Really, men hardly listen to women. It’s funny that our whole society and all of our so-called “relationship advice” treats this phenomenon like it’s natural rather than a symptom of patriarchy/ men thinking they’re more important than women.
Every time a woman speaks it’s seen as nagging or being annoying. A man can say the same thing and it’s suddenly viable.
The word nagging used to scare me. My dad would always tell me to make sure that I never nagged a man like my mother nagged him. Nagging is a dirty word men use to shame women for speaking their minds. My mother never “nagged”. She just disagreed and disliked things and spoke on it.
Thinking back, I always let men speak more than I did. Because I knew that patriarchal minded men don’t like to hear women speak. My father taught me that and the lesson was reinforced everywhere. And I wanted certain men to be pleased with me. So I did what patriarchal men like for their women to do: smile, pretend to not have strong convictions, and never challenge.
Patriarchal men only like when women speak in order to affirm or agree with him. They could listen to a woman speak all day if it was about how perfect he is and how willing she is to listen to his every command. Like the woman singing the refrain in a rap song, you the boss you the boss.
Now today I catch myself being actually surprised that Joshua genuinely listens to me. It’s the surprise that spurred me to write this post.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Wanting to listen to your partners’ dreams and thoughts should be a given. But unfortunately, it’s not if you’re a woman with a man.
Sometimes if I get mad I feel like I’m nagging. I know that’s because I still associate vocally not agreeing with a man with being facetious/ silly/ annoying. Because that’s what it’s always framed as. Instead of what it is, legitimate discontent.
But even when women say regular things, not even things about being discontent. Men don’t listen. Men like to make fun of how they hear nothing or a garble when women speak and it’s like, why is that funny or acceptable or healthy if you’re in a relationship with that woman?
If she is expected to know and understand her man, and at the same time expect the monolithic treatment men think they can give to all women irrespective of nuances. It’s like that a lot. I always hear men talk about how much they “know” and “understand” women. My response to that is, “you do realize that women are individuals right?”
That ties into not listening. If women are viewed a monolithic blob that is less intelligent, less thoughtful, less interesting (because the feminine is not interesting like the masculine) then it would be difficult to listen to her speak. I probably couldn’t bring myself to do it either, if I were a man who thought like that.
Pneumonia in December. Bronchitis in January. Pharyngitis in February. And now Flu. My body is tired and worn out. So is my mind. As I have no insurance, the doc at the hospital was nice enough to give me some breathing medicine to keep my lungs moving. She said that my white blood cell count is good and I’m fighting it well, but it still hurts so much to a body so worn out. The infection is settling in my joints again and I ache so badly. My fever is up over 100 for the third night in a row—this time AFTER taking a fever reducer/pain reliever. I can’t sleep. My cough is so violent that my ribs are just aching, my throat is on fire, and the pressure it causes in my head makes me feel like I will pass out or my head will explode (and I swear that is so far from an exaggeration). The doc gave me a prescription for a cough med with vidodin in it to help relieve the cough, the pain, the fever, and to help me sleep, but I can’t afford it. I feel so miserable. So far beyond miserable. I don’t know what to do.
I’ll tell you why I don’t want to know where you are I got a joke I’ve been dying to tell you The silent kid is looking down the barrel To make the noise that I kept so quiet I kept it from you, pitseleh
I’m not what’s missing from your life now I could never be the puzzle pieces They say that God makes problems just to see what you can stand Before you do as the devil pleases And give up the thing you love
But no one deserves it
The first time I saw you, I knew it would never last I’m not half what I wish I was I’m so angry, I don’t think it’ll ever pass And I was bad news for you, just because. I never meant to hurt you
For nine years I wrote and I said that Osama bin Laden was not hiding in a cave. I’m not a cave expert, I was just using my common sense. He was a multimillionaire crime boss (using religion as his cover), and those guys just don’t live in caves. He had people killed under the guise of religion, and not many in the media bothered to explain that every time Osama referenced Islam, he wasn’t really quoting Islam. Just because Osama said he was a “Muslim” didn’t make it so. Yet he was called a Muslim by everyone. If a crazy person started running around mass-killing people, and he did so while wearing a Wal-Mart blazer and praising Wal-Mart, we wouldn’t automatically call him a Wal-Mart leader or say that Wal-Mart was the philosophy behind his killings, would we? Yet, we began to fear Muslims and round them up. We profiled people from Muslim nations at airports. We didn’t profile multi-millionaires (in fact, they now have their own fast-track line to easily get through security, an oddity considering every murderer on 9/11 flew in first class). We didn’t run headlines that said “Multi-Millionaire Behind the Mass Murder of 3,000” (although every word in that headline is true). You can say his wealth had nothing to do with 9/11, but the truth is, there is no way he could have kept Al Qaeda in business without having the millions he had.
Some believe that this was a “war” we were in with al Qaeda - and you don’t do trials during war. It’s thinking like this that makes me fear that, while bin Laden may be dead, he may have “won” the bigger battle. Let’s be clear: There is no “war with al Qaeda.” Wars are between nations. Al Qaeda was an organization of fanatics who committed crimes. That we elevated them to nation status - they loved it! It was great for their recruiting drive.
We did exactly what bin Laden said he wanted us to do: Give up our freedoms (like the freedom to be assumed innocent until proven guilty), engage our military in Muslim countries so that we will be hated by Muslims, and wipe ourselves out financially in doing so. Done, done and done, Osama. You had our number. You somehow knew we would eagerly give up our constitutional rights and become more like the authoritarian state you dreamed of. You knew we would exhaust our military and willingly go into more debt in eight years than we had accumulated in the previous 200 years combined.
I just got out of the hospital yesterday. I was there for a little over three days after checking myself in because I suffer badly from PMDD/PMP and was having a very rough few days—physically and mentally. It’s been happening for years and no one has been willing or able to help me. The reason they give for not wanting to stop my period has always been “you might want to have kids.” This isn’t true and shouldn’t be more important than my health, but there you go.
The woman who was my roommate for the first day and a bit (before I was moved to single room because I was also dealing with a throat infection) was there because she was raped, then robbed at knife point, and suffers badly from PTSD and she’d been having a very rough few days herself.
We’d both come in late the night before/early that morning and hadn’t had a chance to sleep until that afternoon. If you know hospitals, you know they wake you up fairly often for tests, etc, especially when you first get there. While my roommate and I were attempting to nap (neither of us had yet fallen asleep), our nurse came in and said, “I wish I could lead this life of leisure and lay around and nap all day.”
Now, I know he was trying to be charming and funny but that isn’t how it sounded to me. So I told him, “I don’t think it’s right of you to make light of or make fun of our respective situations.” My roommate said, “me either.” The nurse’s answer was, of course, that he was just joking. It didn’t do much to make me feel better about it and, being that I was angry and wanted to get it out, I sat down and wrote this:
To have a nurse come into my room when I am suffering—have been suffering—and say what nurse Wayne said is insulting. If he really wants to trade places with me, he’s welcome to it. He’s welcome to bleed until he blisters and to pass blood clots the size of his fist and be stuck in bed because of it. He’s welcome to the raging hormones that make me angry and anxious and confused and prone to paranoia and mania. He can have a mind that races and won’t shut off and all the physical pain that comes with all of this. He can have how worthless it feels to not be able to work or have any kind of life. If he wants my life of “leisure,” he can have it—as long as he takes it all, since he thinks a nap in the afternoon makes the trade worthwhile. Where do I sign up to get his life?
On February 26, our son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed as he walked to a family member’s home from a convenience store where he had just bought some candy. He was only 17 years-old.
Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, admitted to police that he shot Trayvon in the chest. Zimmerman, the community’s self appointed “neighborhood watch leader,” called the police to report a suspicious person when he saw Travyon, a young black man, walking from the store. But Zimmerman still hasn’t been charged for murdering our son.
Trayvon was our hero. At the age 9, Trayvon pulled his father from a burning kitchen, saving his life. He loved sports and horseback riding. At only 17 he had a bright future ahead of him with dreams of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic. Now that’s all gone.
When Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the police, they told him not to confront him. But he did anyway. All we know about what happened next is that our 17 year-old son, who was completely unarmed, was shot and killed.
It’s been nearly two weeks and the Sanford Police have refused to arrest George Zimmerman. In their public statements, they even go so far as to stand up for the killer - saying he’s “a college grad” who took a class in criminal justice.
Please join us in calling on Norman Wolfinger, Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney, to investigate my son’s murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin.