Editor Christopher Writes – A Poem A Day For A Year: 30/01/15

Right, I knew there was going to be some negative feedback from the post I did last week about ‘#meninism’. I knew it was coming and I was going to take it all in good grace because I knew it would be coming. I have just read two comments that were left and, given what has happened tonight, I am really in no mood to take it with good grace. Let’s start with the first one, by Anonymous One.

Have you considered that the reason why you think being in a room full of feminists ‘can be very uncomfortable’ is that you’re a dick and dicks make people who aren’t dicks feel uncomfortable?

No I have not considered this because I am not a dick. That was supposed to be a silly comment made in all jest which, if you actually took the time to ingest the contents of the blog and the final thoughts, or any thoughts that were expressed in it, you would know. Or if you read any of the other entries. I have nothing but the highest regard for women. I was raised by my mother on her own who did a fantastic job of it given the situation we were in. I have decided to spend the rest of my life with the strongest woman I know. But, hold on, I am being made to feel like I have to have the highest regard for every woman I come across purely because the are female. Is that not a form of discrimination on its own? Surely taking people as they are on an individual basis  and deciding whether or not they are worthy of any respect is the more open-minded approach? In the specific example I chose, I was using a little poetic license. I did not feel uncomfortable for the entirety of the time. There were moments when, in the times when mingling was happening, I could not quite strike up a conversation. Maybe this was just me off my gregarious game. But it felt like there was something deeper there. It was an overall pleasant night. When, however, I was talking to one of my female friends about it afterwards, she told me it was probably because they are feminists and I am a man. And I asked a few more, and they said pretty much the same thing. This is what guided me to my opinion on this. Going to people who a part of the same demographic and asking, gathering data. Whereas what this comment has done has used a whole lot of conjecture on what is essentially something meant to be a joke, a little funny thing.

Now for the next comment. This is a longer one so let’s work through it together. By Anonymous Two.

“Now, I know at least some of feminism revolves around female body issues and how the world should accept women regardless of body shape. I personally prefer curves and cannot abide skeletal, sow-faced women.”

ok great i’m real glad that you’re here to tell us women what shape is most sexually palatable to you. thanks christopher.

The top half is a quote taken from my original post and the second half is the response. Now, I was talking about body image and size and shape. Am I not allowed to share my opinions on the matter? Everyone has opinions, everyone has proclivities. Everyone shares them. I wasn’t putting it out there like an advert on Tinder. I’m not about to go on Take Me Out. It was a thought. I’m not here to ‘tell you women’ like that is the demographic I am specifically targeting with the post. I was sharing it with anyone who was interested as a little caveat to what I was saying.  As I have said over and over, like a monkey with a miniature symbol, I don’t care what sex, colour, creed, race or how many limbs anyone has got. When I said about the ‘skeletal, sow-faced women’ I meant those who are models and the like, on the cat-walk, who do not do a great deal to promote healthy body types yet they are held up as the ideal by the marketing industry. Same with male models. Men are expected to be all abs and nipples and bulging muscles. For results in this, it is well-know the best course of action is to take steroids, which do untold damage to the body. Not a promotion of a healthy lifestyle at all yet it again is held up as the ideal. This brings me round to the last part of the second comment.

ps meninism = misogyny

pps i’m anonymous because i’m afraid you’ll get defensive and/or aggressive with me

I am fully aware that ‘meninism = misogyny’. I was not saying that it should be fully embraced as a movement and that I was going to go out and buy a t-shirt showing my dedication to the cause the next day. I know it is reactionary. But that is what people do. Unfortunately, it is idiots who usually do this. Which, again, is what I said. I was saying that, if it was used right, as in the example of the fella holding the sign about male body issues, it could be a good thing. I know in my heart of hearts that won’t happen but we can all dream. I suffer from body issues myself. At one point, I weighed 25st. I was a big chap. Trying to get out of bed was like shifting a wardrobe. It is something that made me miserable but I sorted my issues out. I had to. I had to do it on my own because I was made to feel like a man should be embarrassed about something like that. I shouldn’t have been made to feel like that. It is dangerous. If I hadn’t been as strong as I was about it, I could easily have ended up down a very deep, very dark hole. There are people out there in that hole and cannot get out. I was simply saying that if it was used to promote the fact that men do have body issues too and there is nothing to be ashamed of, it could be a very good thing. And I know full well that the people who make them ashamed of it are men themselves, who see body issues as ‘a woman thing.’ And I know that thinking is incredibly sexist. The problem is quite big and if there could be something to help it, I do not see that as a bad thing. All I’m saying.

By the way, this is not me getting defensive or aggressive. I am simply trying to clarify my thoughts. Anonymous Two, I did not mean to offend anyone, though I can see how it may have come across. I was purely speaking from a well-intentioned place, where I dream one day that none of these issues will actually matter and we can all find a way to just get along. I’m sick of reading or hearing in the news about some new P.C scandal that has broken, especially when that takes a platform away from real news about people living in poverty who need help and such. I am apologising to you because, if you are who I think you are, I genuinely did not mean to offend. I have the utmost respect for you and what you do. Nor am I back-tracking on what I said. To do that would be disingenuous and disrespectful to you.

Anonymous One. You deserve no apology. Whereas Two’s comments were reasoned and actually tried to get to grips with what I was saying, yours were just throw-away.

Right, are we all sorted now? This has taken time away from me trying to comfort Keri about what has happened to her at work. But honestly, with the people we work with for Bunbury, and just the people I encounter every day at work or out in the street, I do not have a prejudice bone in my body. People are people, for better or worse.

Here is a poem. The prompt again comes from the wonderful people at Fiery Verse.

0519108

Just a number to the

insatiable greed of profiteering

lower-middle management,

chipped emerald flashing

threats of unemployment.

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