WHEN TO ACCEPT GENDER ROLES

Hello everyone,

 

So where do we go from here? I just spent several days going over all the flaws with gendered society, both on the side of women and men. I think, in reality, it is only troubling to consider these faults because they can impact so many people on such a large scale. Men have high suicide rates. Women have high rates of sexual assault. It’s really dangerous. At the same time though, it’s also really important that we are gendered to an extent.

Think about it. Think about the people you find attractive. What makes them attractive? Is it that they are intellectuals? Is it that they have a good physical form? Are they all men? Women? Are they the same gender as you? The vast majority of people would answer that they were the opposite gender that they were. How do you know they are the opposite gender? Is it just that one has a higher muscle density, or that someone else has breasts? Who ever it is that you are thinking of (or looking at), they are probably clothed. You can’t see their genitalia. Yet it is extremely easy to tell by looking at a person if they are male or female.

Likewise, the romantic male-female dynamic that exists in contemporary society plays towards “the ideal man” and “the ideal woman.” Is this really a bad thing? I mean we have discussed how bad it is for the psyche of many people, but is it really bad to have a gold standard? I certainly know that I personally would prefer that the woman I end up with was thin, short, and stereotypically beautiful. So at what point is this preference about being equal in comparison to being ideal? Should we flirt equally with people we find less attractive, simply because they might be more intelligent? Should we flirt with the beautiful people less because we want to focus on who someone is as a person, rather than what their outward appearance is? Why do so many men watch pornography then? Why do so many women fantasize over sex objects like Tom Cruise, Chris Evans, or Adam Levine?

At what point should we abandon our upper brain activities in favor of our lower brain ones? The lower brain has existed for quite a bit longer, so if you believe in evolution, the lower brain probably is more precise and attuned to what an ideal mate is, where as the upper brain is still continuing to develop.

It’s interesting. After postulating about how we shouldn’t give in to the lower brain pathos categorization of people based on innate qualities that some people are lucky enough to have, it’s still a romantic notion to think of a rugged man taking down a terrifying beast in order to save a beautiful princess. That quick analogy doesn’t even say that they get married or have sex, but you probably had imagined the rest of the classic stories from just that much information.

I think that, in closing, while we often should just go with our gut feelings, because they are so much more attuned to the wavelengths of nature, it is also important to think freely to make sure that the gut feeling is also the morally acceptable feeling. It’s easy to have the gut feeling “I want to have sex with that person.” It’s hard to have the mind that can say “Even though I want to have sex with that person, I need to pause and consider how my desires are affecting their life.”

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TEA AT 3:00 SHARP

Hello everyone,

 

Welcome back! I’ve just sat myself down with a cup of Earl Grey tea to get the spring in my step back that I will need to meet my work schedule for today. Nothing over tiring—just another 5 hours on top of my classes from today—though my roommates all describe me as “always doing something” or “non stop” which surprises me, because I always look at some of my other friends as being more…active in life. I suppose it is because I am on a schedule—in fact, all of us are on a schedule. It is part of how we can efficiently maintain our priorities without losing sleep time and so on. It’s pretty great. Unfortunately, if you are not active with planning your schedule (or worse, keep your schedule in constant free form) you are probably in what many people would describe as a “slump.”

A slump is something that everybody (trust me, everybody) goes through at some point in their life in which they feel excessively unmotivated. People justify this in different ways—to little time in the day, to little energy for the size of tasks required, and so on. It’s all bullshit. Now, it might be very real feeling bullshit, but lets be honest, you can do it. I know I have had many struggles with motivation myself—part of this blog is to help keep me motivated with writing, because I have been rather uninvolved with the world in the last few months. Slumps usually occur when you are doing something taxing to your mental or physical states, or when there is a sudden change in life. For example, my worst slump ever lasted about a year and a half after I went through my first difficult break up. I just sort of…went to school…went to work…ate horribly…and so on. Life was a drag. My current slump occurred because I had a particularly difficult quarter—not in terms of grades, but in terms of workload.

To conquer a slump, you have to make an active schedule and commit yourself to fulfilling it. Often times people who suffer from depression use a similar method to overcome said depression. Which is effectively what you are doing. But it isn’t as easy as write out a schedule and do it—nothing ever is. Get up earlier. Right now I am getting up at 6:30 am every day. It sucks. I have never been a morning person. But I am doing it. And you can too. Really—you can. Sure, you might not make it out of bed the first time, but hold yourself accountable with a punishment. Not a “oh you’re stupid and lazy” kind of punishment—then you will just talk yourself into a self-fulfilling prophecy, and deepen yourself in slump-ville. Really get yourself in their and say “ok, if I don’t get out of bed when my alarm goes off at 6:30 this morning, I am cutting steak out of my diet for the week.” Or if you’re an outspoken vegan, up the ante—“If I don’t get out of bed, I have to try meat at my next dinner with friends.” Food works for me. Do whatever works for you. Maybe it’s reading. Maybe its’ crafting. Maybe it’s working out. Set a goal and achieve it is not where things stop. Set a goal, work your butt off until you succeed once, and then hold yourself to succeeding every time.

I realize this is not totally a natural thing. It’s a logos and ethos thing. The pathos is what keeps you in bed—it’s your body compensating for whatever damage you are dealing with. And you’ll stay in bed until your upper brain function returns. Which is fine. But once you’re back online, you better be up and active, or else your brain functions are going to get lazy too. Which is not the side of life you want to be on. Trust me.

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES

Hello everyone,

 

Sex is a wonderful thing. Though, with cliché openings like that, you’re probably not very likely to get laid. Who do you find attractive? Do you like big boobies or fat booties? Rock hard abs or a chiseled jaw line? Is there more to it than the just a persons body? I mean we certainly all like to think that it is more than what a person looks like. But then, we also adore the idea of love at first sight. An idea that relies solely on the appearance of people. So either we are all hypocrites or we do not have a clue what makes us fall in love. I love Scarlett Johansson and Mia Malkova, and yet I know absolutely nothing about them besides the fact that one is an actress and the other is a porn star.

But I also love some girls that I’ve known for years (I’m not going to name them! What if they read this?), and most people wouldn’t think they’re anywhere near on par with ScarJo physically. Right? Which leads me to my alternate theory. I think that, much like my discussion about how pathos, ethos, and logos form out of different levels of the brain, so does attraction. Our primeval brains tell us ideal mates through the use of our senses—hence why so many people dress nice, attempt to smell good, and have smooth skin. Our higher-level brains then help us weed through those people to find suitable partners. I’m sure this is…obvious…like…duh. But this isn’t working in tandem, rather its working in contrast because both brains are trying to do the same thing at the same time. So we could say that our lower and upper brains are, once again, in turmoil with one another. Ironic.

At what point in time do we have the most sex with the most partners? Most people would say college! YAY college parties! Just like with anything, to overcome a situation it must be confronted. It’s so obvious, that for our upper brain to overcome its accomplices’ sexual desires, it must appease it’s appetite. Once quenched, the lower brain can settle down. The problematic part is that the upper brain doesn’t recognize this. It fights lower level functions with all its might. It wants to be completely in control, much like a communist government. Complete control is futile. Once the upper brain can sedate the lower brain though, it can at least bypass the emotional strains on a day-to-day level. Which explains the drop in estrogen and testosterone in people as they grow older. It also explains our fascination with college age students as “the most attractive” or “the pinnacle of sexual viability” in spite of the fact that they really aren’t fully developed. College sex has become a coming of age ritual in our society.

Of course, not all people attend college, and not all people that attend college actually fulfill their sexual desires. In fact, most people don’t—I know that I certainly don’t, with rising requirements at work, other interests, and just trying to stay in acceptable shape, I have very little time to go fuck a bunch of people. Not to mention that I’m not exactly the most social person (I mean I’m writing a blog, isn’t that like the definition of non-social?). But we probably want to. I mean given the opportunity between having sex with a person I find attractive and not, I’m pretty sure I would choose to do so. And I recognize that I am making a lot of assumptions about this, but it is not obscene to claim that our sex drives directly correlate to our brain activities.

So if we assume that our brains are functioning at lower levels for our college years, its also fair to connect that our sexual development directly impacts our education. I will go into how at another time, but an idea I would pose to keep in mind is that there are two ways this could impact us. Too much sex would cause for an extreme imbalance between pathos and the other pillars, which would cause for a dilution of the ethos and logos in a person’s being. They would be consumed by pathos. The alternative is too little sex, which would cause a base reaction by the lower brain from being deprived of sex. Think of a damn, with water building up behind it. Without some amount of relief, it will eventually burst, and something will go wrong. In terms of the pillars, this would mean that lack of pathos would cause for a hunger for it, which would eventually overwhelm the ethos and logos higher brain functions of a person.

So make sure you’re balancing yourselves! Don’t go hitting up every fuckboi you know, but don’t close yourself off to people either. Tell that girl you’ve noticed at work your cheesy pick-up line. Tell that guy in class that you would be interested in going to get coffee with him. Just don’t go telling EVERY girl your pick up line. And if people tell you that you’re thirsty, just tell them that everybody needs water to survive.

THE GLASS OF PREJUDICE

Hello everyone!

 

Back at it again with the blogs! I considered leading with “white blogs” but I get the feeling that may come out more racial than intended. I left of yesterday with a pretty strong critique of ethos, pathos, and logos use within the political spectrum. Obviously, it is a really diverse idea, as I argued that Sanders balanced his use of the pillars while Trump relied on the use of pathos to control people. It very easily can be seen from other angle, but I’m going to stick to my guns (ironic, as I am a pacifist) on this one. Today, I would like to discuss political correctness. Not the “Trump” political correctness, but why exactly we have this idea in place of political correctness, and why we are so prone to ignoring that for comedic effect.

One of my favorite jokes of all time is Louis C.K.’s Forklift joke, in which he discusses racism and interpretation of racism. Here’s a link to a video of it I found on YouTube, please watch it for comprehension:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Nhd3ihoA8

 

If you don’t have access to the video for whatever reason (why are you reading this at work?), I’ll briefly explain the concept of it—though I highly recommend watching it. Basically, his white friend has a racist family that says “the nigger fell asleep at the forklift,” and Louis presents this racial insensitivity, and then juxtaposes that idea with the black interpretation of the situation—disappointment with their fellow African-American falling asleep on the job, and a Greek friend curious how someone falls asleep at a forklift. Now, I’ve taken on a moderately academic tone to my writing, which perhaps is why you flinched a little when you read the word “nigger.” And that’s good—it means you are racially sensitive in your conscious mind. It probably also means that, at least to some extent, you disagree with Trumps divisive rhetoric, even if you are a Republican.

Unfortunately, a large number of people think that the buck stops here when it comes to racism. They think that being angry with Asian drivers when they make a dangerous move in traffic, or when they crack a joke about a women not being in the kitchen, it is totally harmless. Which it isn’t. Despite the fact that you, more than likely, don’t go out of your way and hurt someone, what these passive acts of violence do is script your responses to specific scenarios. It labels people. It categorizes them. As I’ve said before, categorization is the root of all evil. In terms of prejudice and discrimination, it becomes more blatant because we have been raised in an attempt to dismantle the idea of racial prejudice and be colorblind. The problem with this is that we are also told to embrace and promote individual culture heritages. I’m not saying either of these ideas are wrong, but they are ideas that are in opposition with each other.

This creates a weird gray area that nobody really understands and has shifting boundaries. For example, a lot of African-Americans are still called “Boy” in southern states. If I called someone “Boy” where I live, my white friends would look at me bug-eyed at best, and at worst I would probably be jumped by somebody (you thought of a black person attacking me there, didn’t you?). Yet people LOVE Louis CK’s dark humor. And they don’t hold it against him. Is it because he’s on stage? No, Trump is a testament to that. Is it because he is ironic about it? Possibly but no, because he is legitimately telling a story, the irony isn’t about the racism, but rather about juxtaposition about the internal struggles within racial boundaries. Is it because he has been through some systematic amount of racial injustice that has deeply changed his upbringing? No, he’s white—he’s a member of the group that’s been on top for centuries. I think that it is that, because of our mixed cultural ideas, we have come to accept that some amount of racism as acceptable. If I say that I am not going to name my adopted African-American daughter a typical black name like Maya, Leontyne, or Zora because I like a name better than that and it would be racist to name her one of these names, I have still labeled Maya, Leontyne, and Zora as “black female” names. That’s a racist thing to do—even if it isn’t directly racist. Think about it. You have “white names” and “black names,” and even “Hispanic” or “Asian” names in mind.

Again, that’s ok that it happens in your mind. You aren’t a part of the KKK or a neo-Nazi because you picture someone named “Dequan” as a black man. But if you claim that these labels are acceptable to make, then the racial line has been pushed forward. Think about it like a cat. If he pushes a glass too hard, it will simply knock over and break, and his fun is over. That’s what the extremists do. But if the cat knocks the glass lightly, it doesn’t really do anything—it may just move a couple inches. And that’s cool to him. Because he got a reaction out of it. So he keeps pushing it farther and farther, not so much that it knocks over, but to keep getting a reaction. And all is fun and good, until eventually he knocks the glass off the table, and it goes plunging to the floor and shatters across the room. It didn’t matter that the cat pushed the glass lightly, because he pushed it too many times. Be aware of how often you push the glass of prejudice, and how hard you are knocking it.

DI CAPRIO ON ICE

Hello everyone!

 

Or rather, hello random people I have never met before, who are probably small in number because this is my first blog post ever. Ironic. Did you know that to sign up for one of these you have to pick several things, including a theme, a blog “genre,” and a budget plan (I’ve opted for free because I’m uncertain how to consider this, as well as the fact that I don’t exactly know how successful these can be)? I chose “lifestyle” because that seems the most broad subject line for me—and I don’t want to be confined to just writing “How to Lose 30 pounds in 30 Days” or “How to Double Your Sales in Half the Time” articles. I don’t even want to be confined to something like “On Art.” Which is not to say that I will never write something like this, but I really don’t like cliché categorization ideas.

Categorization, in my opinion, is the root of all evil. Anytime someone labels something, even if it is in a positive sense, it has negative associations. Take, for example, the Oscars. “Best Actor” is a category that comes to mind. Let’s take Leo winning this year. He has been claimed “the best actor of movies released in 2015.” What does this imply? Well, obviously there is the positive—that Leo’s performance was far and away above that of the other actors nominated. Which is, in my opinion, completely true. But this division between Leo and other actors inherently creates a comparison between Leo and others, with Leo being the greater of the two.

Now, most people think that this is harmless, and for the most part it is. The problem is, however, that the subconscious does not necessarily have the same filtration system—it is less prone to reason and more prone to innate responses. In Layman’s terms, it thinks like “Leo good, others bad.” Of course, no mature adult is going to wage a war over who the Academy chooses for “Best Actor.” They may, on the other hand, wage a war against the villains that their group of choice deems evil. A modern example is the Democratic and Republican examples.

I’ll start with the Democrats, because the less violent speech seems easier to justify. Bernie Sanders has spearheaded the movement against the income inequality, and he has demonized the entire one percent. This is a scapegoating tactic that is used to appeal to the pathos side of a person’s brain—to incite fear or anger toward a group. He then uses logos (logic) to justify his idea as truth—typical Bernie has used statistics to establish his ideas. Finally, he relies on ethos, his expertize in the field, to make himself the sole reliable candidate for this. Now not all of this is bad—in fact Bernie uses a careful balance between the three pillars of persuasion to not become overly extreme in his rhetoric, despite his ideas being “extreme” for American politics. He doesn’t pressure people to execute the top money makers, but to demand better treatment from them.

Which leads me to the Republican Party. Now I don’t want to attack Cruz or Rubio despite their ideas being an appeal to religious authority. I want to do the popular thing and attack Trump. While the other “more moderate” (less dangerous) candidates are “politically correct,” Trump appeals by being unpredictable. Low-level thought loves this. I’m sorry if you’re a Trump fan, dear reader, but you have been caught with your evolutionary traits showing. You see, my theory is that the three pillars we rely on are ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos, is the conclusion of high brain activity—the reflection on outcome after years of experience. We can see Martin Luther King Jr. was a great person (publically) because he was on the correct side of the racial equality movements on nearly all occasions. Think of it like the Tip of an iceberg. As you move down to where the water level meets the ice, you reach the second level of thinking—logos. Logic. It’s called the bedrock of society for a reason. This is how people start movements like the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s say Rosa Parks was this person. She thought logically “I’m human, this other white guy demeaning me is human, and clearly less fatigued than I am. I’m going to stay sitting here.” That’s pretty basic logic. It’s still respectful and mechanical.

When you dive deeper though, you’ll notice that humans, just like an iceberg, are still heavily comprised of a reliance on pathos. Emotion. It’s what kept us alive for thousands of years before we had guns and knives and fire. Kill or be killed. In a balance, people can suppress the impulse to lash out at others, and use the passion of emotion to fuel their logical arguments. Unfortunately, when too much pathos is involved, people tend to forego civil behavior for primal aggression. Trump has fed on this idea. He harnesses people’s basic instincts to control them. If I told you, in complete seriousness, that unless you did what I said, you and everyone that has meaning to you in your life would die horribly, you’re going to do whatever it is. Even the slightest example of this can take a person’s imagination for a spin. Especially if its your life or someone else’s.

These matters, while pressing, are not imminent enough to need a response by the end of you reading this essay. Any time a person comes out as the savior of sorts, you should consider everything they say as objectively as possible. That may mean stopping and looking at how it effects other people that are not you. Which can be hard—it is hard to fight natural instinct. But that’s part of what being a “good” human being is. Anyone can kill someone to keep themselves safe. It’s much more difficult to trust another person and work with them for mutual safety. But if you can, in the end, you will both be stronger—because it’s a lot easier to take on oppressive regimes when you’re not alone.