Fair warning. Almost a rant, and lexiphobes should steer clear. Kinda NSFW, too.
Certain groups of people I will not argue with if I know who they are, or if, in my admittedly flawed way I think I can determine who they are. Or as is said in the backwards1 ‘south,’ where they be comin’ from. Because every conversation with these sorts, about the weather, the likelihood the moon will rise subsequently ceding to the sun in the normal course of events or whatever, becomes a campaign to bait me into an argument. Not unusually, my “side” of the argument is assigned against my will or actual convictions, so these folks can be righteously indignant railing against me, practicing their “conversational” skills.
I don’t mind confrontational. Learn a great deal listening to what others have to say. Don’t mind intensity either. Prefer conversation/confrontation be with someone who, when they feel we should come to physical blows as they are so incensed or so offended at my daring to have my own opinion, I am not embarrassed to answer their finger-jabbing-my-chest and rabid-spit-in-my-face-for-emphasis by dumping them on their ass. Which, until recently excluded most women of the female persuasion. Lately, I’m seeing, hearing, and suffering with vocalizations that have fairly-well changed that conviction.
Face it, you want “equal,” go for the whole Magilla. I’m up for it. Just pass some laws so my brethren, in a fit of social conscience, don’t take me to task for defending myself against what turns-out to be either a female looking to be male, or a male who figures to better his social standing by aligning as much as possible with femaleness, baiting me into physical confrontation. Doing so, because they know short of them slicing my stomach open, I am not allowed to “defend.” Even then, my motives may come under review and make me the villain.
If you want “fair,” again, go for broke. Footballers, don’t expect that you can rudely and illegally foul me on-field; then when I return unsportsmanlike conduct, your stage-agony writhing on the turf moaning about my foul is all that matters because of your jersey color.
In either case, if you verbally or physically assault me, it is more than my right to defend, even as far as to take the offensive. Yes, I hear you. There are laws and legal means for seeking redress in this country. Not anymore, I think.
Yes. It has come to that. Not always in saloons. And not yet, but I’m not holding my breath – it is through the strength of my commitment – not with a ‘female’ of any persuasion. Something about my ‘I am not as impressed with you as you are impressed with you’ demeanor likely the root cause. An appearance which is usually spot-on. Why complete strangers single me out for these episodes, I frankly don’t know.
Yes. My clock has been cleaned more than once.2
Maybe it’s my refusal to allow Bantam rooster types to strut to the music of their own words declaring victory when in fact, Bubba, they ain’t even been a fight yet. But if it’s a fight you’re hankering after, keep at it. Sooner or later, you’re gonna find my button and push it. If not mine, some other improperly radical dewd’s.
Saloons, incidentally, are in my experience populated with a higher-class kind of person. Here’s a secret: if you do go into a bar and meet a dewd who went to that bar less committed to getting drunk than finding someone’s face to smash, either quickly and gracefully leave or figure out who in the place is gonna be on each of four of five teams very soon to be drafted. Pick a good team. One with a chance of walking out when the hoorahs are all done. Winning ain’t gonna happen. Walking out under your own power would be good. Not wearing bracelets3 would be good, too.
My predicament – this being ‘selected’ for confrontation – is understandable but perhaps warrants explanation. If you don’t think so, that’s rugged, but you’re gonna have to struggle through it anyway. Or page-out to the next recipe, ADHD, Manic-Depression, Tinker-bell as a vampire, or “I read this book and I liked it because” blog.
Simply standing somewhere all male-ish in the past, I’ve experienced women making accusatory remarks, meant to let me know I am scum. I’ve tried the ‘other cheek’ thing. Best form is silence. That sometimes doesn’t work. I’ve tried intelligent rebuttal, polite at first, degenerating into acid on the third or fourth exchange. What follows is never a debate allowing as one of us might be improper. In these cases, it was always intended to be confrontation. Non-sequitur – “Smokey Bear is a f***ing federalist pig!” – is offered as proof I’m ignorant scum and that’s as intelligent as such conversations ever are.
Certainly, I carry around a lot of bile. It has been my practice that I not let it erupt into confrontation with complete strangers. As much because I know there are them out there who can whup my ass.
Why so many women and wannabe women are compelled to actively seek confrontation I suspect, is because there are residual societal norms prohibiting men from verbal (and ultimately physical) tit for tat when the party of the first part is not male.4
Women, I’ve observed in otherwise polite society, have become unnecessarily belligerent, men expected to be patiently tolerant of abuse.
For me, it’s nice when talking with a stranger to address them ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ or, I suppose, ‘it.’ I can’t help this perversion. Otherwise, I might as well be chatting with a door. Chatting with a door, I grant in some cases, is more rewarding, less stressful, and amazingly, sometimes more educational. On more than one occasion, for my lack of sophistication, I’ve been clueless trying to determine the gender, sex, or sex/gender personal identity of a person.5
Yes. If at all possible, these are one of the types of folk with whom I diligently avoid making conversation. Right off the bat, for my upbringing, addressing someone other than ‘hey you!’ I’m gonna slip and say ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’ and offend because I get it wrong. If I don’t get it wrong, the individual will find a way to make it wrong, or suggest that by being correct, I’ve pronounced a sarcastic slur.
Suppose, waiting in line, there’s a being in front of me. Unisex hair. More female than male, but in this day and age, could legitimately be either. Okay. Not yet a biggie. Dressed in jeans with a collared (olden days) man-styled shirt, not tucked-in at the waist. Pointy-toes shoes aren’t a clue. Excuse me, but either man-boobs or the other, impossible to guess. Sitter-down padding suggest nothing, besides is half hidden by the loose shirttail. Earrings ceased to be a clue fifty years ago.
Male? Female? Hardly an androgenous look. Could be a gal taking a break from repainting her apartment. Could be a dude fancying he’s all spiffed-up for a trip to Wallymart. Or could be an angry born-woman pissed at men, and the best way get back at men is to dress like one. Sort of.
Might be why Brett Spit runs around with two days’ stubble on his face. So as not to be mistook for a female.6 Not entirely sure he’s been successful.
Just standing in line at a grocery or hardware store, dressed (I admit) male in the fashion of the last century, I’m asking for trouble. Don’t say a thing. Knowing what’s up, I resolve to keep my face expressionless, non-committal, as Democrat as I can manage. I cannot avoid eye contact. This person wants to bait me into opening my mouth, will contort themselves to get their face positioned so I cannot avoid seeing the hatred in their eyes. It happens: eye contact. That’s the same as If’ I’d said something profound, like, “Hey! You having trouble figuring out what it is you want to be, and decided a few from column ‘F’ and a few from column ‘M’ would declare you fiercely independent, intelligent, and superior to either male or female?”
I’m back to thinking being fat-lipped or black-eyed a time or two, real gender equality might change a lot of minds.
There’s the Republican/Democrat thing
Both are reprehensible. Ain’t a barroom fight. It’s worse. No right and no wrong. Republican don’t mean ‘good.’ Neither does Democrat. Boils down to whether or not the city is gonna get off their lard duffs and fix the damned sewage plant.
Be nice to pass a bill requiring three separate doors on terlits, boys, girls, and Idunnos without spending three million dollars to fund a study of the life cycle of cicada. Which is in no way related to terlits but that’s the way government works. On the other hand, may be the law should read only one terlit labelled terlit is required or permitted. Wait. No. That hasn’t worked out well anywhere there’s more than two people in one house with one terlit.
That’s the Republican/Democrat thing. Assuming toilet correctness can be legislated. Among other impossible things.
Other this/that things and polarity
Purple/green. Cat/dog. Ford/Chevy. Red Sox/Yankees. This and that dichotomies are healthy, even normal. Problems arise when “This” determines “That” so wrong eradication or at least total suppression of “That” desirable or necessary.
Can we not disagree and discuss differences sanely? You know, have a polite conversation? Or polite argument? I promise to listen to what you have to say. I might even go so far as to seriously consider you might be right and I might be wrong.
Nah. Prolly not.
1 You believe that? Really? Better not be fooling yourself, if you’re southern by residence, birth, or preference, you know better. If not, be damned awful careful. That moccasin is gonna slither into your boat and bite you.
2 Literally and figuratively.
3 LEO people know what I mean. For those of you who don’t, handcuffs.
4 Nothing intentional there. Grow-up, Sally.
5 Or absence thereof. You know, to respectfully address them in a way they prefer. Those who know me understand my position. I am tolerant, and except in cases of in-your-face flaunting, don’t give a rat’s ass if you fancy yourself female, male, or giraffe, regardless of whether you were born male, female, gnu, or protozoa. If I need a plumber and you re a plumber, the only thing I care about is your plumbing skills. (And of course, that you can get to my house sooner than two weeks from now.) You after all, do not mind that I am a crotchety, conservative old codger with a preference for Bourbon over Chardonnay. Or do you?
6 Not really any indication anymore.