Today on Lazy Stupid and Godless

The following is a post that was in response to the following ravelry discussion thread posted to the Lazy Stupid and Godless Group:

Since Ravelry is a fiber related site (I admit many of the discussions found therein are not) I thought it was suiting to cross post. To be honest I felt the need to spread my thoughts further than just my own blog when I realized that though I was responding in not only a bit of despair, but a touch of anger, but mainly in hope. I realized that men sometimes suffer the same hurts that this discussion thread discussed yet we don't tend to speak of them. So for that I hope that I by doing this maybe a few might wander over there and share a bit of your own story, and more importantly continue the line of hope I think this thread started today.

Today while surfing the wonderful digital information highway, I stumbled across a disturbing yet inspiring discussion thread on ravelry. Of what spawned this thread can be found here.

Now, this discussion was taken up by mostly females that as far as I could see were Margaret's fans, and their gathering and defending her stand is what I found absolutely inspiring. I myself am a HUGE Margaret Cho fan and have been blessed to have seen her live twice and actually to have met her once. She is a Beautiful, Courageous, and Inspiring woman. And dammit, like all of us who have run into societies road blocks; entitled to her anger. I don't personally approve of her underwear choice for the tattoo flashing shot, but that's just my own personal fashion issues. Not that I'm a fashion maven of any form, they just look uncomfortable. I can't imagine a thong being as comfortable as they say, and it appears to have little bows attached by rivets along the sacrum. I can't imagine that feeling good sitting, but hey, that's not the point. The point is the lovely inkwork she wants to show off. My eye just got distracted as did my train of thought obviously.

What I found disturbing were the stories that were shared of family members and total strangers being complete twunts to others regarding their general appearance, weight, or facial structure. I'm not naive, I didn't grow up in a fashion that allowed that, but God Dammit people can be cruel Son's of Bitches. Now I will try to stop cussing to get my point across.

I by no means am a perfect person. Especially not in looks but what I want to focus on are my personality flaws. I can be mean, petty and just plain nasty at times. Usually, it takes prompting to bring that side of my personality out but occasionally I find that person a little to close to the surface for comfort. In my past, being the one to make someone not want to make eye contact after a verbal beating was a coping mechanism and at times a political play when dealing with bullies that were bigger than me. It did not always work and at times I had to physically defend myself, and I will admit that I went further than was absolutely necessary to make an example of someone more than once. As was just discussed last night, due to this I grew up being one of those people that though of only average height, bigger people don't necessarily intimidate me. Accordingly, it took me some time to realize that this "tool" was not always needed and could and very well should be put away most of the time. With that being said, after I had made that cognitive leap, when I was being such, it was with intention. My actions were typically thought out. But there were times from either exhaustion of just frustration that something mean and sometimes even cruel, would spill out. I am not what I would call a nice person, but am nicer than I used to be after quite a bit of introspection and recognition of who I want to be compared to who I was and am.

Now with a bit more of my personality explained, let me state some personal thoughts. Cruelty has it's place in the world. Sometimes you are unable to get a point through to someone elses head with out being a little cruel. Sometimes a situation has gotten to a point that you either can't de-esculate it without some cruelty, or you need to push it past the point of no return just to clear the air. My point is, cruelty should only be used with intention. It should never be used carelessly. Our words have weight that can physically hurt and we should be aware of this as we wield them and in cases where we must wield them we have to be willing to pay their price by making amends on the other side or accepting the harm they caused.

It broke my heart to read these stories of taunting from other kids, or worse, from ones own parents regarding their physical appearance or less than expected behaviors. Children are our responsibility, and as such we should raise them to up, and teach them to recognize their own beauty, not bury them in thoughts and words of hate and ugliness. I guess I always want to think the better of people and seeing this many people on this one site sharing such stories though inspiring as they find the truth, scares me in the volume of careless and needless cruelty to not only another person, but to a child that knows no other truth.

The point is, we all have our flaws, and we all have parts of us that have been harmed and maybe even broken by others. Sometimes it's so minor we don't even recognize it for what it is. Sometimes the damage is so drastic that others can see it just by looking at you. But we all have those hurts, bruises, cuts and gashes on our souls. Every single damn one of us. Here's to finding the a way to fix what needs to be broken, shining the tarnished spots, and learning to let the parts that maybe be flawed yet make us who we are shine in all we do and say.

I read as many of these postings as possible, but won't be able to read the entire thread. I simply won't have the time, or the heart. But I wanted to respond to the discussion, and to Margaret Cho's comment makers and her response as a whole. So here it is... Remember, each and every one of us is beautiful if only we would truly open our eyes and see it. I swear, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. If you can't see it yourself, let others see it and tell you. But more importantly, remember that those around us are beautiful to, you just have to allow yourself to see it and don't let careless words or actions trample on it.


bobinthebul's picture

I was a person who dealt with a lot of that twuntliness as a kid, and I grew up pretty much convinced that I was ugly. It really didn't matter if someone told me I wasn't; I'd internalized their words and long since made them my own.

It wasn't until much later when I learned to take those thoughts, grab them, stare them in the face, that I learned to see the real face behind them. And I saw that the kids who seemed so powerful when I was in second and third grade were just little scared twunts themselves. They acted out in a different way, probably the only way they knew how to. I learned eventually that my main nemesis in junior high, a boy named Jay who loved to take every opportunity to beat on me, had been beaten regularly by his own completely fucked-up (both mentally and from substances) father, and had turned into a raging alcoholic who tried to commit suicide a few years ago.

Closeted/conflicted gay people are the ones who feel the need to abuse gay people. Fundamentalists who are frightened by their inability to force themselves to believe the whacked nonsense they're required to believe, are the ones who are out there railing against anyone who openly rejects the whacked nonsense they're trying to force us to believe. And adults who feel the need to make nasty comments about someone's appearance are also holding onto those old demons, otherwise they wouldn't feel that need. Their words might be directed at a gay person, or a non-fundamentalist, or Margaret Cho's rear, but the real target is themselves. I reacted by withdrawing, Margaret Cho (in this case) reacted with an angry retort, and they're doing it pre-emptively. But it's all just one big cycle of giving and taking and internalizing abuse.

So on one hand I think Ms. Cho was right in her response to the assholes. But I'm sad that she is still struggling with this crap herself (as she herself says). Because the intensity of the response is an echo of the intensity of the pain. If our sense of our beauty is anything but subjective, then it's subject to others' abuse; if it's objective, then it's someone else's perception and nasty words fired will find their object to echo off of.

Our thoughts about ourselves are like a lens, through which we see the world and other people, and judge their thoughts and intents. If we see ourselves as ugly, then we see others in extremes. As ugly, or impossibly beautiful in a way we can never achieve and envy them...which is just another way to say "we're not good enough". If we know our beauty is our own, then it's out of the range of lies, and then we're free to see the beauty in others as well.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Well said, gentlemen. Thank you both.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

chipsir's picture

Yes the song "You are absolutely Beautiful" comes to mind