is everyone doing this Monday? I guess it’s a Monday so that’s somewhat of a rhetorical question. Any who, I am running on a cool 5 hours sleep because I’m apparently insane. Yesterday I had a date, which was cool, and we got along well, which is also good. We had some very interesting conversations, and that made me want to talk about dating etiquette some more.

I don’t want to talk more about the whole “who should pay” thing, since I’ve talked about that before. But I do want to talk about the hard aspects of dating. Number one is conversation. Now personally, I think I’m pretty good at judging if someone wants to talk or if they want to listen, and I can do a pretty good job filling that void. Sometimes when I’m unsure I talk a little more than I should, but I like to think of myself as a pretty polite person, so I don’t really stray into discussions that are too weird. Of course, I’m also in no way smooth, and I am physically pretty reserved.

That being said, we got pretty meta on my date yesterday, where we went into discussion about dating and the awkward aspects of dating in the modern era. Of course we talked about who should pay, but we also talked about expectations and politeness. One of the areas we didn’t really go into but that I have thought about was the difference in household lifestyles and how they affect people when they interact. For example, she’s gluten free for reasons I won’t go into, but that somewhat limited where we could go. We’d set up a place, but didn’t realize they were closed. We walked to a couple place close by and found a place. Now, I know that sounds simple and easy, but we went into a couple places and walked out when they didn’t have options that suited her. Which seems like…duh, right? Except I think that there are some people out there who would have not been happy to walk around looking for a place that was suitable for both people. Like that would have just ruined the night for them.

Let’s also look at holding the door. That’s sort of a societal standard like…guys hold the doors for girls. General “chivalry” stuff. Guys sit after the girl is seated, pay for the food, walking on the sidewalk so that the guy is closest to the street, etc. Except nowadays that’s more free form. Personally, I held the door when things weren’t too busy, but where we ended up going was super busy, so I went inside first, because there was less room to maneuver. Was this rude? I don’t think so, and I doubt it even crossed her mind.

But if it did cross her mind, how does that reflect on me? Should it reflect on me? Should we judge people by simple actions like holding the door? I like to think that people are more complex than that, and yet at the same time one of the easiest indicators of how a person will treat you later on in life, and how they go through life, is simply by observing how they treat waiters. Let me know what you think!

COOPERATIVE VICTORIES

Hello everyone,

 

How’s your day in my future going? I’m (hopefully) having a great day in Montana while you read this. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about my vacation when I get back. But right now it’s time to get down to…business? This isn’t really a job. I don’t get paid. Either way, I was thinking more about gender inequality, which is just such a wonderfully substantive topic that is never ending. However, I was thinking today about reverse discrimination, as my dad calls it. Specifically, I was thinking about an ad I saw a while ago trying to promote equality. See it here:cjpnx8ruyaaaaqp

Of course, it’s a totally unfair ad. It’s poorly worded. It doesn’t present the world as it is in reality. Women are abused sexually in higher numbers than men by a significant margin. But the ad does bring forward a problem that I see and hear a lot. Which is that feminism sometimes, depending on the hands it is in, is not about equality and instead about feminine superiority. Typically it’s not even consciously done either. This subconscious idea is how we end up with ads that show two people in the same scenario (Jake drunk, Josie drunk) and think it’s ok to just blame one of them without further clarification. I’ll take a recent example that happened to me by my own family.

My sister and I are both over 21, she’s a couple years older than me. This last Mother’s Day, she received a gift, despite not being a mother, simply because my mom felt like giving her one. That’s super sweet, and I think it picks up on the spirit of the tradition rather than the strict definition of the holiday.

Father’s Day rolls around, and I don’t get a gift. Now, I don’t really care. I’m not a father. I mean sure, I was a little like “hey that’s a double standard” but let’s be honest, Father’s Day has always fallen a bit more to the wayside in American society in comparison to Mother’s Day. The guys are already so far ahead in society, it’s less valuable. Or a “real man” wouldn’t need to celebrate. Regardless, I noticed this difference. And this is the kind of duality that even the most foreword thinking person can make a mistake out of.

One of the problems I have come to face is that the pride that exists for being a woman far out weighs the pride there is for being a man. This could just be the household I was raised in. But we constantly talk up how important women are—which is effectively affirmative action for women, who have been neglected for decades. But in filling the silence with just talk about the greatness of women, we often unintentionally push aside the great parts of being a man. Which I don’t think is the core aim of feminism. A lot of people call feminists pretentious, which I think is pretty clearly false. But there certainly could be experiences like this that would cause people to feel that way. If all I saw were women tooting their own horns constantly, and shaming men for being “manly,” I would feel the same way.

This is a bigger topic than I have time for today. I don’t mean to say that women aren’t facing more difficulty than men. Sexual assault occurs too often. It’s unacceptable that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in college, and we need to be better about it. But we don’t solve the problem by holding up women and leaving men behind like some people do. We do that by lifting up everyone. Don’t make it a battle of the sexes. Make it a cooperative victory.

DRIFTING SMALL TALK

Hey everyone,

 

Today is day one of my vacation, but I wanted to keep everyone involved in what I’m doing here, so I’ve written quite a few blog posts ahead of time to do that! Today I’m writing the first one…unfortunately I have no idea what to write it on since I’m sort of all written out for the day!

 

I paused mid sentence while writing the blog to talk to my housemate, a nice girl that I get along with really well. Then realized our conversation was a perfectly interesting thing to duplicate for a future blog. Check it out:

“I just sang to a sapling. I helped it and it was more robust.”

With harmonic voice:

“Sapling’s, come to meeeee, let me sing to youuuu”

Very stoically:

“ ‘Bedraggled’ they use such good vocabulary.”

“Who’s they?”

“The elves.”

“The elves or the writers?”

“The writers!”

Pause. She takes a sip of water.

“Doo-do-doooo”

“What are you singing?”

“Oh just some song that was in my mind. I want to find my sister!”

“Ok…”

“Well I wanted to show her the wedding place of Aragorn.”

“Oh…ok.”

“Yeah, she’s probably asleep though.”

“At 1:40?”

“Well sometimes she stays up late.”

“I mean same but I’m surprised your parents let her do it.”

“Yeah I mean like they sometimes are surprised she’s asleep but meh.”

“Must be nice.”

“Yeah.”

Pause. Another sip of water.

“My parents probably wouldn’t say anything to me, but they’d give me that look. Like I had somehow failed them or that I was a terrible citizen.”

“Wow. Harsh.”

“Meh.”

Silence. Music of chains and minor battle cries play softly. The air conditioning turns on.

“Well, Kevin is stopping by shortly, so I have to get cleaning.”

“Wait I just got to the tree.”

“O…k…?”

Silence. I walk out of the room.