It Just Is

This blog post is all over the place.  I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts very well, so I’m just going to type, and what comes out, comes out….

For a long time now I’ve wanted to write a blog post about my opinions on the whole gender issue that has taken society by storm over the past decade or so. My opinions on it are not widely accepted in the circles I consider myself a part of, so I’ve kept my opinions and views mostly to myself to spare friendships. Furthermore, I’ve always prided myself on being a very open and accepting person to all walks of life in general.  I accept all races, nationalities, backgrounds, religions, lifestyles, economic statuses, and so on. But this has me rethinking how I view myself, as much as others. It’s been a struggle for me because I’ve tried so very hard to change my thinking, to adjust and come to terms with a few things, societal changes. But the more it’s shoved in my face, the less okay I seem to be with it all.

I think, besides a few rare cases, gender IS determined at birth, by biology and anatomy. I cannot generalize every single being, because intersex individuals exist… and the occasional truly transgender person does occur. But this whole millennial (and younger) generation thinks they are all a different gender than the sex into which they were born, and come up with dozens of words for every variation for their sexuality. And I think it’s ridiculous and has gotten completely out of hand. Where is the line?

Some may say since I’m a straight female (with bi-curiosity), I have it easy. I accepted my sex as my gender and therefore I could not possibly understand the struggle of those who don’t accept their own bodies. I can not argue with that, because it’s true. All of it. But I am also entitled to my opinions and views on the trend – because that’s EXACTLY what it is. A trend.  A societal trend.

What brought on my views and opinions, you ask? Well, to be honest I’m not sure. In high school I briefly dated a guy that began living his life as a woman not long after high school. I accept her as a woman, and have no issue with that. I know someone else who identifies as a man but cross-dresses, and I’m cool with him entirely….

But then, I have another person quite close to me that was born and raised as a girl, but has decided to request being called male in the last couple years. Perhaps it would be easier for me to accept that if they lived as a male in any way whatsoever. But they don’t. They still dress as a female, live life as a female, have typically female interests and attributes.  So I still use she/her and her birth-given name, much to her dissatisfaction and frustration.  Defending herself, she says she doesn’t feel identifying as a male should dictate her clothing style or characteristics… that she can be a boy and still appear to be, and act female… and still demand to be called a boy.  And to be honest that makes absolutely no sense to me.  How can she legitimately expect to be referred to and seen as a male when she does not put off a male vibe to anyone at all?  To me, it feels like she is making a mockery of the whole LGBT community, specifically the transgender part.  Most of the trans people I have come in contact with will live life as the gender they feel they are.  Since when did it become acceptable to just claim a gender and run with it, regardless of other behavior?  It is absolutely absurd to me.  Also, it is creating a lot of unnecessary confusion and controversy.  Where is the line where this is considered a mental illness?  Why is this newer generation so quick to make up new labels by the day to claim to be a part of? And why do people just accept this as the new norm?

This all may seem like a crazy rant of some close-minded person who give no fucks about the LGBT community, and that’s where you’d be wrong.  I accept gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc.  The ones who truly fit with that.  I don’t honestly care what people choose to do in the bedroom, or what/who gets them off.  I really have never understood why that’s such a discussion point.  It’s no one’s business.  But the gender confusion of this younger generation is a sickness, a terrible epidemic.

The reason I haven’t expressed my views sooner is because of my own internal frustration on the topic.  I have tried over the last couple years to adjust and come to terms with it all.  I have tried to relax and let it be.  But the more I see of it, the more I can’t help but be frustrated by it.  And it makes me feel like a bad person, a close-minded, unaccepting bitch.  But I’ve finally decided that rather than fight myself on this, I am going to accept that this is how I think and feel about the topic, and if it costs me friendships and family members, so be it.  This is who I am.  Just like YOU are who you are.  We can be friends, or not.  The choice is yours.

197985

PS I’m not looking for a discussion, a debate, scientific evidence that disproves my opinions, or for anyone to “enlighten” me or change my opinions.  They are what they are.  Take them or leave them.

Review: 13 Reasons Why

13-reasons-why-netflix-106821Netflix started streaming the first season of 13 Reasons Why on March 31, 2017.  You can watch it here.  Whether there will be a 2nd season remains to be determined.  But to be frank, I don’t see how a 2nd season would even work, so I don’t personally expect one.  Not to mention the amount of controversy that surrounds the series right now.  For those of you who don’t know anything about the show, I’m assuming you were living under a rock like me.  LOL!  Anyway it’s about a high school girl who commits suicide, and records 13 cassette tapes before she does it, each one describing a situation or “reason” why she has decided to end her own life.

**Spoiler Alert**
If you would like to watch the show, or haven’t finished it yet and do not want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.

Alright, so down to my review.  Right from the first episode, I thought this show seemed like it was romanticizing suicide.  A girl whining and exaggerating high school drama, taking everything personally, and getting lots of attention by killing herself.  After finishing the season, I stick to that opinion.  My opinion seems to be a popular opinion amongst the few reviews I’ve read.  However, that is not the point I took away from completing the season…

I think the biggest and most important part of this show is the gigantic spotlight on bullying.  Most people who graduated in the 90s or before, who have kids in middle school and high school now, don’t really understand the new levels of bullying because we never had to deal with it.  The way we had it, we were called names, rumors were spread around, maybe physical fights or at least shoving in the halls.  But now, cyber bullying is the biggest element.  Everything everyone does nowadays is recorded or photographed.  You can’t such as pick a wedgie or wipe your nose without someone spreading a photo and putting a twist on it, making it something it was never intended to be.  It’s humiliating on a much deeper level.  Teens already have self-esteem issues due to adolescence, body-image, peer differences. media defining who we should be a what we should look like, and the list goes on.  Then add technology and cyber bullying to the mix, and its a recipe for disaster for these kids’ state of mind.

The other part of bullying people tend to ignore or sweep under the rug that is highly spotlighted in this series is the pull the athletes have in the schools.  This was an issue when I was in school too, as I’m sure it was most everywhere, in every generation.  The importance of sports is held so high in society that the student athletes can get away with just about anything they want to do as long as they play their sport well.  The coaches, teachers and parents have a tendency to protect their star kids beyond any indiscretions because they want to have a good season, or don’t want to see them lose their sports scholarship opportunities.  Besides just picking on the “lesser” kids in school, these kids tend to get away with much bigger problems such as drugs, drunk driving, even rape at times, as seen graphically in the show.  I’m sure a lot of the people who have watched this show think it’s an exaggeration, but I know for a fact it is not.  I’ve seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears.  These things happen, and get ignored just to keep the strong sports tradition alive.  It makes me question why sports are so important that the athletes can ruin aspects of other people’s lives and its all okay?!

I think 13 Reasons Why is a good watch, but mostly for adults – parents with children in their pre-teen and teenage years.  Not to be overly paranoid about suicide or bullying, but to have a strong understanding of what today’s school experience is like.  Kids are cruel to one another, and as technology changes and advances, there are more and more creative ways for them to torture each other.  And they do.  They take full advantage of it.

I’m not saying the show is spot-on about life.  Many situations are addressed in those 13 episodes, and not everything happens to one kid in real life very often.  But these situations DO happen, these problems DO arise, and we need to keep an open line of communication with our kids even if they seem to not care if we do or not.  It’s hard to get the school to change anything when there is a problem, but as long as your child knows they have people at home that care, it could potentially make all the difference to them.

As far as letting your kids watch the show, I’m going to leave that up to you.  You’re the parent, and you make the decisions for your kids.  I do recommend you watch it first though.  Personally, I am not going to suggest it to my kids, or watch it with them.  Not at this point in time anyway.  I think my 15 year old would get it, but my other 2 are too young, and I don’t want anyone thinking suicide is the way out of a tough situation.  Plus, there are graphics scenes of rape of 2 of the female characters, justification of drug use and excessive drinking, people beating the shit out of one another, unprotected teen sex, and a very graphic suicide scene.  There are kids making excuses for their mistakes and lying to their parents and law enforcement about very serious situations, and lots of sneaking around and keeping secrets.  It’s just not the kind of thing I would recommend to a younger audience, in my personal opinion.  Not the sort of thing you want to teach.

To bring it all together here, 13 Reasons Why does romanticize suicide because the main character gets all of the attention and drama she was seeking by making the tapes and ending her own life.  It is a mystery/drama, afterall, so that is what it was meant to do.  But if you can look past that to the point of all the bullying, and what today’s kids go through in the public school environment, it’s definitely an eye-opener.

Have you watched the show?  I’d love to hear your comments and opinions of the show, or my take on the show.  Let’s discuss!