The Internet is “the Prover” from “the Thinker and the Prover” on overdrive. If you think that you are totally helpless, oppressed, and persecuted, your internal prover is going to link up with the technological prover called the Internet and deliver a world that perfectly matches your thinker’s paradigm. As a transgender woman, I’ve had to work hard to get out from under the torrent of “proof” that my life is going to be miserable and fraught with disaster because I’m a persecuted minority. Of course I am a persecuted minority, but that in no way means that I will suffer because of it. Often now I can’t even talk to people in my community because their prover has so convinced them that their life will be one long sad march of woe. There appears to be a tendency to malign the optimists within minority groups in my culture (the US).
However, real systemic injustices do exist, and we need to see them remediated, but as individual actors, I believe that in order to have a sound psychological mechanism within our consciousness, we need to be aware of how insidious the Prover can be and constantly check our assumptions in order to see if they are appropriate. Often just by challenging the narrative that says I am an ant under a boulder of persecution by privileged tyrants, I am called some sort of reactionary right-winger. I just want to live a middle pillar life where I balance my persecution against the real agency I do have in my day to day life.
I lived for decades with the notion that my life was meaningless and riddled with terror, and unsurprisingly it ended with me repeatedly trying to kill myself. Then I reached the realization that I had personal, spiritual power that could be grown through intentional, sometimes described as magickal, action. When I woke up from that I realized that I had merely been carrying water for people who wished to see me weak and dispirited. This water goes back to the medieval church and even further of course. I realized in a near death experience that I was being played, and I don’t really know all of the mechanics of what went on, but I believe I became spiritually integrated with my higher self who had no time for self-loathing.
I’m not trying to prescribe a specific path other than to say that one should question her principles and thoughts. See where they come from. They might not be your own, and they might be poisoning you. And with the advent of the Internet, they can poison you very quickly.
I haven’t really felt like posting this meme, because I didn’t grow up being socialized around cisgender women, so I suppose I have felt slightly alienated from it, but my experience with toxic masculinity is probably even more severe than most.
I grew up looking like a “normal” male child, and yet my psychology and emotional makeup were far closer to that of the average young girl. I was sensitive, loved art and music especially, always tried to dress expressively, and had many other qualities that didn’t fit in with the increasingly narrow definitions of masculinity indicative of late-stage patriarchy. And then of course I was attracted to the same gender, but that didn’t come until I started puberty, and by that time masculinity had scarred my back repeatedly with its whiplashes.
Unlike the girls in the other lines, I was undercover: embedded amongst the enemy. From the first grade, I was bullied for being different. I didn’t really understand why I was bullied and singled out until much later, but now I see it. I was a girl that couldn’t retreat into a group of other girls. I was alone and chained to the boys, and they knew it. Men in America are conditioned to hate and deride femininity wherever they see it. Of course not all men follow these orders, but enough do to create deep scars in anyone who dares to be born with a feminine or yin psychological composition.
I’ve never been sexually assaulted even though there were predators in the gay male community too who took advantage of my fragile state when I was underage and crossed boundaries. But I was psychologically assaulted for my gender, and this did plenty of damage. It took me until I was 30 to finally say enough is enough and throw those bullies and demons out of my consciousness and resurrect that girl that I had hidden deep in the recesses of my consciousness around the age of 6. I still have lots and lots of rehabilitation to do because of the foul aggressions of “modern” American masculinity, but I’m on the track.
The reason that transgender women are targeted and attacked at a sickeningly high level is because men are fighting a proxy battle in the wider war against women in general. People like me have dared to say that transitioning to live as a woman is not a “downgrade” as they would have everyone believe. Soldiers often treat traitors worse than they treat the enemy, and I am proudly both. This primitive charade needs to end, and rest assured that it is ending. Women have made enormous advances economically and politically in the last one hundred years, and the momentum is not slowing. I just pray to the goddess that we can join hands as one peaceful people soon and respect all gender manifestations as beautiful and divine.
You’ve gotta find a thing to serve
cause life takes guts and a little verve
in serving something, you’ll brave the worst
and the gods will send a hopeful curse
to lift you while you’re meekly sitting
knowing all around is crumbling
while swirling feasts of grace start singing
“You’re the fire, life’s the kindling
burn from right within your heart
so that your smile is the highest art”