What Else?

patience- your questions answered

“As a feminist, one of the things I struggle with is how, simply, to protect myself from men. I ask this question specifically because in our society, with all the entitled, trash white men in the world, I am called to be assertive, bold and upfront in order to not have men take advantage of me. Unfortunately, I am not by nature any of these qualities– my natural personality is much more associated with how a “traditional” woman should behave (patient, nurturing, etc.). Mediating between being myself and unintentionally fulfilling discriminatory norms about women is very difficult! Do you have any advice?”- StrongWoman

Your words resonate with me, and I’m sure with others. I think I’ve said this before, but I believe after the #MeToo movement, men didn’t really change- they just adjusted. Switched their catcalls to anonymous reply guy accounts, maybe learned a few new words, the “big guys” got taken down- and the work was done! While the #MeToo era started the conversation, there was no end. The subtleties of rape culture remain untouched subjects. I still don’t think most people truly Believe Women. You are right to be protecting yourself- we are in an environment that requires us to. 

But, you also need to give yourself some credit!!!!

 Why is being patient and nurturing NOT strength? As someone who is very bad at being patient, I can confirm 100% it takes all of my strength to listen to someone who can’t get to the point. Patience is something few men have, which is why they are weak. Even if it only helps your piece of mind, reframe your lens of the “traditional woman.” Despite what men want us to believe, strength is not steroids and rage and denial. Strength is the ability to GIVE BIRTH, think critically, be vulnerable- all things that men have traditionally deemed “weak” because they cannot allow themselves to go there. Men are rarely consistent except when it comes to control. Your inherent nature is just as strong as an assertive and bold personality. 

I like to think about temperament as the different element powers (earth/fire/air/water). For example, I think my element would be fire. While fire is fire, you obviously need to learn to control your powers or you’ll burn your school’s forest down (Winx Saga, anyone?) No matter what your element/temperament may be, it’s about control. Learning how to help yourself either step out or step back when necessary. I get extremely heated (no pun intended) and have a hard time keeping my mouth shut- this is my challenge in exercising control. Instead of using your patience on others, try using it on yourself. Don’t be angry about your temperament- embrace it and find your power in it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones for help when you need. I think as women we are often afraid to ask for more- breaking this begins with basic self-love.

I say this often about relationships, but I think it applies here too: don’t live by what other people say because they aren’t you. Your best friend’s definition of a StrongWomanTM could be the loudest, most assertive lady ever. But, that’s just her definition. You control your perspective just as you control your patience. In terms of literal protection, I will never discourage a pepper spray just in case. Your mental protection though, is a longstanding journey that you can take comfort in knowing every woman is forever on.

 But if you really want to have a fiery attitude, there is definitely a Spotify playlist for that.

Xoxo rubes

What Else?

breaking my silence not tatti westbrook style

Podcasts, blogs, definitely youtube videos for people who don’t already have a huge following are basically just people talking to themselves. Hoping that one day, after years of monologuing to nobody, something will come of it. What I loved about stand up comedy was the ability to force people to hear you. Unless your set is that bad, for 10 minutes, you have an opportunity to not speak into the void for once. There’s an instant reaction, and hopefully connection, between you and the people you’re speaking to. Not having that as a constant, especially switching to ~blogging, has emphasized the silence that comes with the Internet as a medium.

I’ve been growing increasingly freaked out by Internet fame lately. Even though I have as much of a presence on Twitter as Meryl Steep in Mamma Mia 2, I haven’t tweeted in 2 months out of… fear? Every day, I watch female comedians of large and small platforms getting harassed on Twitter for jokes they weren’t even paid to put out. The only reaction being to these tweets are likes and COMMENTS- which I firmly believe are not the same thing as audience laughs. If someone said a whole sentence, or even a fraction of what the Incels say in the replies, they’d probably be kicked out?  Twitter is basically all of the negative parts of comedy- no pay, hecklers, and people stealing your jokes. Yet, Twitter plays an integral role in Internet comedy. Many comics get notoriety through Twitter, which does ultimately lead to jobs. But, at what cost?

TikTok is the new member of Internet fame- and arguably the most influential. There should definitely be an HBOMax documentary on its ridiculous impact on the music industry alone. But, beyond the artists who have found extreme success through TikTok, we find thousands of accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers with little niches. TikTok from what I’ve seen is extremely hit or miss in terms of harassment. There are cases/videos where it seems as if the comment section is tag teaming to ruin or build the creators ego. The frightening, and to some, enticing part of TikTok is the fame many extremely young people have found from it. People literally younger than me (and I’m 20) are millionaires from dancing and sponsorships. If that’s your thing, TikTok is quite possibly the best thing that could happen to you. But what scares me is the level of perception. No doubt, TikTok is better at getting your content “out there” than any other platform. And instead of everyone in the comments being a creepy 40 year old man, it’s high schoolers, which are a different kind of scary. 

As someone who loves writing and performing, both look and have different effects in the digital age. I want people to hear me, but I’m terrified of their ability to tell me exactly how they feel about it. I’d rather their judgement be a deafening silence in a comedy club that everyone forgets about than a comment posted for everyone to read and agree with forever and ever. BUT ALSO- beyond my irrational fears of being perceived- there is an immediacy to Internet celebrity. Things truly go viral “overnight,” and have the chance to change a person’s life, for better or for worse. 

There’s something about Internet comedy that breaks the fun of spontaneity. There’s also something about Internet fame that doesn’t sit right with me more so than “regular” fame. But I’m also not someone looking to join a Hype House, so. 

More soon. Send me your questions, ask me for advice, I plan to come back from my “fear of being perceived” silence. 

Xoxo rubes