failure vs success

I want everybody to take a time out for a second and think about the common concept, “I won’t lose to a girl!” because we usually think about this in the context of the dude saying it. But lets break out of that for a bit like… you realize what this means right?

that it is a part of masculinity to always “win” and a part of our conceptions of femininity to lose. that girls lose. that if a girl wins, that can’t be. That winning is something men accomplish, and losing is something that “happens to” girls. That losing is passive, and girls are passive, and winning is active, and men are active. That winning and losing are gendered. Not always to the same intersectional degree (it’s hard to imagine what a black guy ‘wins’ in terms of masculinity) but the concept is there.

And there’s this pervasive attitude among horrid dudes that the question of gender equality is a game, if it’s a war it’s a trivialized war and their victory is predetermined else they are just so much more skilled at this 'game’ that it’s inevitable. That something leads them to using militaristic and gamified language to approach women who scare them. Negging is a strategy, a game. Men make laughable battle plans in totally public clubhouses about whether “the SJWs” have won or lost. What have they won or lost? That’s known only to them, but I have never seen any of these things admit that women have “won” anything. It’s either that women have lost some fight (of their own imagining, mostly) or the information is inconclusive about them. In fact the entire image or idea of these astroturfed reactionary efforts assumes that women will “lose” a fight, or that they have already lost and are inferior and just need to be reminded of their loser/losing status.

Donald Trump, too, is obsessed with the idea of not being a “loser.”

Women are under-represented just about everywhere that’s not a gender slum– and men “win” in those too with guy nurses riding the glass elevator up past their lady peers. That’s still less women winning stuff. By default, it’s already decided that women lose the race. By that we’re pushed out of running, because if we compete fairly at all there’s a chance we’ll win. That’s scary to many men, it seems.

Women’s behavior and mannerisms are typified as weaker, less decisive, less sure, etc. AKA: the qualities of one who loses, vs. one who wins when they are competitive. And things that women are encouraged to do are often also emphasized as non-competitive. Even when by nature of our world we have to compete with peers to get exposure no matter what we do.

Mental illness and anxiety abounds in women in a way it doesn’t in men. They can be focuses on types of success vs. failure. Social anxiety can flag false alerts for social failure constantly to one who has it. Depression can encourage low self-worth and a perpetuating cycle of self-confirming failure. It’s very common for women to have an “imposter anxiety” or feel like they are a fraud and much worse at their abilities than they are. They aren’t delusional. The entire world tells them that they ought to be losing right now. if they’re winning instead (and living, for the most part, is a form of victory) the only reasonable conclusion is that they’re cheating. So many women think, and fear they’re somehow cheating. That they don’t deserve what they have and what people think well of them.

Trans women probably get hit by questions that amount to like, it’s shitty to be a girl, wouldn’t being a boy be easier? Which mostly boil down to the sticky, corrosive syrup: “why would you want to lose? Don’t you want to win?” And trans men are assumed that they can never really win and are just cheating their way into having the victory that comes with being men, weaseling out of their “place” which is to be girls and lose. Non-binary people? Are they even playing the game? They are feared because to neither win nor lose takes the rules of how to behave, who to be, who gets punished, who gets rewarded and makes them meaningless.

“I can’t lose to a girl!”

losing is female. Losing is gendered feminine. Women lose. If you don’t lose, girl you’ll be made to.

Winning is male. Winning is gendered masculine. Men win. If you don’t win, you’re not a man so you better make sure someone loses.

the next time you wonder why horrible guys can’t take being wrong, losing, etc. gracefully, remember this.

Slow & Steady wins the race

For the purpose of this project, I have failed. For I started in October of last year and now its November, and I only posted 240 entries. Now, some of it is due to weekends, some of it is due to vacation - but never-the-less I did not achieve what I set out to do. But as the project moved forward it started to take on a purpose of its own. What it does for me more than anything else is show me progress. I have 105 more entries to do, and as I look back on the project, no two entries look the same. I am amazed to have even created this much work, good or bad, in so little time, where I was struggling to create before I began the project. So, the finish line is ahead, but I am in no rush to get there.