Boxes, labels, and illusions.
That’s what we’re all made of. We have to fit into these nifty little boxes of what it means to be a woman or a man, a child or a teen, adolescent or adult, beautiful or ugly, fat or skinny, great personality or asshole- we are all of it. We are illusions of what we are told to be. We think we have TO BE these things because if we aren’t then there’s something wrong with us. For example, as a woman I am told by society and the American culture that I am only as beautiful as the woman who is on the cover of magazines, in the movies, or on the runway. I am only as smart as the woman with a college education and a PhD. I am only a mother if I am like June Cleaver mixed in with Angelina Jolie. I am only worthy of being paid slightly less than a man simply because I have a vagina. Are these old ways of thinking changing? Absolutely.
What does it mean to be human in the face of these changes? This may sound strange, but I would rather identify as human than as a woman. I would rather be viewed as a human being rather than as a walking vagina with big boobs. So while these old paradigms of thinking ARE truly changing- what we have to ask is what exactly are they changing into? We have a decision to make- break through the illusions and see each other for who we really are- human. Beautifully flawed, mistake making, reptilian brained, needs driven, mostly critically thinking human beings. It’s a beautiful dream to say that, it’s an awe inspiring feeling to feel that, and a hope abounding notion.
We are told that only the strong survived, that’s how evolution got to us to where we are (thanks to Darwin’s astute findings). We have jealous tendencies because we have to figure out what or who are our threats- it’s a human characteristic. I fully believe that we are capable now of critically thinking our way out of those old notions. It’s not easy, none of this is easy- overcoming old thinking takes a lot of work. Maybe if we could incorporate empathy it will help facillitate the change in thinking.
I want to be able to embrace my humaness, as well as yours. That is my hope for the future.