Newsflash, Boys, Women Aren't Here To Cater To Your Needs

Newsflash, Boys, Women Aren't Here To Cater To Your Needs

Boy, bye.
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I will never forget the first time I really and truly felt that I was being treated as though I was some sort of pack mule. It was time for theater rehearsals and as I did every single day after school, I went to work. I had a super bad day at work and was tired out. I had exactly an hour to kill until rehearsals, which was not enough time to go home and get back. I ran all the errands I had been procrastinating on. I filled my gas tank up, deposited my last check into the ATM, and then went to get dinner before heading straight to rehearsal.

I was completely exhausted.

On the way, however, I get a phone call being told that my brother was hungry after his baseball game and was going to have no time to get food during our three-hour practice. Even though I only wanted to spend money on my own food and the whole process was just going to make my errand running process that much longer. Even while writing this, my brother and friends peered over my shoulder. He seemed angry.

Feminism isn't much of a popular topic and sometimes I feel like I hold a sort of dirty secret by being one.

It has driven me away from people which is why I think some women try their best to steer clear of it. It can be easier to not stand up. Sitting down and shutting up is almost always a thousand times easier. As easy as it is, it's still not me.

I am tired.

It's not my job to buy food for ungrateful boys who think their sports that they will ultimately most likely never play again after their high school years with the exception of inter-murals or other amateur levels of competition.

I work to make money so I can afford apartment rent as I know how dangerous it is for females to be homeless.

I work so that I can afford car payments to get me the places that I need to go.

I work so I can pay my own college tuition when my parents are no longer able to.

I work because I have to.

I work because my life is a little bigger than high school baseball.

I am by no means even remotely alluding to the fact that what I do as an employee is any superior to what others do as high school athletes, however, what I do think is that don't treat people who work hard as though they have nothing better to do than cater to you.

I'm busy.

I have work. I have classes to place and hopefully, just hopefully, if I can pass English, I'll graduate in May. It's difficult for me to handle my own responsibilities, much less those of a relatively anonymous man I don't care much for. It's not my job nor the job of any woman to accommodate for you. If you want food you can purchase or make your own, you can clean your own house and pay your own bills. I am responsible for me. If I love you, I'll do those things. I will make sacrifices for you whether it is my time or my money. But know you are not inherently worthy of such things. I am not here to cater to your needs.

Let's work hard on not forgetting that, OK?

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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