We Are Young, a Freewrite

in PowerHouseCreatives9 months ago

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His turn was coming up fast, and he had no idea what he was going to do.

The students in the art class, the old mans's first college class in nearly forty years, were going around the room introducing themselves. This task should have been simple for a man his age. He had certainly done it enough.

But this time it struck terror in the old man's breast.

The first girl confidently described herself, but she used a word the old man had never heard before, and then a phrase that completely baffled him.

"Perhaps she has a speech impediment" he thought.

Then the next student, a boy, used the same strange word and a similarly confounding phrase.

One after the other, the young students seemed to be speaking a new language, similar to his English, but with a few odd phrases and syllables that he just could not place. Had it really been so long since last he spoke to a young adult that the language had gone through a sea change?

The old man began to notice a pattern in the odd words. Just in time for his turn he understood well enough to fill in some blanks.

"Hi. I'm Peter, and I am a retired pharmacist now living in Cicero."

At this point the old man took a deep breath, steeled himself, and tentatively added:

"I identify as a.... cis-man? And my preferred pronoun is, uh, he? Right?"
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This is my entry to @mariannewest's freewrite challenge. Please join us!

I have to admit to quite a bit of tinkering after the timer went off for this one. The whole story came out easily in five minutes, but it needed a lot of work after that to make it sensible. The story was inspired by conversations I often have with my newly graduated and ridiculously woke younger daughter, and by a true story.

All images are my own unless otherwise stated.

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A very interesting way of putting together a story that highlights one of the leading lights that shows that time has left behind someone disconnected from youth: speech.
Well done, @owasco! Happy and productive Year 2020!

 9 months ago 

Thank you. I loved your entry for this prompt, It was very moving.

Speech, slang, and contemporary idioms date me too - gotta love that episode of Modern Family when the dad boasts how tech-savvy he is, using social media, and saying WTF means "what the face." This new business with grade school children suspended for failing to know and remember and use the correct "gender" of a young classmate... cut them some slack. Yeesh. Thanks for this story, @owasco! You will strike a chord with a lot of people, and not even very old ones. :)

 9 months ago 

Anyone who has not encountered this will not understand my punch line though.
You've heard of kids being SUSPENDED for this?! Way to go sexually screwing up our kids real good. Yet another reason to home school.

This is great. Very amusing. I'd have to have a gun held to my head before I'd describe myself as a cis-woman or specify my preferred pronouns.

 9 months ago 

That it could very well come to that is the problem. Canada narrowly missed passing a law that would have made it illegal to NOT use someone's preferred pronoun, and now one of the liberals who argued against the law, Jordan Peterson, is reviled by many if not most of his fellow liberals. Really bizarre stuff.

And in Australia, doctors - and parents! - can go to jail for failing to comply with a four-year-old's request for gender re-assignment surgery. Never mind the side effects of the sex change operation... just do what the kid wants. Never mind the age of consent for any number of less drastic things one can do with one's body... just grant the kid his wish, or go to jail.

 9 months ago 

What?! This is preposterous! I question the practice of sex change operations of almost any kind to be truthful, I think that is taking identity issues (and who does not experience those?!) to a very unhealthy and unnatural level, but to do this to a CHILD?
In Virginia there has been a bill introduced that will allow all vaccinations of any child, against the parents' known wishes and while the children are under almost anyone else's supervision (as in "at school") if the child OF ANY AGE either asks for them or is determined by any health professional to not understand the risks and benefits at an adult level. A health professional who knows absolutely nothing about the medical condition or family history of the child is free to stick any child if they think they should be stuck. And the parents will not be notified. As some read the bill, the parents will also not have access to their own child's vaccination records.

While I'm a proponent of Vx, I know a family who has a history of sons dying from a specific vaccine (I forget which one) or nearly dying. My college professor lost his sister to polio in the 1950s, and a vaccine would have spared the family that loss. It's a tricky issue. I still get my annual flu shot, but my sister will never get one. Her granddaughter was going to remain unvaccinated but I think living in Germany they won't get away that. Measles, smallpox... we need the vaccines, but we also need them to be safe. Denying the parents access to their children's records and bypassing their consent ... "1984" was off by only a few years!

 9 months ago 

Please forgive me for what is sure to be a strident response on my part.
If there is risk involved, there must also be choice. The children who are harmed by the vaccines (and some say we ALL have suffered harm) will be in the care of their parents for the rest of their lives, not the care of the vaccine manufacturers or the government. As a parent of a disabled son, who I now believe is in part vaccine injured (all three of my children, all three, have an autoimmune disease, one of them has two) I know these injuries harm entire families. The risks absolutely do not outweigh the benefits. Our children are more often than not chronically ill now. That is not right.
Then there's this: https://www.brighteon.com/75901547-0f39-4b56-8f01-be01fd3afc96?fbclid=IwAR3FgCj1Kx6f__aqMeM-ZJIfhk96d6JBTPtox2f-U8mQxT_IocFpL_H3H4Y
The vaccine industry has been lying to us, and getting our schools to lie to us, for over 100 years.
That all said, vaccination must be a CHOICE. A government that forces toxic injections is more dangerous than ANY disease. How is lining up to be shot up with toxins different from walking into a gas chamber? As you can see, I feel very strongly about this issue.

Chronic auto-immune conditions erode the quality of life, and if all your offspring suffer from it, something is rotten in the state of Denmark (in our government, our culture). Again, my heart goes out to you!

Yes, you do feel strongly - and if you sound 'strident,' you have good reason. I'm not as aware as you are of the risks and the dangers; study after study will assure us that overall, vaccinations are far safer than having no vaccinations. I honestly don't know to what extent autoimmune diseases are caused by vaccines as opposed to a number of other environmental and dietary factors. We live in a world full of toxins, plastics, aersols, auto exhaust, factory fumes, food additives and food dies, MSG, nitrites and nitrates - how do we ever fund the research to pinpoint which dangers are the worst, which are more innocuous?

The long list of government abuses, outrages, and violations of our privacy and freedom has me sounding strident - but more often, I just shut down and give up, feeling as if I have no voice, no vote. It's like Steemit's one-cent dust vote, this vote we cast in election years. The big fish outnumber us.

Ugh, HAPPY NEW YEAR, I'm off to go bury my head in the sand (watching for toxic oil spills of course!).

 9 months ago 

lol. You have a way of cheering me up even when you're despondent. What is that?

Anyway, the truth is that there has been NO STUDY done comparing the general health of a vaccinated population with that of an unvaccinated population. All those other exposures are dangerous too, but injecting toxins directly into bloodstreams definitely will be shown, in time, to have been the most injurious. That is, if we're not all dead before the studies get done.
Feel better now?
(hahaha sorry could not resist)

I have never heard of "cis-man" and I agree that time has boggled me here. Good tale.

 9 months ago 

Thank you! You could be in this position someday. Maybe you'll remember my little tale and be better prepared for it.

I did a little research after I read the post and now I understand a little better the meaning. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. ❤

Nicely written @owasco,

I must be a bit behind with the mainstream propaganda.

Attachment to labels/identifiers/these "preferred pronouns" seems more egocentric than "woke" in my humble unbiased opinion.

Ok maybe I am a little biased. In the indoctrination camps we call "school", there are many agendas at play. So much is backwards, and convincing children to be self serving, opinionated, and easily offended serves quite the "divide and conquer" narrative now doesn't it?

I wish people would stop being so selfish, and where do politics come into play with all of this but to keep everyone in disagreement and at each others throats over concepts? Meanwhile back at the ranch, the powers that should not be keep us enslaved to the debt notes we call money, wage wars based off of problems that they create utilizing problem/reaction/solution (hegelian dialectic methodology,) and everyone tunes in to Fox news for more!

I hope my comment wasn't too out of place and/or offensive. Just calling it for how I see it. 🙂

I can see why that old man felt nervous and out of place. Nice job on your freewrite.

 9 months ago 

Your comment is not offensive to me one bit, but one of my daughters would disagree. Her college had workshops in how to address new people by asking their preferred pronouns. If a student had difficulty with doing this, they were forced to go to more workshops about it. I was appalled! Talk about indoctrination. The scary thing is she can no longer begin to see the other side of this issue. I try to point out that any two year old, when presented to most trans women except the most "passing" of them, would easily identify a trans woman as a man, that gender is NOT fluid and is in fact a thing. She has been taught in college that we should be training our younguns TO ASK EVERYONE WHAT THEIR PREFERRED PRONOUN IS. I maintain this is an excellent way to fuck our children up good, and for life. I am shocked at what she learned in the way of social engineering, and know that most college students are going to the same workshops and learning the same nonsense. No offense myself to all the queers out there, I'm a liberal from waaaay back, but this issue has me rethinking the value of current liberal thought/indoctrination. Seems to me the mandating of this pronoun business is far from tolerant or liberal.

Seems to me the mandating of this pronoun business is far from tolerant or liberal.
It's asking too much of us ... let's just use "it" for all of us, gender-neutral, and drop "he" or she, at this rate. Twenty years ago, I was annoyed when references to God as "He" were written out of church songs, making the songs clunky and less poetic. I have trouble enough remembering people's names and faces. Don't ask too much of me. I'll resist...

 9 months ago 

Absurd. One friend of my daughters, who introduced herself to me as Savannah and accepted the pronoun "she" when we met, decided she preferred to be referred to as "they" sometime during college. I had been told this some time ago and tried to do it, I swear I did. but a couple of days ago I, in my own home and without Savannah being present, referred to them as she and you would think I had committed a mortal offense the way my daughter reacted.

My heart goes out to you!
As for the children summoned to the principal's office (and suspended) and the legal action in Australia... I only wish Snopes would declare these to be urban legends.

 9 months ago 

Oh boy! Around each corner coming up with new terminology, confusing themselves to such a degree that no one will know what they are anymore.

Well thought out way of introducing this craziness about being PC (personally correct).., when all the time I thought it was a personal computer!

 9 months ago 

I tried to get that confusing aspect of all this in at the end of my story, when the old man asks "right?" He's now confused about the one thing about himself he had been certain of his whole life. Thanks for your comment.

 9 months ago 

Poor old man, right, many are confused including me, I am who I am... LOL!

Eish and eish again is all that I can say. I am like the old Rip van Winkel and the gibberish that serves as language today just flows past my ears Lol
Talk to me in my language or don't talk to me at all.
And if you want to talk about me be sure to talk in a language that I don't understand. Short and sweet Lol (Long and loud)
Blessings!

Clever story, as usual :)
I remember when the term Ms. first came into use. There was consternation and even resentment, as though people who used the term wanted to upset the natural order of things. And then I remember, when I married someone I worked with, I used a hyphenated last name. This threw some people for a loop. Of course neither Ms. nor my hyphenated name were intended to be revolutionary, merely to express autonomy.
Language is really important. It is symbolic and symbols matter. That's what distressed some people, I think. They sensed a shifting of power and that was not welcome.
I like the way your elderly gentleman is receptive to change. He doesn't understand of course, but he's willing to learn.
A very congenial, and yet socially significant fiction you've offered us.
Good job!!

 9 months ago 

Those are excellent examples thanks for them. Now most of us accept those things. I had problems when I hyphenated my childrens names and refused to take my husband's last name when we married.
I think the preferred pronoun thing is going a bit far though for a couple of reasons. It's very hard to remember to use the pronoun "she" when you are referring to a trans woman (for example), no matter how many times you have been corrected or how open you are to their choice. Biology is in fact a THING.
I suspect that any toddler, when asked whether a trans woman is a man or a woman will say "man" for all but the most passing, because biology is this thing. Are we to tell even our toddlers to ask what ones preferred pronoun is and remember that in this case, a human who is obviously a man should be referred to as a "she"? It's not as simple as just a word change that erases whether a woman is married or not, it's a denial of biology, factual biology. I am not opposed to trying to remember this, but even I, very very open to the idea, can not always remember. And I've been up on this change for several years now. Something is wrong with this one.

Hi @owasco,
Even in those early days, when Ms. and other gestures of equality were becoming more mainstream, I never took offense when someone opened a door for me, or somehow did not follow the new regime. Anything done with good will was fine for me. My mother used to say, "You win more friends with sugar than vinegar," or something like that. I wasn't at war. I just wanted freedom to forge my own destiny.
So I think, if people from a younger generation want to take offense, they will find a reason, whether that is in a pronoun or something else.
Do you mean well? This should be enough. Change takes time.
Sounds like your daughter is going through a bit of a rebellious stage. My poor mother had to put up with unnecessary attitude from me. I regret all of it now.
Your daughter likely will also, one day. Patience :))

I feel like I am the old man in the story because I didn't know the word "cis-man" so I looked it up. That is the second time you made me look something up. LOL! I hate what they are doing with giving other names to the 2 genders. What is the list up to now? 100? Crazy! Hi! My name is whatisnew and my favorite color is clear!!!

 9 months ago 

I now wonder what I will do if I am ever in this situation. It's a true story BTW, told to me by a friend of mine. He went to his first college class in four decades, and this is the first thing that happened. He was so confused he broke out into a cold sweat and started to tremble. I think it's absurd, and it's suddenly happening in nearly all of the US colleges and universities. Private information. Maybe I would say something like "My preferred pronoun is the one you feel fits me." Oh and I'd add "I prefer my pancakes to have cattail pollen in them."

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