Monday, 19 August 2013

On being called an attention seeker.

This has happened to me a few times in my life, usually by older slightly more conservative people. I think it comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of "alternative" cultures. The idea that because you look different from "the norm" you are doing so to command attention from others. Personally I look the way I do because it makes me happy, it's fun but also it is a little bit of an armour. If I were to strip it all away and look natural I would feel uncomfortable, unhappy, naked and possible quite distressed. I cannot deny that it draws attention but I am not deliberately seeking it.

However it did get me thinking, would we ever call a man an attention seeker? A loner, weirdo, creative maybe even mad but an attention seeker? What about if they're loud and brash would we use it then as we do with women? I can't think of an instance where I have ever called or thought about a man as an attention seeker but I have about a woman. I feel like a hypocrite when I think about this. Also is it really so bad to crave attention? Don't we all to some degree want people to pay us attention, to feel wanted and included in a situation?

We adhere much more negative connotations when we talk about women than when we talk about men. We use our language to put women down and reduce them to nothing but objects wanton of multi dimensions. Our language is littered with it. Slut for a girl who says yes, friend zone for a girl who says no, bitch for a girl who speaks her mind, lonely or unfulfilled when they choose to be childless, a traitor to feminism if a mother chooses to stay at home with her child. Asking for it, hot mess, damaged, victim, broken, manic pixie dream girl, cold, she's more like a guy, let herself go, dress for your size, holds a grudge, faux feminist, easy, man eater, nice tits, cooorrr yeeaaah, so can I watch you kiss that girl?, you just need a decent cock in you!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed on the misunderstanding of alternative cultures! In a world where it takes a lot of effort to deflect attention away from oneself, I think the term "attention seeker" is somewhat redundant. We all command attention sometimes, but we need equal time to exist as an individual. Sure, there are a few terrible people who get upset when all eyes aren't on them all the time, but there are words like "obnoxious" and "narcissist" that fit them better.

    As it happens, I do in fact know a man - a white, heterosexual, cisgender, manly male - that goes out of his way to make himself the centre of attention by surrounding himself in playground drama. Attention seeking is the symptom and not the cause though, so I usually think of him as an overgrown child rather than simply an "attention seeker".


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