"Art is to console those who are broken by life."
"Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths."
"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret."
"Patriarchy doesn’t make sense. Beyond that, it’s dangerous. And it’s not dangerous because of what it does to men’s egos when they are faced with the slightest hint of “emasculation.” It’s dangerous because it somehow makes those moments important. It’s dangerous because the men whose self-esteem and self-confidence take a hit during these fleeting moments of “emasculation” don’t just bottle it up inside and allow themselves to whither away (dangerous in its own right, to be sure). No, it’s dangerous because those men, believing they are entitled to feeling masculine and powerful in a world that worships the masculine and powerful, often take out their frustration on the rest of society. They hurt those they deem weak. They find solace in performing a toxic masculinity in other areas of their lives. They further poison the well in order to find a sense of self in a dangerous system. Everyone else pays the price.
So yes, it is incredibly silly that there are men whose egos are bruised by the fact that someone opens the door for them. It’s silly that a man even gives the gesture that much thought. And yes, all of you “it’s not all men” people, it’s not all men. I heard you the first time. But if it’s not the door being held open, it’s having a partner perform well in a task. Or maybe it’s not being able to lift a heavy box. Or seeing someone else fix the kitchen sink. Who knows what other seemingly mundane tasks or filling up men’s heads with thoughts of their own worthlessness. That’s a problem. And unless we are about the work of interrogating, deconstructing, and redefining masculinity to say “hey, seriously, it’s OK,” those slights to the ego are going to continue adding up, and the ones most damaged when the hurt is finally expressed won’t be the guys having doors held open for them. It’ll be whoever is doing the holding."
Birds-eye view of pedestrians and trolleys on busy Broadway, downtown Los Angeles, 1928.
"Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all."