...life can be translucent

Menu

Why am I so ugly? 46.2.3.6 23

greenegrets

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I’ve been completely alone for 2.5 years - some of this is due to moving a lot. In every single one of these places (i.e., several different countries), men loudly and clearly let me know how hideous I am, sometimes with words, but usually expressions of disgust: animal noises, blowing raspberries, vomiting noises, ew/ick.

It amazes me, how primal disgust is, i.e., all of the sounds are the same, on several continents. It happens every day, and I almost don’t want to leave the house. I try to protect myself when I remember, with headphones, turning away when I see a man, trying not to talk to men whenever possible, and so on. It breaks my heart, frankly, to be considered by so many people.

I guess it also stings because when I was very young, I was considered as “pretty” as I am ugly now, and hated that, too. (Be careful what you wish for, though I don’t remember wishing I was ugly.) In the mirror I see normal facial aging/slackening, I guess, and sadly I guess I look more like my father than mother now, when the inverse used to be true. I’m not even “old,” though I guess not particularly nubile, and quite skinny though no more so than I’ve ever been. In fact, being well into adulthood makes all of this even more bizarre and painful; instead of a group of schoolmates it seems literally to be the whole world.

Anyway, it’s really been breaking me down. I should be used to it by now, but it’s a devastating thing to hear almost daily for several years, everywhere. I’ve not only given up any hope on ever finding love, I feel like my face is actually offensive to others. We don’t live in a society, unfortunately, where I can cover my face (although I think I receive a little less harassment in winter, when I wear a long and heavy coat) and I don’t understand why so many men hate women so much, as if I’m capable of polluting their walk down the street, or wherever, especially since few of them are oil paintings.

So I let the I Ching answer my question: “Why am I so ugly?” in whatever way it wanted to and received 46.2.3.6, changing to 23.

Hexagram 46 seems to tell me just to get on with things, to do whatever I want. (Or, maybe, that the ugliness will progress.)
Line 2 says that I can find my aim with modest resources: maybe this means that I don’t have to be pretty?
Line 3 seems to suggest that this is a slightly meaningless - or at least directionless - question.
Line 6 very clearly suggests taking caution, which makes sense: strangers seem to be almost violent towards me, knocking me aside, walking into me, etc.
Hexagram 23 seems, again, to tell me to stop thinking about it, or perhaps that I’m ugly because there are too many disjoint elements (mental, physical, I don’t know).

Sorry if this seems like a vain question. I’ve long been a lurker on this board and think if someone received daily global harassment for some other reason, they’d get a bit of warmth, maybe.

Thanks. I hope to hear from you.
 

legume

Senior member
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
134
Reaction score
6
46.2 - in Wilhelm's commentary there's a mention of paying little attention to form but gaining recognition through uprightness of ones character. so the form does not contain what you have to offer. in a way, i agree with your interpretation, but i would also add that my gut feeling is that to allow oneself to discard the form and never worry about our appearances one must be firm in one's character.

46.3 - not sure why meaningless, in both Bradford and Wilhelm translations this line suggest a moment of no doubt, of advance, maybe it's to do with self-confidence and discovering one's self-worth?

followed by 46.6, you might be advised against pushing ahead too blindly (in newly found confidence) or falling for false beliefs or ideas that can distract you on the path to previously mentioned self-discovery?

as to 23 meaning "stop thinking about it", again, in a way i agree. i see 23 as describing freeing oneself from the ego (one's inferior elements) and the stories, anxieties and worries that it makes up.

i guess, we all worry about what we look like and everyone having an ego, ergo everyone at some point in time, is at least a little vain. it's definitely a problem though, when it becomes a cause for harassment. not sure where would this come from, but i remember a story of a friend, who got dumped by girl, who told him he's too ugly for her. how vain is that? the guy wasn't lucky in his relationships and wasn't typically handsome for sure, but my gosh is he a great guy. one of the funniest, smartest and most talented people i know. after years of being single (and continuously doing his thing, that is being his best self while becoming a successful producer) he's now married and his wife is just beautiful and equally talented.

sometimes we tell ourselves things that aren't necessarily true, sometimes we believe what others say, without realising it's just an opinion, sometimes we even subconsciously internalise it and start identifying with it. and when that happens we might live in a state as if it was true. then all external stimuli seem to just confirm that presupposed perception. i hope this is the case and soon you'll find some inner brightness that will stop these experiences and let you shine :hugs:
 

diamanda

Senior member
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
2,505
Reaction score
1
What a strange story, thanks for sharing. What kind of countries are these, with such a huge concentration of malicious idiots..? Their culture sounds bizarre to say the least. I haven't been to any country so far, where public bullying is acceptable. You should move to the UK where even looking at strangers is a no-no.

Have you tried changing your body posture? Bullies get scared when they see an 'attitude'. Well, to your cast:

Why am I so ugly? 46.2.3.6 > 23

Your question presupposes that those men are correct and that indeed you are now super ugly, and that indeed you do deserve to be publicly ridiculed (none of which can be true of course). The cast speaks of a small true sacrifice, then walking into an empty city, then pushing up in the dark - and thus in the end collapsing. If you continue along the path you're on right now, your current small sacrifices (headphones, not looking around) will progress to walking when nobody is around, will then progress to only going out when it's dark? And then collapse/splitting down.

In my opinion, please try to find a way to work on your self-esteem and your internal core values. There's an internal issue here. Even if you have suddenly become extremely ugly (which I don't believe), nobody has the right to ridicule you - and if an idiot does that, it's his problem not yours.
 

Trojina

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
19,629
Reaction score
40
First and foremost you aren't ugly.

That is a fact.

All people have beauty.

So when you ask 'why am I so ugly' well you aren't, of course you aren't.


I’ve been completely alone for 2.5 years - some of this is due to moving a lot. In every single one of these places (i.e., several different countries), men loudly and clearly let me know how hideous I am, sometimes with words, but usually expressions of disgust: animal noises, blowing raspberries, vomiting noises, ew/ick.

I have never heard of this before, what kind of countries are these I wonder ? Countries where blatant woman hating is normal ? What kind of men can these be ? Men of the lowest stupidest kind or places where women are meant to look a certain why and they are threatened when they don't ? I don't know because I mean surely they would be regarded with contempt by most ordinary citizens.


As I have never ever seen this anywhere forgive me for asking are you 100% sure all of these noises indicate you are ugly ?

It amazes me, how primal disgust is, i.e., all of the sounds are the same, on several continents. It happens every day, and I almost don’t want to leave the house. I try to protect myself when I remember, with headphones, turning away when I see a man, trying not to talk to men whenever possible, and so on. It breaks my heart, frankly, to be considered by so many people.
On several continents ? Never seen it in my life.

I guess it also stings because when I was very young, I was considered as “pretty” as I am ugly now, and hated that, too. (Be careful what you wish for, though I don’t remember wishing I was ugly.) In the mirror I see normal facial aging/slackening, I guess, and sadly I guess I look more like my father than mother now, when the inverse used to be true. I’m not even “old,” though I guess not particularly nubile, and quite skinny though no more so than I’ve ever been. In fact, being well into adulthood makes all of this even more bizarre and painful; instead of a group of schoolmates it seems literally to be the whole world.
:confused:

Anyway, it’s really been breaking me down. I should be used to it by now, but it’s a devastating thing to hear almost daily for several years, everywhere. I’ve not only given up any hope on ever finding love, I feel like my face is actually offensive to others. We don’t live in a society, unfortunately, where I can cover my face (although I think I receive a little less harassment in winter, when I wear a long and heavy coat) and I don’t understand why so many men hate women so much, as if I’m capable of polluting their walk down the street, or wherever, especially since few of them are oil paintings.

So I let the I Ching answer my question: “Why am I so ugly?” in whatever way it wanted to and received 46.2.3.6, changing to 23.
No idea, seems a nonsensical question to me as you aren't ugly. As to why you have the face you have well it's genetic isn't it

Hexagram 46 seems to tell me just to get on with things, to do whatever I want. (Or, maybe, that the ugliness will progress.)
No of course it isn't saying the ugliness will progress. The 'ugliness' does not exist as if it were an actual verifiable fact.

As a sentence Ascending's Stripping. Well it seems to me to be about the attempts to progress from times where everything in one's world is undone.

Is this about something else really is my thought, to do with your father ? I don't doubt that these arse holes, I mean what else can one call them, harass you in this peculiar way but I'm wondering if there's other stuff going on and rather than look at those things you are attaching all your worry on to these men ?



Line 2 says that I can find my aim with modest resources: maybe this means that I don’t have to be pretty?
Line 3 seems to suggest that this is a slightly meaningless - or at least directionless - question.
Line 6 very clearly suggests taking caution, which makes sense: strangers seem to be almost violent towards me, knocking me aside, walking into me, etc.
Line 6 isn't about caution but continuing on even when you can't see where you are going.

Hexagram 23 seems, again, to tell me to stop thinking about it, or perhaps that I’m ugly because there are too many disjoint elements (mental, physical, I don’t know).
You aren't ugly so that's not in the answer, the answer is addressing your suffering I think. 23 is a very painful place to be, a place of loss and I am wondering what kind of losses you have suffered that you are trying to move on from.

Sorry if this seems like a vain question. I’ve long been a lurker on this board and think if someone received daily global harassment for some other reason, they’d get a bit of warmth, maybe.
It isn't vain but my feeling from the answer is that you maybe need to gradually pull your attention away from these incidents, step by step (46) Start small (46.2) maybe the next time it happens afterwards try to take your attention elsewhere to those situations where people give you positive feedback. There must be some area of your life where you're getting some positive feedback, not just on how you look but on your qualities and capabilities.

46.3 there's nothing there in this whole idea of ugliness. You think it's an ongoing thing but it isn't, it has deeper roots and I note the yang pattern is 18, yin pattern 17. I do think of your father and any incidents with him that have made you tune in so much to hurtful stuff from other men. This is not to say I don't believe you but I am wondering if these incidents are absolutely massive in your mind because of things people closer have said or done ? If you are still connecting with these people in your family perhaps you can't place all that on to them so it's going elsewhere, your self evaluation is being outsourced to some random dickheads on the street.

Line 6, keep on going and pushing upward through this.

Have you ever stopped to ask these men what they are doing and why ?

And finally you are not ugly.
 

radiofreewill

Senior member
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
435
Reaction score
8
Hi greenegrets,

"Why am I so ugly?"
46.2.3.6 to 23 ~ You are not your body, you are the Awareness of your body.

4TrueCompassion.jpg

You can get the same thrashing around in that washer machine with Vanity as you can with self-loathing ~ all you have to do is Believe that you "are" the stories that you repeatedly tell yourself?

The most important thing to realize, imho, is that this is something that you are doing to yourself electively?

You may have your reasons for feeling the way that you do (men react badly to me, I used to be pretty, etc, etc) ~ but, at the end of the self-talk you say to yourself, "It must be because I am ugly?"

So, ascend (46) by sacrificing the stories that you tell yourself (line 2) ~ stop telling yourself the stories ~ ascend on thru the empty ruins of Ego-city (line 3) ~ and stay with it through the darkness of not-knowing (line 6) until you climb out of the washer machine and into the witness position of your True Self.

3GraspingandDwelling.jpg

That's all you need to do in order to ride the wind of transcendence to a perfectly better place...and, you give this gift to yourself, too?

The pot of gold ~ your True Self ~ that will deliver you from the bondage of labels and appearances is inside you underneath the stories that you habitually tell yourself in the washer machine.

And, pretty or ugly, you are still Sovereign over your own awareness:

So, in the same way that you can tell/immerse/convince yourself 'I am my body' ~ you can also choose to simply be present to your experience ~ and 'Just Be' the Awareness of your body, instead?

My advice is to try this path of transcendence before accepting any other characterization of 'who' you really are ~ no matter whether that characterization comes from others, or yourself?

You sound like a beautiful person to me ~ :)

All Best!
 

greenegrets

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Dear legume, diamanda, Trojina and radiofreewill,

Thanks to all of you for your beautiful and thoughtful replies. They really moved me and gave me something to think about as I went about my day, more or less without headphones until I became very bored on public transportation, but I only listened to a podcast and not the white noise app I usually use to block out all sounds. I went to a museum - in a very heavily touristic area - then after watching the World Cup final went to buy some food and walked with a hunched posture and crossed arms (in my defense it was a little bit cold). Nothing happened all day until then, when a fully middle aged man mocked me, staring and hunching over more and more as he walked towards me, rocking his arms side to side as if with a baby. But I get made fun of when I dare to stand straight, too, like, how dare she.

I agree very much with developing confidence and self-worth independent of the form and ego, legume. It's difficult, though, not to extrapolate these situations. For example, I received some funding to do exactly what I wanted to do. Well, now I not only have agoraphobia that keeps me from doing what I wanted to, I also have imposter syndrome. (Yes, two voluntary, self-diagnosed pathologies that I am probably fit enough to overcome.) I thank you especially for reminding me that the opinions of some people - even if they now number in the hundreds - do not necessarily mean that everyone I see would say the same if they were unencumbered by politeness, and that it's not unlikely that I am projecting even more laughter/comments/noises/etc. are about me when maybe they aren't.

diamanda, I've only ever been called ugly in the UK twice, both by boys in school uniforms, so you might be onto something, though I was in London last week, and a man said, "heads up, slim," when I tried to do my usual thing of turning and looking down, which was oddly comforting. (Clearly my posture does have something to do with all this; I just get so many confusing messages about my body language that I don't know what to do. Really wish I'd done ballet or something.) But more importantly I feel your interpretation - making small sacrifices in how I live my life can really accelerate till there is nothing (I have sincerely debated whether it would be better to go out in the nighttime, or whether that would just attract more sociopaths) and then a collapse: I do often feel like I'm going mad from all this. Which isn't to say that I think I'm imagining most of it, anyway: it seems that the climate of misogyny (among other things) has really accelerated a lot, political decisions etc. being more symptom than catalyst.

Trojina, I do think that times are changing in this way, unfortunately - the comments section of the internet being extrapolated to general contempt towards strangers, maybe, especially those who won't fight back? Per Google, it seems to be happening more and more to/among young people. A part of me is really dying to ask these bullies why they say and do, but I also am afraid of them, even physically. You might be onto something with my dad, who's rather critical, and with loss: these incidents really accelerated after my last breakup; I was cheated on and didn't really feel valued, and then let myself be strung along for some time (yes; this is where my self-esteem is). And thank you for reassuring me that we are all beautiful.

radiofreewill, I agree very much with everything you said. I am not my body. I am not all the things I name.

I'll ask the I Ching the typical follow-up question: where now? 7.2 to 2

Which, to me, looks all right; it also seems to indicate maintaining responsible authority which echoes the confidence that you all spoke of. it's really hard though, when it's easier to slag yourself off.

Thanks so much to you all. I can't get the emojis to work (unless I'm surprised!) but big hugs.
 

liquidity

Senior member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
I’ve been completely alone for 2.5 years - some of this is due to moving a lot. In every single one of these places (i.e., several different countries), men loudly and clearly let me know how hideous I am, sometimes with words, but usually expressions of disgust: animal noises, blowing raspberries, vomiting noises, ew/ick.

It amazes me, how primal disgust is, i.e., all of the sounds are the same, on several continents. It happens every day, and I almost don’t want to leave the house. I try to protect myself when I remember, with headphones, turning away when I see a man, trying not to talk to men whenever possible, and so on. It breaks my heart, frankly, to be considered by so many people.

I guess it also stings because when I was very young, I was considered as “pretty” as I am ugly now, and hated that, too. (Be careful what you wish for, though I don’t remember wishing I was ugly.) In the mirror I see normal facial aging/slackening, I guess, and sadly I guess I look more like my father than mother now, when the inverse used to be true. I’m not even “old,” though I guess not particularly nubile, and quite skinny though no more so than I’ve ever been. In fact, being well into adulthood makes all of this even more bizarre and painful; instead of a group of schoolmates it seems literally to be the whole world.

Anyway, it’s really been breaking me down. I should be used to it by now, but it’s a devastating thing to hear almost daily for several years, everywhere. I’ve not only given up any hope on ever finding love, I feel like my face is actually offensive to others. We don’t live in a society, unfortunately, where I can cover my face (although I think I receive a little less harassment in winter, when I wear a long and heavy coat) and I don’t understand why so many men hate women so much, as if I’m capable of polluting their walk down the street, or wherever, especially since few of them are oil paintings.

So I let the I Ching answer my question: “Why am I so ugly?” in whatever way it wanted to and received 46.2.3.6, changing to 23.

Hexagram 46 seems to tell me just to get on with things, to do whatever I want. (Or, maybe, that the ugliness will progress.)
Line 2 says that I can find my aim with modest resources: maybe this means that I don’t have to be pretty?
Line 3 seems to suggest that this is a slightly meaningless - or at least directionless - question.
Line 6 very clearly suggests taking caution, which makes sense: strangers seem to be almost violent towards me, knocking me aside, walking into me, etc.
Hexagram 23 seems, again, to tell me to stop thinking about it, or perhaps that I’m ugly because there are too many disjoint elements (mental, physical, I don’t know).

Sorry if this seems like a vain question. I’ve long been a lurker on this board and think if someone received daily global harassment for some other reason, they’d get a bit of warmth, maybe.

Thanks. I hope to hear from you.
All I can say is to express my sympathy and suggest that some of this may be internal to your own mind. I know it may not be what you want to hear, but the voice calling you ugly may be coming from inside.

Have you ever considered good psychoanalytic psychotherapy? Google a "psychoanalytic insitute" in or near your country, and call them for a referral. Feel to reply here with your location if you want any help with that.

That may be what 46 is suggesting: in the light of what seems like a hopeless situation (23), take steps forward into or investigating that hopelessness.
 

moss elk

Senior member
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
2,204
Reaction score
21
What stands out to me is that something seems to be missing from this story:
the mention of the exact kinds of places where these things are occurring.

Where exactly did you walk into, where the man mocked you?
Certain types of characters that should be avoided whenever possible congregate in the same sort of places worldwide.... (men who stand on corners, Bars, near nightclubs...etc)

I will try to answer your reading like this: why does this happen?
Some people try to Build Themselves up (46), by Tearing others down(23).
 
Last edited:

oldwillow

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Hi greenegrets,
What a challenging situation. I'm going to go the other way in my interpretion, and go hard that way. That doesn't mean I disagree with what others say, just here is another possible way to look at it. Don't try to fix yourself (at least not at first). Don't pretend it isn't happening.

Why are you so ugly? Because patriarchy.

There is a story from the Arthurian cycles of Dame Ragnall. I've heard it told by the astrologer Caroline Casey - that's the source for this version.

Somehow, which I forget, Arthur has been given a year to answer the question, "What do women want?" If he doesn't give the correct answer something terrible will happen to him. So on the last day, he tries all the answers he's collected and they are all wrong. Then a really really ugly ugly woman rides into court, Dame Ragnall. She has teeth like yellow tusks and she smells like the sea at low tide. Among other things. She says she knows the answer. "Wonderful!" Arthur says, "what is it?"

Not so fast, she says. "If I give the correct answer that spares your life, then I wish to marry the handsomest man in court, Sir Gawain." Arthur says, no, well, nevermind then. But Gawain says, of course I will marry her to save your life. Arthur tries some more other answers and they are all still wrong, then he finally tries Dame Ragnall's: "Above all things, women desire sovereignty, for that is their liking and that is their most desire." And that is the correct answer, and he is spared.

Not end of story. Dame Ragnall wants a really big wedding, and at the reception feast she rips apart meat with her big ugly teeth and is generally foul and terrifying and funky as I recall. Poor Gawain everyone sighs. So they then retire for the evening. Dame Ragnall asks for a kiss. Summoning all his chivarly and kindness, Gawain says, "Nay, I will do more than kiss," and turns to look at her. She has turned into the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

Not end of story. She tells him that she is now by his kindness half released from a curse. "Here's what remains of the spell under which I am bound: I can be beautiful, as you see me, for only half the day - either alone with you at night, or in the court by day. Which would you prefer?" Gawain is SO torn... Finally, he says, "I couldn't possibly decide for you. You choose."

And Dame Ragnall laughs, "Ah, you have entirely released me. Now I shall be beautiful all the time."

You are called ugly because the key to love is sovereignty and self-possession, honored and freely offered by both parties. Patriarchy can't abide this. The way of freely giving is terrifying to those who think they can and must only take. The world of taking is tremendously terrified that it will crumble, and thus, all you experience. Perhaps you experience it more than most because of something you do to call the oppression down on you, but it is not fundamentally a mystery, or strange, or rare, it is one part of the through and through fabric of the way things are right now. To realize this helps immensely.

46.2 your integrity - your character. Bring the small offering. Meet the oppressor half way. He seeks to hurt you with his exclamation. Greet him with a smile and kindness. He does not know that you are the most beautiful woman in the world, if he were only to meet you correctly. That is his loss. This does not hurt you. Blame him not, blame yourself not, and the moment passes. You leave free, and patriarchy is subtly weakened because one, and maybe soon two, have withdrawn their complicity.

46.3 push into the empty city - all that fighting, where is the enemy? You say you are not your body - true, but you also are your body. When the enemy of the catcaller disappears, let also the enemy of yourself slagging yourself off disappear.

46.6 feel your way through dead dreams to another land - the path is obscure - none of us have been treading it for millennia now. Persevering may mean pushing forward, it may mean laying back. Think. Think and feel. Ask yourself a new question.

23 - splitting apart, ripe fruit. Currently you set yourself below the catcaller. If you counteract by setting yourself above the catcaller what happens? Perpetuate oppression. Those who are above can only maintain their position by giving generously to those below. It doesn't feel intuitive. But it is what made me say what I did for 46.2.
 

greenegrets

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks again for your notes!

liquidity, thankfully I live in one of the world’s foremost therapy cities and have just started to see someone who has been so far very helpful to me. We’ve been doing a lot of cognitive exercises, and perhaps also to moss elk’s point, to observe very clearly when these things are happening. This week I’ve been taking a slightly “experimental” approach, and have not been harassed very much as far as I can tell. Things that help are “dressing my age” (i.e., not sloppily), walking with a good posture and looking up and away instead of down and away if I *really* don’t want to make eye contact with someone. Having more positive thoughts than last week (i.e., not feeling as depressed) has helped as well - and, separately, having a greater sense of purpose with my work and the time spent in this city - but the most important is a kind of thought exercise, that the world is really like a vast sea in which many things are happening. Events have the meaning one assigns to them. I’m not ugly (because, frankly, no one is *that* ugly); they’re products of a fundamentally broken global society.

All of that being said, however, I’ve also thought a bit about what you said, oldwillow - I agree that the problem with anyone being considered “ugly” (perhaps men included) is the product of patriarchy and that the only solution to that, the only way to access real beauty is through the dignity of humanity, in sovereignty and self-possession. I must, however, disagree respectfully with the expression of this sovereignty, i.e., to smile at the perpetrator: this kind of advice has often been given especially in the Protestant world, and especially to women (especially-especially to lower-status women), to turn the other cheek and to maintain one’s dignity by smiling at the abuser. That is not, to me, giving freely. It would be unnatural to smile at misogyny, patriarchy and hate, as well as a violation of one’s own sovereignty. When I feel good I walk away (or if they say/do something really egregious, dumbfound them with something amusing) and pocket my smile.
 

liquidity

Senior member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Thanks again for your notes!

liquidity, thankfully I live in one of the world’s foremost therapy cities and have just started to see someone who has been so far very helpful to me. We’ve been doing a lot of cognitive exercises, and perhaps also to moss elk’s point, to observe very clearly when these things are happening. This week I’ve been taking a slightly “experimental” approach, and have not been harassed very much as far as I can tell. Things that help are “dressing my age” (i.e., not sloppily), walking with a good posture and looking up and away instead of down and away if I *really* don’t want to make eye contact with someone. Having more positive thoughts than last week (i.e., not feeling as depressed) has helped as well - and, separately, having a greater sense of purpose with my work and the time spent in this city - but the most important is a kind of thought exercise, that the world is really like a vast sea in which many things are happening. Events have the meaning one assigns to them. I’m not ugly (because, frankly, no one is *that* ugly); they’re products of a fundamentally broken global society.
Wonderful. So happy that you are doing this for yourself.
 

legume

Senior member
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
134
Reaction score
6
I must, however, disagree respectfully with the expression of this sovereignty, i.e., to smile at the perpetrator: this kind of advice has often been given especially in the Protestant world, and especially to women (especially-especially to lower-status women), to turn the other cheek and to maintain one’s dignity by smiling at the abuser. That is not, to me, giving freely. It would be unnatural to smile at misogyny, patriarchy and hate, as well as a violation of one’s own sovereignty. When I feel good I walk away (or if they say/do something really egregious, dumbfound them with something amusing) and pocket my smile.
SO many times i've been told by people to smile more! :rant: there's a song with very fitting lyrics to sum up my thoughts and feelings about this, though it's a tad cynical and grunge might not be everybody's cup of tea... there were times when my reaction would be to just give that person a "look" (apparently i have a certain ability to communicate strong messages without words or even hands) while other times, i couldn't help but genuinely laugh at such request.

i guess the advice to approach others "with a smile and kindness" generally works, but not sure it's to do with 46.2. don't know if in this scenario anyone would set forth to meet their "oppressor" half way, on the other hand even this could be somewhat understood as the steps towards self-recovery (actually by starting paying more attention to form, i.e. clothing and posture, in effect that is also the process of turning the attention back to oneself). but on the note of happiness and sovereignty, in my view, the whole point or the trick is in finding that happiness within, without depending on others. easier said than done, but under some circumstances totally achievable - and then it seems only natural to greet the whole world with kindness, as the perspective shifts on its own. from my experience, in moments like this i could realise that workers on the street or other random people telling me to turn my frown upside down weren't any oppressors, they were most likely simply seeing another human in distress and reacted to what they saw in ways available to them...

thank you for the update and glad to hear things are looking better! :)
 

greenegrets

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks. I guess when I said that women shouldn’t be advised necessarily to smile, I meant in response to active hostility, like being spit on or receiving vomiting noises or obscenities shouted in your face. It’s annoying to be told to smile - such things happened to me when I was younger - but that’s not what I was referring to.

Just now, as if to put me in my place, after a frankly pretty good day (people were nice to me, including men!), I got a bit lost in the city I lived in (still relatively new) and took a very wrong turn. I ended up in a deindustrialized area (thinking of moss elk’s comment), and there was no way back except to turn around, so I did. It was a very long way back to anywhere that would help me get home, and by the time I crossed a bridge, I felt scared and nervous. It was dark out. A man, with a foreign accent, in the local language, shouted, “You’re ugly!” as I walked by. It’s funny: I don’t actually know what he could have seen. It was dark out. Maybe my hair was a bit flat. Certainly I looked away as he approached.

But I think a lot of the responses - and I guess what I’ve been processing - point to the same thing: calling someone ugly really doesn’t mean much of anything. It’s a way to assert power and hate and to make vulnerable people feel bad. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t hurt; I’m not going to laugh in its face; I’m not going to smile and bless it. It’s just the sea.
 

diamanda

Senior member
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
2,505
Reaction score
1
Smiling at an abuser or turning the other cheek are both very bad advice. If someone is sick enough in their head to call you ugly in the street, then don't engage with their sickness.
 

greenegrets

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks, diamanda. I agree. What happened also reminded me of what you said, of walking through the empty city in the dark and the dangers that follow.
 

oldwillow

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Thanks greenegrets, your point is well taken and important. I think what I was reaching for was more in the spirit of your alternative ("dumbfound them with something amusing"), and it's what came to me as a possible way to interpret "bring the small offering," but you're completely right, what I said is also classic oppressive advice.
 

Clarity,
Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
London.
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).

Top