Commentary, Mental Health, Narrative
He works out? How disgusting.
The need for careful construction when creating any alternative is due to three necessary traits: the inclusion of current local civility, the intentional and obvious change to the conflicting aspects, and – most importantly – an embedded self contradictionRadical Civility: Deconstructing Civility – Deconstructing Mythoi
This blog is typically philosophical in nature with the occasional allegory or discussion about issues directly. This post will break away from that a little bit to do something different. I’m going to create an alternate history.
What caused the difference?
In short, this is an exploration of what would have happened if the feminist movement had resulted in a different outcome. This isn’t the main point – which we will get to – but just to frame the discussion of what’s to come.
In this scenario, the feminist movement wasn’t as successful. There was backlash against women wanting economic agency in a different way. Out of spite, they were given the jobs others tended to not want because of the physical demand or the risk. This caused two things: that aspect of the feminist movement never took off and the conflation of “feminine” and “trophy wife” was adopted more readily; no economic or business leverage but they were expected to be astute at home repair and upkeep. The other change was for the ladies that DID want to join the workforce. They took the brutish jobs and excelled at them to show the men that they could carry their own. In addition to this adoption of physical labor being the lady’s place, femininity took on a new look: to be muscular, trim, and strong. Even those that embraced the traditional role started to work out as part of “being the trophy feminine” presentation.
As time went on, men started to take the opposite role. As not to “act like a girl” the masculine expectation was to engage in white collar jobs, and avoid physical labor as much as possible as that was deemed “the woman’s responsibility”. Desk jobs, STEM fields, politicians, programmers, really anything that would promote a husky curved body.
All this compiled as women started to merge more and more into the work-force and eventually the society reflected the change. Women started to take on the dumb jock roles in movies, with the brute force effort being mocked and brilliant shapely logisticians or CEOs always coming in to save the day. It became a joke that the only person that could open the pickle jar was a girl because guys are just too good for it. Athletic sports were rarely enjoyed, favoring instead bowling or chess: the games of the smarter sex. Jesus started to take on more the presentation of Buddha than a nomad.
Of course, even from the beginning, there were people that didn’t fit this mold. Feminism started talking on a body positivity movement to lessen the burden for with more of a natural manly build. But even with that corsets and chest wrapping was common practice so they wouldn’t be shamed for “pretending to be a man”.
From an opposite standpoint, men with higher metabolism were considered girly. Mocked and shamed for supporting barbarism which is appropriate for women, but not for men.
As much as individuals offered support when they could – electing to treat them as human and ignore the biological expectations – the expectations remained.
A man in the gym
70+ years have passed between then and now. While the initial declaration of modern femininity still has a firm legacy that perpetuates, it has tapered off. The more extreme ideas (such as that women cannot be intelligent or that men cannot do minor fixes around the house) have been abandoned, but the social expectations that most can comply with are generally accepted as objective fact and biological truth.
Fashion continuously looks to make the feminine garb (athletic outfits that fit tight around the body – partially to ensure their physique isn’t augmented) is naturally pushed worldwide. Similarly the form fitting business attire of the 20s and 30s were replaced with the more loosely fitting gowns and robes that can match the increasingly larger frame which is ideal for men.
In short, it is currently accepted that men are biologically predisposed to being large and women strong. This is what is natural. This is the way it should be.
The social movements of the day are the ever increasing push for women to play mental sports (like eSports or chess), but since they are biologically predisposed to be inferior, they have their own women’s leagues. Similarly, guys are trying to play things like US football or futbol/soccer. Of course their inferior build means they could get hurt if they tried to compete with the women.
The issue of females with larger builds and males with high metabolism has lessened due to the cultural adaptation to making it easier to fit the norms, but these are still issues. They have become such outcasts from society that their mental stability suffers. Around 1990 it was actually identified as a mental illness in extreme cases, and the suggested treatment was to assimilate to the sex representation that they most closely align to. Only shift as much as is needed, but in extreme cases increase the natural metabolism and even have surgery to present in an acceptable way.
For the general population though this is a non issue. They never question that having a penis meant you would be large and having a vagina means being fit. They were generally conflated to mean the same thing. So it is a bit threatening to that social truth when feminine men would elect to change their sex. The most dogmatic would strawman the situation saying that “they were being fed the wrong things and being taught to exercise like a girl; we need to protect them because this social contagion is the reason they have a higher risk of self harm.”
The social conflict of course is more complex than I can accurately represent in this short article: healthcare backlash, females being a threat to men in sports, how reproduction is being threatened by this new rejection of reality… but you get the point.
Bringing it back to reality
So I have a question for the reader. If you look at yourself, and feel your body is too thick or too thin, is it immoral to shift your body to something you feel more comfortable with? If you eat different to increase your metabolism, if you work out to build muscle mass, are you rejecting your biology?
Are male weight lifters trans?
In that world – the world where women are strong – yes. They absolutely would be.
Are males mentally ill for wanting to do it?
In that world – the world in which men are expected to be bulky and “out of shape” – yes. Social rejection conflicting with their fringe biological makeup will cause mental instability.
Now you may say: but that’s not the real world, it doesn’t actually matter. To that I say, is it not? People are shifting their body and chemistry to make themselves more presentable. The only reason it’s different now is because it’s acceptable here. The only reason it’s different is because YOU think it’s different.
I could make other scenarios for other issues: autism, depression, anxiety, sociopathy (actually scratch that one, we live in a world in which the sociopaths are more likely to succeed anyway)… all these are issues because of social acceptance. Everyone is “mentally unwell” to some degree or another. Everyone needs acceptance. Don’t be the reason that people feel inferior. Because that’s not something that people can fix without help.
Every action, every decision, every choice is a vote to make reality what you want it to be. Please help promote each other.