The Pot or the Kettle

My personal qualms with social media and the three main issues I have with its ridiculousness.

Social media is a beautiful thing. Since the creation of ICQ, we’ve had the ability to message our friends near and far from an online platform which doesn’t require a fee for every message sent. I remember when texts used to cost $0.10 apiece and it was easier to make an event using ICQ or messenger and get everyone on the same page than it was to send a text or make a phone call using precious daytime minutes. The evolution of technology the last several years has been amazing, and now we have the capability to talk to people around the world, see what they’re posting, and have people from all over view our own posts. But with great power comes great responsibility or so the saying goes. I find a lot of people kind of abuse the apps and programs we now have, and so many people are trying to keep up with the Jones’ or promote the life they wish to lead. I’m not bashing ambitions, or dreams, or even posts of accomplishments. But one of my biggest issues with social media these days is how many people spend more time making their lives look great to others (and to how they would ultimately like it to look to themselves) than they do actually working for that finished product.

I personally only use facebook, instagram and YouTube. I couldn’t get into twitter, and don’t really know or care about what other big platforms are out there. So this blog is going to be based on what I’ve observed on those 3. I love the fact that inspiration and motivation is at our fingertips. A world of knowledge is accessible by a click of a button. Social media does so much good, but there are times I find it ridiculous because it goes from being a harmless way to interact with people who share similar interests, hobbies, or checking in on loved ones or idols to a harmful cycle of trying to compete and compare our lives with those around us.

 

Issue #1:People who buy things for the sole purpose of impressing/keeping up with other people.

Everyone who has ever set (digital) foot on instagram has seen snippets of celebrity lifestyles. Whether it’s a favourite singer, actress, vlogger, whatever really, we have all seen the lifestyles of the rich and famous. As a nerd, I love seeing other people’s houses and am forever finding myself so happy with interior design or  inspiration for things I would love to incorporate into my dream home from Pinterest, but I also don’t have any misconception about the fact that my chances of ever owning a “mansion on the hill” are slim to none. And honestly it doesn’t appeal to me beyond enjoying the aesthetics. But with the prevalence of these icons and hashtags about #lifegoals #squadgoals #relationsipgoals #cargoals #fieldgoals #nogoals it’s hard for most people to be able to view these things objectively, and not feel the need to create their own version for presentation.

We’ve all seen the vacations strangers have taken, and decided that we NEED to go to Fiji before we depart this world. But for most people, it doesn’t just motivate people to find ways to build their own versions of these lifestyles they covet or admire. It causes people to overextend on their lines of credit, or max out cards, or in some cases I’ve seen and heard of, to gold dig so that someone else is footing the bill with a different kind of payment for the product. Still not judging, we’ve all done something we couldn’t afford at one time or another, and most likely it was worth every heavily interested penny. But when you’re constantly bombarded with a barrage of pictures from places you would love to go see, or of cars you wish you owned, etc how can you not feel a little envy and the need to try and show that you’ve made it some what yourself? Which is why it drives me NUTS when I see/hear people posting about the amazing trip they’ve got coming up, yet behind the scenes they’re behind on all their bills, unsure of how they’re actually going to afford the trip, let alone have spending money and tip money. Isn’t the point of a vacation to get away and relax? Some people like to go on adventurous vacations, some like to just find a beautiful beach somewhere warm and just be for a week. I personally think vacations are integral to surviving adulthood, BUT I also think they should be done conscientiously. If you know your budget allows for a week in Dominican, why would you wanna stress yourself out and break the bank going to the Bahamas for a month? I totally get that once you’ve been away, you catch the bug and start planning each future trip shortly after arriving back to reality from the last. But if you know you really wanna go on balls out vacays, SAVE THE MONEY. If it means you need to trim off your spending from other areas to make it happen, you know exactly what you can and cannot sacrifice so go with whatever is in your realm of possibilities.

To owe money on things that are ultimately just going to stress you out more seems ludicrous to me. To do it so that you can post a few wicked pictures and make your friends or strangers jealous? Why in the actual fuck? No one cares once they’ve scrolled past it. I have never spent days and weeks obsessing over a picture someone posted, comparing my life to theirs, thinking how cool they are and how much better their life looks than mine. If someone leads a dope life I’m happy for them. Hard work pays off. But so much gets so sensationalized these days that it’s hard to tell the real from the fake. And I’m also happy with where I am, where I’ve come from, and what I’ve done. There are a ton of things on my bucket list, and when I have the funds I’ll chip away at them. I haven’t been on vacation since the two weeks spent in the Bahamas (which I paid for upfront, didn’t owe a penny and had the time of my life). This is because the past year or so hasn’t been so kind in the employment department, and a cross country move is expensive. When I have enough money in the bank that I’m good on bills, savings and everything I actually need to have money for, I’ll save and splurge on a trip. I love Gale Vazoxlade and her jars. My goal for trip savings is 250$ a month so that at the end of a year I’ve got 3000$ to play with. Realistic. And maybe when I have good financial years, I’ll increase that amount up so I can go to the floating villas in Bora Bora. This has been me rambling about trips, but this can apply to houses, cars, makeup, clothing, literally whatever you see posted on social media that creates a sense of status, that makes people want to sell off their kidneys in order to be able to say they did it too/owned it too/went there too.

Bottom line on this train of thought; it’s great to see where other people have gone and to appreciate their passport stamps and experiences. It’s awesome to discover amazing destinations that we want to check out in the future when it’s feasible. But when it goes from genuine pleasure at seeing how someone else has spent their time or getting inspiration for things we want to do, to feeling inadequate and restless and feeding a compulsion to pretend we’re in the same boat, it becomes hazardous. The saying about watering your own grass instead of worrying about your neighbour’s grass is legit. Appreciate their yard, maybe even pick up tips and pointers to use in your own, but don’t neglect or overwater your space to mimic someone else’s.

 

Issue #2: “People who fake happy relationships for the sole purpose of impressing/keeping up with other people.

Not one person reading this can say they haven’t seen this at least once. Maybe you’re even guilty of doing it. I know that just about no one goes on social media and wants to share their private problems with the world. Especially when most of what we see is “the highlight reel from someone else’s life.” I love that saying because it’s so true. You can’t compare your entire existence to someone else’s highest points. We all have moments of triumph, where we feel so proud and accomplished and where our hard work pays off. And it’s awesome to be able to share that joy and those moments with others. It can motivate, inspire, or serve as a reminder that you are capable of great things when you’re having a less than stellar moment. But when people begin to post about how perfect their relationships are and how they just couldn’t dream of being without their person, and turn around a week later and have a nasty breakup, you’re left to wonder how on earth something that was so spectacular crumbled to dust so quickly and seemingly out of the blue. Well, that’s because it WASN’T perfect, they WEREN’T happy, but no one wants to admit what they feel is defeat.

img_9632

In a world where we’re influenced to keep up with everyone else and prove to others as well as ourselves that we’re actually just fine as we are, it’s not ideal to post about the low points. And privacy is key to longevity for relationships. When people are stating to the world that they’re so happy, feel so loved, can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives with this person of their dreams, and then turn around a split up and have nothing good to say about their ex, or blast all kinds of dirty laundry for the world to see, it becomes quite clear that things were never really as they seemed. I personally don’t understand the need to pretend things are good when they aren’t. Why bother telling the world you’re happy when you’re not? How much does it actually affect people’s perception of you if they know that you have rough patches? Why is it more important to play house and pretend you’re happy and committed and in heavenly bliss? You don’t need to tell anyone anything quite frankly. You make the choice to present a fallacy to your friends, family, strangers. You decide to spend more energy keeping up appearances and convincing the world you’re happy than you do on either fixing the situation or separating amicably. I get that each situation is unique, and it’s no one else’s business. But the moment you choose to present every facet of your relationship to social media, you’re allowing people into a corner of that relationship. And when you ultimately crash and burn because you can only fake it so long, you’re inviting the backlash that we know comes from using social media.

Every relationship is going to have strains. We will all fight, scream, cry, act irrationally and feel pain and hurt from the one we love who loves us back. It’s part of growth. It’s healthy to argue, to have different opinions and to struggle to find ways to compromise. You can’t live with someone without having things they do that irritates you. And you will be irritating to the one you love because we are all wired differently. You have to find ways to make it work, and if you hit a brick wall or just can’t find a way to muscle through it, maybe the relationship has run its course. No shame in breakups, you take something away from every person in your life. It helps you discover what you need from the next one. But to go from posting daily about how much you love your boyfriend/girlfriend and publicly planning a future etc to “Fuck him, he’s a deadbeat piece of shit and I can’t believe I ever loved him” or “She’s a whore, fresh D on tinder now swipe right for the ride of your life whaddup ain’t no one gonna tie me down #singlelife #fuckbitchesgetmoney” is a clear sign that it wasn’t an overnight decision. If you have feelings like this towards someone you “loved with every fibre of your being” a week ago, it makes us wonder how much love there really is? There are amicable splits when there are no resentments. Communication is so vital to every relationship we have, especially those with our life partner. A lot of times we don’t feel those needs are met just because of how technology has evolved and changed the way people interact. If you’re not actively finding ways to talk things through, or voice concerns and fight through them when need be, you will wind up with a failed relationship. End of story. When that happens and it comes from people who literally post NON STOP about their relationship and how perfect it is/happy they are/excited they are for their collective futures, they look wind up looking fake. It’s worse to look like a massive liar/attention grubber when shit hits the fan than it does to look like a normal person who has happy moments they post about and then not so happy moments they keep private.

You don’t need to pretend for the world’s sake that you’re happy. It’s no one else’s business at the end of the day, and not in anyone else’s control to be honest. If you have a great relationship, kudos and rock that shit and post away. If you have a shit relationship but don’t want your friends to see that, maybe you should just consider keeping the “I LOVE HIM/HER SO MUCH WE WERE DESTINED TO BE/BONNIE AND CLYDE/JAY AND BEYONCE/ LIVING RELATIONSHIP GOALS HASHTAG IT’S THE REAL DEAL” to a minimum…

 

Issue #3: “People who troll pages/sites and even worse, the people being trolled who end up trolling out of control in retaliation.

 

We all know about internet bullying. We all see the lame comments made by childish weirdos, and most normal people don’t make rude comments to strangers so we’re all usually appalled to some level by the gross things people say. Lady Gaga got body shamed hard for her Super Bowl half time show, because she had rolls I guess??? I watched her show and not once did anything remotely rude pop into my head about her. I didn’t notice anything wrong with her body. All I could think of was how amazing she looked, how crazy it was to me that she could keep up such an intense performance while singing and engaging the crowd and basically just how fucking BOSS she was. She wound up posting a reply to all the trolls on her instagram a few days later about how she’d heard her stomach was the topic of conversation and that she was choosing to ignore it because it was ridiculous. Go girl! People will always be petty, there will always be something negative to be found in any situation to any person by someone who isn’t happy internally and whose purpose when they get out of bed is bringing others down with them. What REALLY gets me is the people who get these rude comments, instead of gracefully saying “I will just be deleting the ignorant and hurtful comments/blocking rude users, keep it nice or don’t play at all” or choosing to ignore it, decide to blast the person responsible and shame them to a worse degree than they themselves were shamed.

fake-people-quote-1

There is one account I follow on instagram, and yesterday was the third time she had made an extremely rude post about someone on her page who left a rude comment. I agree with standing up for yourself. I agree with not tolerating disrespectful behaviour and not allowing things that make you uncomfortable or hurt. I do not agree with turning around and trolling through someone’s account yourself and finding the least flattering photos, creating a collage, tagging that person and then RIPPING them to shreds. I get that the user had made a really rude comment about this woman’s body on a photo. Welcome to the internet lol. You will have people making rude comments and picking out flaws and being malicious for no purpose other than just being mean. If you open a page and work hard to generate a following, and want loads of traffic and to promote your services or whatever, you don’t get to pick and choose who initially views and comments, or what they say. You obviously  wanted loads of followers, you left your page open instead of private, so you’re bound to get some keyboard gangsters in the mix. Strangers making awful observations about it sucks. It truly does. But if you put yourself in a position where you’re vulnerable to these things, the best rule of thumb is to just delete the hurtful content, block the user, and move on. By calling the user out, making extreme comparisons and probably saying worse things than they had said to you, you are not only being a complete hypocrite but you are actually worse. The user wound up deleting their account, my guess is from this page’s followers going on and commenting nasty things and attacking them. No, it wasn’t cool that this user trolled and hurt this woman’s feelings. But it was far worse that this woman (who I won’t follow any more because she does this a fair amount and it’s childish and petty and cunty and hypocritical) who has such a strong fan base  used her platform to openly attack someone. She used her followers to attack this user and bully her. She was offended over a comment, but chose to react like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum instead of staying classy and mature and just blocking the user and deleting the comment. I have never seen Lady Gaga make a collage of the people who say rude things about her, tag them, and let her “monsters” run loose and harass them. If you have an active, large following, I think you have a duty to be a good role model. If you don’t like someone making one comment about you, how could you rationalize making a massive post about them AND TAGGING THEM?!

I just don’t leave rude comments. If I have a rude thought when I see something, I say it to myself and keep scrolling and forget about it within seconds. The average attention span for humans is something like 6 seconds. So why waste precious time and integrity typing up rude things to strangers? You’ll forget about it within seconds if you don’t choose to react like a savage. And you’ll be acting like a decent human being. No one likes it when someone has something bad to say about them, and we are all WELL aware of our own flaws so no one actually needs a stranger to point these things out.

potnkettle

My coffee is now cold, and I need to properly wake up and hit the gym with my SIL. Just wanted to rant and rave about how ridiculous people on social media can be for no real purpose. Don’t fake your happiness, don’t fake your life, don’t try to live someone else’s life, and don’t be unnecessarily rude to people. Someone needs to make an etiquette book for social media standards. Who are we really trying to impress at the end of the day? I’m far more concerned about how I feel about me than how my friends or family or strangers feel about me. Gotta look out for number one, and the above habits are bad for the self. Happy Saturday peeps.

 

 

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Prologue

 

*This was one of the 3 blogs I wrote in December and never got around to posting. I’m calling this “prologue” cause there’s a second part of the story, kind of a continuation from the drama and what’s transpired since my last shift before Christmas. I’ll have that one up tonight I hope*

4039-9356Remember back to your days at elementary school. Everyone’s favourite day was when PhysEd class was on. Playing dodgeball or soccer or skipping. Running around and burning off steam with your classmates. A time when we’re carefree and invincible. But it was always nerve-wracking waiting to be picked for a team. Dreading being the last one standing and being unwanted by either team. And when you’re actually the last one picked, it’s awful. Maybe it’s because you’re too slow and the game involves running. Maybe it’s because you’re too weak, and the game involves strength and endurance. Regardless of why you’re last to be called, it fucking sucks. That’s how I’ve felt the last few weeks of work.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I’m sure; being a woman in trades is hard. Every new job is like being the new kid in school all over again, knowing you’ll be the last one picked for the game. No one to eat lunch with until the crew warms up and gets used to you. No one who knows you and your capabilities or experience who can vouch for you in the beginning. Surrounded by people but super lonely and isolated. Being new at any job feels like this actually, but being the new girl on site is a cross between being the last kid picked for soccer-baseball in grade 6 and having a bloody, gaping wound in a pool of piranhas. You know you’re instantly being sized up, and for the most part people will quickly scan over you, deem you decent and carry on about their days. Many will give you lingering looks because as soon as you’re on a work site, it’s clear no one has seen a woman in what must be decades and you’re obviously there looking for a mate. Some will openly glare and leave no room for doubt about the fact that you don’t belong in their eyes and they would rather be a player short than have you on the team. Once you’re aware of this, it’s pretty easy to just ignore the attention and keep your head up and eyes forward. You kind of wait it out and see who is going to be cool and build a work friendship, who is gonna hate you no matter what happens, and who could swing either way. Most of the time there are enough good peoples that you don’t really care about the few who are anti modern women. These become your lifeline and make work easier and more fun, and let you do the job you were trained for with no drama and no bullshit. If you’re fortunate enough, there are other women in trades and you band together, even if you don’t speak, out of mutual respect and empathy for the often frustrating integration into a new environment. It’s nice to see your “sisters” (as my wicked shipyard ladies put it) out in the battlefield with you, and to know you’re not the only female around. 9 times out of 10 it’s a pretty easy transition into the new job, you get used to your new crew and they you, and life goes on until the job ends or you take your leave. Today’s post is not about that preferable situation.

I was super stoked about the new gig because for the first time in years, I’m working with a bunch of other millwrights. No longer am I one of 2 or 3, and have to constantly answer questions about what my trade does. It’s wicked to be surrounded by so many other people who have the same ticket as I do, who have lots of experience for me to draw from and learn from, and to have a real crew. My foreman was awesome right off the bat, my GF was solid, and most of the crew who I briefly met were decent. So day one, as always, starts with the guys I was paired with making typical comments/jokes about being a woman. Quick list of literally the same shit I hear every job I go to, and any of my fellow women in trades reading this will guaranteed hear the same things too:

  • “Those don’t look like millwright nails”; please insert welder/pipefitter/electrician/crane operator/rigger/iron worker/literally any job that guys do which apparently come with a prerequisite for shitty nails. I guess all our hands are supposed to look the same? And god forbid I take care of my hands and wear gloves at work. And I actually wasn’t aware that each job had a standard appearance that I’ve personally defiled. Oops.
  • Any comment about needing a purse instead of a tool bag. Come off it lol, we can call them “murses” if that makes you feel any better. Also not super creative, yet every dude thinks he’s hilarious when making this same old, tired ass comment.
  • “You don’t look like a millwright.” Again, insert any and all trades or male dominated career choices. I’m still missing the memo on what we’re supposed to look like in general…
  • “Why did you decide to go into a trade?” The first question I ask guys I’m working with isn’t why they decided to take industrial mechanic instead of something else, but everyone is always curious about why I did.
  • “They make steel toes that small?” As if women are doll sized and therefore our PPE are novelty items.
  • “Let me get that, you’re not strong enough.” I could rant about this alone for mega but I’ll leave it alone for now. Cause I’m weak.
  • “Have you done any of this before?” Nah dude, I actually quit my job as a research analyst for the New York Times yesterday and thought this would be a fun change of pace for a day. Derp. Granted, things are different at every job, and also our trade is so broad that chances of doing everything we learn in school are zero to none, it gets a bit old when I’ve already stated that I have 2 years experience doing this exact task. If I haven’t done something I say so. So if I haven’t said so, where does that leave us?

There are a ton that I’m missing I’m sure, but these are the standard questions and comments I get everywhere. And it’s super super super fucking annoying to be treated like a first year apprentice when I have 6+ years in my trade, as well as my red seal and it’s known. I get that a lot too. It’s assumed that I have no idea what I’m doing, my opinions don’t count for shit, and I know nothing about anything. I can handle it to a certain degree, but seriously all the prejudice gets really old. And I’m quite sure that even the 1st year apprentices of the male persuasion don’t get half the ridiculous questioning and coddling women do. It’s frustrating because even though women in trades isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s still treated as though we just started getting into the industry. I’ve spoken to so many ladies over the years who suffer the same treatment and uphill battle of proving their relevance and capability in the blue collar working world. We build up thick skins, learn to give as good as we take, ignore the hard days and are thankful for the good ones.

This last shift was one of the hardest ones I can remember in over 10 years of working in male dominated jobs. I’m usually good about the stupid comments. You honestly do get use to them and can laugh them off because the guys who make them sound like idiots, not us. I can usually be less than concerned if someone doesn’t want to work with me based on my gender. I don’t want to be around anyone who doesn’t want to be around me and I don’t lose sleep over it. But out of the 5 different crews I worked with in my 2 shifts, I had one group who didn’t make any comments out of turn. Who literally couldn’t have cared less that I’m a woman, and who didn’t have preconceived notions about my abilities. That’s not to say that all the guys I worked with were sexist. It’s just not commonplace for them to work with women I guess (even though there’s actually another woman on my crew, and from what I understand she was a foreman on their last gig so they’ve worked under her), and I really don’t mind most of the jokes. But I found out that two of the other shift’s foremen have a huge issue with women in trades, and have been going behind my back to try and make me look like a useless twat. I don’t take kindly to being set up for failure and I have no patience for fake people. It really bothered me that there are men who get to dictate my daily tasks putting me with guys who have been known to dislike working with women. My direct foreman has even less patience for that kind of shit than I do, so he’s been one of my saving graces. There was one individual in particular that I kept getting stuck with, who made stupid comments more than necessary. He also made super inappropriate comments, and for anyone who knows me, I’m really hard to offend so you can imagine just what kind of stuff he was spouting out. I talked to my GF and won’t be working with that gentleman any more thankfully, but it’s still so insane to me that there are guys out there who don’t think women can or should do the same job as them. When I’m not allowed to carry tools (they’re too heavy obviously), or have any of my opinions taken into consideration for the job we’re doing (even though it’s a job I’ve done countless times and we wind up having to do what I suggest after several failed attempts their way), or when I pretty much spend my 10 hour shift frozen because I’m a glorified lawn ornament, I get fed up. This is why I like the supervision who actually notice who works well and with whom. Makes such a difference when you like and are liked by the people you spend 70 hours a week with, and when you can enjoy whatever job you’re doing and actually get to work.

So I was super drained from the first shift being stuck with the douchebag, and trying to fit into a new job and new site and new crew. Geoff and I want to buy property and build a house in the next couple years, and I was just laid off for 8 months so I really do need this job. It’s slim pickings for employment right now and I figured I could handle the shifts if I kept reminding myself that it’s only temporary. It’s working towards the greater good. I went back for shift number two, Geoff started up there as well so things were looking up. Same stupid comments from different people on round two. But even the guys I don’t mind working with who seemingly don’t mind working with me  say some questionable things so by day 10 I’m getting antsy to go home. I shouldn’t be referred to as “helper” when I’ve got the same ticket and same job assignment. I shouldn’t even have to participate in a conversation about “how are you going to learn anything if no one lets you get your hands on the tools” when I’ve told you several times that I just left a job doing literally everything we do on this site, but by myself because I worked alone so it’s not a matter of learning anything. I just want to do my job, which coincidentally is the same damned job as the other 40 millwrights with our company. I just really don’t think I should have to constantly defend myself based on the fact that I’m not a man. I don’t like having to feel ashamed of choosing the career I did, because it’s so much harder when you’re the wrong gender. It’s exhausting maintaining a wall to keep from freaking out or breaking down, having to work twice as hard to prove I’m qualified for my position. And then knowing that any little mistake I make is magnified because “that’s why we don’t hire women.” We’re not held to the same standard as men, and it shouldn’t be this hard to just do my job. It shouldn’t be a constant battle to do my job. When I texted Mama to vent about it all, I actually cried partway through writing. I’m just so tired. Her response was that she’s sad and angry for me, and she asked why do I have to fight just to do my job. Valid question.

So after that shitty day, I was in the smoke pit the following afternoon. There’s a cranky old twat on the other shift who literally complains and whines about any and everything. He is miserable and no one likes to be around him because he’s actually horrid. So of course he comes over to chat as always (it’s always a rant about something, or the rare times he seems to be happy enough and talks about boring golf). That particular chat was about how women should know their place. Basically he spent 10 mins dictating to me what a woman’s role and job is, and that cooking/cleaning/dishes/changing the tv channel/making coffee without being told/mowing the lawn/shovelling the snow is pretty much what we’re here for. He dead serious thinks that the only reason you get married is to have someone to cook and clean for you. He asked if I was learning anything, and I said that I have never been more grateful for Geoff in my life. I said I don’t mind cooking or cleaning or any of the rest of it, but it sure as fuck isn’t my job. That’s when he told me I was wrong. That I’m just an apprentice and that women like me are basically what’s wrong with the world. That we went and ruined a good thing and women don’t know their place any more. I was so stunned. The fact that it’s 2016, almost 2017 and this mentality exists baffles me. One of the guys who was outside listening to Donald Trump Jr’s rant actually had to walk away. He doesn’t like him to begin with, and he couldn’t believe the things coming out of his mouth. When I told Geoff what happened he wanted to go find buddy. Buddy kept referring to his sister-in-law as “the stupid bitch” who ruined his life by teaching his wife that she doesn’t need to cater to his every whim. Hates her for her feminism and was rattled that she convinced his wife not to get up and change the tv channel for him or have coffee ready and waiting without being asked. And he has a daughter. That’s the scary part to me. Some poor girl was raised to believe that her only purpose is to find a man and to jump at his every command. Fuck love, fuck happiness, you just find a man who’s stuck in the 1950’s and be the perfect wife. When I found out later that day they’re considering him as the new foreman I broke. If I have to take my orders from a man who honestly believes my only purpose is a dishwasher, my days would be even more miserable than they have been. When my foreman asked me about it and I told him that I shouldn’t have to spend my smoke break listening to some old greaser tell me what I’m doing is wrong, and trying to preach to me that women aren’t equals, the higher ups literally just took Donald Trump Jr aside and “spoke to him.” And their next action is to “speak to all the millwrights about inappropriate comments towards the females in our workplace.” My union rep asked if I wanted to lodge a formal complaint since buddy is still in the running for foreman, and clearly that little “talk” did nothing seeing as he spent his next break losing his shit about it in the lunchroom.

I’m kind of torn. Part of me is like “Yep, let’s do this because he’s just going to keep at it and it will only get worse” and the other part of me wishes I hadn’t even said a word because nothing is going to change. I just shouldn’t have to spend my work hours worrying about if the foremen who don’t like women are going to win and find a way to get rid of me, and then spend my breaks listening to a coworker belittle me and embarrass me with his misogynistic remarks. I know people can’t help how they feel and we’re all entitled to our opinions. But I shouldn’t have to listen to shit like that, and to be honest people should know better than to speak shit like that out loud in this day and age. Save that for outside of work when you’re with other pricks who agree. I was raised by a human rights lawyer, so I don’t tolerate racism, bigotry or sexism. I don’t like bullies, and that’s just another form of it in my opinion. I don’t think I will make a formal complaint because that’s basically putting the nails in my own coffin. Pathetic that we have to worry about backlash when it’s a matter of sticking up for ourselves in situations that shouldn’t even exist. I hear the other girl has been dealing with his shit for a long while now though, so the fiery part of me wants to see it through for her sake as much as mine. I spoke with my best friend Brit who is also a woman in trades. She’s a welder (and hawt af might I add) and she’s dealt with all the same typical comments in her time at shops. We kind of came to the conclusion that we can laugh it off when it’s guys we feel comfortable with, meaning those who don’t seem to have any malicious intent with their narrow minded commentary. It’s still not really acceptable but it’s ingrained in a lot of people’s mentalities and so long as they don’t mean to be hurtful it’s not worth the hassle of correcting or arguing opinions. But she’s dealt with some awful guys over the years, and it’s things that wouldn’t happen to men (ie asking if she wants to see their genitalia…seriously.) Gloves are on, backbone is strong again and most importantly I will not spend any more time feeling stupid for choosing the education I did because there are pathetic men who are intimidated by me making the same pay and doing the same job. I shouldn’t have to second guess myself and my choices solely because of a few men with small minds and huge insecurities.

I’m exhausted from writing this all out, time for snuggles with my amazing boyfriend. Who cooks as much as I do, shares the household chores without a second thought, who is proud of me as I am and wipes the tears away when the burdens get too heavy. Who is instinctively ready to fight my battles with me, and only wants to see me happy however that may come. All the Donald’s of the world make the Geoffs shine that much brighter.

Take Thumper’s Advice

If ya don’t got nothin nice to say, don’t say nothin at all.

Disclaimer: this post will be highly inappropriate to readers who find profanity offensive, I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t like that kind of language to give this one a pass. I didn’t even think to make this disclaimer until my boyfriends Mama texted about reading “Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness” and I instantly went into a panic induced cold sweat thinking about her being appalled at everything below. I don’t like to swear around his family because they’re wholesome and respectable and just all around amazing people and it seems grossly wrong to be crass around them. And my grandparents. Oh god they would make me wash my mouth out with soap after this one. Please don’t read this if you don’t like curse words or inappropriate commentary. My bad*

 

I’m one of those annoying types who’s conditioned myself into the “get the world before it gets you” mentality. It works wicked for things like going after the job you really want, taking risks in the different aspects of life, maybe trying something that terrifies the living shit out of you i.e. sky diving, horseback riding, lawn bowling, etc. But it is BRUTAL for self worth.

That nasty little double edged sword cuts deep when it comes to how you view yourself. By this I mean, making sure you find your flaws and weaknesses before someone else can draw attention to them and use them against you. I’ve always been self deprecating, and while it can be charming in some instances, it can be extremely pathetic in others. I’ve met people who have said “you are so hard on yourself, give it a break because this is sad” and those are the moments where I realize how unconsciously I tear myself apart to others. And the root of this is my grade 6 graduation from elementary school.

I was 11 years old, so excited to walk across the gymnasium floor wearing the Club Monaco kids dress that I begged Mama for, when my best guy friend (who actually to this day is still one of my fav human beings, and is such an all around solid dude <3) looked at me and asked, “Why is your bum sticking out so far?”. I was mortified! Literally didn’t understand that I had the beginnings of the Ross Booty, and I just wanted to curl up and cry.

I’m mostly kidding about that being the start of my long war against my body image, but it’s one of those things that I’ve always remembered cause it was the first time a boy said something to me that made me self conscious. Now I can’t be arsed (pun intended) to care about how much my bum sticks out of anything cause that puppy has a mind of its own. And most days I like my shape so I’ve grown to own it.

Basically this is a recap of some of the shit dudes have said over the years that made me feel bad about myself, and has kind of stoked the fire on making sure I know EVERYTHING that is less than attractive, desirable, pretty, whatever other adjectives you wanna insert that just basically make you feel like a gremlin inside and out. Pfft. Body dysmorphia is a real problem for majority of people out there, and I’ll do a different post on it cause it deserves serious attention and most of this post is making me giggle. This is just a nice photo that perfectly embodies my facial expression when I remind myself of the douchiest comments I’ve gotten.

13241540_10154942761549408_1926195723_o

Maybe they were onto something though hahaha…

  • You’re gonna look way better when your teeth are finally fixed“. Well. Usually that’s the desired result when a child’s parent spends 6000$ on braces, or when they don’t wear their retainers and have to pony up another 5300$ for round two of braces themselves. Cunt. I had a MAJOR underbite when I was a kid, I’m talking full on bulldog. I got braces in grade 8 and wore them for 3 years, 3 weeks and 2 days. Second time was 13 months.  My teeth were perfect after each set so I guess he was right. But still, cunt.
  • It’s funny how most girls with big bums don’t have boobs. At least you’ve got one out of two.” HAHAHA oh my good lord, I literally got this up until February of this year. I still don’t have big boobs but I’m balanced and proportionate now so I’m happy. And no, all the douches who made this comment (there have been SO many in several different contexts and phrases) did not actually have any bearing on that. I have known since the booty was popping out of my grey Club Monaco dress that I had “speedbumps/mosquito bites/itty bitties etc”. My lower half didn’t match my upper half. I’m slightly retarded, not blind. But nonetheless, they vocalized my number one physical unhappiness. Thanks boys, you know how to make a girl feel good 😉
  • Does it bother you that all your friends are prettier than you?” LOL nope, well aware dude but thank you for the vote of confidence. I’m a realist so I know what I bring to the table, in good and bad equally, and it has never bothered me that my friends are 9’s and 10’s or over and I can scrape by with like a solid 7 when I put my makeup collection to use and actually brush my hair. I’m cool with it. Nothing but love for all my beautiful friends, and this comment actually came from a guy who suffered a rough fight with puberty *cough*acne scars*cough* which I never commented on, cause he was still attractive to me and the scars made him more so. I like flaws. But he also used to shave his balls over the toilet WITH THE COVER UP AND THE SEAT DOWN for christ sakes and never cleaned them up. After a couple months of staying there I got super sick of either having to clean the toilet while desperately having to pee or having sat down unknowingly and cursing him and his wiry gift to my thighs. So I may be the ugly duckling of the crews I flock with, but at least I have good manners and was smart enough to pack that one up. Bullet dodged with my less than stellar looks 0:)
  • You’re a pretty girl until you open your mouth.” Numerous guys have told me this over the years. Including my favourite teacher in high school. Mr Kuchler yelled this at me in front of the class because I swore too much… I still do. Most dudes mean it because I say what’s on my mind and I’m blunt. And I also don’t take shit so when you’re acting like a knob I’ll go right ahead and tell you. Or if I think you’re being a bag licker, I’ll ask if you tickle as you bob. Precious I know, and they’re correct. I’m vulgar and gutteral and probably better off with my mouth shut. Ain’t happenin though suckas.
  • You would be so pretty if you didn’t get fat, get back to the size you were before and you could be a model.” So after high school I had an awful heart break, got fat, and it wasn’t until I actually got happy again years later that the weight melted off. I’d tried Atkins and started running, went to the gym and watched what I ate. I was about 30 lbs heavier than I am right now which is a lot on my frame, and about 45 lbs heavier than I was in high school which is what buddy was referencing. Went for a coffee with a guy I had “talked to” in high school and actually had it pretty bad for back then, and this is what he came up with. It was SO rude and uncalled for, and really threw me for a loop. He meant it in a nice way I guess? Either way I felt like shit and to this day still feel uncomfortable about how I looked.
  • Smokers are so unattractive, you should quit. You’d have an easier time finding someone to date if you didn’t stink all the time.” Hahahahahaha fuck off.
  • Why do you dye your hair weird colours? Aren’t you worried you’re scaring guys off? I wouldn’t want to date a woman with purple/blue/green hair.” Well seeing as I give a flying fuck about if a guy likes me with brown hair vs blue vs green vs fucking bald if I wanna be, I’ll go straight home and google “What colour hair will land me a superficial douchebag ASAP”. If my guy doesn’t like me looking like Marge Simpson from time to time, he’s barking up the wrong tree. I get bored hella easily and I thrive on change, so if he’s that cuntish and judgemental, chances are I’m gonna get bored of him faster than my current ‘do.

 

That’s a couple of the big ones off the top of my head. I laugh at all of them cause it’s actually funny. I have gotten over each slight and backhanded compliment, and have grown into someone who is super confident with who I am. I’m not always confident with how I look, but that doesn’t come from how someone else views me. I’m good with who I am, and actually proud of myself for the most part. And most of all I’m so grateful I don’t have to deal with these whiners anymore 🙂 By being myself and rocking my flaws and strengths all in one, I found a guy who loves me for me and thinks I look great however I am. And yes, he’s an ass man 😉