A nice, positive post
September 9, 2011 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Waking up, full of Awesome
posted by roomthreeseventeen (60 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That little girl is indeed awesome.
posted by emjaybee at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2011


I'm totally in favor of more awesome.

One correction though:

...sexy over smart, beautiful over bold?

Smart is sexy. Bold is beautiful. I think Tina Fey has proved that.
posted by cman at 8:57 AM on September 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Reminded me of Jessica's Daily Affirmation.
posted by Morrigan at 8:58 AM on September 9, 2011


Smart is sexy. Bold is beautiful. I think Tina Fey has proved that.

I totally agree with you-- except for the part about Tina Fey.

Internets people need to stop using Fey as the default marker for "unattractive women we are attracted to."

Nothing against Ms. Fey (far from it!), but she is thin, fashionable, wealthy and quite pretty. Aside from a barely visible scar that adds just a touch of flavor to her face, she is a conventionally attractive woman, not a "weird-looking one that I'm totally attracted to despite her appearance," which is how people seem to refer to her constantly.
posted by dersins at 9:05 AM on September 9, 2011 [30 favorites]


They do? What? Tina Fey is pretty.
posted by dabitch at 9:08 AM on September 9, 2011


MML: A blog post that tells you that you're good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you. It also has a picture of an awesome little girl.
posted by zamboni at 9:08 AM on September 9, 2011


But this is nice in general. Everybody needs more encouragement like this. How awesome would the world be if everyone woke up feeling awesome!



...It would be awesome!
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:11 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing against Ms. Fey (far from it!), but she is thin, fashionable, wealthy and quite pretty. Aside from a barely visible scar that adds just a touch of flavor to her face, she is a conventionally attractive woman, not a "weird-looking one that I'm totally attracted to despite her appearance," which is how people seem to refer to her constantly.

No, but see, she wears glasses and that means she's smart and smart isn't pretty.

(I agree with you, but that's the mindset we're dealing with here.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


>she is a conventionally attractive woman, not a "weird-looking one that I'm totally attracted to despite her appearance," which is how people seem to refer to her constantly.<

I admit I don’t know follow her, but I’ve never heard that before, or anything like it, except from you. I thought the general opinion was that she was hot.
posted by bongo_x at 9:22 AM on September 9, 2011


I kind of liked this post, but it made me pretty sad. It's true that when you're a little girl, you have a kind of emotional and intellectual total freedom and fearlessness that you will never again really, truly get back after puberty. Never. It's awful to experience the start of the slow collision between unquestioning acceptance of yourself with high estimation of your abilities and the reality of the expectations of the external world. I think about it a lot: why did I have to give up that natural, unfought-for self-concept I had at five or seven? No good reason.

You can reconstruct it, of course, but it's not an easy task.
posted by Miko at 9:22 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Tina Fey is hot, but I think what dersins is pointing out (which I totally agree with) is that, because in addition to being hot she is also quite intelligent and funny and wears glasses, qualities in women that have a history of being considered intimidating and alienating, stating that she is hot is often offered as a badge of honor illustrating how enlightened, nonthreatened and daring the stater is.
posted by Miko at 9:25 AM on September 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I'm experiencing a growing intolerance for the word awesome and especially its derivative awesomeness. Please don't get me started on epic - the next time I read it, I might end up in the hospital.

But yeah, a perfectly nice picture of a cute girl. I'm sure her family will frame it somewhere.
posted by beisny at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I'm experiencing a growing intolerance for the word awesome and especially its derivative awesomeness.

There's already been an awesome MeTa callout, but it's closed. You could make another one- I bet it would be awesome.
posted by zamboni at 9:34 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Galactus wakes up every day feeling awesome.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:34 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I'm experiencing a growing intolerance for the word awesome

Awwww. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!
posted by The Bellman at 9:39 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's already been an awesome MeTa callout

Thanks. It's nice to know that I have some company.
posted by beisny at 9:39 AM on September 9, 2011


Here's one way to do it.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I get what Miko is saying. There is a bittersweet edge to this, but a hopeful one, if we can introduce to the girls we know the message "people who try to take away your awesome are full of shit and don't listen to them." Because *that* is not the message most of us got as girls.

I know people have issues with "awesome." I'm not one of them.
posted by ambrosia at 9:43 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


You could make another one- I bet it would be awesome.

Nah, bro, it'd be epic.
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on September 9, 2011


As the parent of a young daughter, I loved this. Thanks for posting it. :)
posted by zarq at 10:13 AM on September 9, 2011


It's true that when you're a little girl, you have a kind of emotional and intellectual total freedom and fearlessness that you will never again really, truly get back after puberty. Never. It's awful to experience the start of the slow collision between unquestioning acceptance of yourself with high estimation of your abilities and the reality of the expectations of the external world. I think about it a lot: why did I have to give up that natural, unfought-for self-concept I had at five or seven? No good reason.

I understand that the particular issues are different for girls/women than they are for boys/men, and that some of those differences have particularly pernicious (population-level) impacts on certain aspects of female self-esteem. However, the issue here is really with growing up in general, and not with gendered growing up in particular. The collision between a child's estimation of their abilities and the "expectations of the external world" happens for almost everyone. It is kind of tragic, but also unavoidable and therefore kind of banal. A major contributor is that when we're children we don't really understand opportunity costs, and how they shape life. The real tragedy is when someone fails to come to terms with how living life shapes it, takes that shaping as a great and personal tragedy, and locks themselves in as a result.

I think this blog post is pretty trite.
posted by OmieWise at 10:30 AM on September 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I have two issues with this, 1) It's really, really thin for a Metafilter post. It's a forward from your mother than happens to be feminist; 2) I think it sends a really bizarre message, because it says if you don't feel awesome, there's something wrong with you, then it adds the victim blaming "Did someone take it from you? Did you let them?" God forbid you didn't feel awesome when you were five, there was clearly something really wrong with you. I get the issues the post is trying to address, but I don't think it's doing a good job.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:32 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


the issue here is really with growing up in general, and not with gendered growing up in particular.

I think you are missing the point of the post. It is precisely about gender. It is about the message that girls get that external appearance trumps what's on the inside. It's not about kids who grow up wanting to be astronauts, without understanding exactly what that entails. It's about girls being subtly trained to second-guess themselves, and how damaging that is.
posted by ambrosia at 10:37 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


As the parent of a young daughter, I loved this.

Do what you know is right, my friend. Teach her to believe in herself. My 19-year old uncontrollable geek daughter is working an internship in aerospace, which she got by building robots, and her personal hero is Nicola Tesla, because "he was a baddass," though she's also fond of Alfred Nobel because he "blew shit up." She's unrepentantly nerdy, yet full of general enthusiasm about who she is and what she can do, as a person. I think my greatest accomplishment in life is to raise her to be sure of herself, and to be in love with life. All that other stuff is just... stuff.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:37 AM on September 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Having spent a lot of time in Germany, among other European places, I've adopted using "super" in place of the ubiquitous American "awesome". Works even better when you pronounce it "z-oop-ah".

That is all.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:40 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I may have been young and enthusiastic once, but from what my parents have said, I don't think I was ever a morning person. I don't think I have ever woken up feeling awesome.
posted by maryr at 10:40 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I found this kind of bittersweet, too.

Growing up, I was well-shielded from a lot of gender norms. I did not own a single Barbie doll, let alone any of the other popular girls' toys of the day. I had dolls, but they were mostly hand-made (knitted), or little wooden doll's house dolls. An uncle of mine made me a primary-colors block set, I had toy cars, dinosaurs, stuffed animals ranging from kittens to lions. I played outside all the time and was an expert tree climber. We did not have a TV and I didn't see a single Disney movie until I was 10. Nobody dressed me in girly clothes; I dressed myself as soon as I had an opinion. I became (permanently, at least so far) OBSESSED with all things science, but especially marine biology and astronomy, when I was about 6 or 7. Those interests were encouraged and valued. I was given science experiments, books, trips to science museums... it was great. I took music lessons and chose to go to music camps. We did lots of hiking and nature walks. My mom, a professional artist, did thousands of craft projects with me. I loved cooking. My mom taught me how to do simple construction projects. I don't think I ever, not even once, worried that I was ugly or fat or unloveable, or in any way not OK or attractive as a young child. I never got the idea that I had to be pretty or sexy or that I should attract lots of boys.

After that wonderful childhood, and on top of it, awareness from an early age that modern consumerist culture will try to tell me that my self-esteem should be based on my prettiness, shouldn't I be free from this? Shouldn't I be able to look at myself in the mirror - healthy, capable, taken care of, fortunate - and feel OK, or even love the way I look? I think so. I think that sounds reasonable.

And yet somehow, even though I do. not. believe. that any part of my self-esteem should be based on prettiness... I still feel ugly. I still feel fat - and I'm not fat. I really don't feel positive about my appearance at all. All I can see in the mirror are ways I wish I looked different. I think those models in magazines I don't buy, but see in the supermarket, all look better than me.

It's really not a total sob story - this is a very small piece of my life. But it really amazes me. My whole life, I've been aware of the way advertising stereotypes girls and women and tells them a story about inadequacy. I've been trying to keep that junk OUT of my head for years.

And somehow it got in anyway. It's just sad. It makes me disappointed in myself, for continuing to mentally perpetuate this nonsense, and disappointed in my culture.
posted by Cygnet at 10:48 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Alternatively, a concise photo essay, Fatherhood: Step 1. Step 2.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:52 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


That child is delusional.

I remember what being five was like. I wasn't smart, I wasn't strong, and neither were any of my classmates. Five-year-olds are laughably easy to trick, and as an adult I could take out like twenty of them in a fight.

Strength and intelligence take time to develop (a lifetime, for some of us), and it is during the process of developing those traits that we discover that we are not as awesome as we thought we were at age five.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:56 AM on September 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


Every single kid goes through this. Instead of waking up and just being, they learn they have to conform and live up to some outside definition of what they should be. They spend all their time trying to be something else and consistently failing. Failing leads to a diminished self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence is not awesome.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:15 AM on September 9, 2011


I think you are missing the point of the post. It is precisely about gender.

I'm not missing the point of the post, I disagree with it. I don't disagree with it because I don't understand those gendered norms and what they do, in particular, to young girls and women, I disagree with it because there is a larger issue at play about "waking up awesome" that has nothing to do with gender. Ignoring that larger issue makes the sentiment less, rather than more, powerful.
posted by OmieWise at 11:36 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing about the word awesome it that its a comparative term - the implicit meaning is 'significantly more awesome than average'. If every adult human woke up convinced they were significantly more awesome that everyone else, things would get out of hand pretty quickly.

If you read the blog post with 'fine' or 'perfectly good enough' substituted for awesome, its a bit more realistic and achievable.
posted by memebake at 11:41 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Wake up and be one of the faceless billions!" is not exactly an inspirational message, though.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:44 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing about the word awesome it that its a comparative term - the implicit meaning is 'significantly more awesome than average'. If every adult human woke up convinced they were significantly more awesome that everyone else, things would get out of hand pretty quickly.

If you read the blog post with 'fine' or 'perfectly good enough' substituted for awesome, its a bit more realistic and achievable.


The problem, though, is that there are a hell of a lot of people who are so down on themselves that they have to shoot FOR "awesome" in order to even come up TO the level of "Fine".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on September 9, 2011


I think you are missing the point of the post. It is precisely about gender.

The blog is generally about gender, but the message of the post applies equally to all human beings. Something about growing up, whether it's the way children are taught or just the grind of reality and responsibility and understanding more of the world, gives everyone the message that they are, in fact, not awesome but inadequate.
posted by Foosnark at 11:52 AM on September 9, 2011


But there is no other way. If you don't get laid low by circumstances, casting doubt in yourself about your actual level of awesomeness, you'll think you really are more awesome than everyone else, and then you'll probably come off as an asshole because no one will understand you, because your life is too awesome.

You can't stay like that kid forever, because if you do you will have difficulties when you grow up.

Also, seems like the beef with the use of awesome is that it's used as a noun. "I am full of awesome," as a linguistic construction, infers nothing that "I am awesome," doesn't confer. The misuse of the word 'awesome' is not clever because it is not quirkiness used to an end, just random quirkiness, which is prevalently and disturbingly treated as an artistic purpose in and of itself, rather than thoughtfulness.

tl;dr: F off, happy people! I am full of loathsome!
posted by TheRedArmy at 12:03 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


However, the issue here is really with growing up in general, and not with gendered growing up in particular.

Even as I wrote my comment I imagined that someone would counter with that point. Yes, it's true in a general way that the process of maturing is coming to terms with your place the rest of the world, but it is also true in a very particular and pernicious way for girls, when so much of that coming to terms doesn't involve just developing a more realistic sense of your own abilities and the full humanity of others, but also involves shame, suppression, double standards, inexplicable rules about how your behavior must differ from the obviously free-er behaviors males are/were allowed, judgements on your ability to meet arbitrary and sometimes impossible standards, and being actively prevented from doing things you genuinely want to do and have the talent and intellect to do.

I do agree, though, that this is a 'kind of nice' post that I kind of liked, but that it's a fairly thin version of the statement. I suspect that women here will get what I'm saying: that when I mourn for the lost world of girlhood, I'm not mourning the fact that I didn't become a star athlete or movie star or some unrealistic, childish and unreasonable goal. I'm mourning the fact that I can't live for even a few moments without hearing from the internalized voice of critical judgement that gradually developed in me as I entered middle childhood and beyond. I remember what it was like to just be, to take pleasure in being in my body, to be happy with it, to make friends and talk to strangers and share ideas, all without for a second policing myself about whether I was breaking role and how it was being received. I have a clear memory of what it was like, and I know that it's pretty impossible to ever recover that degree of unconscious, secure basic self-acceptance and interact with others coming from that place.
posted by Miko at 12:09 PM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can't stay like that kid forever, because if you do you will have difficulties when you grow up.

That may be, but the number of people in the world teaching young girls to hate themselves so they can sell them things to momentarily dull their own self-loathing is not small.
posted by mhoye at 12:18 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Further thought:

Though there are aspects of maturation that are generally applicable to all humanity, I don't think the suggestion that some particulars of the experience are gendered should meet much opposition. I am sure that boys go through a similar gendering experience unique to the kinds of social roles they've historically been expected to fill, but I imagine that the speficic characteristics are somewhat different from girls' and also from the more general human experience of learning one's place in the world. For instance, where girls may remember peacefully existing in your body without self-hatred, maybe for boys it would be remembering being able to openly express a full range of emotion without being ostracized, and similar things.

When I used to teach kindergarten, one of the things that really broke my heart was watching the young boys who really did have access to a full range of emotion, from laughter, hugging, and silliness with one another to open weeping to exhibited concern and gentle tenderness for others, and comparing them with the boys just a few years older and with adult men, and wondering what the heck happened to their ability to permit expressions of certain emotions. It was sad seeing them be genuine and free, and knowing that once they moved over two classrooms to grade 2 or 3, much of that behavior would disappear.

I would be just as interested in reading a post about that kind of thing.
posted by Miko at 12:20 PM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Though there are aspects of maturation that are generally applicable to all humanity, I don't think the suggestion that some particulars of the experience are gendered should meet much opposition.

Oh, I agree, and I certainly am not objecting to that fact. My point is that even were we to take away the pernicious gendered aspects of maturation, the end result would be much the same for everyone. That's why the specificity of this is lost on me. Not because I don't think the genderedness is awful in its particularity, but because the process being described is precisely the process of coming to terms with life and your own limitations, and that occurs (for healthy people) regardless of gender. There are real differences in the way men and women (as groups) feel about themselves because of those gendered differences, but the kind of diminution described here (the suggestion that we're robbed of innocence by growing up), is applicable to everyone. It's so universal as to be banal.

I trust you'll see that I'm not trying to make some bullshit argument about equal privilege, but rather a plea to recognize that waking up awesome (in the trite formulation here) is something that, because of circumstance, adults don't really get to do. Regardless, I won't comment more, as I hate it when discussions like this get reduced in the comments to "we're all the same," even if in this case I believe that to be so.
posted by OmieWise at 12:37 PM on September 9, 2011


Others have said it, but:
There's a roiling cloud of BS underneath the "little girls lose this" aspect of this post, yes, but we people that live life long enough (or those unfortunate that don't have to live long enough to experience someone else taking away their joy in the world) are chipped and worn down by every passing person and experience that hurts them. Boy or girl, we all lose the capacity for "MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF WONDER" aspect of our lives (or, what Miko just said, applied to both boys and girls).

It's a survival technique, even if it is sort of misguided. We grow up and we build walls around ourselves and around our emotions and joys because we'd be hurt more and more if we didn't, and we don't realize that we're hurting ourselves just as much - merely in a different way - than most of those things we're guarding ourselves against.

The post is a bit trite, yes, but it's also good advice for everyone. It is possible to maintain those walls and still have the joy, but not very easy, and possible to build doors in those walls (to extend the rather unfortunate metaphor).
posted by neewom at 12:43 PM on September 9, 2011


or instance, where girls may remember peacefully existing in your body without self-hatred, maybe for boys it would be remembering being able to openly express a full range of emotion without being ostracized, and similar things.

When I used to teach kindergarten, one of the things that really broke my heart was watching the young boys who really did have access to a full range of emotion, from laughter, hugging, and silliness with one another to open weeping to exhibited concern and gentle tenderness for others, and comparing them with the boys just a few years older and with adult men, and wondering what the heck happened to their ability to permit expressions of certain emotions. It was sad seeing them be genuine and free, and knowing that once they moved over two classrooms to grade 2 or 3, much of that behavior would disappear.

I would be just as interested in reading a post about that kind of thing.


Oh me too, definitely. Our boy is just now starting kindergarten and so far, hasn't reported being told it's not ok to cry or other crap. He's loving and a hugger and sweet as can be (when he's not talking about beating up monsters). I have no idea how far school has or hasn't come in several decades since I was his age, or how good this school is at preventing that kind of crap, but I am waiting for the shoe to drop, for the day he comes home upset that someone called him a baby or a wimp or whatever. His dad worries even more than I do, because he got a lot of that as a kid.
posted by emjaybee at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2011


Devils Rancher: "Wake up and be one of the faceless billions!" is not exactly an inspirational message, though.

Hee, well it could be if you approach it in the right way. In the same way that coming to terms with mortality can really make you appreciate your existence, coming to terms with your relative insignificance on a planet of 7 billion people can really make you appreciate the small wonders in the world, like a sunny day or a great evening with friends.

The smart game is not to try and get everything you want (maybe some people can win that game, but not everyone, by definition); the smart game is to teach yourself not to want too much*.

* Thats also handy for not being trained into a mindset of dull materialism by advertising, something which is shaping up to be a pretty important life skill in the 21st century.
posted by memebake at 1:56 PM on September 9, 2011


"Also, seems like the beef with the use of awesome is that it's used as a noun. "I am full of awesome," as a linguistic construction, infers nothing that "I am awesome," doesn't confer."

all distinctions carry meaning. Misusing the language, by drawing attention, can be a form of emphasis that points out the most important part of a text. See also intentional abuse of the language in advertisement to attract that second glance. At least here it isn't just being done to sell crap.
posted by idiopath at 2:21 PM on September 9, 2011


I am in favour of awesome in abstract, the problem is that as I have grown up - the gulf between the supporting things that I value in the abstract and immediate gratification has grown.


When I was 8, all I cared about were spaceships, imaginary creation of my mind, yo-yo's and pokemon - this was fine, because these things are awesome and you can have alot of fun caring about them and they give you joy and fun.

Now I am older, and, contrary to what I was told as a child ,I never grew out of Yo-Yo's and Spaceships or Pokemon. But, I also care about relationships ,making the world a better place, human dignity and not to mention having both food to eat and a roof over my head.

Unfortunately, caring about these things sucks most of the time - its hard work, much of that work has little payoff in the short-term and in an ideal world, I would be happier being 8 and just trying to catch them all, but I don't regret that I' not awesome any more, because I have other, duller, values instead.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a much better blog post on being awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2011


like a sunny day or a great evening with friends.

Yeah, that's gotta be part of the message. You know what's awesome, kids? Life is awesome. Sometimes things hurt, and it's sure as hell not fair, but the whole shebang, when you stand back and look at what we have here on this Earth, it's all pretty awesome, and you're part of that, kids. Love life itself, and you'll be okay.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's loving and a hugger and sweet as can be (when he's not talking about beating up monsters).

I really hope this stays the case. Only in the past couple of years have I realized that little boys can be. When I was a kid, I was taught that they were just awful, that was the way they were, and girls were mature and so you had to wait till boys were all grown up for them to be decent. (Mom meant well, and meant to make me feel superior and all, but she shouldn't have said things like that and "Your father is still just a twelve-year-old boy.") Sure enough, the boys I remember from childhood were cruel and nasty, unless and until they didn't think other boys were watching them play with a girl. It did not have to be that way. It should not.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I gotta do this every morning or I'll never get out of bed. Loud music helps.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:48 PM on September 9, 2011


But yeah thin, trite post. When i was a kid I was mostly sad.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, "awesome" was a word that described the sensation that went shooting along my spine in a spreading chain of sparks when I looked at the night sky and finally connected with the fact that as I'm seeing all those stars out there, I'm looking into their history, and every star is in some distinct timeline from my own because of our relative distances. "Awesome" described the feeling I had when, on a lazy late summer day, I'd just lie in the grass and focus my attention to a square foot of green and see all of the activity in that space, all the insects and plants and stuff, and realize that the same thing is going on in almost every square foot of ground in the whole world. "Awesome" described the awareness that there are things about the universe that can't be comprehended by one or all of us.

Now it means some muzzy sort of variation on "sparkle power," or the feeling you get when someone brings you a latte just to be nice, or that little screen in your car that shows what's behind you as you back up.

I'm aware this marks me as an old man with a lawn, but it's not the change in language that gets me. The things I said as a kid made my grandmother crazy, too. It's that we've just mashed down the threshold of awe without creating something new to describe actual awe, and made the world so much smaller, where it's not the word "awesome" that's getting smaller—it's the actual scale of what awe constitutes to the average American. We're so busy being awesome we don't even bother to look up anymore, as the night sky disappears into a haze of light pollution as bright and empty as television tuned to an infomercial channel.
posted by sonascope at 5:41 AM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Five-year-olds are laughably easy to trick, and as an adult I could take out like twenty of them in a fight."

Seriously man, I could take that girl out with one good, stiff shove. Now who's awesome!
posted by mikeand1 at 10:58 AM on September 10, 2011


I think I should have a rule for myself. When I read an "awesome" Metafilter post which makes me smile, hopeful, and feel proud to be a woman, I shouldn't read the comments.

Because they generally start out cheerful, inspiring, and cheering on the idea that the post gives...And then someone has to say something that dismisses the post as being helpful toward females (even though this post, for example, is obviously meant to be encouragement for women in particular) and instead dismisses it as feminist nonsense.

Can't a positive post about feeling good about yourself and that shows a little girl feeling like she can take on the world be.....just that? A positive post?

I don't mean to start anything with these comments - I'm just railing futilely against people who feel like they have to nitpick something which seems pretty straightforward in it's simple happiness.
posted by DisreputableDog at 12:17 PM on September 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


In a world full of whiny, bitter, loathsome self-pitying duds who expect other people to live their lives for them, that was a refreshing break...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 2:11 PM on September 10, 2011


>Yes, it's true in a general way that the process of maturing is coming to terms with your place the rest of the world, but it is also true in a very particular and pernicious way for girls…<

No. Life is hard for everyone.
posted by bongo_x at 6:22 PM on September 10, 2011


There is a particular hardness in learning, as you grow old, that you are expected to conform to a a widespread expectation that because of some class you are in (female, minority, lower socioeconomic) you are to take your place as second-class citizen, though, and that any assertions you make to exempt yourself from those expectations will draw a punishment in response.

Life is hard for everyone, but not equally hard for everyone.
posted by Miko at 7:23 PM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can't a positive post about feeling good about yourself and that shows a little girl feeling like she can take on the world be.....just that? A positive post?

I think part of it is that people here like to dicsuss things. We tend to look for the interesting aspects to discuss. Lots of people would have though 'yeah thats great' but they wont necessarily leave comments - cos metafilter isn't really like that. Youre more likely to get bean-plating from people like me.

Personally, my interest is in thinking about "Would it really be a positive thing if everyone woke up thinking they were awesome?". Given that awesome is a comparative term, I think it probably wouldn't. Which then leads me on to all sorts of interesting (to me) thoughts like 'if something sounds positive, does that mean it is positive?', 'is motivation the same as positivty?', 'are there differences here between US and UK culture?' and so on.

I like thinking about things.
posted by memebake at 8:28 AM on September 11, 2011


It's a fine line. Be an overconfident, arrogant jerk, or be a spineless neurotic loser?
posted by Eideteker at 2:54 AM on September 14, 2011


It's interesting how subjective the term 'awesome' seems to be. I really don't think it's meant here to mean 'overconfident jerk.' I take it more to mean 'whole, confident and happy.'
posted by Miko at 5:46 AM on September 14, 2011


It's interesting how subjective the term 'awesome' seems to be.

Yes. Also, to my ears, 'feeling awesome' and 'being awesome' sound quite different. Whereas perhaps some people interpret both of those in the same way.
posted by memebake at 6:00 AM on September 14, 2011


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