It was a good group: we got a late-ish start (10ish) but up we went through the snow, expecting no views. But when we got to the top, most of the clouds had lifted and it was a beautiful spot for lunch. Awfully nice to hike with Peter and Ingrid again – two of my favourite people.
As many newsletter writers like to say at the end of the article: “A good time was had by all” (I know – groan!)
Other thoughts. I’ve been keeping a close eye on myself as things change – as I become more aware of the world around me. (Yeah I know – at my age, I’m a bit late to the game – but still…) I had an interesting reaction to a FB post this morning. I called Andrew Scheer a scumbag. A man I know replied, (accurate quote) “Goody no name calling!”
My initial reaction was that he thought I was calling names on his son who posted it. I explained that this was not the case. And then I thought about it – no, he could not have mistaken it for that. I also noticed that a man also used the same word in relation to the post – but I was the only one ordered to not call names.
I messaged back that I was not okay with being told what to say or not say.
What happened after that is irrelevant – it’s all okay.
But this is the thing. In my life, many, many times, I have worked for people or had male colleagues who felt extraordinarily comfortable with telling people (women for the most part) what to do or how to behave or what to say. I generally just nodded and kept going. I’m pretty sure that I hardly noticed. It was so damn common. It was simply a fact of life.
But what interests me the most is how do people do that? I mean, where and when do they “get it” that it’s okay to tell people what to say or how to be? How do they understand that they have this right? This authority?
I can’t imagine it. At the very least, a “please” is nice. But what is it? Is it white male privilege that they think, “Yeah – I’m just gonna tell this person to—- (fill in the blank) and then expect compliance. This actually blows my mind.
I did, by the way, admit that yeah – calling names is childish and I could have done better. Because that’s true. And it’s a good point. But it would be a much better point, if it was discussed – a thoughtful discussion. Yup.
So after that, I watched myself today – lots of conversations on the 6-hour hike. In many of those talks, I heard myself editing my thoughts and opinions and phrasing things in a way that would be acceptable/kind/pleasing – I’m honestly not sure of the word I am searching for. But it’s also true that I have self-edited a good part of my life in aid of being liked/accepted/thought well of.
I’m not saying this is all bad. I think politeness and kindness are good things. But what I also think I am doing is making myself smaller in some of these exchanges.