Irredeemable? Endeavor’s arc from the perspective of an abuse survivor.

Well, I’m back with the anime topics.

I watched episode 2 of MHA Season 5 yesterday (I’m not a premium member, that stuff is expensive) and I assume anyone who cares about spoilers will have watched it already, if not, don’t read this post.

My Hero Academia Reveals the Public's Response to Endeavor and Dabi

So, the fandom has known for a while that Endeavor is getting a redemption arc, and it started last season anyway, but this season has finally caught up to the manga enough to really get into it, and the outrage was predictable.

I can’t believe how often I see this not just in for this fandom, but for Webtoon fandoms (Webtoon comics have to be the abuse capital of fictional venues, every freaking story has an abusive, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex, or in one case, sibling. I thought anime was bad, but it’s even worse.)

I am often surprised by how unforgiving people are, and how easily they let their emotions be manipulated, in fandoms.

Naruto icons »🍜 - ¡Itachi! ♡ | Personagens de anime, Personagens naruto  shippuden, Desenhos de anime

Exhibit A: Itachi from Naruto, kills entire clan save for his brother, including babies and elderly people and his own girlfriend, leaves village. Pins whole thing on Sasuke not being strong enough to stop him, later uses his hypnotic power to make Sasuke relieve his trauma until his mind actually shorts out, and then fights Sasuke 3 years later, saying he will steal his eyes, then dies because he exhausts himself. Later he is reanimated, and gaslights the crap out of Sasuke because other people as well as himself claim it was all done out of “love.”

Based on what I just described (which is the literal events of the show, and not an exaggerated fan rant) Itachi is an S-class abuser such as you rarely meet in real life, and it’s terrifying when you do.

You know what this jacked up fandom says about him? “Oh, I wish I could be a brother like Itachi.” “Itachi is such a good brother, protecting Sasuke.”

I wanted to throw up, and it’s not like these fans are being ironic, they put this on freaking inspirational GIFS.

Even if by some twisted stretch of the imagination, Itachi did love Sasuke in his own psychotic way, he’s a terrible person. He committed Genocide because he was too much of a sheep to stand up to Leaf, and he didn’t shed a single tear over it (until the retcon anyway).

I was amazed that out of all the villains to redeem, the writer chose easily one of the most evil people in anime, but even analysts who’s opinions I generally respect have bought into it. I’m confused by how the show has manipulated people so much into calling evil good.

The power of anime and its emotional flashbacks and reframing of villains into tragic anti-heores. We can never just call it evil.

Exhibit B: We have Endeavor, or Enji Todoroki. He’s a pretty bad guy, I won’t deny it. Smacked his wife around for disagreeing with him. Drove one son out of his home (it’s still unclear whether it was his choice or the son’s) and pushed Shoto way too hard in training. He’s also just unpleasant to pretty much everyone.

However… Endeavor was never shown to be cruel or unprincipled completely. He is never shown to be psychotic. His abuse comes form anger issues and not liking his worldview questioned. It’s notable that he doesn’t abuse Shoto for talking back to him however, in the future, which indicate to me that he already began to understand that it was going to far to do that.

Endeavor is not a good person, but is he straight up evil? No.

People are hating on his redemption arc to a concerning degree, and I wanted to address it, as someone who’s been abused, and has perhaps an inside perspective on it.

It wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge that they are right about one thing, abuse is inexcusable.

When I explain the reasons why Endeavor did it, it’s not to say that gave him an excuse. That’s not the point. The point is that abusers are some of the hardest people to change, in life, even in Christianity, the most life changing religion, abusers lurk and cover their sins with false spiritualism, that it can take a very perceptive person to see through, and not all Christians have that gift (we are just humans with different weakness, after all)

Different types of abusers:

To properly understand how to judge Endeavor, you have to know that people are abusive for different reasons.

  • 1. There are some people who are abusive without meaning to be. They act off what they were taught, and no one ever told them it was wrong. These people can often learn very quickly if they make friends with others who actually confront the behavior. Provided they are not too bitter to listen. I don’t even call these people abusers properly because for them it’s not a power trip, it’s just a habit. And they’re whole identity isn’t tied to maintaining it.
  • 2. People who are abusive in order to stay in power. This may be the most common form of abuse. Someone will use brute force and violence to get their way because they don’t have the maturity or humility to talk it out and admit it if they are wrong. This person has massive insecurities and usually needs to deal with those before they can change their behavior.

3. The psychotic abuser: This is the worst kind. The person who is twisted enough to enjoy getting the reaction they do. Scarily, even playground bullying can run dangerously close to this, but when bullying has merged with an even bigger amount of control and sway over others, and close emotional bonds with them, it becomes abuse. This abuser is cruel, merciless, and will gaslight the victim so they can keep the cycle going.

My dad is a number 3 mixed with a number 2. He wasn’t very violent, as most of you know, but when nothing else would serve, he’d become aggressive. Then he would play the victim and say you left him no choice. I detest number 3.

I detest number 2 also, but I’ll tell you, it scares me way less.

I might have to worry about being punched by a 2, but, I don’t need to worry that they’ll keep kicking me once I’m beaten and humiliate me just for the fun of it, once I stop bothering them, they have no interest in hurting me more. They’re a bully, but they aren’t a psycho.

I shouldn’t have to put up with either, but if I had to pick who’s more likely to realize the error of theirs ways; I’d pick a 2.

A 3 likes being the way they are too much to change most of the time, the only way is if they lose all ability to get what they want by being that way, then they have to reevaluate. But thanks to the toxic circle of people they surround themselves with, it’s rare for them to be left that way.

When it comes to deciding if Endeavor’s redemption make sense, we have to decide which group he is in. So let’s look at the facts:

We know from the show (what most of us have to go on) and from what I hear from manga readers that Endeavor

  1. Hit his wife when she crossed him.
  2. Pushed his sons too far in training
  3. Refused to listen to reason
  4. Put wife in mental hospital after she snapped completely and burnt his son’s face
  5. Refers to Shoto as his “masterpiece” or “creation” at least in the 2nd season.

All this is pretty bad. But what no one ever talks about is the more interesting things Endeavor actually does, which one wouldn’t normally expect.

  1. Though he hit Rei for crossing him, we are not shown him hitting her at any other time. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but he also does not keep beating her once she’s down, which a more textbook abuser would have done.
  2. He pushed Shoto in training, but we are never shown or told that he beat him at any time. Pushing him so hard is a form of abuse, but it’s one that has nuances, exactly at what point it became too far would be hard for someone like Endeavor to say. No doubt he pushes himself just as hard and feels it’s not wrong.
  3. When Shoto tells him bluntly that he will not do as he says, Endeavor doesn’t react like an abuser. He tells Shoto it will not work, but leaves him alone after that. Basically waiting for him to try and fail first. An level 3 abuser would have used manipulation to try to get his compliance.
  4. When Shoto blames Endeavor for what his mom did, Endeavor makes no attempt to squash his rebellion, instead, he seems to take it seriously. Also not textbook abuser behavior.
  5. Endeavor does isolate Shoto from his siblings, but does not isolate him from his friends. When Shoto pushes him, he doesn’t double down on his controlling, he actually allows Shoto to do pretty much as he wishes.
  6. Finally, Endeavor is never shown guilting Shoto for failing later in the show, if he did it before, it seems he may have realized his mistake. He only ever shows concern for him. True he embarrasses him at the remedial course, but it’s not done in the spirit of guilt.

Does this make him a good parent? No. But you have to understand, I’ve lived it, and it would have been nice to see my Dad do any of these things. That never happened for me. If I saw even this much of a chance of redemption for my dad’s behavior, I would not have blocked his number and cut off contact with him. Because you can reason with someone who can do all that, but not with someone who only uses you for their own benefit and then discards you.

Granted, Endeavor did do that with his other children, but he doesn’t abuse them in other ways, so it makes him more negligent than abusive. Negligent is more understandable.

What I think makes the show writing brilliant is that Endeavor’s redeeming qualities, such as they are, were not all introduced in season 4 and 5, as early as season 2 he demonstrated better characteristics than just his past self would have led us to believe. To me that indicated he’d already begun to question his past.

In a strange way, I got the impression Endeavor actually respects Shoto because he is tough and still stands up to him, though it annoys him, he kind of likes the little punk. Evidenced in season 2’s Stain Arc, before the redemption arc officially began for Endeavor, Shoto still asks his Dad for help, and to my amazement, Endeavor complies without even giving Shoto any crap for it later. And he doesn’t downplay what Shoto tells him, as soon as his son says it’s important, he sends back up after him. We never see him scold Shoto later for acting rashly.

This is season 2, the same season we even learned what an ass Endeavor was to begin with, and yet we already are shown some actually decent aspects of his personality. he’s doesn’t screw around with saving people, even if he’s very stiff about it. And he takes Shoto seriously, even if he doesn’t understand him.

I don’t say any of this because I like Endeavor, I actually don’t really like him. I don’t think I need to like him to judge him fairly, I just need to be… well, fair.

Let’s talk for a minute about Rei.

Pin on Todoroki Family

Really, Rei is the only reason that I even consider Endeavor abusive at all, as I wouldn’t say what he did to Shoto was abuse, at least in his own eyes, and would be hard to pinpoint like I said. But it’s not okay to beat your wife.

I can’t excuse it either.

But, there is no going back, I always say, there is only going forward.

Ignoring what Endeavor did in the past, what did he do later? Does he act sorry? And is his regret believable? Let’s look at it.

Fans seem to ingore two things when they accuse this Redemption of being too rushed.

  1. Endeavor has had 8-10 years of watching Shoto be miserable in order to rethink his actions.
  2. Rei is not compeltely innoncent here.

It’s not the 1900s okay. If your hsuband is beating you, you can leave.

Now hear me out before you say “No! She couldn’t leave! He’d never have let her.”

If Endeavor really cared about it, he would have put more effort into keeping the family together. I honestly think he wouldn’t have chased Rei down had she just down as she said to her mom and “run away from this life.” He could have hushed up the whole thing, and let her live on her own. I think he would have, she was just an annoyance to him anyway, after all.

Even if not, she could have tried it first.

Yes, she was terrified. But, the guy was not manipulative, we never saw him threaten her, nor does he threaten Shoto, so I assume, he doesn’t threaten people that often.

That tells me a lot of what Rei feared from him was in her own head.

I’m not saying that makes it not his fault. I feared stuff form my dad that he never did, because once you feel unsafe around someone, you imagine they could do anything to you. They’ll turn everyone against you.

It’s terrible to be trapped in your own mind like that.

But, to be honest, not all of that can be pinned on Endeavor.

I can’t victim blame here, but being unstable isn’t just something you can blame solely on one person. Even if you are mistreated, you can control your response, you can seek help. You can do something to save your sanity before it gets to a snapping point. That was what I did. I escaped before I went crazy because I knew what would happen if I didn’t.

Rei is not to blame for Endeavor betting her, but what she did to Shoto was her fault. I’m sorry if that bothers someone to hear, but it is.

You cannot excuse psychotic behavior on “She was driven crazy by Endeavor.”

It’s a lot of pressure to be with someone you’re afraid of. But, when you start projecting that on others, like your own children, you’ve crossed a line. If you now you’re doing that, then, you need to get out. Run away. Turn yourself in. Do something. Don’t wait to snap and hurt someone.

Am I the only one who got the uncomfortable impression Rei hurt Shoto partly so Endeavor would get rid of her? Does she really seem unhappy with the results?

As terrible as it is, her level of remorse just does not match the situation. She seems relieved to be out of there, and hesitant to talk to him. I mean, if she wanted to apologize to Shoto, she could have sent him a note via his siblings, she could have told him it wasn’t his fault, and not to hate himself…something. Not that it would have made a difference, but the effort could have been there.

Shoto believed he would only cause her pain by visiting her, and that in some way, he needed forgiveness for never doing that.

I’m sorry, but the 6-8 year old needs forgiveness for being terrified to go see the mom who burned half his face?

It’s interesting, that Shoto is actually way more traumatized by his mother than his father. It always hurts more to be betrayed by the person you trust. He blames Endeavor of that…but who does he feel safe acting out on? Who does he actually go to for help?

He may not like it, but he knows in a strange way, he can count on his Dad, and he can’t on his mom. And before someone says that’s because she’s locked up, do you really think it would be any different if she was free and just lived somewhere else? No. It wouldn’t.

She will always be the fragile one, in his mind.

And, hey, that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s not her fault really, but it’s not Endeavor’s fault either.

Rei was clearly unstable before she married him. We can assume her family life wasn’t too great if they were willing to sell her to Endeavor to be his baby mama. Heck, for all we know, Endeavor initially might have treated her better, until she was no longer of use. It seems like they didn’t have as many problems in the past.

I love Shoto, but he is a bit naive if he thinks his dad started all of this. You can bet Rei brought plenty of trust issues into this partnership that didn’t get helped by Endeavor, but didn’t start with him either.

Rei went off the deep end because she lacked the mental strength to get herself out of the situation, and to not project Endeavor onto her children, and that is just not fair to them.

My issue is that people ignore this. Endeavor gets crap for abusing his wife, but Rei gets not lame at all for literally scarring her son, and giving him the guilt of thinking he was like his dad for years.

Give the woman credit, she also taught Shoto to be true to himself. He should be grateful to her for that. And she’s trying her best.

But, one can’t get away from it. She gave up. She didn’t carry it to the end. She let herself lose her grip until she hurt him.

When she burned Shoto, it wasn’t because she thought he was Endeavor. It was because in a crazy moment, she thought it was the only way to protect herself.

And I’m sorry, but Endeavor was completely right to put her in that hospital. I notice no one ever says anything about that, but…what else would you do? A wild animal has to be confined too if they lash out at innocent people, and if a person become like that, what else can we do? She’s not safe for anyone to be around who’s not a professional.

Endeavor says he put her there because she hurt Shoto, but she could easily have hurt his siblings too, and even Enji himself, if he was caught off guard. What if she threw water at whoever walked through that door?

Why it’s personal

The reason this matters to me so much is because I’ve been Shoto before.

At first, when my dad moved out, I thought I could blame the entire situation on him. That would be simple.

But I soon realized my mom had plenty of problems of her own. Not all of which I could pin on him. She had them for decades before she knew him. My dad was drawn to her because like attracts like.

My mom could also be cruel to me, and inconsiderate. Some things I still cannot believe she said to me. I think she treated my badly because she couldn’t take it out on my dad, so she projected onto me.

Like Shoto, I got the idea that I was a monster from my mom, almost more than my dad. From both, really. What do you do when one parent accuses you and the other just tells you where you could do better?

I am not being hard on Rei because I am angry at my mom, though no doubt, some frustration is part of it. But because, I know the importance of being honest. both parents are at fault.

An abuser can’t abuse without an enabler, usually.

Endeavor was a crap husband, but putting Rei in the hospital was the right thing for her, and for the kids, sadly. Even if it feels cheap that he was the one who did it.

But, moving on from that time, it seems he began to see Shoto’s point.

I don’t agree that Endeavor made Rei hurt Shoto. I might excuse her hurting Endeavor himself on the grounds of self defense because she snapped, but not Shoto. Nor do I think she can get off just because she went crazy. Clearly she had some idea of why she did it and could have acted differently prior to that.

The worst of it would be if she ever admits that one day… because, I’ve had people tell me to my face that they knew what they did to be was wrong… and they still did it in that moment because they were too scared to do anything else. But that fear was their problem, not mine. I just paid for it.

Look, people, either we take responsibility for our own actions, or we don’t. If we say a victim has no responsibility, then everyone who makes themselves a victim will get away with literal murder. And, why do you think that mentality is so popular now? People love getting away with their crap.

I confront people and expect them to take ownership of their actions, and they usually blame me for them. Like I made them do what they did, sheesh. I did’t force your to do or say anything, I didn’t even tell you to do it, you just did it. How’s it my fault?

It’s not Shoto’s fault either. And, it’s not Endeavor’s. He didn’t threaten Rei to do what she did, if anything, hurting Shoto should have been something she was afraid to do because it would anger him.

That proves to me that she knew, somehow, what would happen. And she chose it.

It’s ugly, but it’s human nature… I wish it wasn’t. I wish we all could be noble enough not to hurt each other just to save ourselves.

Enji and Rei are both jacked up, that’s for sure.

But, Enji has had time to reflect on his actions, and he’s realizing that he got nothing he wanted the right way. I actually buy it. I think getting the No#1 spot in a away that he didn’t want would make him question whether he got anything in a way he should have. One epiphany can lead to another, you know. That’s how it is for me.

And realizing now that he is number one, he can’t maintain All Might’s rapport, it’s exactly what would show him his character deficiencies. Plus, Shoto is a constant visible reminder to him of his failures.

I think it’s to Endeavor’s credit that he doesn’t resent Shoto for this at all. Instead, he’s admitting it was his fault. That he doesn’t deserve what he has, and he needs to change.

He’s as clumsy at it as most people are when they try to change and it seems people are not willing to give him any leeway at all.

I know Natsuo is hurt and all, and I can understand him, but, the fans? Not so much.

I mean, it’s like you expect 20 years of dysfunction to just go away in 2 months. Endeavor’s heart may be changing, but he has no idea how to act, how to be, no one showed him how. And Shoto and Fuyumi are the only ones even willing to acknowledge he’s trying at all; and Rei herself, perhaps.

I actually feel bad for Endeavor now. I had to change once (and still do) I used to be mean too. I remember how little encouragement got from anyone. Instead, I got constant criticism from my parents.

I know it’s hard to change, and when people refuse to let your past mistakes go, it’s even harder. It takes character to decide to change even when people think you ca’t.

But when you truly have repented, you know you have to change, or case to be.

When God got a hold of my heart, there was no going back for me, I was going to become a godly person if it was the last thing I did. So I studied, and worked at it, and swallowed my pride.

8 years later, I live in the fruit of that. I’m not perfect, but I can control my temper, act with maturity, and forgive people much more quickly than I used to. I love not being ashamed of myself anymore.

And, if Endeavor were a real person, I’d root for him all the way. Believe me when I say this people. I am not kidding. Real or imaginary, I don’t care. I judge them the same way. If he’s legit about this, I’m all for it.

And I hope to goodness, that there are people like Endeavor out there, realizing that abuse is wrong, and changing. We don’t her enough about ti.

The abuse cases make the news, the cases where someone changed never do. They don’t make the surveys either. But, it happens.

And you see, no matter how rare it is, if it happens at all, then I owe it to people to believe it can happen for them, until they prove otherwise. I owe everyone the benefit of the doubt. Some might have said I would never change, (actually, I think , my dad did say that), but I did.

Endeavor’s redemption arc is actually really good. The events leading up to it make perfect sense to me. I consider the Todoroki family to be the best written aspect of the show, along with Bakugo’s character development. The author shines in interpersonal drama, much more than he does on plot. That’s what drew me in, for crying out loud. Shoto Todoroki’s story is why I got hooked on this show to being with.

This post ran really long, so I think I should end it here.

What about you? I don’t know if you were at all interested in this debate or just clicked out of curiosity, but did it make you see a little differently? Just curious.

Thanks for reading, until next time–Stay honest, Natasha.

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New Life, New Season

I suppose it’s unchristian not to do a post about Easter… have I ever done one before?

This may not be the most conventional subject for an Easter post, but I was thinking today about some of my old posts. Back from 2015 and 2016.

I wrote one post about how much I didn’t like being wrong. This was not long after I started my blog, probably just a couple months. Nothing has changed, I still hate being wrong.

Being wrong and surviving

And I wrote another post about forgiveness, at this time I was about 16 or 17, I’d say. I know it was before I moved.

At the time, my dad was still at home of course, and would be for a few more years, and he was as awful as usual, though at that time we interacted less, he was addicted to video games and unless I interfered with that, or was working with him to earn money, we hardly spoke.

By then I was already reading books about healing and coming to realize just how much pain I had from him and my mom. This is an except from a post I wrote at the time.

Then

Letting it go-from another angle.

“Forgiving is hard. Yet, I wonder why? We all make mistakes and so why are we so hard on each other for making them? Maybe we want to see a fairness in others that we don’t possess in ourselves.

Let me be clear; by forgiving I don’t mean letting people get away with serious wrong doing. Nor do I mean living in a sort of denial that the damage other people’s words do to you, is not that bad. It is actually much worse than most of us know. Forgiveness is actually acknowledging they did wrong and letting it go. In the words of Stasi Eldredge “It was wrong, very wrong, and I release you.”

Forgiveness is actually more for us than the offenders… Emotionally most of us have probably heard about the necessity of forgiveness. When you hold on to the actions of another, you build them into your brain. I don’t mean in a mind control sense. But when you hate someone you obsess over them, you think of them and the things they’ve said and done to you; if it’s someone close to you then you struggle with not having their approval on your life even as you despise their opinion. You feel indifferent to their pain and even glad when they suffer. You say you’ll forget them but you can’t, because you can’t let what they’ve done go. If you don’t remember who will? It won’t matter to anyone. And that is what scares us, that our pain won’t make a difference in anything. That we ourselves don’t matter. These people who hurt us were right about us then. The emotional and mental damage this does to us couldn’t be fully disclosed if we took hours and hours to talk about it. To not forgive is to agree with the people who hurt us and to sink to their level at the same time.

That is why the first step toward forgiving is admitting it was wrong and you were damaged. A lot of people don’t get this far. They won’t admit their weakness. Or in some cases they will only admit their weakness but never that they can overcome it. They wallow in their pain all their lives…

So, if you are willing to take step one and admit you have been hurt–bad (And someone may be thinking “I can so do that.” Well hold on.) What is step two? It varies. It may involve crying your heart out. Grieving the wound the Eldredges call it. (I highly recommend their books Wild at Heart or Captivating for more detail on this very important part.) In my own journey of forgiving, I cried several times; I shared my pain with trusted people–but don’t do it with the person who hurt you, that was always a disaster–I prayed about it. To which I attribute all progress I made. Pain can be scary because it is so deep. Sometimes we wish we’d left it alone in apathy and numbness. But really that’s even more frightening.

After sadness, or sometimes before it, will come anger. More anger. And fear. Here we face yet another choice, we can press on, releasing the anger and fear, or we can let it drive us back. At this point you will not feel like forgiving, nor will you feel like the person deserves it, it will be purely a choice. I suggest writing it down. Saying it. “I choose to forgive (insert their name).'”

Now

Now that I know so much more than I did then about the situation, this level of grace on my part astounds me. Yet, I know it wasn’t me, I wan’t that wise, I was simply following what my teachers taught me, I always did have that childlike faith.

Actually for some context, (sorry for burdening you with my dark past), at the time I was attending a very toxic church– not by choice, my father forced us all to go. I hated it. “

Well they hounded us from the pulpit about forgiveness and how unforgiveness would land us in hell.

I don’t disagree, the Bible is pretty clear about that… but this church took it to an extreme that ignored that real damage other people’s sins did to you. No talk of therapy, no talk of long term healing.. I ‘m not sure the idea of emotional healing was ever introduced. I know plenty of the parishioners had family issues.

My dad would repeat all this at home, expressing fears over himself not making it, and praying that we all would. His fear scared me, I would not have felt dubious about my own salvation, but he constantly introduced doubt. Small wonder I still struggle with it.

I’m not naturally much of a doubter, not anymore, but it seems sown into me. Popping up when I least want it to.

My dad also found testimonies on the internet about people who’d been to hell and back, or saw visions, and warned about unforgiveness.

I cannot say how much of it was true, all I know is the Bible has no stories of any Christian visiting hell and coming back, and no precedent for it, though heaven is permitted we know from Paul and John. Perhaps hell is not impossible, though no one would like it, but at the very least, many of the testimonies were too much like Dante’s Inferno, a human’s explanation of what hell would be like, and I am skeptical hell could make any more sense to us than Heaven, and no human would come up with what the Bible says about Heaven (read Ezekiel sometime)

That’s not really the point. I have to thank my dad in a way, that is what pushed me to salvation, finally. One has to learned to be thankful for what good did come of anything in our crappy past, though once I felt offended at the very idea. And I wouldn’t take kindly to anyone else telling me that, since they’d be dismissing what I went through.

No, my dad did a few things for me, though not really out of kindness in this case, it stands more to God’s power that the fear and doubt of those years actually led to something good for me, God truly can make goodness out of anything.

My dad also read the post I quoted above. Which I wrote with him in mind. I heard him talk to my mom about it while he was reading it. I remember what he said, I may never forget it:

“I was reading (my name)’s post… I can’t imagine who (she) could know that would have hurt her so badly.”

In said post, I wrote how talking to the person who hurt you did no good… thanks Dad, for proving me right.

I really didn’t want him to read my post, and wished my mom would have stopped him, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. I think that was one of the last times he read my blog at all. I know he doesn’t now, he’d not like what I write about him, I’d be sure to hear about it.

Now, I no longer think that telling someone they hurt you does no good, if they are a mature person who truly loves you. Or even immature, but not toxic (it’s not the same thing, after all), but I was right not to tell him.

Years later, probably a year before he moved out, my dad also said in one family meeting that he got a sense that I had very low self worth, and he prayed for me about it.

I was aware enough by then to be thinking “Thanks Dad, who do you think gave me low self worth”

Wasn’t you treating my like dirt my whole life, neglecting me, abusing my emotions, telling me I was responsible for all your problems.

Now, this is not a post just for me to whine about my life.

But, we’re talking about rebirth today.

I’m starting to, like Paul, boast in my weakness. If I can take pride in nothing else, I can take pride that I have this terrible story (though it wasn’t all terrible), and I still held onto my faith.

There are man things I am still waintg for, the fullr edmeption of my past, the full meaning of why it happened t o me. A chance to tell more peopel my story. I aprpeciate ou 220 or so followers, but IW ant to reach even more peopel, more and more.

I haven’t to dlit all here, some things I did not even realzie were significant until later. soem thing sId id not feel comfortable sharing yet.

What can I say about this trial that other, wiser, better peopel have not alread siad? All I jave if my own story.

I can tell you that I’ve never heard of anyone else doing what I did, reading the books, pupmping thmselves full of self-help, roads to healing, seeking and seeking and seeking.

It was terrible to go through that dark time last year when I feared all that was for nothing, I invented years of my life in healing, and I though I ended up just as screwed up anyway.

While no amount of reading could have prepared m for the shock of getting out of abuse, it did give me something to fall back on. I took the leadership role in my family in my dad’s absence. Not fully, perhaps, but as the other dominant personality, it just happened naturally.

I felt I had to protect them, that since I hatched the plan to get rid of him, I had to make sure they were okay.

It’s been a blow to crumble as much as I did, and not be able to work steadily either, but I had to let go of the idea that everything is my responsibility.

When my dad left, I got my life back.

Really, I was getting it back every time I wrote those posts like the ones above, that I was basing off my real efforts in prayer and self reflection. My dad put all that venom into my brain, and I spat it all out through prayer, tears, songs, and resolutions.

5 years later or so, I still do that. Thouh I make less resolutions, I’ve learned to be suspisonv of those.

While I was still deeply damaged by my dad, the way I handled it back then, by God’s leading, has gotten the poison out of the wound, so it could heal, and I’ve haled faster than I thought I would.

I still have bad days, today even, doubt assaulted me again, even in Church, but I didn’t give way to it like I sued to, I do not know when I will stop being tempted, but I am a lot stronger now.

I gained back the weight I lost too. I’m walking straighter than I ever have, and I have less stiffness and back pain.

My chiropractor tells me I will be a new person when the treatment is finally completed. It’s taken 3 times as long as I wanted to see results, but God never promised it would be done when I wanted, just that it would happen.

I eat more now too. I think I eat more now than before all this happened since I’ve learned when I feel bad, I’m usulaly hungry and low on calroies, not sick.

My gaggin epidose have been over for proably 5 months or more now.

New year, new me, is what I said when 2021 started.

But when I look back at those old posts, and remember how I was then, and see that my heart was more pure than I thought, and that I was trying my best to obey God, as I always have… I think, I’m also just ht old me.

Somehow, my dad never dseprtryon who I am. Though he treid. Somehow, I kept waht I wanted in mind. I’ve never waved for long on what I want.

I want to have a great ministry.

I want to write great books

I want a great marriage

I want many children.

Whether all that comes in the form of adoption, or whatever I end up dong, and travel, or staying home, I don’t care as much as I used to, I know that all this must be part of me for a reason. I was born wanting those things. Except writing, that came once I knew I could do it, but I was always a storyteller even before that.

For ears I eceived little t ono enocuagemanet form anyone about these deams, but I didn’t lose them. That’s a mircale, from what I hear form others, pretty much everyone loses their fdreams as they grow up. To raitne then till you’e 22 is rare. Bt hte ime I’m 30, it’ll be a minoritiy.

I have a feeling I will still wan the same thing at 30 as I do now, only hopefully, I’ll have some of it by then.

I’m a girl from a toxic, abusive family, I’m not supposed to be the statistic that gets a good marriage, and becomes a good parent.

I’m the one who got told she was wrong, and criticized for everything, I’m not supposed to succeed at my talents.

I’m the one who had someone sow doubt into me a lot, I’m not supposed to have a good ministry.

Well, flip all that, God is the God of the unexpected.

Sure, right now, I have small blog, smaller YouTube Channel, and only a couple short published books on kindle that no one reads. I’m not in a lot of ministry, and I’m at a point in life where it feels no one sees all that much in me.

Perfect time to be suddenly launched into something unexpected, God has a pattern, but He’s not predictable.

I don’t know what will happen in the next 5 years, but I haven’t waited all this time for nothing, I’m sure of that.

New Life means Old things getting a new vitality, and new things springing up. Jesus coming back to life didn’t just give us His old life back, it gave us an entirely new kind of man, as C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity.

An odd hybrid between the Divine and the mortal, that is what we are. One that you won’t find anywhere else in heaven or on earth, and how can I say what the purpose of it is?

John said “It is not yet revealed what we will be, but we know that when He is revealed, we will be like Him.” (1 John 3:2)

As I’ve come out of my depression and anxiety, they’ve begun to make less and less sense to me, I no longer understand the logic behind them. I am sure, that is God.

To be sure, I’m still tempted at times, and I won’t say I have the cure all for either of those two problems, since the path I walked had to be for me personally, and my fears, but some stuff overlaps in our lives.

I can’t even be certain I’ll never have another time of my life where I feel this way, though I can’t picture it fooling me ever again. Feelings are not the same as mindsets.

I do think some changes will last.

Someday, I hope, God will give me the words to describe what happened to other people. Just now, I am still too much in the process to explain it, and I’ve noted others don’t really understand me if I try.

But someday, surely, I will be able to look back and see it clearly. Hindsight is 20-20. (That’d be a good blog post title)

I get it, some of you are still in the darkness. I hope some of you have begun to see light.

If you wait long enough for something, with God, it will happen. Or something better will.

God showed me that, actually, one time I was talking to Him, and He brought it to my attention that if I just waited long enough something was bound to change, no state of being is permanent for a human.

We hate being told it’s just a phase, but everything is a phase. The Bible calls it a “Season”

I don’t know if any angry teen or young adult will read this, but if you’ve heard those words “it’s just a phase” I know, it’s annoying, but, take it from me, you’ll want to believe that. All pain can pass. Even the worst and deepest kinds.

And while I was not assaulted with what humanity considers the worse crimes, I’d venture to say I knew that deep pain as much as the next person. I take things very seriously.

At least I could not lie to myself that way. God made me this way for a reason. If I could be blind, like others, I might still be in that situation.

One thing I kept saying to my sister was this “No pit is so deep that He is not Deeper Still” (Betsie Ten Boom).

Well, I tink that is enough for today. Thank you for reading, and have a great day

Until next time–Natasha.

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Coming Up

Y’all might be wondering how my recovery process is going… okay, you probably don’t actually wonder that, but you might not be adverse to hearing about it right?

Well, actually, these last couple months, I’ve been doing really well. My life coach has been very helpful, mostly she helps me realize I already know the answer, I just need to believe that I do, and that God has given me the key.

I actually had a brief bout with nausea that was the worst I’ve had in a while, but it lasted probably just 20 minutes or so, and I was able to stay much calmer than I used to and help it get lighter instead of stressing myself into feeling sicker than before. Mostly, I catch it before it gets bad now, but even so, now that I know it usually passes quickly, I’m less scared of it.

I feel fine most days. Though with the Summer heat coming, I may have to take more steps to stay cool if I want to avoid that heat exhaustion.

My mental problems are also at a new low for the last year. I really can’t believe how bad it was not that long ago, it seems foreign to me now. I’ve always come out of these periods, since becoming a Christian, after a year or less. Usually less.

I never came out of it when I wasn’t a Christian fully, I had better and worse times, but fear plagued me constantly back then, whether there was a trigger or not. Christianity works for me because that fact that I’ve known freedom at all is something I didn’t really have before. Something important to remind yourself of if you go through hard times again as a believer.

I’ve realized too that the person I a has never really changed, she just went into hiding for a while, only occasionally showing herself, now, I see her a lot more often. I needed to believe she was real in order to be her.

You have to believe in your own healing, in the healing that has already taken place, in order to keep healing.

If you live your life as if you are still hurt, even once you’ve healed, then you might as well still be hurt. That applies to physical and emotional injuries too.

I suppose it’s about time I mentioned that my step-grandmother’s memorial is this month.

I plan to go, but would you believe that my aunt has already been trying to get in some emotional manipulation on my sister over it. It’s so nuts.

I now my dad will be there, likely as not, and I am trying to prepare for it. I don’t know that’ll I’ll share my strategies here until after the fact, if they don’t work, I don’t want to take the chance anyone will emulate me, but I think they will.

However, someone in my position might wonder what the prospect of facing my abuser in person again feels like.

I’m not looking forward to it, but I am not utterly terrified.

It’s because my circumstances are a little different than one would normally have with a violent person.

My dad is aggressive, but he’s not generally the type to lash out in public at someone without provocation, and he would not be able to seriously injure me at a gathering like this without someone stepping in, because too many people would be there. He would not like to lose face, he’s never hurt me that badly, physically. My feelings were always more bruised than my actual body.

Some might not even call it abuse, but I call it that because of he power struggle and attitude involved, and the roughness of how he did it.

I don’t use the word abuse lightly, however. I see it all the time, people call stuff abuse that I don’t think should be called that. Abuse has a particular feel of powerlessness on the victim’s part, and sick satisfaction mixed with excuses on the abuser’s part. It’s more than temper, thought hat is part of it, it’s to break you, make you submit, feel like trash.

I mean, what’s abuse to one person isn’t to another, sometimes, but that’s a very vague line.

I guess what I mean is, sarcastic comments are abuse to some people, but to others it’s normal banter, and I don’ think victims should impose their standard on people who see it as a way to bond, the tone and timing will tell you whether it’s destructive or not. Someone should always back off if you make it clear you are seriously uncomfortable, but if you know yourself, and know you feel weird only because of past experience, and that this person in particular is not actually trying to hurt you, it’s also good to try to grow thicker skin. We have to heal from both directions, insider and out.

For me, a little light shoving isn’t abuse. I knew when my dad was being rough, I know when my siblings are being playful. I can compartmentalize.

I realize I am lucky to be able to do this so easily, at least in some areas, though not all. I am far more sensitive to verbal stuff.

I got into another work situation where I feel disrespected and criticized unfairly, and blamed for what is not my fault. I wonder why I keep doing this… and then my sisters stores of working at a sandwich shop tell me I actually ain’t even seen it all.

Seriously, I get people telling me I should work on my babysitting skills, she gets people telling her she’s got no idea what she’s doing. Whose job is worse? Well, it’s income.

We both like what we do anyone, but nothing is ever a positive experience 100% of the time, that’s not realistic.

Notably, this time, I am handling it differently. I’ve always been bolder that my sisters anyway, I stand up for myself. But I used to do it immaturely by getting really defensive and rude. Now I choose my words more carefully.

My dad responds to criticism by getting defensive and losing his temper, that’s not how I wanted to be, but I couldn’t go the route of my mom and just never stand up for myself at all. I literally can’t, I think I’m incapable… trying was excruciating, and I failed.

So, with no role model here, I’ve had to learn by trial and error, but I’m starting to get better. I try to acknowledge people may have a slight point, or grievance, but I refuse to let myself be belittled.

I had a mom tell me today that at my age (22) I may just lack the experience to understand how to take care of a 5 month old, and how a mother feels.

I asked her “How many kids do you have?”

This is her first. She’s 30..

I’ve been in childcare for 15 years. Paid and unpaid, private and in groups, doing int alone, and doing it helping adults. I have two younger siblings I’ve had to be basically a surrogate mom to for several years, at least in some areas. I have two cousins I provide love, attention, and mentoring too. I have taught Sunday school for over 6 years.

I looked at her and I said “I understand you are his mom, but I will not let my years of experience be disrespected just because I am a little younger than you and your other nanny.”

Where does this lady get off? Sure, she’s his mom, but this is her first kid, having a kid doesn’t automatically mean you understand child reading, as I think the loads of messed up kids form broken homes is proof of. I’m 8 years younger than her, so what? She didn’t give me any prior experience she had with children.

The amount of disrespect nannies get is unreal. We take care of children, the most precious things anyone has, and we get treated like barely above slaves with no rights to opinion, no better qualifications, and no right to complain if someone is literally filming us why we are doing our job, without our consent.

Isn’t that illegal in other circumstances? Sheesh.

And yeas, the nanny cam is real. Some people think it’s myth, nope, I’ve worked for two or more families at least with one. And one family just straight up spied on me with their friends. They told me this to my face.

Well, it would take a whole other post to list all my negative experience babysitting, but it has been a great trial by fire for seeing how well I can get past my issues.

If you have low self worth and want to get over it, there’s really nothing like having someone treat you like an appliance in their house and getting frustrated over it to push you to stand up for yourself. Seriously, if you aren’t annoyed, it’s probably just reinforcing your problems, not helping you grow, get out of that job.

But for learning self control, self assurance, and what you actually want, nannying has it’s benefits.

Back to the prospect of seeing my dad again…

I am nervous about it, but I’ve learned that if I acknowledge that, and decide before hand what to do, it doesn’t often turn into panic… actually, it never turns into panic.

That may not work for everyone, but I am a more confident person in areas that aren’t related to abuse, so channeling that towards he areas that are is mostly a matter of self control and prayer for me.

I also have learned not to overestimate myself. I should try to face my dad alone. I need other people around. I shouldn’t treat myself like I’m expendable and can carry the weight of everyone else’s problems by taking his crap.

While it would be theoretically cathartic to tell my dad off in person, I don’t expect it to happen.

At most, I think, I could tell him to leave me alone, that I won’t be engaging with him, and this day is about Grammy, not him.

Now, my aunt once tried this when her son died, my cousin, and my dad completely ignored her, so I don’t expect that to work.

But I have a few back up plans. It’d be really satisfying to just say: “Look, I already know what you’re going to say, and you’re going to be abusive, and manipulative, and there’s nothing you can say that will alter my opinion of you, and no apology you make will convince me you are sincere, and nothing you can say will make me feel guilty or bad for you. You abused me, end of story. Deal with that reality, or stay out of mine.”

I’d never get to finish that speech, even if it’d work. But it’s fun to fantasize about it.

The reality is, it’s best to just avoid talking to him. He will probably try to talk to me, unless he gets some idea of proving he doesn’t need me by refusing to talk, e might say “I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable” Which is a lie. He would only do it to show how innocent he is to the family, if we were alone, he wouldn’t hesitate, so I will have to take great care never to be alone where he can see me.

It’d be best to have another man around I can trust, as my dad will be more bold with women watching than men, I think, he can be a bit sexist.

Anyway, those are my basic ideas. But the rest will have to wait till after the fact to see if it worked.

Many victims remain oblivious to what their abuser will do to them, as long as they are locked i the cycle. There is strong deception associated with abuse, the perps lie, the victim believe them because otherwise they would despair.

Once you get out, mentally, not just physically, you start to see through it all, and you can predict their tricks. Then you can prepare for it.

I have picked up this stuff quickly due to be observant by nature, and I had to manage my dad for years before I finally got away from him. I know that I cannot win with him expect by not playing his game, he cannot stand that.

I also now that truth is powerful, but it must be worded carefully.

Pro tips for anyone consider in confronting their abuser:

Don’t try to be nice. Don’t try to be subtle, don’t be vague.

Don’t do it at all if you think they still have power over you, and don’t do it alone. Don’t do it in private either, they can hurt you if you do. Others should be able to see you, even if they can’t hear you. I’m not at therapist, this to me is just common sense.

Don’t confront them expecting to change them. It should be either to establish a boundary, or for closure. They aren’t going to change.

Don’t expect them to take it with any degree of dignigity.

You can expect immature jabs, passive aggressive digs, angry outbursts, accusations, or self righteous “I was only trying to…” statements.

I would say not to dignify any of that with even acknowledging it, say what you must, don’t change it no matter what they say. They won’t listen, but you need to know you were able to say it.

This is all assuming it’s the right time and right kind of situation for this to be appropriate. Some people should never confront their abuser, or go near them again.

I will have to do it sooner or alter, or else act like a pariah in my own family, and not all of them are bad people, so I prefer to make realistic plans for how to deal with it.

But some will not have the luxury of any family they can risk seeing again, and there’s no shame in admitting that and deciding not to see them again.

If it helps anyone else, these two passages have really helped allay any guilt I feel over not seeing my toxic relatives:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.” (Psalm 45:10-11)

The Bible is so kind to people who have toxic relatives. Jacob is told to flee his brother who is plotting to kill him. Joseph is put in a position of power over his brothers who sold him into slavery. Tamar is given justice for Judah holding out on her. The list goes on.

Contrary to what may Christians think, it is not Christian to stay with an abusive person. Especially if that hinders your walk with God. Plenty of Christians left their families and went on their own to serve God. It is Christian to be single, it is Christian to marry and have children. Paul says we should turn people who refuse to live in a godly manner in the church out.

He also says church member should be kind to their family, and if they are not, they should not be in authority, maybe they are even false, if we follow his logic.

When my life coach pointed out this simple fact, that my dad was deceiving us into thinking he was devout when he was really not acting at all like a believer, it was a game changer for me.

Suddenly I felt hte fiel of not haivng to call what my dad did “trying to be a good chritian ” anymore, he was not trying, he was whining. There’s a huge difference.

Who knew, I was lcoser to God when I stopped playing alon eiwht his chruch, his prayers, his devotions, becaue the fakeness isckened me too much. AS a churhc girl, It hought It hsould like all those things mroe, but the duplicity was too much.

I now hate hypocrisy more than almost any other vice. I can’t claim I am never hypocritical, but I try not to be.

One other big change: I am starting to really believe that I am Allowed to have a happy life.

Whooo! Somebody get excited with me right now!

Maybe it’s okay to like myself. Maybe I don’t need to punish myself anymore. Maybe my anxiety isn’t permanent.

Some of you are afraid to believe that.

There are a few rare cases where someone has something their whole life in order to learn patience.

But I don’t think God would command us to be anxious for nothing, if most of us were not supposed to be completely free from anxiety.

In fact, that verse makes me think anxiety is not one of those life long struggles we are supposed to have.

We cannot force ourselves not to be anxious, but we can learn to stop ourselves from becoming anxious. The Bible said that thousands of years ago.

Perfect Love casts out fear.

I don’t feel full of love all the time, but I Know God loves me, I believe, it, I remind myself of it, and I don’t need to feel it for it to cast out my fear, I just need to now it.

You see, God’s love is so powerful, even the knowledge of it crushes fear, and the feeling of it makes you forget suffering period. I don’t feel it as often as I’d like, but I also don’t need to, knowing it’s there, behind everything, gives me hope.

“And now abide, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

I hope this post encouraged you, until next time, stay honest–Natasha

How to suffer gracefully

I found this post on under-reconstuction.com and I really liked it, you all should check this blog out if you like my recovery posts.

Under Reconstruction

When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.

Blessed Sebastian Valfrè

I came across the above quote a few years ago, while recovering from a depressive episode, and was at once bewitched. Those words by a seventeenth-century Italian Catholic priest presented to me a refreshing angle from which to view my own struggles. If one could suffer “badly”, as Valfrè wrote, then conversely one could sufferwell. But how?

That was the question buzzing in my subconscious when, as my friends went around the table sharing our new year resolutions, I’d said, “Honestly, I just want to learn to live a little more gracefully.” The year was 2017, and I was entering into the second half of my twenties feeling rather battered. By then, four years had passed since the first mental…

View original post 1,432 more words

What women from Ocean’s 8 want

Sorry, it’s been a while, but I had a project I was rushing to finish on a deadline, and I had to spend all my spare time on that, I even strained my eyes and hands from spending so much time typing.

That said, I have a bit of a different topic for you all, just a break from the anime and life stories I’ve been mostly doing.

I want to talk about two movies I watched in the last month for the first time. “What Women Want” (original with Mel Gibson) and “Ocean’s 8.”

Now, at first glance, you may say, these two movies have absolutely nothing in common.

But I would make the argument, they both have one thing in common: Unintentionally sexist writing.

I will give the screenwriters the benefit of the doubt, I think “What Women Want” Was really intended to be a good movie, and actually, I don’t have an issue with how women were portrayed in the movie. I thought it did a good job of making us human, but not perfect.

I did have an issue with how men were portrayed, however.

I don’t know why it is, but any time a movie decides to focus on one gender, they tend to make the other one look bad, or oversimplified.

I won’t bash on this movie too much, I really liked Mel Gibson’s acting in it, and his change in the movie made sense, but, it seems a little odd to me how there was no other male character int eh movie that was at all nice to women, respectful of women, or a decent human being. Not one that was focused on, anyway. all the men seemed wiling to take advantage of women whenever they could.

Now, some cynical woman is going to say “And so? That’s how men are.”

If you just thought that, than may I ask you, the sexist, to please leave the site… just kidding, you can stick around I want you to read this.

And actually, before some man goes off about feminists, guess who I’ve hear the most male sexism from in my life? Other men.

My father used to tell me regularly that men were “pigs” that they would take advantage of girls any chance they got (in so many words), and wouldn’t mind if a random woman came up and kissed them out of nowhere (implying consent for men is no big deal), and, my favorite item, that men weren’t hard to please, just “feed us, love us, and leave us alone.” Meaning, cook, sex and affection, and never nag about anything.

Yep, that’s all it takes girls, hope you’re taking notes. Men aren’t complicated at all.

Ironically, my dad is a far more complicated person than that, who I later realized is just impossible to please period, and doesn’t follow his own rules for male bliss.

He also made fun of me for trying to understand men and husbands more (yes, this all has a point to my main subject, I know I tend to go off into anecdotes).

Geez, y’all men should be thankful a girl like me took time, on purpose, to learn more about men. I wish men would do that about women, actually, I know a lot of them have, just not the ones I’ve met.

Come to think of it, I basically wanted what Nick wants, to get to know how men think. And, I can say, I haven’t figured it out yet, no matter how much I studied it. In fact, based on books, I don’t see any gaping difference between how men and women think. Anime can often show this, ironically, by making women the snippy, violent characters, and men the sniveling, meek wimps. Anime is famously sexist too.

Not that there’s anything empowering about a violent woman, Naruto is proof of that, I’d say the best females on that show are the less violent ones.

But seriously, the differences between how we think are not that significant. Do more women like to cook and garden then men? I can’t tell you statistically. Do more women care about relationships than men? Probable, but there are thousands of male counselors out there, and men who write books about love. One I read religiously for a while was “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Which is one of the most unhelpful books about relationships there is in my collection, but it’s not useless for understanding yourself and others better even so.

Nick trying to understand women by hearing their thoughts isn’t helpful, because even if by some miracle you could understand every women around you, you would understand women in general any better. People cannot be generalization just by the random thoughts in their head. Two thoughts can be in different people’s heads, meaning two different things.

I’m glad I read, or my idea of men would be really skewed. As it is, I’m sure I’ll spend years of dating and marriage realizing how different men can be.

Of course, the ideas I got from books were not always helpful. I remember one in particularly “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” I read it a bunch of times, and this book essentially blamed women for most of the problems in relationships, told them “They have the power” and that their husbands would “walk through fire to get them a quart of cookie dough ice cream.” I found this intriguing, but it didn’t seem to match up with my father. Who once threw a fit about dropping me off at school when it was a 15 minute drive, just because he had finished working already… or was it the bus stop, a 3 minute drive? Doesn’t matter, he would have either way.

My dad never helped me with anything unless it was related to his livelihood, unless we begged him to over and over, and not always then. He is one of the most selfish people I know. But women, of course, are the ones in charge.

That’s all bull hockey, and the author of this book was a woman, to make matters worse, with a talk show. She seemed to be completely unaware that abuse, manipulation, gas-lighting, and toxicity are a thing for men too. A little sex and less nagging aren’t going to fix that.

There are some marriages a little sex and more kindness would probably help, but if it needs to be “Fixed” that’s not going to do it.

To get back to the movie, having all this in the back of my mind, I rather thought the movie did not go far enough.

Some women are not nice. I get that the writers were probably trying to be nice to us, and goodness knows, if the move portrayed our thoughts the way they really are, the feminists would have jumped on it (I suspect they still would anyway)

It’s not a huge complaint, it’s just that he movie could have had more depth if Mel’s character met some nasty women too that he had to deal with, or else just be shocked by. Women are not inherently less selfish or self centered than men are.

And what’s funny is that the behavior Mel exhibits, using women, ignoring their needs, is exactly what I saw from my father, and the women being above that is what I have striven to be, and seen in other women, so why of all things would I complain ti was unrealistic?

Because, I myself have to choose, consciously, not to broad brush men, and not to assume all women will always be nicer.

I’ve been exploited by many men (not sexually, thank goodness, but in other ways) but I’ve been exploited by just as many women. And sometimes with more of a fury. Given the choice being a narcissistic man and a woman, I think the man may be easier to tolerate, if only because they usually walk away from you, while women can try to tear you down. But that’s a generalization, and men do that too. We’re always only going to be talking about what the majority it prone to, but the majority is going to depend a lot on where you live and who you attract.

See, it doesn’t actually make women look good, to make men look bad. If anything, I always end up wondering after watching a movie or reading a book with this slant “geez, why do women even put up with men if this is how they get treated?” And with the book I mentioned before, I wondered what possessed men to marry women who treated them like this. My dad’s ever helpful response? “Sex. Most men wont’ care, as long as she’s attractive.”

Wow….just wow….

Well, I used to believe that. And it may be true, many men don’t care. Those men are idiots. And have low self esteem.

It’s my dream to see men stand up for themselves a little more. I want to be sick when I see men taking womens’ crap by apologizing on behalf of their sex for what some jackasses do. I’m like “dude, if you didn’t do it, don’t even being it up to me. It’s more insulting to me that you feel the need to do that, than that it happens.”

And women who bring up what other men do, to assign blame to perfectly innocent men, disgust me. But I won’t apologize for them to you, and, if a man were to expect me to, I’d put him firmly in his place. But no man has ever been sexist to me, except my own father. So… yeah…

I think the movie actually came to the basic conclusion I have though, that a man will never understand every woman, because women don’t understand themselves, or each other, any more than men do. Men don’t understand themselves or each other either.

And I can understand people better than the average person thanks to my empathic abilities, and I still don’t understand them, really. Even if you know how people basically feel, you won’t know what they will do because of that.

But you don’t need to understand women, totally, to be able to care about them and what they want, and isn’t that the real goal?

Before I get back into this, let’s talk about thew other movie, that’ll round out my point. “

So, “Ocean’s 8” the unspectacular female spin off of the Oceans movies. I don’t have any issue with it in of itself, it was unremarkable, but enjoyable enough if you like heist films, and the actresses were not grating, but should have had more time to act together and be their quirky selves, instead of the 2 dimensional characters they were.

But it occurred to me after watching it, that, there really is nothing at all about it to make it unique. It’s just, 8 women, instead of however many men it happened to be in the other films. Big whoop.

Aside from throwing in some more female stuff like:

dealing with kids

betrayed by your love interest

not having enough female friends

….?

None of these women were especially bad in any other ways other than their particular crimes, which was interesting from a moral standpoint, but rather redundant from a character standpoint.

The movie was relying on star power to make people watch it, which is why I did, but with all that talent, why not do something more creative?

The simple answer is, it’s just another female empowerment movie because a female version of everything has to exist.

No thought it put into what would suit the actresses best, show off their talent the most, and make the most sense for a story centered around them.

And forgive me for saying so but that seems inherently far more sexist than just saying 8 women wouldn’t pull of a heist.

Have 8 women ever pulled off a heist without any men involved except as pawns? Go ahead, look it up, I’d like to know.

Have 8 women every done anything remarkable in history, for that matter, that involved crime?

If it’s happened, it’s not well known enough for a history over like me to have heard of it, and that’s already kind of telling. If there was a true story of this nature, it would have been made into a movie already.

No, even if you make the argument it must have happened at least once in thousands of years, it won’t do much for the movie industry, since they can’t find it.

So, that said…. why limit the characters so much. This is just Hollywood using these talented women to roll in the cash for a “feminist’ movie, and using them to make money instead of to make a good, well balanced movie, is very sexist. As well as giving them no complex thoughts in the movie.

Excuse me if I think a movie about women showing off their talents at hacking, and inventing tools, and scamming people is not exactly making us look deep, or layered. What about philosophy?

Name the last “female empowerment” movie you saw that talked about the philosophy of a women in it? Go ahead, try.

They all have women who tell off men, care a whole lot about promoting women’s rights, and who wear heels…

Yeah, so all powerful women care about is ourselves? Great message, Hollywood.

And it’s completely untrue. Great women, in real life, often have very deep philosophies, wisdom, and practicality. Often our greatest talents is knowing how to get people to do what we want, not whine about it being unfair. Look deep into the life of any capable, impactful woman, see if I’m wrong.

That’s because we’re people. Who, shock! Actually care about others other than ourselves. Imagine that.

(A much better movie is the Harriet one that came out, that hardly anyone seems to have remembered. Based on my own studies, it was quite accurate in many ways, and didn’t lionize Harriet at all. It made her awesome, but still human. Great story.)

Not to mention, you lose the heart of the original.

Do men make movies about other men to exclude women? I know some SJWs actually believe that, they’ve been fed the idea that patriarchal values dictate our society, and all men are actively or subconsciously trying to suppress women.

Geez, the world forbid a man make a movie about things other men and himself are interested in, because he knows thy are, and he wants to make a movie about it without worrying about political savvy.

Some men like including female characters, others don’t. It annoys me when a show lacks female leads, but guess what I do then, I don’t watch it! Why should I?

And why do I need to care? If I can admit that I only want to watch shows that have women in them, regardless of plot, then…well… that’s kind of sexist, isn’t it? At least, it would sound sexist if a man said it right?

See, me enjoying My Little Pony a female dominated show, is fine. But if a man wants to watch an old male dominated show, then he’s a sexist. Id on’t get it. If he wants to watch men, then fine.

Some men like it if ther’es women on the show too, not all of them for reasons I really agree with. Is a sexual deviatn less of a sexist because he watches a show only if it has hot female characters on it?

No.

Really, writers should be allowed to tell the story they want to tell, regardless of whether they sue men or women to tell it. And while I don’t gravitate towards male dominated stories, I do read them. And I enjoy them. Am I going to get mad at J. R. R. Tolkien because there’s only a few women in LOTR? Am I gong to get mad at Charles Dickens because most of his MCs are men, and the girls ones often die off? (So do the boys).

I guess Ic ould, but it kind of misses the pont of the story doesn’ it?

When we make everything about gender, we destroy any deeper meaning, any actual art. And, at times, I am tempted to think that is what they really want.

If the SJWs and media can keep us fighting about stuff that we will never achieve, like gender equality, (it is truly impossible to make men and women equal, biology itself won’t let us dot hat), Then we’ll stop talking about things like love, honor, respect, truth, self sacrifice, courage, persistence, the things we used to make movies about. And male centered stories used to be some of the best about that.

Call me crazy but I really don’t care whether it’s a man or woman telling me, if it’s true. And I don’t intend to go easy on a liar just because they share my gender. If anything, that’s more insulting to me, if it means people will assume I agree with her.

But I’ll wait till doomsday if I wait for the entertainment industry to stop stereotyping, exploiting, and pitting us against each other, so this is not an indictment against Hollywood. I’m not gong to waste my time doing that.

Instead, I appeal to the viewers.

I’m sure most of you don’t like these slants anymore than I do, but it can be hard to explain why. How do you explain this kind of subtle sexism? Especially if it felt unintentional?

I had someone ask me on YouTube, how they could make a male or female character feel male or female. How do they get that real feeling to it.

My advice to them? Don’t try to make them male or female. I don’t believe that gender is unimportant to life, but to writing, it’s a huge mistake to try to write a character to be manly or feminine. Unless you are doing it ironically. You will not be able to avoid making them too superficial.

See, only God has ever been able to nail making male and female things without some impediment to His imagination because of limited experience.

I can’t write men perfectly because I have not met every man int eh world. What is distinctly masculine? I don’t know. It changes every few decades, doesn’t it? Men have an essence, not a singular personality trait, anyone who seriously they do is an idiot.

Women are the same. We have an essence, but not singular characteristic. Is tea drinking and dresses really universally female? No, even looking at different cultures that becomes obvious.

Being a mother is feminine, because a man can’t be a mother. But a man can have motherly traits, if you think that nurturing trait belongs more to mothers than fathers, I really don’t. You see how it works? You have to start with the assumption that something is a masculine or feminine trait before you can say a character is masculine or feminine for having it.

Lifting weights, it’s manly right?

So women never lift weights. And women never should. Or they can, but it will always be more manly than feminine….why? Why does it matter?

And dresses are feminine, so men can not wear robes, though for centuries, they did… and was it feminine then?

Okay, what about traits of personality?

Men are… unemotional, right? So, all the poets, writers, and unstable men of history just weren’t manly… because we all know, women spend more time making poetry, books, and losing their cool than men do…. right?

Women are… petty? Because we all now women spend far more time stabbing each other int the back over nothing, ignoring the bigger picture, and getting revenge than men do. And the ones who didn’t do that… as in most of the respected women of society, were just not feminine…

Yeah, see how stupid it sounds when you really think about it?

What makes someone seem like a woman or man is something impossible to pin point, you will never succeed, the closest anyone has gotten is in pinpoint what we desire, which does seem to be the biggest difference between us.

We all want love, but men and women do tend to want it in different ways. Women tend to want to feel safe and secure with men, men tend to want to feel they can count on women to believe in them. Even that has nuance to it, in some people it is almost unrecognizable, and other authors beside me have described it better.

But my point is, we can’t put each other into these stupid little boxes. If I try to do that to my husband, I am sure it will end terribly, because he can fit into the box my dad gave me. And I can’t fit into a box either.

I like crowns and sparkles, I also like physical combat more than most men I know, and enjoy doing dark emo looks for videos, and most of the time, I really don’t think about what I do being feminine or masculine.

Of course, some standards are good. I’m not against ladylike behavior. I just think it should be part of your character, not dictating what hobbies you have. You can be ladylike punching someone in boxing, and you can be crass while having a tea party. It’s all on the inside.

And man can be gentile whether he’s an accountant or a soldier or a plumber. If it’s a real gentlemen, you really own’t care anymore what he is. Some men render cleaning pipes a noble act, some men render saving your life a disagreeable experience (bad doctors, anyone?) it depends.

So, I guess, my conclusion is, we should be more fair… and we should stop being ashamed of who we are.

This feminist slant has humiliated women as well as men. We should just respect each other, and stop fanning the flames of hatred. As that underrated show “Girl Meets World” tied to demonstrate in the “Girl Meets STEM” episode.

There’s much more to this subject than I can cover in one post, but I hope this was some food for thought.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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MHA Analysis: The Concept of Rational Deception

Diving into more CeCe (or morallygrayismyfavoritecolor) inspired analysis of the show and concept of MHA.

Actually, I have to thank a lot of of UA tik tok people for bringing up excellent points in their satire, and compliment them, it’s not a venue I’d normally look for profundity in.

I could probably have made this into a therapy post of Aizawa, but as it extends to so many more characters, as well as anime in general, I think that’d be limiting. So, let’s go.

We’ve probably all heard, if we live in an English speaking country, the proverb “Honesty is the Best Policy”

I am sure there are variations of it in pretty much every culture too. Here’s a handful of them I found:

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” –Thomas Jefferson

Every lie is two lies, the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.” —Robert Brault 

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” 
― 
Spencer Johnson

Honesty is the best policy.If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.”
William Shakespeare

Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” 
― 
James E Faust

No legacy is so rich as honesty.” William ShakespeareAll’s Well That Ends Well

It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.” 
― 
Rick RiordanThe Red Pyramid

When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.” 
–Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

I like that last one especially. I believe people are born with certain rights, not just life, liberity, and happiness, but also the right to know the truth.

So, I guess I could frame this as a debate between yours truly, and the UA staff (as well as other teachers) about whether the continued practice of lying to students, or at the very least concealing part of the truth, is truly a wise idea.

Even though I will be using fictional examples, thousands of parents, teachers, and leader regularly lie to their kids and followers in real life, and there are even whole books you can find that justify this approach, I believe Machiavelli even talks about it, so nothing I bring up is not going to have its parallel in real life, in fact, I bet some of you reading have been lied to quite a lot by authority figures.

My personal experience is, I’ve been lied to by both my parents, though lying was always strictly punished in our house as one of the most serious offenses, my dad has lied about me, and they both have gone back on promises they claimed to have forgotten or else decided to ignore. It’s not quite the same as UA’s approach, but it is dishonestly of a severe nature.

There, now that I’ve justified writing yet another post about MHA, let’s do this:

Starting with my premise that people are born with the right to the truth, let’s put that up against the premise assumed by UA and every other teacher (the ones on Naruto are full of examples of this) that truth is often too dangerous to be entrusted to students.

Is there any basis for either premise?

I’ll start with the opposition to my point:

There are times when truth is dangerous, it can’t be denied. If we make total honesty at all times our rule, we’ll compromise every war in history, several covert ops, and many brave people who’ve ever protected information under torture or duress.

There’s an Aesop’s fable that comes to mind here, The Fox and the Woodcutter.

“A Fox having been hunted hard, and run a long chase, saw a Countryman at work in a wood, and begged him to help him to some hiding-place. The man said he might go into his cottage, which was close by. He was no sooner in, than the Huntsmen came up. “Have you seen a Fox pass this way?” said they. The Countryman said “No,” but pointed at the same time towards the place where the Fox lay. The Huntsmen did not take the hint, however, and made off again at full speed. The Fox, who had seen all that took place through a chink in the wall, thereupon came out, and was walking away without a word. “Why, how now?” said the man; “haven’t you the manners to thank your host before you go?” “Yes, yes,” said the Fox; “if you had been as honest with your finger as you were with your tongue, I shouldn’t have gone without saying good-bye.

I used to not get this story at all, how is it honest to lie? But later I understood that loyalty is also a kind of honesty, and sometimes must trump telling the truth to someone’s enemy.

There is a philopshy that says that you can forfeit your basc rights by doing evil, so your enemy can forfeit his right to the truth, by being your enemy. Trying to kill someone who has not harmed you, for examople, forfeits yoru right to their honesty.

The Bible does not openly endorse lying in this case, but there are a few times, when David is running away from King Saul, and Rahab is hiding the spies, where lying is sued to protect God’s chosen people, who are alos innocent, and it is not condemned, at least.

I suppose God prefers total honesty, but will not always pusih lying to save someone’s life, which is about theo nly time I think it is accepatbe.

There’s another side to it, I read in “The Hiding Place” that Corrie Ten Boom’s sister told the truth about a jew she was hiding, getting her arrested, but her sister was confident God would honor her honesty, the jew later was rescued and gotten to safety. Corrie is amazed by her sister’s faith, and it’s being justified.

Corrie herself lied while doing underground work, and felt it was all right. God clearly honored her work for His people.

So, my answer is: listen to your own conscience, at times the reason you do something, and whether you have faith in God either to lie or to be honest, is more important.

But in cases where lying is just covering up stuff you’d prefer people not know, but it’s not morally wrong to tell them, you have a very different story.

I might not quibble with UA not disclosing that they suspect a traitor to the students, since if one of the students is the traitor, that could be dangerous to do, and if the students turn on each other, that is also dangerous.

I will give due credit to Aizawa for being honest during the camp attack, since it saved the kids’ lives, and kind of reminds me of what Mrs. Incredible tells her kids in “The Incredibles”.

But what about in regular training when Aizawa uses his signature “rational deception” or “logical ruse” depending on whether you watch sub or dub (not sure why they changed it, actually, what’s the difference?)

Aizawa says he will expel them, or keep them out of camp, etc, if they don’t accomplish certain things. It often seems like he uses “rational deception” as a cover for changing his mind. I guess changing your mind as a teacher must be frowned upon in Japan or something, since I’ve never seen it happen.

The logic behind all this is that the students (or people in general) will perform better if they think the stakes are higher, and so keeping them in a perpetual state of thinking that is the most effective way to train them.

Some people go along with this way of thinking, and will defend it on the gournds that “it’s more realistic that way.”

However, one might ask if that is really true.

Training someone to be in constant fear of failure and dire conseuences does not actually simulate real life very well.

There are some things you can’t mess up in life, surgery, taxes, moral choices, etc. But there are other things like forgetting to lock your car, or tripping, or saying something dumb, that are going to happen, no matter how smart you are.

I’m a pretty intelligent person, and I tried to schedule an interview for during my class time two days ago, so I would know, even I can do dumb crap sometimes.

And most of the time, the absolute worst thing isn’t going to happen, you aren’t going to be disgraced forever for a mistake.

There are people who will make you feel like that, Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada” is an example of that kind of person who messes with your head, but a healthy person would know to dismiss that as unfair.

What you are far more likely to get, by constantly putting students in fear of terrible consequences, is people who cannot let stuff go, cannot laugh off any situation to de-stress from it, and cannot be lenient with others who make mistakes. People who will always try hard, but will probably make mistakes because they are so desperate to win that they forego commonsense.

Which is exactly what Class 1-A has become like, ironically.

There are some short term benefits from the methodically that might make it look like a good idea, and I should be fair and talk about those:

So, as Aizawa points out, the class is ready for challenges. They learn not to hesitate, though he admits that’s from being attacked by villains, not from his teaching.

What they learn form the logical ruse stuff is never to take any teaching experience at face value, there will always be a twist.

However, I’d argue they are not anymore prepared for the future by this approach.

How exactly does knowing you could be deceived at any time prepare you to meet expectations? If expectations are never what you are told, does that mean that you know how to meet them? How the heck would you know that?

It’s like, being lied to constantly doesn’t give you the ability to discern the truth. In fact, it might just teach you to mistrust it when you actually hear it (as in the Webtoon I wrote about the other month, Exploring the importance of truth with the Purple Hyacinth).

Also, how do lies prepare you for the real world?

Isn’t it imperative to know the facts? To know what is real out there?

The students clearly have trust issues. They ignore their teachers constantly, and while they get scolded, it doesn’t seem to leave a lasting impression, even on Momo, the most scholarly one. Of course, that is because they never really know what’s going on, or what is true.

What if the hardest thing to believe, in real life, is that there is no twist? No fourth act reversal, no anime backstory trigger to defeat the villain or inspire the hero, what if this is just the way it is.

It hits home for me to think about that.

For years living in abuse (which bears many similarities to the teaching style of anime, even the better ones), I was convinced there was a twist. There was something I could do to make it better, to fix it.

Over time I learned what every anime good person learns, not to step out of line or make waves, just be as invisible as possible.

My father gave up on love a long time ago, as he told me, really. But I didn’t know it wasn’t my fault, I thought if I was a different kind of person, it would be okay. If I was like my sisters.

Turns out the very obstinacy I have been born with and unable to get rid of (I don’t know a way to get rid of obstinacy, really, because to break any habit, you have to be obstinate, kind of an exercise in futility) ended up being the salvation of us all from the situation itself. I carried my point. My dad told me I had won. He thought that would bother me, I just said “okay.”

And then he said “F— you” that’s a direct quote.

That hurt a lot, but I felt less bad than you might think, because somehow, I knew this was how it had to be.

In anime, and Japan, I’m guessing as a whole, they rank students. What this means is that there is no tie for first, there is no equality, it is always a hierarchy. I can’t say for sure there are never exceptions to this, but there have been none on any show I’ve seen except MHA, and that was tie for third place in a sports festival where there was apparently no procedure to break the tie (or it wasn’t implemented because of a family situation).

Ranking sets it up so that someone always has to be at the very bottom, and at the very top, and everyone else can be judged by where they fall in between.

In MHA, Momo is always academically first, though Bakugo is first in physical fitness, while Kaminari is always last academically, and the last in physical stuff wavers from season to season, but we aren’t updated on it.

The thing is, UA is a top school, so for Kaminari to get in at all, he must have done well in at least some subjects academically, following the internal logic of the show. Meaning, he’s probably ahead of many students in other schools. He fails exams, but the kid has a crap ton more on his plate than the average high school student, since he has to to do hero training for hours, cutting into his study time.

Though he’s not the smartest, watching him in training, he’s not an idiot. He can handle most situations just fine.

To top this off, he also has a side effect to his quirk that deadens his intelligence, and it’s uncertain if it affects him long term (if so, he shouldn’t be using it).

I’m not writing a defense of Kaminari here, I’m merely pointing out the factors around him, and he’s at the bottom, but on what scale?

A 6 ft tall person is short compared to a giant, after all. An average person is tall compared to a midget.

The facts are, Kaminari may actually be fine, but the hierarchy will always keep him at the bottom as long as he struggles more with the pressures of hero work.

Also, I might point out that intelligence is not measured by academic achievement. Someone can be quite perceptive who isn’t good at school. You can be a bad student and still a brilliant inventor, or strategist (look it up someone time, people didn’t think Einstein was smart.)

So, you put a kid in an environment of constant comparison where not everyone can always win, and what do you get?

By the way, I don’t support “everyone’s a winner” by any means, if someone isn’t talented enough or hard working enough, than fine, they should do something else.

But I do support the idea that everyone can win at something and has a gift, and when it comes to such an arbitrary thing as “heroes” how can you say academic prowess is a reliable measure of it?

What I mean is, if you expelled someone for failing at their grades, from a hero school, how exactly is that fair? What does that have to do with being a hero. Expelling them for cheating, now, would make sense.

Or expelling them for being a pervert and harassing girls… but, get real, consequences for disrespecting women, on an anime? Or men, for that matter? (Yes, men get sexually harassed on anime too, I’ve seen it, it’s played off as a joke even more often than for women.)

I would almost have to conclude that the whole system of schooling itself is actually the Rational Deception. These expectations and failures that have no bearing on the real world aspects of heroism.

I don’t hate anime, obviously, or expect it to be 100% realistic, but my point is, even on MHA, these things are not left out of canon, and it’s admitted not everything about the school is fair… however, so far, nothing seems to be done to change that, and if I were the parents on this show, I’d be concerned about letting my students live on Campus and be under the school’s exclusive control. But I guess, as an American, I am for less government control over education to begin with.

Of course the attitude of anime is always “try harder”.

See, it’s okay to lie to students, if it makes them “try harder”

It’s okay to terrify them, if it makes them “Try harder”

It’s okay to over work them more than any doctor would approve, against repeated warnings by Recovery Girl, if it’s so they will “try harder”.

And the result?

I mean, let’s look at the Pros.

Aizawa sleeps more than he really should, and seems tired and out of it expect when he gets mad or the kids are in dangers. It seems, either he is depressed, or the effects of the rigorous training for years to keep his body fit enough to be a pro has taken its toll and he can’t function without extra rest.

All Might repeatedly overuses his quirk against everyone else’s advice so that he will stay No#1 Hero, until he uses it all up. he might have kept working for another year or two, had he showed restraint, and been able to protect Deku longer.

Endeavor is never satisfied with his success and feels a constant need to compare himself to All Might and push for the top, even while it destroys his family life. We later get hints Endeavor is not wholly without regret that he did this, but he is still far too obsessed with being the best Hero to really realize his mistake was making that his goal from the beginning.

I suppose the idea I am really up against here is the whole Eastern idea that power and strength will justify any means to get them.

Well, I doubt I can dismantle that in one blog post, I’m sure I will revisit it, but, I can touch on it.

Many people in the West, that is, Europe and America and Canada, may not realize how counter-intuitive our ides of strength are. That, to this day, not everyone has what we consider the “civilized” view that power should not be our main goal in life.

I’ve come to understand that power-hunger is not always just about its thrills, often, it’s because people fear for their family and friends and think power is the best way to protect them. Or they want to prove they can be something. It appeals to people who often feel powerless to change naything.

I’m lucky to live in a country where I can have a voice, though it’s becoming more dangerous to, it’s not illegal yet. There’s still many paths to change I can pursue if I wish. I have always been prepared for the idea that that may change for me, soon enough, and I am resolved not to be intimidated when it does, at least not enough not to keep doing things.

But, I have all the benefit of having been taught growing up that I have a Divine Right to pursue what I believe is Good, regardless of what the rest of the world says. America’s philosophy is that if even the Government is standing in you way, you as an individual have the right to oppose it, from God, even if you have no right under the law of the land. AS our Declaration says the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I will never be ashamed to be part of a country with people like that in it, even if I am ashamed of what our media does to make fools out of us.

And that, I realize now more than ever, is not a common mindset. Quite possibly, one someone from the other end of the world may not have even heard before.

America has the true underdog story, we started out as small, ragtatg farmers, and business men, winning a war agisnt trained soldiers. But it wasn’t for power, it was for our rights. Our idealogy is that Right makes Might. Not the other way around.

Which, is, of course, a Christian idealogy too.

I believe that growing up in the protection of a strong force, while you learn what you believe, prepares you for venturing out where you will meet people who will kill you for believing that, or else reject you.

I don’t buy the idea that you can mistreat and traumatize people into been prepared for the real world. It’s more likely to make them unable to accept any goodness in the world that might steel them against its evils.

For the UA kids, and others like them, it makes sens that their greatest source of strength is each other, the people bearing it with them. When all else fails, mankind tends to find solace in brotherhood. Our last comfort against evil oppressors or injustice is that we are not alone in how we feel, and we don’t have to eat it alone.

Anime is wright to say loneliness is the worst suffering, even after mistreatment and trauma, it’s going through it alone that is the worst. But, it can’t be denied that a culture that encouraged mistreatment makes it far harder to not be isolated. It can be difficult to stay alive to the hope.

I remember for years of living at home with few to no friends, and moving every five years, so that I lost friends after I finally made them, or lost at least my proximity to them, I always wished for more. I started to feel, though, that it would never happen. And people moved away form me to, and didn’t keep in touch. It’s been a realization over time for me that I have to choose to keep hoping, the Bible says “Hope does not disappoint”.

Staying open to change is the biggest part of getting it, I think.

I suppose this has nothing to do with UA, or does it?

I mean, you can take the passive attitude that the characters often do, that all this is not going anywhere and they’d better just deal with it… or there’s there more interesting attitude of the fans who make loving critiques of it that, it really could change, it would just take a handful of people, having the guts to do it.

As long as you are inspired not to be passive, its not going to waste.

I will keep defending the importance of truth, as well as justice, however I can.

Until next time–Natasha.

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