FROM: ‘A NOVEL IN PROGRESS’ |
It bothers me.
This place we live in, where everyone is black or white.
“How?” you ask skeptically. “Jack’s tanned gold like the sun, more of a brown, really, like Matilda, and you’re as pale as a snowman.”
“Ease up,” I mutter back at you.
I don’t mean it like that. Not literally black and white. Metaphorically. You know; this world, it’s categorised. Classed. Defined.
And this categorising, classing, defining beast: I like to call not-society.
You look confused, “You’re … not talking about society?”
because we are society and by calling society society we distance ourselves from the word; we adopt the mentality ‘it’s their fault, not ours.’
synonyms: society, humankind, people, community, culture, humanity
“Real women have curves.”
“Real women have flat stomachs, box gaps…”
“But, oh, don’t be too curvy; or have your stomach too flat; or that’s disgusting, your thighs are as thick my wrists …”
Real women look a thousand different ways, come in hundreds of different shapes.
“Did the menfolk of this motley bunch speak out of turn?” you ask slowly.
No. I’m just telling you how I see it.
Don’t whistle; probably don’t offer any compliments either, you creep — but don’t not offer compliments, you heartless man. Why can’t you give a girl come confidence?
Be very careful what comes out of your mouth — actually, you know what? Safer for you not say anything, sexist pig.
“Real men don’t go for bones.”
Actually, real men ‘go’ for whoever makes them happy.
And hate to break it to everyone but everyone is real.
Stand up for your rights as a woman? You’re a man-hater.
Point out that tipping the balance in favour of women is just as discriminatory? You’re a female-hater.
Oh, how not-society moans. There are freakish feminists and moronic misogynists everywhere.
The world would have you believe that they are the only types of people that exist.
People out there will judge you for no matter what you do. It’s ingrained in our genetics, or something.
Everything contradicts itself!
You’re going to get slammed for eating fatty foods. “You’re disgusting / you’re fat.”
You’re going to get slammed for eating healthily. “Nobody wants a chick who eats salad. Self-conscious idiot.”
Um. What happens if I care to like salad? I do like salad. In fact, I love salad.
For not-society to feel comfortable, to feel in control, satisfied, content, it tirelessly has to put everybody into categories.
There’s no grey area.
And there’s white.
In the people around us eyes we are either this or we are that:
fat, skinny, try-hard, no-hoper, man-hater, woman-hater, too-weak-willed-to-hold-an-opinion-ater, obsessive, overly-nonchalant, tart, prude, attention-seeker, recluse.
We will never win trying to please others, why bother?
As long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, do what makes you happy and absolutely nothing else.