I don’t consider myself a modern-day Sherlock Holmes or anything, but I am a pretty observant fellow most of the time. More often than not, it pays off. It’s always good, for example, to be acutely cognizant of things like your wife’s new hair color or the front end of a police cruiser poking out from behind a shrubbery.
Sometimes, though, I notice things that would cause serious hard-drive failures in the most advanced of cyborgs. Indeed, there are times when I take note of some peculiarity and am ultimately forced to accept the fact that logic and common sense are completely foreign concepts to some. Below is a list of a few of the more
enjoyable humorous perturbing examples.
The American Heritage Dictionary describes a bigot as “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” Of course, the words “religion” and “race” and “politics” are all qualifiers of the leading phrase, “one’s own group”. It is important to note that there are many other sub-groups not listed, giving the subtle implication that religion, race, and political stance are the established trifecta of bigotry. Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a multitude of groups out there regularly subjected to bigotry that is neither based on race, nor religion, nor politics.
M-hm. Suddenly all the women reading this start nodding their heads.
I have many male friends who would never even think of ridiculing someone because of their race or religion, but who commonly refer to each other as “pussies” without bothering to acknowledge that the term “pussy” – used as it is to mean weak, inferior men – is a bigoted statement against all women. It says, in a passive voice, that women are just men who lack "balls". This is an outright devaluation of women that most guys don’t even realize they’re perpetuating. But perpetuate it they do, almost as if it’s hard-wired into their masculinity. It needs to stop.
Understanding that a decent portion of guys will still need some means of elevating themselves above others in their own minds (and not wanting to damage any fragile self-images) I offer up the term “wussy” or “wuss” as alternatives that shouldn’t be too difficult to switch to. There is also the option of calling another guy a “wimp” if his level of machismo doesn’t meet one’s rigid standards, however resorting to the word “bitch” places one on the shaky ground of male chauvinism.
The c-word is right out.
Misogyny can be remarkably inconspicuous to those not sensitive to it and it is every bit as terrible as the foulest racism. Fact.
UPDATE: Ugh. Et tu, Gabe & Tycho? Ah, well. No one said it would be an easy battle.
I used to have a coworker who was a strict vegetarian and made no bones about the fact she thought eating meat was barbaric and cruel. She had a little sign in her cubicle, obtained from PETA, with a cute cartoon depiction of a pig and the words, “MEAT’S NO TREAT FOR THOSE YOU EAT.” I sort of liked that phrase and I told her as much. I admitted that it wasn’t enough to get me to stop eating bacon, but also fully confessed that the only reason I ate meat was because I didn’t have to kill it myself. (Seriously. Desert me in the jungle with nothing but a live piglet and a Bowie knife and I’d quickly become a vegan with a pet pig and a big-ass mango-slicer.)
Her animal-rights morality was commendable until I noticed a dichotomy that completely invalidated it. Namely, shoes and purse made of leather. It would seem that although my coworker’s ethics wouldn’t allow her to eat an animal’s flesh, they oddly didn’t forbid killing the animal for its skin. When presented with this conundrum, she replied that unless you wanted to buy new shoes every three months and enjoyed having sweaty feet, leather was really the only viable option (this commentary on product quality from a person who eschews chicken for tofu). At that point, it seemed silly to ask why she also needed her handbags made out of cow. It probably would have only led to her fumbling for a justification of her Max Factor mascara or something.
Side Note: For an excellent dissertation on the topic of animal rights – one of the best I’ve read – visit the blog of Auntie Pinko.
I could write an entire essay on the juvenile and disgusting restroom habits of some of the grown men I work with. Seriously, I shudder to think what the bathrooms in their homes must look like.
But there was this one recent incident that, while not as offensive as finding urine and curly pubes on the toilet seat, had me scratching my head for quite some time. A man came into the restroom and entered the stall right next to mine. He commenced making a big show out of the fact that he was using one of the provided paper toilet seat-covers. I mean, it literally took him ten times longer than it should have to pull out and position his crapper condom. I know they can be complicated — punching out the center part without tearing the thing in two truly is akin to performing a delicate thoracic surgery — but he clearly wanted everyone else present to know that he had absolutely no intention of riding a public toilet bareback. Fine. But when he finished doing his doo-doo, did he saunter up next to me at the sinks and join me in a little after-BM hand sanitizing? No. No, he did not. He did, however, take a quick moment to check his hair in the mirror as he strolled by, but evidently his concern for germs only applies from the waist down. Try as I might, I cannot make sense of this.
Delusional Drug Abuse
There is a major misconception that the Food and Drug Administration actually cares about the health of the general populace. If it were true that there was a governmental concern for the well being of the citizenry, things like Brominated Vegetable Oil and Olestra would never have been approved as food additives. So believe me when I tell you that just because a substance is legal, doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging to your health. By the same token, some bureaucrat deciding a particular chemical should be controlled for this reason or that reason doesn’t automatically make those reasons valid or even factual.
This is why my feathers get ruffled whenever some drunken clod starts shooting his mouth off about how his no good brother smokes too much pot or how his wife goes through two packs of Camels a day. As a recovering alcoholic who has come direly close to losing everything he loves to booze, I can state without stuttering that people who consume copious amounts of alcohol should refrain from vocalizing opinions about the drug use of others. It’s a person’s lawful, adult right to drink martinis until their liver looks like a wad of rancid hamburger, but a voluntary mass-consumption of one of the world’s deadliest legal substances automatically disqualifies that person from judging other peoples’ substance abuse.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the guy a couple houses over who leaves his dog chained to a tree all day is currently out haranguing a guy for wearing a fur-lined overcoat. WTF?