navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • Men in their 30’s verses women in their 30’s

    Psychology is not dispensed in age appropriate ways.  For example as a 35 year old male for someone to tell me not to let my vocational failure define me is laughable.  Pass 30 as a male and what’s on your W2 does define you and determines whether you make guy friends or have success dating.  And I find this sort of comforting, knowing however messed up my head is that number is all that matters.  Now a 35 year old women does not have it so good.  What is going on in her head has more ramifications on how people see her and ultimately how her life turns out.  It’s on her to make her brain perform the tasks to build a life and that makes for higher rates of mental illness because the world is very cruel to women, more cruel to them than men (or at least cruel in different ways).

  • Autism in Love film and status

    I highly recommend a PBS Independent Lens documentary called Autism in Love (you can watch it online).  It follows a few people on the spectrum who (like pretty much all of us) are looking for love.  Some of them are in relationships, others are not.  Even for the ones who were successful by society’s standards it was a lot of effort to keep communication lines open and make the relationship work.

    The person I identified with the most was the lower functioning young man who was unsuccessful in finding love.  In one part of the film he was keenly aware of his low social status, raising his palm saying “they’re up here” and lowering it down and saying “I’m down here”.  Which brings me to a truth about a lot of people on the spectrum.  On a micro level we might not be aware of everything going on (as we generally have a poor ability at picking up on social cues) but on a macro level, specifically with things that pertain directly to us, very little escapes us.  This is because macro level things are drilled into our heads over and over again so even if we miss 95% of the social cues, the 5% we do catch we catch again and again.  To go back to the example in the film, those of us with low status (of whom I am one) are overly aware of it.

  • marriage dynamic

    I know this is shallow but the most important question to ask before getting married is, “will my marriage be significantly happier than my singleness?”.  For some people (particularly undesirable people like me) singleness is not much fun.  A lot of us are vary lonely and single against our will.  Even a not so great marriage would be an upgrade for us, so we at least received a modicum of attention and appreciation.  However for desirable people singleness is a lot more fun because they are wanted and appreciated.  Marrying for them is often a step down.

    The irony is that the people for whom singleness is significantly better than marriage are the ones people are trying to marry.

  • men, Christianity, and money

    There is really no non-chauvinistic way to put this.  Modern Christianity in America (especially evangelicalism and Mormonism) is geared toward women (that’s why they make up almost two thirds of some churches).  And I (as well as many very Christian people) think what we have now in the faith is entitlement and consumerism with a cushy afterlife.  And I think almost all women are more than happy with it being this way.  It effectively pre-screens men for them.  The men who are too poor and/or eccentric are preemptively weeded out.  Even the stragglers in the faith aren’t considered being “Good with God” because they aren’t wealthy and settled down.  It makes sense that men would be the ones with a vested interest in weeding American Christianity of some of its consumeristic elements because we are the ones who lose out.  We are the ones looked upon as a balance sheets.  Women are objectified less in the Christian world than in the secular world but men are objectified equally in both.  And then people wonder why there aren’t any “good Christian men” out there.

    Further reading:  The Church’s Missing Men