October, November, December and January. The four months I both like and hate the most. I love all the changes that happen in nature, colours, smells, temperatures… just beautiful. But these are also months with a lot of pressure about happiness, a stereotyped happiness. This triggers a lot of anxiety and mixed feelings within me.
I have struggled a lot, and still do, with myself. My body, my points of view, my sense of humour… I learned to be unhappy with myself. My best qualities, everything that makes me beautiful and unique, those are the things I learned to hate. There’s a strong stereotype about what being a man is and what is not. There’s a lot of bullshit that has distorted what being human means. The system has been telling me, since my childhood, that I am not a man, not a real man. Not only through media, but directly from people whom I thought to be above clichés and stereotypes. In my case, I’ve heard it specially from women and training obsessed men. We live in a system that has changed the meaning of a lot of concepts.
Let me talk about my experience as a man. Strength is measured by muscles, showing vulnerability is rejected. Letting others have the free will to do as they please is seen as a weakness, I am expected to be strict. Everything that makes me different from the macho stereotype is seen as sweet, but not manly enough. What a paradox. What is politically correct to say is that the macho culture has to end, and I totally agree with that. But the message I get everyday is that I ain’t manly enough. I’m sorry, I’m tired of all that bullshit. Strength ain’t in the muscles. Telling people to pull themselves together and imposing without communicating ain’t being a good fellow human being. Showing vulnerability requires a lot of courage. And yes, every time a human being says “take it like a man” I get really sad.
We feel the pressure of happiness, but whose happiness? At what cost?
Already in October, and even before, we are being bombarded with Christmas. That means an even higher level of stereotypes being pumped in our brains. How families are supposed to look like. What women are supposed to look like. What men are supposed to look like. What children are supposed to be playing with. Whom should we be celebrating imposed celebrations with. Do we really enjoy being told what to do, when to do it and with whom? Wait a moment, ain’t that the same I’m expected to be? I mean, it’s obviously only my own experience, but that is actually what I’ve been expected to be. A man who imposes what, when and with whom without showing any vulnerability. So society is only repeating system’s patriarchal message.
There are a lot of studies about dominance in human relations. I don’t like the way studies usually are presented to us. They tend to be presented from the payer’s point of view. But what does my experience say? What I’ve observed is that people with traits like being authoritarian, in control and taking leadership are considered to be successful and strong. Those are not traits usually associated with kind and caring people. I find it very interesting and annoying at the same time. What the system tells us everyday is that dominant equals success. It may not be that obvious all the time, because when dominance is flavoured with a willingness to be helpful and generous it becomes appealing. Dominance is dominance. Showing a wish for something doesn’t mean that you are actually going to do that. So no matter how wishful to help others a dominant person is, it ain’t until dominance ends that that person will actually be helpful. Those helpful acts are otherwise a mere consciousness wash.
I think a lot about all those gurus and leaders that commit serious crimes against human beings in the name of love, peace, happiness, community… but hey, it actually works. Dominant people tend to be more self-centred and insensitive to others’ feelings; and that, mixed with a facade of sharing some kind of spiritual guidance to happiness, becomes a dangerous time bomb.
There are a lot of gurus preaching awareness and creating empires while exploiting good people. Hierarchy and dominance are rewarded. Kindness and care are exploited. If all those people are awaken and aware, why do they keep on being slaves of self proclaimed masters? Those distorted meanings of awareness are passing from self proclaimed teachers to new pupils. The same as the meaning of being a man, woman or child.
There are more than enough resources for everybody, but the systems that fail us every day are dominant and exploit the resources. They have built up complex narratives to make us feel bad about those who are less fortunate. So instead of giving real solutions for real problems, these systems keep on giving us their solutions to their problems. This is what a lot of leaders and gurus do, they are dominant. They abuse authority. They manipulate. They abuse peoples feelings and state of mind.
October, November, December and January are months with very important life changing dates for me, enough to trigger my anxiety and depression. But in top of that, these are the months when I get an extra dose of the “you ain’t manly enough” message. Everyday. I may not be manly enough for the system, I’m good with that. I don’t want to be dominant in a patriarchal system. But too many individuals have been treating me like the system does, and I’m not so good with that. Why would they want me to be dominant? My conclusion is that there is a general lack of real awareness disguised as happiness.
Dominant people usually live in guarded castles, insensitive to other people’s feelings. A lot of my trust issues come from being told something that was actually the opposite of what was being done. I know that one of my biggest mistakes has been believing that people mean what they say. But I do also understand that being human in this system we live in is really challenging for us all. We think we know how things should be, but never see how things really are. We tend to see everyone else’s defects according to the system, but how often do we try to understand why do we act the way we do? Why do people say things that they don’t mean? Why do people hide themselves in their own castles? Why do people get the desire of being themselves when they actually are themselves? Why do people pretend that they are someone else? Why do people feel like they are in control when they are doing exactly the same as everyone else? Could it be because of this system that rewards dominant people? Why do we give ourselves to those who already have enough with themselves? Why do we let dominant people be dominant? Why do we chose to let the system decide what’s good and what’s wrong? Why do we believe that less thinking equals more happiness? Why should we be asking more questions? Why do we want a castle like the dominant people’s have?
I feel sorry for all those who have said sexist things to me. I don’t know if they meant what they said, but they said what they said. I am a human being. I don’t need to grow any balls, take it like a man or hide my vulnerability to prove that I am a human being. I don’t need anybody to tell me what I am. I am tired of a system that tells me that I am not manly enough. I’m tired of a system that abuses individuals to propagate this nonsense bullshit about what makes us women or men. I hate propaganda. I hate that the months I like the most are also the months I have to fight harder against imposed bullshit.