AFTERTHOUGHT: I did not mean to post this on International Women's Day; that's just when I got it finished. I started writing it a few days ago, but felt stuck for reasons that a sortof explain here.
I recently came across this tweet and found it salient enough to retweet myself:
I am a white, cisgender, middle-class, Canadian male. I have some privilege on hand that I appear to carelessly strew about me. I just wish I understood when I was doing it. I want to be an advocate like @alix suggests around the 53 minute mark of the podcast embedded above. I want to give outsiders room to speak; I want to trust that they are sharing their experience without couching it for me.
But lately, with how the dialogue's been going, with how many times I seem to put my foot in my mouth, I just want to hide. I want to do my job and spend the rest of my time in a corner where I won't hurt anybody. My intentions are good, but my privilege blinds me.
I'm one of those guys.
I'm not a confident person. I can deal with that. This plan to limit my use of social media is one part of me trying to increase/improve my sense of self-confidence.
This lack of self-confidence can have some serious negative effects: it makes me unnecessarily stress out about my upcoming research project for my Master's in Education degree; it makes me frightened about self-promoting my own music. There are countless ways that I don't feel adequate.
A lack of self-confidence was rather useful being raised in the church. I could always come across as "humble" because I had no self-confidence. This misreading of the nature of both humility and confidence served me well in the church context because I didn't have an ego to "get past" in order to "serve."
But with relationships, my lack of self-confidence has always been a problem. I squandered many dates by "not stepping up" to the next level, whatevertheheck that might have been at that time. I avoided dates and girlfriends in the name of my lack of self-confidence.
And when I would enter relationships, I'd fall into a seemingly unique hole: I'd be so afraid of objectifying a woman that I would essentially act asexually. I'd feel like any sexual suggestion or idea would essentially make me into a sexist pig who couldn't see past a woman's body. And this still carries on to today in some aspects; I still fear coming off as a "bro" if I make a comment about a woman's appearance. This is good for avoiding making sexist remarks; this is bad for acknowledging a woman's sexuality or acknowledging the time and money women put in to their appearance.
For the embedded episode of This Week In Blackness Prime above, the discussion starts at 42:28.
For the purpose of this weblog, I'd like to highlight the following explanation, starting at 54:20 in the TWIB Prime podcast embedded above.
or, in reference to the tweet that they refer to in the show,
I'd never thought about it that way. That might be helpful. At those times when my partner[s] have agency over themselves, I need to acknowledge and encourage that agency in any way I can. The question might be, "Do I have the self-confidence to accurately encourage that agency in my relationships?" and "What would that look like?"
Now I just need to talk to my wife about it and see what she thinks.
In my last post, I mentioned that I'd love to attend The Amaz!ng Meeting sometime. I don't know when I'll get the chance to go there. Until then, I will have to settle with the videos they post online.
Of all the lectures I've watched from last year's TAM, I've probably enjoyed Deirdre Barrett's "Supernormal Stimuli" the most.
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