Saturday, October 25, 2008

Point of comparison

So, while I deal with my own little crazies I came to a realization, and it is this: my failures are my own, and I will not blame others--either particular others or generalized, societal others.

I truly believe that people are generally cruel and competitive--no other animal destroys its own like the human animal. If other animals could talk, they would tell us that they hate us, and they think we suck. Even the crazy mean animals would say that. We are (to quote Perry Cox on Scrubs) "bastard coated bastards with bastard fillings." So that's the sunshiny outlook that underpins my personality. Nice, huh?

So. These past few weeks, I have noticed plenty of people who play up on this idea. These people live up the idea that they are victims of this world--of oppression, suppression, etc etc. And, yeah. Society's like that. Our history is not about helping others up, but about finding others to tear down--in the name of god, country, or moral/intellectual superiority. Every time we stop oppressing one group, we find another group to oppress. Or at least we find new ways of oppressing the same groups. We're so effing clever that way.

But what I have come to realize is that people actually like to use this cruelty as an excuse for not succeeding or for being douchebags. They argue that their failures and attitude problems are out of their control--it's because people are cruel and oppressing. And I realized that that's not completely okay with me. I am sensitive to the fact that people are continually marginalized in our society, but what better way to shove their crap right back in their faces than by succeeding and being a rockstar of a person?

I realize that by doing this, I risk seeming insensitive to the oppression of others, but the reality is far from it. I'm entirely sensitive to that. I feel like shit about how my race has treated people of other races. I feel like whites have a lot more to account for before true equality can be reached. But at the same time, I don't think it's helpful for anyone to give those in power MORE power by accepting their oppression and making it so central a part of their identity. That's ultimately what moved me from strident feminist to normal feminist. I realized that the far-out feminists were only giving power back to the "white male" by telling them how powerful they were at our expense.

What better way of telling them to stick it than by saying, "Your power over me is not that important to me. I acknowledge it exists. I think you suck for using it. I think you've always sucked for using it. But I'm not going to let you tell me what to be. I'm not going to let your bullshit determine my successes. So screw you."

Playing the victim will not get us past anything. Acknowledging the unfairness and giving it the old finger might. So while I deal with my insecurities, I feel some comfort in the knowledge that I take personal responsibility for them. The cruel human race has played a role in shaping who I am, but I'm not about to let them tell me it's right that I dislike myself, or that they have the power to continue their oppression on me.

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