Life Gets Better

Everyone who cannot understand why these kind of stories won’t go away, I have a question for you. Have you ever been physically groped by a random stranger without your permission? Have you been cat-called in the street? Have you had someone mentally manipulate you in order to get what they want? Have you been pressured into something you didn’t want to do?

How many other questions have I got that prove there’s a problem everywhere?

No, you’re not that person. It’s okay, I know. Except, worryingly, so many people have the potential to be just that. After yesterday’s revelation that the UK’s most prolific serial rapist is gay, there are questions to be asked about how we go about the business of relationships in the 21st Century. It’s not just sexual either: if someone pisses you off, just how nuclear will you go in order to cause them as much damage as possible?

The opposite of course is probably more dangerous: those who can’t talk about abuse, as it destroys them from the inside out. After a week of exercise as a means by which people might part with cash to help others talk about their mental health issues, there’s the understanding we all have a phenomenally long way to go. It doesn’t help matters, of course, when you have rich white twats trying to cheat the system from the top down.

The missing factor in all of this, undoubtedly, is respect. Those who feel that influence, power or simply ego allows them to take what they want, without consequence, have existed in history since that bloke in the cave stole that other guy’s favourite club. It might have been a woman, but let’s face facts, more likely to be a guy. Sorry, men, but this is your world, and as long as it remains that way, lots of stuff stays shit.

I know lots of you don’t like the term feminism. That’s hugely obvious wherever I go on Social media. That one guy whose music taste I dismissed, the bloke who got upset when I couldn’t do proper grammar, the pedants and the blinkered who only see their world as mattering. You know them. You see them every damn day. The problem is, blocking and reporting that isn’t solving the problem. It’s ignoring it.

NOTHING gets solved if we all politely look the other way.

At some point, somebody has to stand up and make the difference. All of the victims of Reynhard Sinaga. Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. Without these people, prepared to expose their lives to public scrutiny, nothing ever changes. If you want the change, all that crap about becoming it actually does work. No, really, IT DOES. I can speak from personal experience. Stuff improves, at a cost. You have to accept the consequences.

That’s the kicker, this is never easy, or stress free. If all you really care about in life is no pain or drama, really, you are doing it wrong. These things happen regardless, the key difference when you dictate at least some of the terms is the potential good it can do you long-term. It’s why getting fit really is as difficult and stressful as it can undoubtedly be, but the benefits… honestly, they beat everything.

You have to trust yourself to take a leap in the dark.

I Love You

If you spend more than an hour on Social media a day it will be impossible to ignore the stupidity around Fandom at any given moment. I follow a number of people for whom the observation of other people’s obsessive desires and interests is not only a lifestyle choice, but a full-time career. It is hard to escape the gravity of negativity in any aspect of current existence, but when it emanates from stuff that’s supposed to be enjoyment and relaxation?

Except, with the smallest of shifts of perception, one can see all of this as just another attempt not only for all of us feel we belong, but to self-promote in an increasingly open and understanding environment. Not every meme is toxic, or perhaps a flimsy disguise in which you’re prompted to share personal data that might also double as password information.  Just don’t get me started on potential facial recognition scams, okay?

We all want to belong, let’s be honest. That’s all of this online stuff’s about, when you get down to the details. If you don’t need the benefit of a massive virtual following not doing Social media‘s hardly a reach. I can look at many people for whom that desire simply never existed, or those who’ve shunned the practice because privacy means nope, you don’t get to know anything at all.

In the modern world, of course, it shouldn’t take much to find out everything about someone if you really want to, and if you’ve ever been unlucky enough to be stalked online, you’ll know just how hard it is to remain truly anonymous. That’s where fandom’s truly insidious underside can become not just frightening but life changing… but for every negative, you can offset the damage.

I remember that fan who married one of her idols…

thatsbait

You get to know over time the people to trust, then avoid. Someone from an old fandom haunt appeared out of the blue late last year, still hugely dedicated to his cause, still happily living the life they were decades previously… and this is why changes in orbit can end up so potentially damaging. The good people rationalise, are adult and move on. It’s the people who won’t change, can’t alter their outlooks that become the unknown quantities.

I’m in a particular fandom right now where people are split down the middle, thanks to the main protagonist in their fictional lives having assumed a new gender. There’s an indignity for some right now that a man they respected has become a highly attractive woman. There’s psychology at play that is difficult to reconcile, and this TV show is becoming an unexpected test bed for what happens when you stop giving all the best roles to white men.

Who knew so many people were that sensitive to change?

Let’s be honest, you’d need to be from another fucking planet not to grasp how some parts of society are woefully unprepared for what’s coming. We need more common sense, and far less stupidity, and if you resent actresses and people of colour in traditionally white male roles? You are part of the problem. Don’t worry, give it ten years and there’ll be no planet left for you to complain about… ^^

Maybe what needs to happen now is change, and not resistance.