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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » Knocking Others Down to Build Yourself Up

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Author Topic: Knocking Others Down to Build Yourself Up
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Have you done it?

For example, statements like this are some we see and hear often:
"Real" women aren't skinny (about how being larger or curvier is more real)
Women with fake breasts are fake (about trying to accept one's own natural breasts)
"Real" men don't have big penises (about trying to accept average penis size)
It's fake to make noise during sex (about being more quiet oneself)
No one really wants to do that sexually (about something one person doesn't want to do)
That girl is a slut (about not having as much sexual or romantic opportunity as someone wants)
That guy is a manwhore (same as above)
Straight people have boring sex (about trying to address feeling marginalized for being queer)
Gay people can't have long-term relationships (about feeling homophobia or envy as a straight person)

Cutting others down to build oneself up is a losing strategy. Not only does it not usually result in really feeling that much better about oneself -- especially since you then add on feeling like a jerk for doing that -- it also hurts others. But it's something a lot of people do, and probably any of us have done at one point or another.

Have you done it? If so, have you stopped? What got you to stop? What do you do instead, now, to be confident in yourself and feel good about yourself without doing something at someone else's expense? If you still do it, why do you think you do? What do you think you need to do to stop?

Of course, if you've been on the end of the "other" being put down, this is a good place to talk about what that's like, too.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I used to think that people that chose to get breast augmentation surgery or other cosmetic surgery (nose jobs, etc) are "fake", but I definitely changed my mind on that. I don't think there's anything wrong with such surgeries if they're done safely and it's truly what the person wants. I mean lots of people wear makeup, pierce their ears, etc. but those things are usually considered acceptable and not "fake".

I do think it's unfortunate that some people feel pressured to look a certain way and get cosmetic surgery because of that pressure, but how does that make them less "real" of a person?

Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 41657

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I'm actually bi, but the "straight people have boring sex" is sometimes used interchangeably with ""opposite" sex couples have boring sex", and as someone who while not feeling a strong sense of gender identification will say female/woman if a form doesn't offer another option, who is in a relationship with a man, I don't appreciate someone assuming that all such sex is "vanilla" (whatever that means) or consists entirely of the missionary position performed in the dark. My boyfriend and I have a good sex life, as far as I'm concerned, we care about each other's consent, we care about each other and we both enjoy ourselves. What we do probably would be considered vanilla by many as there's no BSDM involved, but a lot of same sex couples don't do BSDM either, and it doesn't matter anyway.

Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Member # 47095

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What do you suppose it is when people talk down to virgins?

I've gotten the assumption that I'm some sort of religeous conservative (not the case) used in a disparaging sense.

I've gotten the assumption that I'm inept and incapable of basic human interaction.

I've gotten the assumption that I'm repressed and frigid.

I admit I haven't always been perfect about respecting that other people's sexual choices are valid (even if I can't recall voicing any such disrespect), but I've gotten past that and it bothers me when I feel that respect isn't being reciprocated.

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Member # 49104

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No, i am happy with myself and don't feel the need to break people down to make myself feel better.
Posts: 84 | From: baltimore,maryland | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 44405

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I get the "There's no such a thing as Bi, there's just greedy" and it makes me ever so upset to identify as bisexual myself because I most definitely am not the kind "who'd sleep with anyone." I also created a group "Being skinny doesn't make anyone any less of a woman" in retaliation to all the "Real women have curves" groups out there. So while I don't think I do this myself (if I do it must be subconscious), I do face these kinds of behavior.

I will admit having "looked down upon" people who get gigantic breast implants, who reckon botox is just an everyday procedure for any and every woman etc. But I'm trying to break the pattern.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Yeah, anything that claims something about how 'real women' are pisses me off. It's impossible to make a claim about 'real women' without implying that some (implication - inferior) women are 'not real' or something. Nonsense. It pops up everywhere, from how a 'real woman' dresses, looks, eats, behaves, to how hir body should be. Ultimately, a 'real woman' is anyone who defines hirself as such.

I think I used to do this 'real women' thing with relation to cosmetic breast implants etc too (those done in order to fit a conventional beauty standard, I mean). I think I did it because I felt so uncomfortable with a certain image of 'womanhood' being presented, and that that was allegedly the only way of being acceptable, or being attractive. I think I felt sort of betrayed that some women were buying into it (as I saw it).

But I think that's not the case; all of us buy into patriarchy and that stuff in some ways, probably, and anyway there are probably lots of different reasons why people get procedures done. Whatever their motivation, it doesn't make them not real or in any way inferior to anyone else. I don't have a right to judge them for living the way they want to.

One of the insidious, nasty things about the power structures we live within is how they divide us, make us turn against each other, when we would be so much stronger if we stood together.

Posts: 161 | From: europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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