No Wonder We Have Trouble Understanding Each Other . . .

For the longest time I admit I had difficulty trying to understand what people–both males and females, but mostly females were trying to say about who or what they believed in or stood for by the clothes they wore or their physical appearance. There were standards back then that had nothing to do with anyone’s rights. Parents, for the most part, had the greatest say in what unspoken messages those standards provided. One thing that I did come to understand and to this day has not changed much was the females at my school were just as curious to learn about ‘the boys’ as ‘the boys’ were to learn about ‘the girls’. I figured that was kinda normal considering chemistry and biology.

There were some basic rules of course but not that many. There were certain lines that just didn’t get crossed. Today they are constantly obliterated by both females and males. The same messages that kept law, order and reason in check back then are all but forgotten now. Consider the language that both men and women use in public in ear shot of little kids. In the name of growth, power and freedom we have lost the importance of the meaning of those standards. I accept the concepts but not the interpretation of those words. Today it is much more difficult to interpret or understand what the messages people are sending to one another really mean. I believe that this ‘misunderstanding’ or miscomprehension, apparently such a word does exist, is, to a greater degree, part of the reason there is so much sexual violence going on out there and just plain violence in general.

I’m fully aware of the thoughts and feelings of some that suggest men need to be more responsible for their’urges’ and ‘cravings’ and I totally agree with that. Men need to dial in their egos and understand that times have changed and so must their attitudes towards women. Women are no longer to be seen as weak or toys to play with. But women need to park their efforts at trying to be more ‘man-like’ in how they present themselves as well. Parents need to do a much better job of educating their sons AND their daughters about respecting each other more. I also understand that regardless of how much or how logical that may be to some we will not erase or make disappear the ‘leopards spots.’ We are who we are. Say this or do that and stuff will happen as a response to the message received. Men continue to be creatures who see the world differently than their female cohabitors. By the way-women also see the world differently than we do. No one is right or wrong but we BOTH need to understand that we are different from each other and neither of us is likely change how we go about our business no matter the coercion.

Can we agree that sex sells? The message that is sent by women is that they are tired of being exploited and sexualized by men. However, part of the confusion here stems from female participation in all forms of commercialism which includes the entertainment world where less truly is much more, music videos especially the rap/hip hop genre, movies, commercialism and advertising not to come close to denying the fashion world their piece of this business. What is the message that participants are sending? I understand that they are being well compensated by sharing their assets with paying customers and viewers. What’s the message being sent?

There is more than enough finger-pointing to go around but what concerns me is we are missing a teachable moment. What are folks REALLY trying to say by how they dress and what they look like. For many, the reasons are a large part of their personal story but we seem to focus on the things that matter less. If a young man or woman puts on a great deal of weight is it because they don’t care or is it because they are trying to make themselves unattractive? Perhaps someone had sexually abused them when they were smaller or less able to defend themselves. Perhaps they are still too frightened to say anything to anyone so they resort to living a false life-often very depressed and always unhappy. They wear the masks of terror or fear.¬†There are those kids who are full of anger and hate.¬†What are they trying to tell us by how they dress or look? What do the tats, the piercings and the push to be different in some way mean? There is a whole generation of kids out there who seem to be malnourished only because they have an awful time keeping their pants up beyond their back sides. What’s the message they are sending? Is it “I really don’t care or I want to be different?” Hey if you want to be different try wearing them on your hips like other folks. How many people try so hard to just ‘fit in’–to feel connected somewhere so they might be less bullied or targeted? What about the ugly, public displays of hatred that are surfacing? People aren’t born hating others. That is something they are taught–by who? Now we have a generation of young people some of which have skewed value systems and a moral compass that is clearly broken. These represent the new generation of parents that have the task of being teachers to our young men and women. What messages are they sending?

So the next time your daughter leaves the house with half her clothes still in her bedroom or your son is walking around tripping over the crotch of his nice new jeans ask yourself what is going on? Really? What is it they are trying to tell us?

Anyways, that’s how I see it. Thanks for stopping by

All the best, Jim

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Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning