Step Right Up Off My Lady Dick

03/16/2014 · 7 comments

in Creating Your Identity, Noa Gavin, Psychological Warfare

No one should get married until they’re at least 25.
Everyone has to have a college degree.
You’re not complete until you have children. Or a husband. Or until you forgive your abusers.
Everyone should be my religion and my religion specifically.
Everyone should have this job.

I see these goddamned headlines everywhere, and all of it is bullshit. It’s shoving flawed ideology down the sad throats of people who need real help. What if I said these instead:

No one should be in a wheelchair.
Everyone should be totally clear of any physical defect.
Everyone who has a mental illness is dangerous to society and should be killed.
Everyone should be this color of skin.

WHOA. That shit is terrible!

LOFB - NoaThis shit is why I’m getting motherfucking sick to death of generalities.

Let’s you and me get one thing straight: We are all so very fucking different. I know that in some ways, we are very similar–our physiology is similar, our basic needs and wants, our world. But in our society, in culture, in daily needs and wants and goals and dreams, we just could not be more different.

Last week we talked about breaking away from being put into a box, but today we need to make sure that we’re not doing that to others based on our own experiences.

A lot of advice I see these days reads as all-encompassing mandatory generalities. If it’s about marriage, it’s about why everyone should or shouldn’t get married at any age because it’ll destroy you otherwise. If it’s about children it’s about why everyone should or shouldn’t have them and how many and how to raise them or you’ll screw up your life, the food chain, and children all at the same time. If it’s religion, it’s about how everyone has to be this one religion and this one subset of it or you’ll ruin everything also you’re really stupid.

Why in the hell does that make any sense at all?

For those of you who are writing the advice, what authority do you feel you have to say that everyone has to do what you want the way you want? The answer, if you have one, is that you don’t have that authority. It’s part of a thing called autonomy–we get to choose what we want for ourselves.

For those of you who are listening to this advice and feeling boxed in, feeling like an outsider, feeling like hey maybe this is all a bad idea–you’re right. It’s part of a thing called autonomy–we get to choose what we want for ourselves.

Autonomy - N Gavin

The beautiful part about humanity is the capacity to choose our own identities, and to find common ground despite our differences and dissimilar ideas. The beautiful part about identity is that we get to choose our own, that we get to say who we based on our own experiences and ideas.

So if you got married later than 25 and had a great experience, by all means, write about it, but don’t exclude those who got married younger. If you had kids, awesome for you! If not, also awesome for you! If you’re offering advice, remember that the things that work for you don’t always work for others. Your answer is not the be all end all.

You be you. You do what is right for you. You don’t take shit from nobody.

Roxie March 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

Everyone must eat Dove Ice Cream bars, but only during the months of June, July and August.

Ashton March 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I will eat my GODDAMN Dove ice cream whenever I damn well please, woman.

Noa March 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Fuck that shit. I say Girl Scout Cookies all year.

nadine March 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

We can’t all be the same, and as long as what one person is doing doesn’t harm anyone else, then by all means, be a Brony even though I think it’s gross and weird. That’s your path.
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Janene March 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I sort-of wrote a poem about this, about the labels to describe ‘me’, and how I hoped to find a guy who “got me” without them:

Who She Is
© JM, 2012
All Rights Reserved

Cousin, aunt, daughter, sister,
Friend, coworker, acquaintance, neighbour,
Librarian, editor, past-convenor, business specialist,
Voracious reader, blogger, poet, part-time fiction writer,
Music lover, musician, singer, concert go-er,
Sculptor, painter, draftsman, photographer,
Geek, nerd, tech junkie, gamer girl:

she dreams of the day when she’ll find the guy
who “gets” her
without the labels.
We can inflict all the labels that we want, but at the end of the day, they don’t really mean a damn thing because the labels, especially the self-inflicted ones, are only one facet of ourselves that we perceive to those around us. They don’t tell the whole story, nor will they ever, because we’d run out of time before we finished all the labelling.

We are who we are – love us for that.

Thanks for the reminder. Cheers!

maurnas March 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Your blog normally makes me laugh my ass off. But yes to this! I mostly get the ‘you aren’t having kids?’ thing and the ‘when are you going to get married?’ thing. Maybe I’ll get married when I meet someone worth marrying. Or never!

laurie free March 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm

U r a cot jam rockstar. I need daily dose of this. Sometimes I get email bout your blog somex I dont or ut goes into my spa box.. what exactly is your WordPress name so.I can make e sure you r in my really bad at maneuver ing word press and spent to much x try ing to learn it rather than just write like u said in earlier blog
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