Sunday, June 20, 2010

My honesty policy

I can't tell you how many times I've heard or read, somewhere, a female saying that she gets along better with men, or has more male friends, or finds it hard to relate to/get along with/get close to other women. In my early teens I was definitely guilty of this, after having been forcibly ejected from my female social group. And for what? Brutal honesty. One of the girls was being a total bitch to everyone else (as insecure twelve-year-olds with ridiculously turbulent homelives are wont to do) and I called her out on it. Three days later my other friends said, "Yeah, you upset her, we're sort of on her side because you were so mean, even though we agreed with you". As a pre-teen, this lack of a social network caused me extreme amounts of anxiety. I didn't want to go to school in the mornings, something perplexing in the extreme to my parents, as I was a fierce academic. I ended up moving schools a few months later.

Girls are creatures of criminal subtlety. We dance around what we think, what we feel, and what we expect. We do it in our relationships with men, both romantic and platonic, and we do it in our relationships with each other, both romantic and platonic. Is it stupid? Yep. Is it a symptom of social conditioning? Yep!

One major problem, I think, is this: girls, women, ladies are expected to be obtuse, over-polite, and to double-talk, which when negative emotions are involved, leads to being snide and implying not-so-nice things. On the other hand, women who take a more 'male' approach, who are blunt, who say what they think and demand such in return, are regarded with suspicion and bemusement. Words like 'bitch', 'butch', and 'dyke' get thrown around a lot. Why do you have to be masculine, or attracted to women, to be able to be honest?! Shame on society for making 'female' and 'honest' oxymorons!

I'm tired of getting tangled in misunderstandings. Especially those of my own creation. White lies are still lies - yes, there is a difference between being honest and saying truthful, yet nasty things. But you can be truthful and still be diplomatic.

I'm taking a dual-action honesty policy: saying what I mean, and calling out other people when it's obvious that they're not. When did we all start needing to be politicians to function socially? All its doing is harming our relationships with others, something that we as humans rely on. We are social creatures, not going into the balances between introved/extroverted personalities. When spending time with our 'friends' is a minefield of cryptic comments, hiding your emotions and holding grudges, I have to say:
 image taken from the super-awesome site I Can Haz Cheezburger.


  1. I understand you completely. I had a similar situation in year 9, I sat by myself for months because I confronted a group of girls.

    Did you see the thing on Twitter where that guy had to tweet every time he lied? If you log it all up, you start to realise its easier to lie than you think.

  2. THUMBS UP! It's nice to hear this, as I am the dictionary definition of blunt. I love being that way. It makes dating my boyfriend so easy- we just talk about shit if we need to instead of being all cryptic. I hate when people make up excuses on why they don't want to go do something. I'm like, if you just don't feel like hanging out, say it, I don't care! I speak my mind about everything, I do NOT beat around the bush. If my friends ask me for an opinion they know damn well they're going to get one.

  3. Elimy: isn't it great we only have to do high school once?!
    That sounds really interesting, but I don't 'do' Twitter. I may cave eventually, though ;)

    Heather: It's taken my boyfriend three and a half years to get me to just come out and say stuff! It's so refreshing and I really think it's mentally healthier, so I've just decided to extend it to all my other relationships. Thumbs up for honesty and uncomplicating things!

  4. So, so true. Although there is the issue of it going the other way (people being horrible and claiming they're just "being honest") I think the issues you've highlighted are much more prevalent - because society really DOES teach us as women to "play nice" and to avoid confrontation and risk. Snide comments and backhanded compliments are 'easier' to dish out, I think, because they don't tend to lead to open confrontation when straightforward statements might do.

  5. Bella: I totally agree, people who obnoxiously hammer you with their opinion because they're "just being honest" make me homicidal.

    Open confrontations are so much easier. You do it and it's done and you don't have to go home wondering what "THAT was supposed to mean".


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