Today has been one of those boring days where my instruments are being fixed, my work computer is having its battery changed and I end up in semi-meaningful discussions to pass the time. And hey, it’s raining, so no going for a swim with my bass player, something that usually keeps me from getting involved in them 😉
This is the original article that a friend posted, a male feminist, if that makes any difference, with the comment: “Why do you HAVE to say anything, sleazeball?”
It’s basically a married man calling out on his right to compliment strange women for their looks when he’s riding the train. Well, yeah, it sparked conversation. Most of it sensible. Then there was this dude who tried to diagnoze the women finding this uncomfortable with borderline disorder. I mean, first of all… whathehell, dude… Second of all; are women with this and similar illnesses really uncapable of determening when they are uncomfortable? I guess so, seeing as a rape charge, where the woman had screamed til her throat swelled up and she couldn’t scream anymore, was dropped. Being on anti-depressants, she clearly didn’t know that she was really enjoying it, right? The stupidity of some astounds me. He also accused the women’s movement of putting ideas in women’s heads. Seriously, wow, I mean, really, wow. Sometimes I’d love for there to be a permit to use a keyboard and the Internet. “You’re just too dumb, you have to use smoke signals til you can be in a furnished room!”. Wouldn’t that be lovely…
Here’s the problem; a LOT of the times women are judged firsthand on their looks, secondly on their personality and skill, day in and day out. If that wasn’t the case, the compliments wouldn’t be bad, but it’s so far from not-being-the-case at the moment that we need to change it around altogether. And again, if this wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t be a lot of strangers feeling the need to throw a compliment like that out there, it’d be mostly people you know.
I would love for y’all to join me in an experiment, to compliment ANYONE, man or woman, purely on something they’ve accomplished or something good/important/thoughtworthy they’ve said for the next three months. If complimenting a stranger’s looks doesn’t feel odd after that, then by all means, go ahead.
And on a personal level, how do I feel about them? First of all you have to understand. I don’t see what others may see. I’ve lived with this body and face for soon-to-be 31 years, I still see the little nerd who wanted to be “A veterinarian or a pop star”, who went through her awkward puberty stages and who’s just sitting there with her cool comics and the new record from the Spice Girls, dreaming big and writing songs. For a short period of time I did have a focus on this aspect of me, and it made me ill, like brain-and-heart-almost-shutting-down ill. The only thing improving was my voice, as I took singing lessons and the voice isn’t really dependent on a sturdy build. If you need an illustration, just look at the pic below.
So I have to be weary today that I do not start focusing on that part of me again. I’ll gather knowledge of my angles, aesthetically interesting pics, and sometimes even just throwing that out the window to work on other things important for the project/photo/video. And I’ll work out and (most of the time) eat good for a video/gig so my body can open up the way it should without ihibitions in the way. But that’s about it. And one of my greatest wishes is that priorities for women in society shifts closer to this as well. Because OK, I can do it, but having company helps.
Having said that, I still say thank you when a compliment on my looks comes my way. The latest one from one of my musicians working with me “Sorry, but my first thought when I saw you was DAMN she’s HAWT!” (I had received compliments for the music before this, so it did feel pretty OK). But I try not to reflect on them. Partly because I don’t want to get sick again, partly because I don’t want to feel bad should the looks disappear, I would like to appreciate my other qualities so much that it doesn’t matter. Too bad, but not all bad, know what I mean?
So please, join me for the next three months in just complimenting someone’s good work, someone’s smart opinion, someone’s admirable kindness and big heart. If you’re still a shallow bastard afterwards, it was just meant to be 😉