When I was in my early twenties, I had a rabbit named Trixie, given that name because I got her on Halloween (trick or treat), not because of Beatrix Potter.
Trixie Pixie weighted 900 grams.
She was a tiny little thing, but had a heart of a lioness. I also had a red canary Ben who was free and the two were inseparable. When Ben passed away because the vet gave the wrong antibiotic twice instead of once, Trixie was very sad. I rescued another rabbit Susie, and the two also became inseparable.
Trixie had numerous operations because her jaw was too small for her teeth. She went to the University of Guelph constantly, but she lived about six years. She was loving, bossy, nosy, and very brave.
Particularly when it came to standing up to humans that rubbed her the wrong way.
There was one man who was a family friend who was not the most sensitive person in the world. He thought it was funny to make loud nonsensical noises when he saw Trixie, and tried to twist her nose repeatedly. She’d run away, I would tell him that wasn’t acceptable, he’d dismiss me as some sort of snowflake, and do it again.
But Trixie always got her revenge.
Because she knew which pair of shoes he wore and then promptly pissed in them. Only his. Never anyone else’s.
Then he’d put them on, complain they were wet, but never quite hit upon the fact that he was mucking around in rabbit urine.
And then he’d come for the next visit, where the cycle went on without deviation. I never went to hide his shoes from Trixie.
That’s what you get for intimidating a 900 gram herbivore.
Trixie was a smart little bunny. I had to euthanize her when she developed a brain tumour. I think her passing hurt me the most in the fuzzy kid division.
She had an unbelievable sense of fairness. I had been dealt a serious blow in my professional life, and one that would have been a breakthrough. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried in my life, and that was one. I was blowing off steam on my sofa in the living room with my mother on the love seat that was in front of a ledge with potted plants on it. Trixie ran to the ledge, and promptly knocked flower pots right on my mother’s head by pushing them with her own little noggin.
What can I say? She thought mom was responsible for me getting upset and was going to level the playing field. She was a righteous little mini-lop.
She was protective of me, and I always returned the favour. I did not take kindly to people trying to abuse her, but it seemed every time I told a male — and it was always an adult male — to knock it off, they would fly off the handle, and keep doing it. I had a male relative do the same thing, and neither one of those people are in my life anymore.
They were both ill-behaved and unteachable. When someone tells you not to make loud and stupid noises and try to twist their pet’s nose, stop doing it. You are being a swine. There is no benefit in frightening a small animal. There is no benefit in bad manners that net you no rewards, but impede your social standing as you alienate people who just want you to stop annoying them and their pets.
It is not a “war” if someone tells you to stop being uncivilized. It is the inevitable byproduct of feral behaviour. I never went to these men’s houses to molest and disturb their animals.
But it wasn’t just my pets. These were the same people who belittled every one of my achievements, called me names, tried to gaslight me as they patronized me, telling me what to think regardless if I had expertise and they never heard of the subject before in their lives, and thought they had every right to tell me how to dress, dye my hair, put on my make-up, and that I should stop having a career, and do something of value, like get married and have children.
I never stood for it. I told them off, even as a kid, and then they got upset with me, calling me rude.
Excuse me, I just said, “Hello.” You made lengthy comments about a pimple on my chin. That is a deliberate attempt at establishing a pecking order by making me feel inferior to you and be too consumed with my alleged deficiencies to see what you are doing.
I am not a moron. The fact that I push back doesn’t mean there is a “war” against snowflake you.
Instead of getting your knickers in a knot, you can sign up for some etiquette lessons.
They really are miracle workers. Bless the Brits for their centuries-long dedication to sensitivity to other people’s feelings.
They didn’t write a silly column in the National Post whining about some non-existent war on boys and men, and then try to impose a narrative about it being “ideology versus science” because it isn’t.
So what’s really going on here?
Simple: communications technology finally caught up to reality, and what was always happening suddenly could no longer be suppressed by a patriarchal news media.
In Canada, men are a minority, and have been for at least thirty years. 50.4% of the population are women, and yet men are vastly over-represented in positions of power in both business and government. We have always had rigs that favoured men, and biology has zero to do with it. White men, who are even a smaller piece of that demographic pie, are even more over-represented based on the population make-up.
So here is a single minority group among a mosaic of minority groups, who are upset because the Internet finally allows us to hear what everyone around us is thinking. Stop mansplaining is not throwing a grenade; it’s feedback that the individual does not need to be treated like she is in kindergarten when she has a graduate degree and has expertise in the field under discussion.
Before, the press would either ignore the complaints, or worse, spin them to make it sound as if some lunatic fringe was spewing insanity. That is a crying shame. If people understood that in a planet of 7.4 billion people, you will have a sea of disagreement, outrage, support, and differing opinions decades ago, they wouldn’t take the peculiar stance that they are.
Fox News exploits this demographic: they target frustrated white men and then tell them nothing in their lives is their fault, which is ridiculous. Sometimes you are the architect of your own misery, and the sooner you see it, the sooner you can do something about it and get yourself out of your slump.
A big problem for men is the fairytales they have been told where there can only be The One, and if someone opposes you, that they are the Villain to be vanquished and women are just there to be saved because they are inferior to you and are made to drool all over you.
That is a fantasy.
And a horrible lie. If we reversed the gender roles, it would be no less horrific. No one should be following this destructive rigged script.
A more sensible map is that we all have hopes, dreams, and goals. We all have different life requirements. We are all flawed and make mistakes. We have rights, but also responsibilities. Life isn’t always looking for an entourage to drool all over you, nor find an inferior ditz to relieve your crude urges. People who have different ideas have the same rights as you do.
Cooperation and negotiation to coordinate our competing interests is far more profitable and liberating than some competition where it is all-or-none. A shrewd person makes alliances, and ensures that there is a balance for everyone in terms of work, risk, responsibilities, and payoffs. Jealousy, greed, laziness, and ego are very destructive forces, but they are not some static force that chains us forever to ruin our lives. We have to face our worst traits, acknowledge them, realize they manipulate our perceptions of reality, and then do something about them.
Men shouldn’t feel threatened if a woman is a visionary who is ambitious. She has every right as does he to aim high, but the second a woman does break through as a man is called on the carpet for trying to sabotage her, other men get scared and then make up a propaganda tale of there being a war on men.
No, there isn’t. There is a man person who is prime minister, just as the other two political parties have man people in charge of their party. The only party to have a woman person is the Greens and they have one seat. The world’s most powerful players are men. That hasn’t changed. And those men have their fans and many are seen as visionaries.
There is no war just because someone calls you an asshole. You are an asshole.
That Fox News can tell bedtime stories to men who are silly enough to believe them is not a surprise. The sad thing is that those men don’t realize that the FNC gets rich by keeping them running on a hamster wheel of hate, and keeps them in a very unhappy holding pattern because that’s how they create audiences. MSNBC plays the same propaganda for losers on the left. Both sides would be wise to look inward, get off the fucking wheel, and break old habits and modify their behaviours to make them prosper.
But the National Post is playing a similar game, recruiting Jordan Peterson into their web, which I find utterly fascinating. Peterson is a psychologist by trade, and this pop psych narrative has many of his detractors unnecessarily stymied. Their counterarguments are too cerebral. They are over-thinking things and not addressing the audience that has had a spell cast on them as they have been primed by the FNC into thinking they are victims.
What’s interesting is that Peterson’s pop psych arguments do not go anywhere near the logic of Jean Piaget’s Stage Four of Cognitive Development (Piaget is Person #31 on the List of People Everyone Should Know). The Formal Operational Stage is one that many adults never attain, but you cannot be an experimental psychologist and not be in that very stage because that’s the very stage where experimental psychology depends on for its very purpose and methods.
So Peterson isn’t someone who could possibly be devoid of a Stage Four mind, yet his pop psych is clearly at Level Two and Three.
That’s quite a feat.
Journalism was never in Stage Four, and I have said that is the reason it collapsed, but Peterson made a career of intellectual regression. It is a cagey move: for one, your detractors will never reach the people who are being beguiled because they will use Stage Four Arguments, and those under the spell have been stymied by their Stage Three prison, and can’t see it.
They very well may be capable of making the leap to the Fourth Stage — but they were led to believe that they didn’t need that leap because the narratives they were told are of lower stages, and they cling on to those stories, thinking it is the answer for Winning At Life.
It is a recipe for self-destruction.
So if there is no “war” on men, why are they stuck in a slump that distorts their perceptions of reality?
The answer lies in pandas.
Many ambitious white collar types — and even the entire profession of journalism — have the same problem, regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, or age. They make it so far, and then they can no longer move upward in a company or career. They have the right education and experience. They are smart and even social.
Are they victims of outside forces?
No, but they are a victim of their own panda.
A panda is a term for a seemingly benign personality trait or mindset that is more destructive to you than you realize.
Such as indulging in aggressive behaviours and ignoring repeated requests to knock it off. You may feel as if you have power to thwart and emotionally upset people, but if they push back, they aren’t going to give you another inch. They can retaliate.
Do you want short-term thrills — or do you want long-term viability?
In business, being passive-aggressive can get you up so far, but then when you hit a certain level, the rules change and what what worked for you begins to work against you.
Adherence to The One Rule That Explains Everything is a losing gamble.
And if your rule is that you can bully other people and they’ll just sit and take it, you are in for the surprise of your life. There are people like me who don’t care about your gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, wealth, education, nationality, connections, fame, or political affiliation.
You pull some bullshit stunt on me, and I will unleash my righteousness on you. Fuck you.
Treat me with kindness and respect, and I will go out of my way to help you if you should ever be in need or want of it.
And we in an era right now where we have arrogance and temper tantrums where everyone is accusing everyone else of waging some “war” on them.
No, what you are experiencing is the technology that lets you hear the world’s thoughts at once.
People have agendas. They bully. They try to get things they did not earn. They try to impress people with some image. They hedge their bets on a side they think will reward them.
The fuel of arrogance is messing with a lot of minds, but that’s easily remedied with a good dose of humility.
The only problem is when you chose the medicine, it goes down very easy — but when life rams it down your throat, the cure is often more traumatic than the disease.
And it’s coming a lot sooner than people think.
It’s not a war, but reality people need to worry about.
After all, if we just give in to “biology”, remember, people sure did love to kill, rape, and pillage, and enslave other people.
And they went to watch the slaughter of gladiators, imprison foreigners to serve as their slaves, and spark wars for pure financial profit.
Eventually, people started to become civilized and learned something called empathy.
And they sublimated those biological drives into something creative and productive.
So the biology excuse is pure nincompoopity, and it’s time to go up a rung in evolution — not down…