"I am actually completely paralyzed because of the present state of affairs. I mean, there is so much I could do that I am stuck into doing absolutely nothing. I want to do something, but I feel like it is just overwhelming."
This was my friend's reply the other day when I told her what I was doing to stick it to the man. I totally get it. The amount of fucked up shit in the world has in one way or another been revealed and it turns out that even the most cynical of us are quite surprised at the level of shittiness there is at every level of society.
Some of it might make you feel like you should have started sooner, maybe you should have seen your own hand in the bullshit that is keeping everyone down. Maybe you, in your own way have been oppressed for years and you didn't even know it. That shit happens. You gotta accept it and then move the fuck past it.
The good news is that it is relatively simple to stick it to the man. All you have to do is focus on what elements around you cause you to doubt yourself, and reject or eradicate them from your life. You have to learn to spot what in our society causes you to believe that you need to be improved in some way. You have to learn to reject the idea that your hair, your skin, or your ass is considered a "flaw". This, quite frankly, is Manspeak. Not, as in all males on the planet, manspeak, no. This Manspeak is the type of language that keeps everyone down. This is the Manspeak that has you believing that you are beneath some and above others in the world due to your class, your gender, your profession, your ethnicity, your ability to use your right arm. No matter what your particular flavor of freak, there is some line of bullshit out there telling you that you are wrong. That, my friend, is Manspeak, with a capital M.
This is the language of the great brainwashed. This Manspeak is the language that keeps you believing that you are less than, and it trains you into believing that being treated like you are less than is appropriate. What's worse, it trains you into believing that other people are better or worse than you. It is the best thing you can do to learn to spot it and reject it. It is the best thing you can do to work towards understanding on a very basic level, that you are very unique, quite special actually, and so is everyone around you.
Sound like hippie love bullshit? Well, that might or might not be true, but the world is fucked right now, and we have gotten ourselves here in part, by feeling the need to put people down so that we might feel like we are better. We are here because we believe the lie that someone else told us; that we are in need of repair. That we are in need of fixing. That in some way, we are less than.
You might be sitting there thinking that you don't fall into that category, and that might be true, but then you have to ask yourself, what makes you angry? I used to get very, very angry at dumb blonde jokes. In fact, I walked out of a yoga class once because at the beginning of class the yoga teacher told a dumb blonde joke. I took it personally because I am blonde. Of course, I am in no way stupid, and in actuality, that joke said much more about the person telling it than it did about the people hearing it, no matter what their hair color, but nonetheless, I became enraged. That, I came to realize, is the power that Manspeak has. It causes me to lose control. It causes me to be angry at the brainwashed person who told that joke.
The reality is that there is nothing to be angry about because that joke, no matter how true or untrue it is, does not have the power to make me angry unless I give it that power.
It is the same with the many men I have worked with who were threatened by my presence to such an extent that they would backstab, badmouth, or otherwise undermine my efforts. I only realized my power when I stopped giving them the energy of engaged conflict. I only felt truly free when I stopped acknowledging them when they played their games. I only glimpsed the nature of my level of brainwash when I was able to function in my work environment without being bothered by their efforts.
The world around you changes when you let go of the need to judge yourself and others. It is a kinder more wonderful world full of opportunity and freedom. Make no mistake, while this is a small change, it is NOT an easy change. Everyone is brainwashed. Our language is tied up in hierarchy. Our society runs on the fuel of oppression and patriarchal manipulation. But this is something anyone can do without much fuss because it is about awareness. It is about reflection, and the best part, it is about getting to a place where you can really love and appreciate yourself more.
In a word, it is the type of freedom that is infectious. If you have ever been around someone who does not judge, who allows you to be just who you are, you know. The air around these people is sweeter, colors or more vibrant, and all sound is music to your ears. You can relax around these people.
So start small. Give it a try. What more can you love about yourself? What have you been told is a "flaw"? What have you been told to change so that you can be more palatable to others? Either through diets, make-overs, plastic surgery, or just the language of Manspeak.
Reject all notions of improvement and focus on how cool you are. Focus on how awesomely freaky you are. Focus on how even your shittiness can serve you.
None of us are all good or all bad, and the less we believe that we are innately damaged, and the more we believe that we are innately fantastic, we will see the whole world improve.
Remember, they only have the power that you give to them. It is time to keep your power for yourself and in doing so, Stick it to The Man.
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