Monday, January 16, 2012

Not Nice and Proud of It

Today I'd like to share with you a wonderful article called The Difference Between Being Nice and Being Kind.

The author puts into words what I've felt for a long time, and the reason I don't want to be nice: nice is weak. But she said it in a way that didn't make her sound like a horrible person, which tends to happen when I start to rant about niceness.

See, given the choice between the two, I'd rather walk all over people than be walked all over. It's not the "nice" choice, not the selfless choice I constantly feel like I'm supposed to make as a girl, but I'd rather be selfish than selfless, if I can't be some reasonable and sane happy medium.  

I reject the feminine ideal of the demure maiden supporting all those around her. I'm supposed to be nice and selfless and helpful and compromising... but yech! I want to be aggressive, ambitious, daring, smart and, of course, kind. But there's a big difference between being nice and being kind.

I wrote a poem on this same sort of subject few years back, that more recently won an honorable mention in a contest and was published in an anthology. (For everyone who's screaming "Scam!" right now, the contest was run by my library and was completely above board.)
The Right Attitude
If some guy calls me a bitch
I take it as a compliment
Cause the kind of guy
Who’d call a girl
A bitch
For failing to conform
To his standards
Isn’t the kind of guy
Whose standards
I’d want to conform to
I wrote this after I was called a bitch by a stranger at a track meet. The details are vague in my memory, but the "insult" came because I wasn't playing along with his stupid antics and crude jokes. My best friend was shocked that someone would say that, and expected me to be hurt by it. She thought being called a bitch was a bad thing, maybe even something to be ashamed of, but I was oddly proud of the incident. This poem is the reasoning I finally wrangled from my subconscious.

For those who think my reclamation of being a bitch isn't strong enough, check out this site. Be warned: they don't pull their punches over there.
Earlier, I said I'd make an update on my CYOA progress, so here we go: I'm certainly progressing, but my tendency to want to plan everything out are impeding some of the actual forward motion. Also homework. Anyone have any deep insights into women in France?

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