Perhaps a bold title – but – it’s true to some extent.
I’m a massive advocate of getting the voice of Dads heard, and trying to beat out the sexism in Parenting Blogging, but as a gender, I really don’t like men at all.
The thing is – I grew up with girls – pretty much all the people I played with down our road were girls. I utterly idolised (and I probably still do) my big sister, and my Mum, and all those awesome friends I had. I didn’t really do much ‘boy stuff’ – Football Stickers could do one, it was all about collecting My Little Pony and Care Bears Stickers. I spent hours in the company of my female friends, countless sleepovers and days out with them all, it felt fine and normal to me.
It got harder as I grew up – I got picked on constantly for my closeness to girls, I was called ‘Gay’ and kicked and punched because I slightly effeminate – I couldn’t name the West Ham team, but I could name all the Care Bears. It was hard, I felt very much an outsider socially, I was never comfortable around boys at school really, I’d be scoffed at, picked last for every team – I just didn’t ‘fit’ with them. As I grew older still, the ‘divide’ was still there – I earned my money baby sitting – again – a source of great amusement – a ‘girls job’ – I suppose it was, but I loved it, and aside from a few mishaps, I was good at it.
This has all shaped how I am, and what I am today – I’m definitely not gay, I’m happy being a man, and having the body I have.
But I just hate men.
It was illustrated beautifully this weekend at BritMums Live 2014. Possibly the UK’s biggest Blogging conference, it was over-run with women, with the odd befuddled looking chap dotted around for good measure. The thing was – I LOVED it – I was in the minority, it wasn’t at all threatening to me, I felt comfortable. Being in the minority of Bloggers is great because a lot of people know you, and it’s terrible too because a lot of people know you.
Those who have seen my tweets and will have read my blog will probably assume I’ve got a massive ego, and I’m full of myself. I’m not.
I’m just a clown, a jester, hoping to make people smile, constantly seeking approval and reassurance that I’m liked.
Those who REALLY know me, know this. I’m so very insecure and scared that people will hate me I try to over compensate by being a character, something that I’m not, but what I want to be – confident, happy and liked.
There were so many people that knew me at BritMums, it was very surreal, lots of smiles across the room, lots of ‘Hi Kip!!’ – hugs and kisses. There was a lot of cattiness and bitching too – it was AMAZING – who doesn’t like to bitch? I loved that people knew me, and wanted to talk to me – there were a few occasions when it was just me talking and I had 5 or 6 others just listening – I was holding court – it was a massive confidence boost. People liked me. I probably looked like an egotistical twat, but I was positively buzzing, I still don’t understand why people like me.
I was approached by two bloggers I’d never met who asked for my photo – it felt great, but then – almost instantly, my confidence took a kick. I questioned their motive, was I being mocked? ‘Look at this twat, he thinks he’s great’, I felt nervous. Why would two people who didn’t know me want my photo? I instantly felt uneasy – on edge. As it transpires, my tweets throughout the keynote were making them laugh, and they were ‘fangirling’ it with me! How nice is that? I felt a prick for letting my doubt upset me, and question them, but I can’t help it.
I struggled though the second I was approached by any men at the event – I shut down almost. I can feel myself doing it. I panic, and instantly feel like the little Kip at school about to get a pasting. Compared to most other men, I’m nothing, I’m not as smart, funny, rich or successful, I’m an idiot with a blog that draws things for a living. I panic that anyone I’m with at the time will instantly see just how shit I am, how scared I am of everything – because there is someone next to me that is so much better at stuff than me.
I don’t feel I can ‘banter’ with Men at all, unless there was some sort of challenge to name all the Care Bears. I can’t really do the macho bullshit, the alpha male put downs, and the constant cock-fighting, it’s not me. I just don’t feel confident to communicate with them, all the time worrying that everyone will see I’m not a proper man. I just feel like one of the girls, I like to coo at dresses, bitch about someone’s hair, and squee and squish over babies. I’m not really a man, I’m just well, ME.
Even in smaller groups, I feel nervous with other men around – I just don’t feel good enough and concerned that the alpha male bullshit will show my true colours, that I’m a big useless idiot. I know women will probably be rude about me, tease me and call me a twat, that’s fine – but at least they’ll do it behind my back and out of earshot.
Us guys like to do it face to face, putting each other down, letting everyone else around know how crap the other one is.
I know it, I’d just rather not hear it said to me.