Last week was a pretty good one for Alpha Is Assumed. One of my older posts on the taxonomy of lefties was strongly recommended by science fiction writher John C. Wright in a fantastic essay on The Unified Theory of Madness. The thoughts of a friend I cited inspired a fascinating post and discussion over at Donal Graeme’s. I attracted some new readers who informed me that they’re thrilled to have found my blog and are in the process of spending entire afternoons reading as much of what I’ve written as they possibly can.
This type of thing is nothing for the big blogs, but it means a lot to me. I love spreading ideas and knowing people are paying attention to them. When this stuff happens, it leads me to believe that it’s entirely possible that I might eventually not only play a role, but play a prominent role in dissecting the mess we’re in and diagnosing what we should do about it.
I’m hitting a groove and on my way up.
So of course this week I have no desire to write whatsoever. I’m extra-tired, pressed for time, and want to focus on other things. Maybe catch up on some housework (there’s always something around here in desperate need of a good scrubbing), or even better: just chill.
This is a pattern I’ve had for years, and it’s one I can finally attribute to my feminized upbringing.
My parents divorced when I was three. At first, it didn’t seem to affect me in the slightest. As my mother was suffering from extreme depression and horrid conflicts with her parents, I was a smiling, outgoing, bundle of joy. I was about as friendly as a kid could be. Among my habits was to walk up to girls my age, kiss them, and walk away.
But when I got to be about six, I found myself overwhelmed with bouts of extreme sadness. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I could tell that things around me were starting to change. Being “cute” didn’t count for quite as much. Instead, other boys who were rougher than me got more attention from other kids than I did. My home life was soft and comforting, so when I encountered almost any sort of threat, I didn’t know how to handle it. I wanted to “tell on” kids who messed with me, but I didn’t because it would have broken some sort of code, even though I hadn’t the foggiest what that code actually was or why I would have been breaking it.
One part I do remember quite distinctly was that I didn’t want to grow up.
Growing into a man is sometimes scary for a boy, which is exactly how it’s supposed to be. Ostensibly, I was doing everything right. The females who were raising me and my teachers had nothing but praise for me.
Yet I could tell that something was seriously wrong. The rules were changing. How or why they were changing made no sense, but I knew they were. Moreover, I knew that I wasn’t going to have anybody around to help explain to me what the hell was going on.
This mess, when to submit to authority and when to challenge it, why kids seemed to like the boys the adults didn’t like, why it felt so wrong to not climb too far up on the tree even though I was scared and Mom didn’t want me up too high either, why the things that Grandma loved me for were made fun of by the other kids, when to make sure I stood out and when to fall back, all of it was something I was going to have to figure out entirely on my own.
I didn’t feel prepared for it, and I was right. I wasn’t.
As I got older, I got even more confused, but I figured out a way to make things seem just a little bit easier: hold back. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Blend in. Don’t rock the boat.
You see, the women who raised me believed (as women are wont to do) that the important thing is to be well-liked. Unfortunately, for me that didn’t work particularly well as soon as I grew out of the “cute” phase. As a male, what I was supposed to be doing was learning how to gain respect, but I didn’t even know that I didn’t know that.
Other kids bragged about what they were good at and leveraged it for respect (usually athletics), but when I emphasized how smart I was (which meant everything to my family), I was resented for it. So, I shut up. I got horrible grades. I kept to myself, wore bland and unremarkable clothing, didn’t mess with anybody, and perpetually hoped that nobody would mess with me.
I hadn’t been taught that it would be vital for me to hone myself through conflict; I had been taught the opposite, that conflict-avoidance was the epitome of maturity. If I sought out conflict (which was rare), I needed to learn to “choose my battles”. If others sought conflict with me (more frequent), there was something wrong with them and I didn’t even need to worry about it, much less win.
They’re just picking on you because they’re jealous.
Fourth through ninth grades were hell, but during sophomore year I found a relatively comfortable niche in which I was largely left alone. Freshman year I was a D-student, but I turned that around just in time to get nothing but A’s my last three years and get into Smart Kid University.
I finally learned that it was safe to venture out of my shell, but was it okay to go conquer my way through life, kicking ass and taking names? Not quite.
For the feminized ethic still reigned in me, or at the very least it’s effects. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t push too hard. If you’ve got to fight somebody to get it done, it’s probably not worth doing anyway. If you’re doing what’s right, it’ll go smoothly.
Don’t make any enemies.
Obviously, this is wrong. Every great man in history from Joshua to Washington to Edison made enemies. There are always those who like things just as they are, so if you want to actually change something, some people aren’t going to be happy about it. They’re might even get pissed and fight you. As a matter of fact, they might hit you with everything they’ve got, do whatever they can to crush you, mock, belittle, and hurt you however the hell they can.
Yet my people-pleaser programming is embedded pretty deeply. This isn’t entirely bad. I’m able to get through to ideological enemies in ways that the more conflict-driven among us can’t. Anonymous Conservative’s technique for triggering the amygdala to humiliate an opponent is masterful, but I’ve made similarly great strides through the opposite approach of amygdala avoidance.
Still, although I don’t piss off my enemies unnecessarily, when an enemy throws down the proverbial gauntlet and I’ve determined that SMASH! will be the most effective approach, I get an indescribable rush.
But as much as I love such conflicts when they come my way, I still have an aversion to initiating them. I like it when somebody leaves a snarky or dismissive comment in response to something I’ve said here or elsewhere (no, that’s not an invitation to be a smartass in response to this post), but almost never will you find that I’m the one to start the flame war.
However to get where I need to be, that’s got to change. I can’t just hope that the radfems stumble onto me here, I’ve got to take the fight to them.
I’ve pushed my way to just behind the front lines in this ideological war we’ve got going, but right before it looks like it’s my time to take a few shots, be nice kicks in and I back away. I never consciously make that decision, but thus far it’s always been what I’ve done.
For as a child, I was trained to believe that any hit I might take would be more that I could take, that somehow some way most any potential enemy had some sort of leverage over me. Not only was I not trained to fight, I wasn’t trained that it’s sometimes good to fight.
If I do my job, if I’m being who My Creator designed me to be, I’m going to hurt some feelings, make some enemies, and take some pretty nasty hits in the process. It’s not exactly how Ace describes in that I subconsciously desire to be caught, I know I’ll be caught. If I’m saying what I’m meant to say, my enemies will not be content to ignore me. This is both frightening and exhilarating, but I know it’s what’s supposed to happen.
If I’m man enough to make it happen. When I go toe to toe, when I get in somebody’s face, I inflict pain.
But there’s still a little six year-old inside me afraid to go into the fight alone, craving the father who’s actually going to notice if I get knocked upside the head and talk me through the hurt and teach me how to keep it from happening again. I don’t want to stick my head up, to find myself exposed without backup.
My human father’s probably useless, but the other Father’s not. I got backup.
But I also ask my readers, if you feel so inclined, help me along. If you see some stupid lefty blogger in need of a smackdown, leave a comment here so I can go there and they’ll get my worst. I don’t always notice Twitter wars, but if you’re in one and want an ally, tweet me.
And if you suspect that any of my posts might enrage the femmis at Jezebel or whatever other site, post a link to it. I want those bitches here where I got homefield advantage.
I don’t guarantee I’ll go straight for the throat. I match respect with respect and give fair warning if it looks like somebody’s about to cross the line.
But if they cross that line, I’ll make them wish they hadn’t.
The goal is to change minds, but some minds won’t be changed; they’ll just have a hissy fit instead. Yet if their mind is changeable, I’m the man to do it.
So call me on my own crap. If you see a battle somewhere and want to see what I got, tell me about it.
Internet squabbles are only a warm-up for the real thing, I know. But the “real thing”, the Grand Battle is where I belong. It’s time I do what it takes to get there.