I’ve been going through a few weeks of… not really malaise, but just a sort of checked out feeling. I haven’t been writing like I want to/need to/should be in order to keep to my self-imposed publishing schedule and while I have been following news and events, and have opinions on things, I haven’t mustered up the energy or whatever to write about them here either. But over the last couple of days, I’ve done some introspection and pulled apart some things and reminded myself that this sort of disconnect is not really productive nor is it conducive to keeping my creative side, which is still newly emerging, engaged and active.
As a result of that, this post is going to be a mishmash and maybe a sort of announcement of rants to come. A few things have crossed my mind lately. One was the difference between a persona and the use of pronouns. Another has been the necessity of a basic lesson in economics for some of the younger, mal-educated individuals out there (i.e. if you tax something out of existence, how are you going to replace that revenue?). Finally, I want to examine the idea that the left/progressive/LGBTQXYZ agenda is driving the idea that women are to be erased from culture and society.
I’ll start with the idea of personas versus pronouns. This came about because the partner of a young family member has morphed from male to “they” to apparently now (based on a post I saw) female – complete with beard and mustache and feminine outfits – and is referred to now as “my girlfriend” by my family member, who is a straight female. I must be an old fart because I don’t get the appeal of going along with the reality-ignoring nature of such capricious decisions. And they are capricious decisions. They are not made with any serious thought, but rather appear in the moment and are meant to garner attention, sympathy, and support for the chameleon of an individual.
In the wider, more extended family, another young person continuously announces that she (yes, she uses that pronoun) is non-binary and queer… while having done the totally conventional thing of marrying a man and calling him her husband. This same young woman came out as lesbian while attending an all-women’s college. The running joke in academic circles about that sort of change is she was a LUG… Lesbian Until Graduation. But it’s clear, to me at least, that her time as a LUG followed by finding a man attractive enough that she wanted to date and then marry him, has confused her, given that society is telling her she was more connected as a lesbian. So she’s gone to the “queer, non-binary” label as a way of explaining it all to herself and others. It seems it would be easier to say “I thought I was a lesbian, I was wrong. I was confused.”
My point is not to make fun of my family members. I don’t stoop to that level. These are individuals whom I love and about whom I worry. They are both engaged in a game of going along with prevailing trends in order to make sure they fit in, keep their friends, and are viewed as moral and decent people. Because this is what they’ve been told moral and decent people do – they put up with reality-bending absurdities in the name of social cooperation. I worry because when these constructs implode around them, it may cause mental and emotional harm.
I put drag queens on the other side of this equation. Drag queens are men who take on the persona of a larger-than-life female performer. But that performer is viewed as a separate entity from the individual who gives her life. The man behind the performance has his own life outside of performing (yes, yes, not all, but even in the drag queen world, those individuals are few and far between). The man, and the drag queen he plays are viewed separately. The man does not view himself as female rather his character is female. Men playing women’s roles goes back to Shakespeare and earlier. Drag queens are just a part of the acting world.
Many of us also put on personas when dealing with various aspects of our lives. Introverts often put on the persona of an extrovert, or at least a mostly social person, to get through a workday where they have to deal with a lot of people, or give a presentation at work. I used to put on my professor persona every time I stepped in front of a classroom full of students, or presented my research at a conference, or spoke with prospective students and their parents.
The whole concept of “fake it ‘til you make it” is guided by the idea of putting on the persona of a competent, knowledgeable person, in whatever field you’re operating in, and running with it. By putting on that persona, we can find ourselves tackling problems and issues with more confidence or in different ways than we might otherwise do.
However, regardless of the persona we put on, most of us find it tiring to act in that manner all the time. We also tend not to announce “Hey! Putting on my persona now!” to the world. Yes, drag queens do, but unless you know the man behind the costume very well, I’ll wager you are not going to get him to tell you he does it to hide feelings of inadequacy, shyness, or anything else. There is still no announcement of “I’m doing this in order to get through the day/night/event more easily.”
Personas are very different from changing one’s pronouns. The drag queen persona isn’t there because the man behind the character wants the world to notice him. She’s there because it hides the man. Changing pronouns is the exact opposite of that. When somebody changes their pronouns, they’re exhibiting self-aggrandizing, narcissistic behaviors – behaviors that scream “hey! Look at me! I’m making myself noticeable! You MUST pay attention to me because I’ve just put myself into a group of ‘victims’!” (We’ll leave the question of who voluntarily joins a group of victims for later.)
It all makes me wonder what the pronoun-changers think about when they are alone. Do they think, “hey, I’ll take the next step and then everybody will really love me!” or are they more cynical about it (I believe that William “Lia” Thomas is one of the cynical, predatory ones), or are they so lost and confused that they’re giving in to the smallest amount of pressure to conform in order to stand out (wrap your mind around that) to this warped version of reality?
Regardless of the reason, I truly worry about younger generations and most especially about my family members. That is one of the primary reasons I will keep writing this blog – I hope that some of them are reading it and maybe, just maybe giving some genuine thought to what I’m saying. Another reason is that those of us objecting to all these reality-warping statements and actions must continue to speak out. If we fail to speak out, we will lose this war. Yes, it seems dark right now, but we have to keep going.
I’m back in the game.
We are now the ones speaking truth to power.