The Unqualified Man:

on things

Nearly An Acid Casualty

In Which I Had To Decide Where I Was

When I was in high school I did too much acid a couple of times, probably more often than I did the right amount, but I didn’t end up crazy like the guy in my Chemistry class who handed in giant swirly clouds instead of titration formulas. Not really, anyway. I felt pretty okay afterwards, other than a fear that my spine was fucked up by lesions or whatever because people tell you shit like that and my back cracked like dominos one Monday. I came close though, one time, and it changed how I thought of mental illness.

I was never unsympathetic to insanity, having read about all the famous lunatics I was aware of when I was 8 or 9, but there’s obviously no way for the relatively normal to understand what’s going on in the mind of the ill. Besides 4 hits of acid, I guess.

It started on the mean streets of Chilliwack, BC, when a friend pulled up and gave us drugs. These particular bits of paper had symbols and pictures on them, like a Star Wars Stormtrooper head and maybe Greek letters, which was exciting, and despite having only planned to smoke weed by a river somewhere two of us took all of it. By the time we were done at the river, my night-vision had stopped working and it took what felt like an hour to shuffle back to the car. For the record, it is probably not a good idea to mix these drugs if you are prone to paranoia, as I was. 

When we pulled up to my house I got antsy. It was maybe midnight, my parents were asleep inside, and I had never been incapacitated by this particular drug in their presence, or alone. Nobody wanted to come in with me, understandably, but we were there so I felt I had to go in. I watched TV until I wasn’t sure if a) what I was seeing was really happening and b) I was talking to people on the screen, at which point I crammed a handful of chocolate cake in my mouth and went to bed, both of which were bad ideas.

I found myself curled up in the exact middle of my bed, fetused, in boxers, but maybe not. Because simultaneously I became aware that I might in fact be similarly unclothed and curled up in front of the Leo Edwards Mazda dealership, which is still located at 45955 Yale Road but sells boats now. Of course, I thought, I was actually in bed, but at the same time I knew there was really no way to tell.

This sort of thing sounds like dumb philosophy to the unaddled mind, however I was entirely addled and my perspective would shift between the two locations every time I considered my problem. Here’s what my mental dialogue looked like:
Me 1: I’m in bed. Of course I’m in bed.
Me 2: But how do you know? I mean, there’s the Mazda sign. There’s the sidewalk.
1: That’s a good point, but also there’s my lamp and the gutter is blankets again.
2: We’re going to have to make a decision, you realize.
This had gone on for a long time, but at one point in reality #2 people had noticed there was a chubby teen in his underwear on the road, clearly pretending he was unaware of this situation, and had started to discuss what to do.

So the need to make that decision became more intense, and I realized that there were some real ramifications to my choice. There were 4 possible ways this could play out. I was either really in bed or really in the street, and I could either get it right, or I could get it wrong. So I was in my bedroom and decided I was in my bedroom and everything was fine, I was in the street and could get up, tell the concerned citizens I was okay and walk home, which was not great, I could continue incorrectly assuming I was in bed and wake up god knows where later (this would eventually come around to a bed again, I guess), or I could think I was not in bed when I was and be found by my parents, insane.

That was a weird moment. I mean, all you have is your brain. If it’s wrong, you’re “crazy”. I’m not sure if you, hypothetical reader, have ever been really unsure that you were seeing real things, but you have to either react to or deny whatever you think you’re experiencing. I assume this is like schizophrenia, for example, and it is also clear that if your mental state didn’t clear itself up somehow you would be unable to trust anything ever again. This constant distrust of and negotiation with reality would take up a lot of energy. It would be exhausting. You would sometimes choose incorrectly.

My actual decision was pretty anticlimactic, and involved retracing my steps. River, car, living room, chocolate cake, bed: I was in bed. I wouldn’t have left that bed mostly-naked to lay down in front of the Mazda dealership, and the instant I had this thought I fell asleep.

I have to admit, empathy for the mentally ill doesn’t make your life any easier but it does probably lead to more conversations with homeless people, which is usually worthwhile. I have got a harmonica and a hug from street guys at different times on different coasts, both of which were funny and sweet at the time but left me worried about Hepatitis. I don’t have Hepatitis, though. And I only almost lost my mind one other time, I think.

Anecdote #2: My Date With The Chinese Hair-Extension Millionaire

I have to admit, I don’t know if I have a follow-up to this.

The Time I Went On A Date With A Man By Accident

Though it surprised me as well, not that long after I shit in a bag I found myself with a girlfriend who I liked. This is only relevant for context. I was still working in the kitchen, making very little money of course, and probably drinking every day. One of those days I had planned to do so on the North Shore, where a band-mate was having people over for champagne and jellybeans (it was a very twee band, full of lovable art-hippies (obv.)), which meant I was walking toward the Seabus (for people outside Vancouver, that is a boat that goes to North Vancouver). SCENE SET.

Heading down Pender past some hotels I failed to notice a slight asian fellow looking at a map, who ended up walking toward Chinatown right behind me. After a block or so he asked for directions to said Chinatown, and I told him to continue straight ahead. Can’t miss it. He kept up the conversation, asking about my clothes. This was not so unusual, as I only wore black at the time and had taken to extremely poor sewing. He had noticed my blazer, which had a fake fur collar and cuffs, and a shirt I had sewn a lightning bolt to.

Let me just parenthetically realize that I was a strange fucking dude for a long time. Moving on.

His name was Joseph, and he told me why he was in town alone; to expand his hair-extension business into Canada. His celebrity clients included Beyoncé* plus maybe two other people I have forgotten, and due to my outlandishness and the fact that I was talking to him he figured I might have advice on what parts of downtown would be amenable to his product (the answer was Yaletown). We went on a few blocks before our paths were to split, mine north to the Seabus and his further east to find food. However, he explained, nobody likes eating alone, and I had been helpful, so he wondered if I would like to join him for dinner.

My first thought was “I wouldn’t, at all”, but then I realized that this was A Weird Thing, which I did like, and such an opportunity would probably not come along twice. Also I was broke, and he was paying. So I said yes.

We went to a restaurant I wouldn’t have noticed myself, where the menu was all in Chinese. In between recounting how he left China with nothing for Atlanta 15 years ago to build a Weave Empire and asking me how I spent my time, he ordered maybe 5 dishes. These would be a mystery until they showed up, since nobody else was speaking English. Before the food arrived I snuck away to call my friends and tell them I would be late as I was eating with a complete stranger.

He had ordered some vegetable dishes, unnamed whole fish, soup, and a lobster. I’m not sure anyone else has bought me lobster to this day. Everything was good, but not quite good enough for Joseph, who berated the servers a bit to look important. I didn’t order drinks to not tax his hospitality. By the time we left he was offering me a job should he expand into Vancouver, which was hilarious for all kinds of reasons.

We headed back the way we came, and soon passed Jack Chow Insurance and its rainbow neon sign.”Is that…a gay place?’ he asked me, and I said no it just sells insurance, but drawing inference from his tone things started to make sense and I quickly added that the Davie St area is where most of the gay stuff happened. Inevitably, I saw then, he followed with “Are you gay?” which I was not.

Though I had apparently gone on a date with this guy. I imagined not having passed that sign, and only realizing over an awkward drink in his hotel room when he came out in a robe. To his credit the subject was dropped, and he still insisted he wanted me in his organization and would drop a business card off at the restaurant because “everything happens for a reason”**. He did that, on a day I wasn’t working, which confused the front staff something fierce. I had somewhere to be anyway, so I went on to drink champagne and eat jellybeans in the suburbs, and he did god knows what.

The next morning I told my girlfriend I had accidentally gone on a date with a guy, and that I would be expecting lobster-class sugar-mamaing in the future. We broke up much later due to unrelated issues.

I wasn’t sure she believed me until she came home from work after a day or two and told me that a co-worker’s husband noticed a middle-aged asian man in a suit on the local nude beach, on a laptop. Visible on the screen was a hair-extension website. The husband thought this was odd, asked Joseph what he was doing, and was invited to dinner.

He didn’t go because that is a weird thing to do, but he probably ate some non-lobster bullshit with his wife like a chump and I regret nothing.

*holy shit it autocorrected the accent. Technology, man.
**It totally does. This is a true thing. A truism, even.

Long - I Have Lived a Dumb Life (part 1 of maybe 3?)

As a person I do not like repetition. Memes and joke formats and catch-phrases and so on make me uncomfortable because then I think the people laughing at them are dull and slow, and I don’t want to think that. Anyway, since I got bored with this tumblr thing a bit (so did you!) but have time to kill, I thought I might as well type some anecdotes that have also grown old. To like put them to bed. Warning (to my wife and mother-in-law I guess), the following is a little gross. HENCE,

The Time I Shit In A Bag

Years ago I got fired from a job, which was a new thing for me and timed so poorly that I couldn’t pay rent, so broke in at least two ways I left the city in disgrace to ride a bike around my hometown for a while, returning on weekends to play in a band. This was Myspace days, and I would write/read Myspace blog posts, which brought me into contact with a woman who I thought wrote well. I was a prize, obviously.

We ended up meeting after a show, and for a few weeks that summer I would stay at her place when I had to be in Vancouver. We were “friends” who fooled around, I assumed, because she said that’s what we were doing and I didn’t want anything else. This went on for a few weeks before I got a job in a kitchen and had to start immediately, at which point she offered her place until I got paid. Fantastic.

When I got there that time, she informed me her toilet had broken. Fine, I said, I’m sure I can make other waste arrangements until her landlord came in, since this is how things work in real life, with real people. It soon became clear however that 1) the toilet was not getting fixed (she was evasive on this), and 2) she was still using said toilet. I was of course a bit disturbed, which grew to full disgust once you could tell she was not limiting her usage of what was now just a bucket to #1s. It was 2s also, guys. This was early September, and you could tell it was 2s.

Now, there were other things, like that when I withdrew after realizing the toilet situation she said I was “being like her dad”, or that she had also just lost her job and wasn’t trying to get a new one and was relying on selling her books to keep herself alive, or that she laughed like Goofy, that lead to my being uninterested in our Friends With Benefits arrangement, but I think it’s fair to name “apartment that smelled like her actual shit” as the main reason. At one point, I faked an orgasm. I knew that I had made a terrible mistake. I had to get away, but I had to get paid first, so I rode it out a few more days. I didn’t make it until payday, however.

What happened was, I was working in a bar. We hung around after closing, drinking beer and so on as people do, and I would return to the sewer around 3am to get first four hours of sleep and second the hell out of there. My last night in the outhouse went badly.

I had avoided that end of the apartment entirely, using washrooms wherever I could, but I bolted up at 3:30 with an urgent downstairs situation. It was happening, and even if I could make it to a safe place there was no place to go. The only true things in the world right then were that I was going to shit, and I was not going to look in that toilet. 

Pure panic, and waves of existential despair. I looked around the kitchen, found a garbage bag, and shuffled to the shower. Crushed by the depths I had sunk to, I cursed this woman as I shit in a bag. All I could think was “She’ll pay for this”.

I threw the bag in a dumpster (which I thought and still think was pretty funny), and lay awake until I could leave. The next night I snuck in while she was sleeping, took my suitcase, and left her spare key and maybe $100 on the bedside table. For her gracious accommodation, I guess? I may have been too generous, but I’m not a monster, just a man who was pushed too far.

Anyway, I never spoke to her again other than a very cagey email exchange and the following conversation after a month had passed:

Her, yelling after me on a Skytrain platform - HEY, CLAYTON
Me - Oh, hello.
Her - I threw your socks away.
Me - I had socks?
Her - But I’m keeping your book.
Me (nodding beatifically) - That’s fine.

It was ‘Beautiful Losers’. I saw it at the used bookstore a few weeks later, but decided not to buy it back.

Anonymous asked: how does one hold on to love and not allow it to dissolve away like any other required suspension of disbelief within the range of human interactions??

Hello! I didn’t think this was still happening! Cool sunglasses!

I honestly think the “suspension of disbelief” part works the other way around, as people have weird standards that are usually not based in reality. Like, “love means everything is perfect and crazy all the time” or that somehow things will stay the same forever. So I think one basically allows love to continue by letting go of romantic thinking, which is not to say romance.

I mean, if you go around romanticizing general “human interactions”, they’re bound to let you down. That’s facts. This is not real fun to write, so I apologize in advance if I get hyperbolic.

But to address the sentiment, you’re saying that it is not possible to love realistically? You cannot answer right now so let’s move on: things have to be real. Real is not inside your head, real is day-to-day stuff. If love just goes away on its own, like nobody fucked anyone over or proved to be an unsalvageable piece of shit in some way, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say it wasn’t “love”. Or, whatever, who can say. Some people got low standards with that stuff, so go nuts I guess, but if love comes real easy and indiscriminate it shouldn’t be surprising if it disappears the same way.

But I guess contrariwise I’ve never had to try. Being that I’m married now, I realize that there will be a time in the future where that might be necessary, and holding on would certainly be a part of the commitment I have made. So that’s not jokes either. Great. 

OH ALSO: if normal interaction and relationships require suspension of disbelief you’re probably paranoid, or a sociopath. But you know, I’m a positive person and that’s how come it’s hard to see others being so self-involved all the time. Lack of perspective, kid*. That’s your problem.

You know how I know? Because there’s no way to answer this question and it was asked mostly to express angst. If you want to follow it up with more information, I’m sorry I called you names.

Sincerely,
I’m A Little Embarrassed By Psyeudonymity. 
The Unqualified Man 
theunqualifiedman@gmail.com 

*I have no idea who you are, of course. Could be anyone really, but most people I interact with are younger than me, mostly, so LACK OF PERSPECTIVE KID**.
**Lack Of Perspective Kid, a Woody Allen Western, coming winter 2013 

The Last Three Chapters of 1984 Are A Bummer

You’ll have to* forgive me if I come off a little loopier than usual, as I’ve got my ass kicked by some sort of disease. I’m trying to continue to live and laugh and love, but it’s so hard. So hard.

Anyway, I have been asked a question:

“In ‘1984’ Orwell says ‘Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.’ Is this true?”

This is probably only true of life in the same way it’s true in the novel, that being as a response to torture. To place understanding above love is only something that an outcast would do, or someone who feels more lonely in the sense of existential angst than physical/emotional, and as such has a pretty strong element of narcissism in it. What I mean is, the need to be “understood” is a motivating factor mostly in those who think their thoughts are more important than other people’s, or that nobody is worth loving if they can’t understand our lusty protagonist. This is, of course, kind of crazy. Crawl up out your own ass, Imaginary Straw Man!

To get into this, we’ll have to consider what drives a person to seek understanding over love; generally, either a lack of a sort of functional love in their life and especially anything to be considered “transcendent” insomuch as we could describe it as something more important than oneself, or someone who finds the acquisition of admiration** too easy. Both of these states sort of demand a certain amount of self-involvement, though I’m not going to knock someone for not having a significant emotional relationship in their lives. I’m referring more to the person who will set the emotions of others aside because those others “don’t understand”, which is bullshit 99% of the time. Which makes it practically always bullshit. You don’t need to be understood to be appreciated, and furthermore, you are way less complicated than you think.

I’m not saying the masses get you, but the collective consciousness*** does. Now, I realize the question is not “Am I understood?” (short answer: yes), and is something like “is it better to be understood than loved?”, to which I’m going to answer “Yeah, if you hate your parents.”

I mean, at heart it’s a pretty whiny sentiment, provided you are or have been loved. Basically, someone is saying that they’ve tried love and found it to not be enough of a mirror reflecting their deepest of feelings, which are inevitably about themselves. You can spend a lot of time looking for people who understand, but you’re going to end up in one den of iniquity or another, Burning Man or an after-party or church, depending on which Island of Misfit Toys is closest to you. Because the search for understanding is typically “spiritual”, as in existential****, except always filtered through a solipsism thing.

Not that there aren’t various kinds of understanding. I’m dealing with the one that correlates to love as opposed to success (like finding a sympathetic creative collective/audience), or
Oh, “audience”. Turns out that digression was actually the point:
To attempt to be “understood” puts the world in the position of listening to your shit, as opposed to, you know, everybody living together doing stuff.

Here (as always) is the thing: you’re not going to meet many people who “get you” right away. The people who know implicitly what you want and mean when you say or do stuff? Those are people you’ve known for a long time. That sort of understanding is built over long periods of time, and that time is going to have to cover multiple emotional/chemical states. Love and understanding aren’t mutually exclusive obviously (and there are probably better words for the instant kind of love as it’s pretty unlikely to look the same after the initial bruise fades), so I guess what I mean is: instant understanding is a fantasy. Both our subjects here are more work than Nora Ephron or Bukowski would have had us believe, and they are totally peddling the same line. It’s romance shit. People just got different definitions of romance, see, as you never see anyone fuck on the first date in the movies unless it’s a setup for something.

Jesus, I’m all over the place. I got a head full of germs.

OKAY

IS IT

For the guy being tortured by an all-powerful government: yeah. For people, living non-fictional people-lives: maybe if you’re 14. Otherwise, love is pretty good. Understanding is unnecessary. We’re not art. We don’t live in a dumb philosophical dreamworld where things contort to suit our interpretations, so what’s the goddamn difference who understands what? The burden of understanding is on the individual, as it is up to us as individuals to hold some cohesive vision of the world in our stupid brains, in order to not fuck up everybody that, by chance, connects themselves to our germ-filled heads and hearts. To try to impose an understanding of yourself as a precondition in a relationship is the wrong way around; we each should be attempting to understand the other. That’s sort of the point. Don’t make everything all about you.

LIFE IS JUST A BOX OF RATS

STRAPPED TO OUR COLLECTIVE FACE

Guys, I’m so tired. Did I answer it yet?

Love,
The Unqualified Man
theunqualifiedman@gmail.com

 

 

*Have to.
**Not just alliteration! Also a synonym, sort of! 
***I don’t mean anything supernatural by that, just that in the cultural summation of human experience, we can usually find something to cover your situation. Sorry, tumblr-depressives! You are not alone!
****Spiritual and existential are rather interchangeable, depending on whether or not the subject believes they have a soul.

Anonymous asked: Why should I ask you anything? Are you qualified to answer this?

Because the universe is big and crazy and doesn’t give a shit about you, so sometimes it helps to get answers. And: I am totally not.

Birbs

A note: laptop in the laptopshop, and I am not writing 1000 words on a phone, but we’ll get back to solving the world’s problems soon enough.
Love
Etc

Enabling For Once

Hello Mr. Unqualified

I have often wondered why so many people either cannot see, ignore, or refuse the fact that smoking is still and will always be cool. Please advise.

Regards,

_________ ________
Investor Relations Assistant


This is indeed an undeniable fact, and in light of this being so obvious, I will be blunt: people who hate smoking are way too uptight about death. I mean, to get right down to it, I’m sure the recklessness of smoking is, at this point, a big part of making it awesome, and some people just can’t be so cavalier about their potential cancers. Also, the people who are not cool when they smoke tend to ruin it a little for everyone else. You know, the people all crabbed up in the cold, one claw wrapped around the coffin-nail, getting all bitchy with the Nic Fits* at near-random intervals. So it is important to differentiate. We’re talking about awesome attractive people here.
Anyway, long life and health are fetishized more now than ever, and it divides the smoking argument pretty definitely. You stop smoking when you fear death more than you love cigarettes, like if you fall in love or have kids or just never thought about it before and then POW someone dies. I don’t know, I don’t get it. 

I guess it’s that death is so far removed from our lives that we’ve lost all familiarity with it, and exercise as if crossing ourselves against the evil eye, or knocking on wood. You are never going to convince someone who insists their body be as deathless as possible that breathing poison is cool, not the least evidence of this being how fucking dorky exercise clothes are. You can’t even convince these people not to buy the ugliest shoes; even sunglasses get dorked up by the science of fitness. They’re not going to buy this aesthetic bullshit, they’re too busy buying stuff with vents in it.

See, they are so horrified that you would intentionally put a Bad Thing in your body** that they’ve already either committed you to a hospital or proactively cut you out of their lives to spare themselves the pain. I mean, without this telescopic*** vision they wouldn’t be doing research on which vitamins and supplements will mitigate the effects of menopause, or ever giving a shit about “superfoods”, despite any actual knowledge of the future. Fact is, nobody knows, and that sort of existential shit + not caring + aesthetics is exactly what they’re missing, right? HENCE, no smoking. 

You choose which facts to concern yourself with, and generally these are chosen by which dangers (physical or psychological) you think you can avoid thinking about. People who have cultivated a life where school and work and career is important tend to then by virtue of peer-relation move toward things that require personal effort, and away from philosophy****, where people who lean to the “artistic”, meaning that they internalize I suppose more than externalize (body-consciousness is a sort of externality, really. I don’t have time to think about that, so just accept it), have broody creative non-goals and oh god they feel so much that they couldn’t possibly. They’ve got brilliant thoughts sometimes but they’re going to get distracted by a girlfriend every time they make plans, you know? 
That was a little black and white, but such is life*****.  

Oh, hey, an aside: a word from Joe Strummer

Where was I going? Right, that the reason you can’t convince some people that smoking is (it is) cool is that their values are different, the more important of these values being a long life (as opposed to a “good” life, and possible “worse” death), and it’s a tad confusing sometimes because this is a fairly recent values-related development (and because they might just die tomorrow anyway). To generalize some more because why stop now, these are people who would rather wring out a smile in an awkward situation than deaden the situation with chemical distraction. I don’t want to overstate the actual chemical effects of smoking, it’s more ritual than stimulant, but a lot of substance-related stuff is more related to ritual than the substance itself, so. You know.

Smoking gets you outside the club, where people can talk. Inside, other people are dancing. Both get laid in different ways. This was a metaphor!

Now, equivalence (possibly false): compare the face non-smokers make when they smell smoke on you to the face you make when you see them in bike gear.

Bottom line is, smoking kills. Some people don’t give a shit, and not giving a shit will always be pretty awesome, until it is literally insulting to some very important thing in your life to say you don’t give a shit. Then you should stop. You should probably make a bunch of excuses first though so you don’t have to quit too fast.
That said, this doesn’t apply to teenagers because everybody knows they smoke because they’re told to by someone. HEY TEENAGERS AND THE TEENAGE-MINDED: I know you won’t get this, but basically everyone gets you. Seriously. You are going to be so embarrassed in ten years.

I mean, provided you live that long. I for one thought I was middle-aged at 20, but my projected life gets longer the less miserable I am. Go figure.

Hope that helped…? I didn’t even say anything about cigarettes as a phallic symbol!

Love,
The Unqualified Man
theunqualifiedman@gmail.com

*this is not a term I’ve heard since Grade 9.
**Let’s see people start getting horrified about bad media, relationships, and ideas. 
***I don’t want to point out how good that choice of word was, but oh man! 
****Outside of such as the philosophy of marketing or whatever, I guess.  Which is hardly some Kantian business. Post-modern sometimes, but (though I am not an expert, duh) post-modernism is sort of an excuse to avoid philosophy a lot of the time. Am I rite.
*****No it is not. It’s a useful rhetorical device, though.

Guys I’m Sorry

Not that anyone is looking at the endless scroll of photos and missing this, but I apologize for not having written anything in a while. Tomorrow I will answer a question about cigarettes and everything will be okay again.

Freaky Friday!

"Assuming that the female of our species had evolved to be larger and stronger than the males, would the world be the same as it is now?"


First off, let me say with all conscious sym/probably-empathy that that would be awful. I mean, I don’t see any real nuance in the situation, as as much as we hear of matriarchal societies and how they’re in many ways more fair and probably more peaceful, this is rooted in giving power to the segment of our population that are naturally smaller and weaker. I guess I don’t have much faith in the human condition, or enough to assume that women are by some virtue of their ovaries prone to justice, and that we men are the way we are simply because we’re drunk on testosterone. Don’t get me wrong, we are, but our poison ball-juice is both cause and effect here, which leads to the conclusion that if the double-X chromosomed were the ones pumping out natural steroids, they’d just be…men. 

Maleness and femaleness and our varied social constructs are built upon very real biological realities (though of course it’s up to us to mitigate those, with reason and so on), sprung up from millennia of weird socio-sexual* interaction. There is nothing inherent in life that leads to equality, that sort of thing has to come from conscious recognition of the value in differences. 

So, yeah. I think it would, except men would be where women are. Sex-related power struggles would be marginally** less traumatic…why am I writing this? Okay, point is, all of our “humanity” comes from denial or overcoming of “animal” impulses. In this way, it’s not inaccurate I think to consider human behaviour as divided into two blurry but largely distinct categories; I don’t know what to call them. I’m unqualified, assholes. But still, we have our animal drives and a separate but in most ways superior*** rational mind. 

Which sort of leads back to a problem with humanity thus far: subjugation and generally being dicks tends, I think, to come from ignorance, specifically ignorance of people’s place in the continuum of animal life, and the evolution of our mental anatomy. To attribute a thing’s superiority to possession of a soul is basically to say we have the right to choose who and what deserves respect, because souls are a bullshit concept that has no basis in anything at all. I mean, it’s a primitive reaction to observing that people are different than other animals, and not knowing where that difference comes from. 
Like, every civilization before distant travel was possible progressed in a bubble where as far as they knew, they were the only people. They were surrounded by nature, which was obviously full of unthinking things (you know, whatever), and they used their awesome brains to overcome it in the ways they were able. So then one day when they happened to explore further they happened upon some other people who acted in alien ways, and had alien religions and lived in mud instead of dirt, or stone houses or caves or wood structures, and made clothes out of stuff that didn’t make sense, and ate weird shit, and so on. Being idiots, they did not know what to think about this. As a rule, they settled on “these crazy motherfuckers ain’t got no souls”, or whatever similar concept they had for the quality that made them human and outside of nature. 
There are of course groups that didn’t consider nature entirely separate from humanity, like (as far as I know (not far)) most “New World” native peoples, but even then who would know what to make of hairy pale people on horses? It was practically Independence Day**** when the white man showed up over here, complete with total inscrutability and destruction. Their societies were so different, for valid reasons, that each saw the other as Other. Right?

Okay, so this is an enormous digression, but I’ve done enough of these things for that not to be a surprise.

Anyway, here’s my point: as a Human Race, we had to get to a certain point in scientific understanding of nature, our own and that larger thing, before we could conceive of equality or mutual respect. And yeah, this whole thing is a bigger problem in some cultures than in others, I know. But is it a coincidence that more often this is true when there’s a relatively higher level of technological advancement in that culture? I SUBMIT THAT IT IS NOT (again, see ‘Independence Day’). 
So excuse me if I don’t think simply switching the genitals on the soldiers and church leaders would drastically change the direction of human development, but I figure Male Aggressiveness comes from 1) the social responsibilities of being the big/strong ones and 2) the biological components that make us bigger and stronger. 

I don’t know. It’s mostly primitive people I don’t trust, and (brace yourself) if you don’t understand/trust science and our modern knowledge you’re literally a primitive person. Despite where we are in this regard, there are still folks who don’t get that everybody has basically the same mechanical parts, and differ almost exclusively only in how we’re taught to apply these parts to the world. This understanding of our basic samenesses is where empathy comes from, by the way, and with all the advances we’ve made, the primitive people that lack it are, in practice, idiots or sociopaths. I don’t think these things have anything to do with gender.

Uh, long story short? Yeah. It would.

Sorry so serious, but I answer what I’m asked. God bless us, every one.

The Unqualified Man
theunqualifiedman@gmail.com 

PS. Hey, dear readers, you can also ask questions with the “ask” link at the top there. Just pointing that out.


*every answer I give has to have at least one hyphenated soft-sciency term. Glad to have got that out of the way early. 
**maybe not. I mean, I’ve read about the effects of (for example) sexual abuse by women on boys and they are no less serious than the other way around. But I’m pretty sure that a big part of the brutality of male sexual assault, as well as a big part of certain differences sex-wise, come from the act of penetration/being penetrated. This is definitely the least amusing answer I’ve had to write so far, by the way. Not your fault, question-asker.
***as in “above”, not “better than”. 
****The movie, not the day.