I Am All The Evil

I Am All The Evil

I Am All The Evil

I am a racist I am a sexist I am a sexual predator I have killed I have cheated I have judged I have abused I have betrayed I have stolen I have exploited I have taken advantage I have shamed I have hurt I have lied The war begins in my mind. There is no atrocity that has not passed through my mind. I have wished torture on other people, and I felt justified. I have thought unspeakable things.…

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Language is overrated

Language Was Our Evolutionary Advantage. It May Be Our Downfall

If there is anything that truly distinguishes humans from other animals — apart from our impressive capacity for mass destruction—it is our ability to speak. When and how our language faculty evolved is still subject to a lot of scientific debate and uncertainty. There is little doubt, however, that our ability to speak has given us an evolutionary advantage over pretty much all other species. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “[l]anguage is the most important evolutionary invention…

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Father and Son

The Myth Of the Father Figure

An Unscientific Essay on What Is Really Missing Originally published at the Good Man Project The myth about boys raised by single moms having a higher chance of turning delinquents is crumbling, as studies show. Still, the question remains: how much do boys need a father figure? I have been exploring masculinity for the past two years. (Okay, to be fair, I’ve been exploring it much longer, but not systematically.) So far, I have interviewed close to seventy men and…

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Stop the Toxic Labeling

Why Shaming Is Not the Solution About 150 years ago and lasting some decades, scores of women were labeled with a diagnosis of ‘hysteria’ which, as Mark Micale put it, described “everything that men found mysterious or unmanageable in women.”[1] Fortunately, such a thing would be impossible today. What an outrageous idea! It doesn’t matter that some of the women’s behavior may, in fact, have been very challenging to deal with; it is clear that indiscriminately lumping together all kinds…

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Whatever Happened to the Good Old Asshole?

When I was 17, I got into a relationship with a 24-year-old man [note to U.S. readers: this is normal and not illegal in Europe]. I had not been really interested in him, but he was very insistent and I ran out of arguments. 18 months later I ended the relationship without really knowing why. I just felt I had to get out of it. Years later I met him again and he complained to me how I had ‘spoiled…

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Difficult Conversations?

How do we have difficult conversations? Any time we expect a conversation to be(come) difficult, it is because we assume that either the other person will reject what we propose or they will be hurt by what we share with them. I want to talk about the latter. I have had two conversations lately that I dreaded as potentially quite difficult. That is, they appeared difficult in my mind until the moment I actually had them. In both cases I…

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You better not have any expectations.

Well, in all honesty: having no expectations helps. Have you ever gone to a place or event without having the slightest idea what you could expect and it turned out it was really, really awesome? Then, why, when people come up with that idea that they better not have any expectations, they usually do that with such a tone of resignation and sadness? Most of us believe that when you do not expect anything you will not get anything. In…

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Should you lower your expectations?

There are countless studies that try to figure out whether it is better to have or maintain high expectations, or better to lower your expectations. Some say when you lower your expectations, you are more likely to be happy, and have your expectations met, others find out that marriages that set higher expectations are more likely to be successful, because they bring more quality into the marriage. To a certain degree that is pretty obvious. If you stand at the…

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Realistic Expectations – Really?

A lot of discussion and arguments are around the question of whether or not your or their expectations are realistic. What a gigantic waste of time and energy! We’re close to eight billion people on the planet and we can probably find about the same amount of opinions about your specific expectation. Ask a parent of a 15-year-old first-born whether it’s realistic to expect him to throw his socks into the laundry basket every evening and they’ll say of course.…

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