Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chivalry: Is it Dead?

This is a subject that recently came up in my Facebook feed. A friend was asking this very question & I shared some of my thoughts. Also got into a debate with a male friend on the subject. I realized I was letting real life take me away from true writing again so needed to get some done. What better topic than the subject of chivalry?

I've always said that chivalry died when feminism arose. That male friend kind of said that same thing but apparently has far more faith in the present & continued equality of women in the US than I do. I see a lot of bullshit going on against women; you can read about it often in the news. Raped teenaged girls confronted with the "she was asking for it" defense due to being intoxicated or going to some house party late at night without parental permission. That dead pregnant woman in Texas who was on life support for months b/c the state cared more about preserving a nonviable fetus than the wishes of the family or respect for their grieving process. The presence of the term "legitimate rape." So on & so forth.

And when husbands who don't like their life's direction or salary bitch at their wives to "got get a job," even if that wife is taking care of little kids the husband helped contribute DNA to (or agreed to take on responsibility for by putting a ring on it), we certainly don't have respect toward women. I also think that's pretty disrespectful to the kids.

God forbid someone in the marriage gets laid off or sick or wants to start their own business. Isn't a spouse supposed to be supportive of what you want to do? Try to make things easier, not sabotage you or let others come in to sabotage you & make you feel like shit? That sounds like a boyfriend/girlfriend situation or a friend, not someone you have sexual relations with and who is supposed to be your "best friend." What kind of "best friend" flippantly tells you to "get a job," implying that if you don't you're a leech & will get kicked out of the home? That's what a woman (it's usually a woman) hears when a spouse says that.

After all that harping, once a woman does get this job (especially if it's one she hates or doesn't like) she'd have to be thinking "Why do I need this jerk around? He's not supportive of who I am, doesn't respect me & thinks of me as some kind of indentured servant or a sugar baby he's sick of having around."

I don't think a functional, happy marriage works that way. If you're holding out a balance sheet against your spouse i.e. thinking of them as a financial drain vs. the person you love, cherish, care about, and so forth, maybe you could cut expenses by being without her. That spouse would certainly grow to feel that way about you with all the harassment. Or, you can get off your happy behind & try improving yourself and your situation instead of taking it out on your spouse. You know, personal responsibility.

On average, women also tend to make less money than men & have had to forgo career opportunities and such for children and the marriage. Is this "equal rights?" That's kind of why we have alimony laws & women still get to ask for it in a divorce.

So, first off let's define chivalry. Chivalry is doing something nice for a lady out of a sense of manly pride. Not because you think the woman is a weakling or can't take care of herself. Ideally, you're not doing it only for the pretty girls & not the ugly ones. It's where paying for dates or holding an umbrella over her head or killing bugs in her house or telling some cretin who's clearly bothering her to leave her alone comes from. For me, it's those acts that if you didn't perform them huge swaths of society would think you're a jerk/scumbag/guy no one wants to be friends with or associate with/person who falls lower than pond scum on the continuum of human decency. I don't think I'd view you highly if you stood back & watched some woman get raped without even calling the cops, for instance.

If you are doing these things & resenting the woman or society for it, then to hell with you. You also won't be meeting very many quality women in that case since there are guys who won't give a woman shit for those things. The more desired women are going to have a lot of guys willing to do stuff for them & you being the biggest prick isn't going to win you any points or favors. It will just earn you rejection, scorn, incredulity at your utter stupidity & that kind of woman thinking you're an idiot for thinking you ever had a shot in the first place.

Another question is do we need chivalry? Well, I don't know if I'd say you "need" chivalry but if you're trying to impress a woman and get her to consider you as more than a friend you might not want to treat her the same as you'd treat the waitress or some random woman on the subway. She might like to feel she's special, you know? I view it all as simple economics and with biological realities in mind.

Personally, I've long been a recipient of gentlemanly behavior & usually without having to ask. I think it's only fair that some guy who could lift more than my 100 pound ass can helps me when I have to carry something that's heavy for me but would be no trouble for him. More disgusting when it's a mail delivery person who can't manage that. Changes your views of the fantasy of fucking the UPS delivery guy, huh ladies? Would YOUR fantasy delivery guy not bother carrying a heavy delivery up the stairs to your apartment? If he could do that & get away with STILL being a guy you'd jump in 5 seconds if given an opportunity, you have serious self-esteem issues since the women I know would never allow it.

Now I'm also the one who's had guys pay for her on things even when I wasn't dating said guy &/or he wasn't trying to date me. I had this one guy friend in college who had an interest in me but despite us having no sexual chemistry (we kissed & felt nothing), he still took me out for things & paid though he didn't have to. He knew I was trying to save money for the down payment on my first car & finances were tight so I appreciated him for that. THAT is an example of chivalry as well as friendship, though not sure how you'd really define that one. We ended up not speaking after I left that summer for NC (where I got my driver's license & started that relationship with Vampire Boy, who I met not long after getting the license). It wasn't really animus or not wanting to talk to him, just being busy & consumed with everything else going on. I called him a few months later for a business matter and found out he was getting married the very next day. Weird, huh? I never even knew he'd been dating anyone.

Altruistic actions like that always make me feel a little better about the human race & give me a little hope that not all people are jerks (especially men). I also pointed out to my friend he'd be a pariah where I grew up since chivalry (though not necessarily called that) is a big thing in the South. You try pulling some of that mess down there & see what happens. Don't think for one second all women from the South are weaklings; I'm not & I know plenty of others you wouldn't want to encounter in a dark alley if they were angry.

Maybe chivalry is just on life support or we're looking for it in the wrong places. I wonder how it translates to younger people; if they're still on board with that idea/concept. Are women put off by it or do they appreciate it? Yes, I'm a feminist but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate chivalry done in the proper spirit. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Even if there is, I'll just use the "I'm a model with a brain" rationale & the notion of scarcity (which I've discussed in other posts; go see them if you're that curious).

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014: The Year of Embracing New Perspectives

Some people actually learn something when close family members die. Others don't pick up on anything at all. Guess they're not reading the signs or capable of picking up on those. An upside to being a creative person is that I actually do know something about signs and can recognize them when they're thrust in front of me.

I was telling a friend of mine about this recently & he didn't give me the sense he thought I'd become a new agey crazy freak type (I already believed in signs before this year so it'd be more like discovering I was one & not knowing it beforehand). Others I've mentioned this to also haven't dismissed me as a kook or nutcase, even some very intelligent people outside the creative industry.

Recently, I went to my first ever yoga class & discovered a few things:

A) I'm not nearly as flexible as I look, which needs to be corrected. I was never able to fold myself into a pretzel but I did have SOME physical flexibility when I was taking dance in high school.

B) I was right in thinking I ought to take it & it would benefit me since there's a mental component where you're supposed to relax, live in the moment and not stress out so much on things.

C) It's apparently not a contest of who's most flexible & you can still participate even if you aren't able to fold yourself into a pretzel.

Now to find the yoga studio that doesn't cost a fortune and where I'm not going to get harassed for being the pretty girl.

Been doing a few other things as well & dealing with heavy shit alongside them. I feel some serious changes and transitions coming in the new year. Part of me is edgy about those but then I remember the saying "life is change." Life isn't a permanent thing & if you can't evolve your thinking, your perspective, etc. you get stuck in ruts and become shattered when inevitable change happens. I realized I didn't want that for my life.

So I've been more amenable to considering ideas and activities I might not have done before, talking to people I might have dismissed before & just being objective instead of letting assumptions take over. I decided to look more at what I was being presented and my observations vs. my stereotypes, prejudices, assumptions, etc.

I've still been networking & it seems my pool continues to evolve from where it was before. I auditioned to be a VJ for ITTV an online TV network that covers major events in NYC, including some of the fashion shows I have been in. Before the tryout, I only knew one host of the network who I'd been in fashion shows with.

I'd heard about their contest for a female VJ & thought it sounded interesting. So many people have told me for years I should consider hosting work & would be good at it. However, not having a reel yet I figured I wasn't quite ready (that's something else going on this month).

When contacting the host I knew on the fashion show & modeling there, he invited me to the initial meeting for this audition. It was a completely spontaneous thing on my part so I figured "Why not?"

I went, met some of their people (who are awesome, by the way) and officially entered the running. Thursday was a private event where we were having the tryout & I put in my best. I will say my make-up was truly awesome since the artist doing it put in over an hour on it; guess now I've got an idea of what being a full time model would be like.

Don't know if I'll win or not & the other girls in the competition were good as well; I even knew a fair amount of them already from other fashion shows. This wasn't one of those catty, mean competitions; I would be happy for any of them winning since no one caused me any problems or was critical toward me.

I seriously still see good things in my experience in the fashion world & have not seen the bad stuff everyone talks about. Again, not to say that doesn't exist at all but I've not been subjected to nastiness or made to feel like the awkward, nerdy girl. I have firmly accepted at this point that I'm not "Josie Grossie" (to borrow from Never Been Kissed).

Got more going on as well, even haters. Seriously, I don't do adult films, have a contract with a major television network & am not being hounded by the media but I have haters so consumed with boredom, immaturity and stupidity that they go to the trouble of bothering people in my circle with nonsense. Who does that?

Just so you know, we consider being threatened, stalked, harassed, and other forms of nonsense that these idiots think are going to stop us from the creation of art badges of honor. It means you matter enough for someone to be pissed off at you. It also lends legitimacy to a career to have people target you for things you do in the course of living your own life. Don't haters realize that for the people in this industry who don't earn paychecks from it that making little threats & engaging in stupidity it means that the target has "made it" if someone hates them enough to create a hate website, stalkerish videos, hack their work, whatever else annoys/pisses off an artist enough to try & interfere with their creation of art?

Haters aren't doing anything to stop the person in question but encouraging their work. So if you don't like someone's work, I suggest you keep your damn mouth shut and not buy the movie ticket, rant about it online, write nasty notes to the actor/model/director/producer/whomever is involved, bother these peoples' families, etc. Detractors just make us more hellbent to do what we want; am I right or am I right, fellow creatives? Haters tell me I'm very much on the right track in what I'm doing regardless of what anyone else says.

Remember that saying "if you're pissing someone off, you must be doing something right?" I totally believe it & anyone with half a brain would agree. Pissing at least one person off should be enough incentive to prevent any right thinking person from committing suicide; suicide just lets the haters win while your continued existence doing what you do will piss them off, raise their blood pressure & maybe eventually give them a well deserved heart attack, coronary, stroke or other medical issue they wouldn't have if they tried living/improving upon their own lives.

I guess you could say my unofficial New Year's resolution was to be more open minded & try new things. Listen to new ideas I haven't considered before, do new things & move in a more positive direction. Enough with the negativity, damn it! I've had enough to cover me for quite some time. I know some of my friends & contacts can relate since they've had their own issues as well.

Nonetheless, the train keeps moving. More plans, more fun in the works & look forward to all of it. Maybe good outcomes will happen, maybe not. I just decided to be zen and follow that statement about the universe having you exactly where you're supposed to be at any given moment.