So I wrote this post a while back that was fairly straight-forward – I simply took a classic example of an article written for women that teemed with sickening fawning over the female sex and derision toward the male sex. Then, I changed the pronouns so that my lady readers would “woke” and realize that the way we talk about ourselves – especially in relation to men – is often very offensive.
Anyway – it’s one of my only posts that could be considered an “evergreen.” That is – I actually still consistently get daily hits from rando interwebbers on this blog post, even though it died a quick death in fb world.
Today I was looking over the search terms that people use to find my blog, and the overwhelming majority of them are “unknown search terms.”
But of that small minority of search terms that were actually registered, I was alarmed to find out that almost everyone coming to my page is a creepy male supremacist!
Y’all… I don’t know what to do. My only kinda-long-term-successful post is driving traffic to Galloblog from…. the Milo Yiannapoulos fan club?!?
If you are reading this because you want to woman-hate, move it along. Also, I’m not patheric, YOU ARE! Lolzzzz
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
I’m sorry if you were expecting an actual point or conclusion to this. This was about as “about nothing” as I’ve ever posted. But holy moly! What hath Galloswag wrought?
I went on a date last night. I realize it’s a terrible idea to tell the entire interwebs about it, but I have so many thoughts and feels about it, I truly don’t care.
To begin – the date activities were downright classy. In the current “ambiguous hangout” culture, it’s refreshing to be treated like an adult woman with value. Actually, the whole experience made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve felt truly valued and – excuse me for getting vuln here – almost made me want to cry. He picked me up. He used the D word beforehand – but also made it clear he wasn’t necessarily expecting this to be the start of a long relationship – so I wasn’t confused about what he was thinking. He told me how fancy-pants he was going to be, so I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing myself by dressing too down or too up. It may seem small, but it’s really considerate to eliminate so much random stress and angst with clear communication.
Then the date itself – I don’t think I’m off base to say he was excited to be out with me and thought I looked attractive. I felt attractive. He was flirty and affectionate without assuming a false romanticism (one of my pet peeves). He asked me about myself and seemed genuinely interested in my answers. He wasn’t intimidated by my PhD and research, but he didn’t fetishize it, either (if anyone ever says “talk nerdy to me,” that’s my cue to split and Uber myself back to the hizzle). He was obviously very smart and had a good career going, but he wasn’t arrogant about it.
Beyond that – we just had a connection. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. He’s one of the very few people I could imagine having a deep convo with but still be able to laugh uproariously about something ridiculous. So many men I meet 1) immediately launch into convincing me we’re perfect for each other and should formalize our relationship as soon as possible, 2) seem like they’re trying to figure out how well I fit into their life, worldview, social scene, etc. but aren’t interested in my life, worldview, social scene, or 3) they treat me like their bro who they’re kinda sorta attracted to. But he didn’t try to point out everything we had in common, or ask probing questions to determine if I would put up with his video game all nighters, and we didn’t meet up at Chipotle. He treated me like.. a(n attractive) person … who he was getting to know. Cray!
You may be thinking, “Congrats! What’s the prob?” Well, to my great chagrin, we have deeply incompatible worldviews. One part of me wants to push that to the side and take it day by day. But y’all, this is where I need to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I either have faith or I don’t. As much as my poor little heart is a little ache-y right now, my brain and my heart both remember how miserable it is to date someone who (directly or indirectly) discourages my faith. So I can’t. Or more accurately, I won’t. As the sassy Jane Eyre said –
“I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”
This is probably frustrating to read. If this was a movie I’d be super pissed that this was the ending. “Why even tell us this?!” Because, with all my snarky criticisms and womansplaining related to dating and men, I wanted to spend at least one post not being glib or sarcastic or bossy, but just real.
I also want the world to know that the type of date I described above is **not** out of fashion.
Single Brochachos I strongly encourage you: if you don’t get excited about being out with a woman, or if you don’t find yourself wanting to create a date that makes her feel valued, then do yourself both a favor and release her to find someone who does.
Single Sischachas I strongly encourage you: if your man doesn’t consistently make you feel valued, honored, and special… move it along.
Final point- it’s okay to appreciate something for what it was, even if it didn’t have the perfect rom-com ending. I loved that date, and I’m so thankful for it.
I’m also thankful to all of you for enduring this embarrassing amount of over-sharing. Promise I’ll go back to being glib and sarcastic very soon. ❤
PLEASE NOTE: I wrote a post a while back with some similar elements, and it really ruffled some feathers. Not trying to stir the pot, just sharing my thoughts/feels.. that’s what blogging is for, yo. If you are seriously offended plz message me about it. *smooch*
When I was a wee sprout, I read this story about two princes who were both given fancy-shmancy jackets by the King (their Pops). Their one charge was to take care of the jackets. The two princes then encounter various catastrophes throughout their day. They both see a man with his wagon stuck in the mud. One prince says, “sorry Charlie, getting you out of that mud would mess up my fly jacket.” But the other prince rolls up his sleeves and helps the stranded guy, and his jacket is flecked with mud. Later, there is a fire in the village. One prince says, “Not my prob,” but the other runs in a burning house and rescues people, and his jacket is burnt with holes. And more things like this happen, and one prince keeps his jacket clean while the other one almost completely destroys his. At the end of the day, the King is outraged that the one prince has really effed up his jacket, but then the townspeople come forward and explain all that he did to help them. The king learns that the jacket was destroyed not through carelessness or disrespect, but through care and respect for others. Then the king publicly honors the ruin’t jacket prince and shames the immaculate-jacket prince for his selfishness.*
The moral of the story, I think, was about value. Yes, the jackets were snazzy and deserved to be cared for. But one prince (rightly) saw that living a life worth living necessitated messing up his jacket.
This is a very long intro to something I’ve been thinking about lately, especially in my grisly old age.
TRYING TO BE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU’RE AN AGING WOMAN IS THE WORST.
Think about it – what’s valued in women, beauty wise? Wrinkle free and soft skin is sexy. Having no extra body fat anywhere (EXCEPT in the “right” places, of course) is sexy. Pretty nails are at least.. appreciated, even if they aren’t sexy per se. Grey hair is not really acceptable, much less valued, until you are at least 65. Etc. etc .etc.
What’s valued in men? Wrinkles are fine. Rough hands are sexy. Muscles are sexy. Pretty nails are *not* sexy, imo. Grey foxes are sexy. Etc. etc etc.
I’m not just trying to say “beauty standards for women are unfair!” Plenty o’ people have already said that. My point is that the more men live their lives and DO STUFF, the more sexy they become. But for women, the more we live active lives, the less sexy we become.
To achieve the perfect beauty regimen, women should do nothing but lounge around in a spa. They shouldn’t do anything with their hands so they’ll stay soft and our nails won’t get janky. We shouldn’t go outside in any weather that’s too cold, or our skin will dry out. Too windy, we’ll get wind-chapped. Too sunny, and we’ll get wrinkles. And to maintain our 900 calories/day to keep up our prepubescent figures, we should be practically comatose. Oh, and we probably shouldn’t do any real work so we don’t accidentally get real functional muscles.
I would like to propose to women everywhere that we think about our looks like the prince did his jacket. Should we abuse it just to abuse it? No. There’s no honor in binge drinking or refusing to exercise. But… am I going to refuse to go hiking on a sunny day or do science lab work (it’s very rough on the hands, tbh) or do anything remotely stressful so that I can make sure my skin doesn’t wrinkle, my hands don’t get rough and calloused, and my hair doesn’t gray?
“Fooie patooie” – C Galloswag
Naw. Let’s live our lives, ladies, and let the hands roughen, the wrinkles deepen, and the hairs grey. So what if the sleeping beauties are more beautiful than us? The Prince Charmings can have ’em. I’ll be fighting communism with Prince Janky-Jacket 😉
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*I read this story over 20 years ago, so I’m basically making up all the details. But this was essentially what happened 😀
I read this article the other day that was written by an overweight woman for overweight women. Some of the article I really liked, but the last paragraph lost me. The author confidently asserted to the millions of women her article was addressed to that they were beautiful, no matter how much they weighed.
Oh geez. Okay – does being overweight automatically exclude you from being beautiful? No! But being overweight does not automatically transform you into Beyoncé, either. We need to stop whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, especially if those sweet nothings are unknowable or knowably false.
Saying everyone has some positive attribute ruins the meaning, value, and specialness of that attribute.
I think why we feel so compelled to say all women are beautiful is we have a strong compulsion to affirm everyone’s value. Therefore, everyone must be beautiful.
But let’s all collectively gasp as we realize the sneaky unspoken assumption – that women who aren’t beautiful aren’t valuable. That is the real problem – not that the majority of a given group of people for a given period in time will inevitably prize certain physical features over others. Even if it’s not fair, it just is what it is and we have to learn to work with what we’ve got. So let’s come to terms with the idea that some women do not fit society’s beauty standards as well as others – but they still have value. There’s more to life than arousing as many men as possible before we die. I hope you see Eleanor Roosevelt and mother Theresa as more valuable human beings than the most famous porn star in the world, whoever she may be.
So I plead with you – stop lying to people, and stripping away the meaning of words, especially “beautiful.” Let beautiful mean something again!
Hurrah to ugly, valuable women!
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“…the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags”
I grew up in a southern Baptist church AND was homeschooled, so I have endured my share of lectures on dressing modestly. I even took some classes at a church that wouldn’t let women on their property if they were wearing pants. I have never experienced more wrath than when a homeschool mom yelled at me, her golden eyes sparking with hatred, because my shirt showed my tums when I raised my arms (Now, I find it hilarious and maybe a little ironic that I have been slut shamed). Granted, these examples stick out to me because they’re outliers.
But even so, we all know that a “modesty” talk will be directed exclusively toward women. And it will be about what they’re (ornot) wearing. Because you know, the thrill of being immodest is a female privilege.
Some of you may want to sit down for this one. Ready? Here it comes – Men can be immodest, too. Maybe they aren’t teasing with low cut v-necks, but they may hog the “air time” during a group discussion to showcase their exquisite insightfulness.
Or they may show breathtaking creativity in how many times they can oh-so-casually work their six-fig income into a conversation. Or they may plaster their social media with pics of them surrounded by village children in Haiti, to really drive home their compassion and sensitivity. All can be forms of immodesty, all achievable without ever showing the smallest amount of bosomery. Amazing!
I’m not advocating for us to chuck propriety out the window. There IS a balance somewhere between looking Amish and frolicking around in nekidness. But rules like No Skirts Above Thigh Where Fingers Reach When Standing Straight With Arms Fully Extended don’t really get it… and the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags.* Because really, immodesty is about drawing attention to yourself. Yes, showing some cleavage is a great way to get some attention** but
1) it’s just one of many ways to draw attention to yourself
2) men aren’t exempt from clamoring for attention
3) immodesty is a visible symptom to an insecurity that goes all the way to yer ticker.
This myopic focus on women’s bosoms and bootays when discussing modesty does a disservice to women AND men. Making up detailed rules to emphasize your rightness and expose the unrightness of others… 100% guaranteed to make all hearts involved worse off. Now, how to change the heart so that it doesn’t want or need validation from others? Hmm.. 😉 ***
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*Consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount. One of the main themes was how the commandments all went way beyond a simple rule to the heart behind specific commandments… not a stricter rule. For example, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey – remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even pinch a brother.” No, he said, “Remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even be angry in the first place.” (paraphrase, Matt 5:21-22) This is frustrating, because it’s like.. “but, that’s internal! I can kinda control my actions, and barely control my thoughts on good days – but control my innermost desires?! Impossible!” And it’s like Jesus was like, “Bingo!” [cue Holy Spirit].