The ‘terrible bargains’ we must make

Sabre turned me on to an amazing blog last night and, in particular, a series on Terrible Bargains.

I want so desperately to digest it and come up with a coherent post of my own. And I’m sure I will post about it eventually, although I wouldn’t go out on a limb and promise it’ll be coherent. 🙂

The terrible bargains we make every day in the name of keeping the peace — but in accepting it when others demean us as individuals or as a group considered to be lower-class because we are of a particular gender, body size, color, belief system, etc. (even if you claim we personally are the exception to whatever rule you’ve come up with) — are what corrode our sense of identity. It’s an amazing read and I encourage you to visit the links provided.

This hits home for me because I’ve found myself being on the snarky end of comment-making lately. I try so hard to be a good steward and stand up for what I believe in. And yet, when I see another woman absolutely disgracing what the rest of us have worked so hard for, I get good and frothy mad.

I’m aware that I’ve been generating some bad karma because of this anger and disappointment. And I realize that at least I’m human that I recognize and regret the way I react, but most others probably wouldn’t.

And the reason why I never try to pick on someone who might be calling that kind of attention to themselves so as to attract buzz, well, is because I’ve been the butt of one too many jokes — whether I was in the room to hear them or not — and it pisses me right the fuck off how people feel the need to raise themselves up by putting down someone else.

There was a great line in the first blog post I linked to, “Swallow shit, or ruin the entire afternoon?”

In other words, stand up and call someone out on their narrow-minded meanness, or suck it up and not make waves? Have an uncomfortable series of moments in silence, or risk turning it into a useless battle and — in my estimation — painting the target on your back for future bullshit?

I found myself in this situation when somebody I thought better of made an absolutely ignorant, racist comment. I asked if I’d heard it right. And then I declared I was so very done with that person. Loudly.

Even though I was completely in the right, I find myself feeling sorry for that person. And in a way, almost trying to excuse their stupidity as them not knowing any better.

And speaking up, which I am absolutely fine with because I’m happy to school people when they need it, made for a lot of discomfort on my part in having to deal with that person again. Like, wondering if they were mad at me and how that would impact me.

And that’s such a small example. I get into less trouble when I focus my ponderings on myself, so I’ll take the “swallow shit” thing back and tell you it tastes like ass. How many times we should say something and don’t. How many times we just need to get out of the line of sight of someone looking to pick a fight. How often we just need for a discussion to just end already before we lose the composure we fight so hard to maintain.

How often we just want to pop someone in the jaw because they so very righteously deserve it but we’re the ones who’d get into trouble for “over-reacting” to “an innocent observation.”

The comments on those posts are fascinating, too. The amount of anger and self-defensiveness on the part of those whose iddy biddy widdle feelings are hurt because they’ve been called out pretty much says it all. My friends and I have always been in agreement that those who are paranoid and defensive (and offensive) are those who are aware that they’re being shady and that’s why they are always ready to attack — anything to weaken the enemy even before they are established as an enemy.

We’re not the enemy, people. You making us into the enemy DOES NOT make us the enemy. And then when our own reaction is mistrust until proven otherwise, we’re written off as deserving of whatever you say about us.

Oh, I don’t have a personal stake in this discussion. Not at all. 😉

More to come, I’m sure. …

One Lonely Response to The ‘terrible bargains’ we must make

  1. Caterwauling :

    […] Caterwauling « The ‘terrible bargains’ we must make […]