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Decorum Deficiency Disorder: F*ck Humility

February was a good month, and it’s looking like March is going to be good too. Yes, this is me tooting my own horn… because f*ck humility. Yesterday (which is today for me) Facebook remembered that March 8th is international woman’s day, and that the whole of March is Women’s History Month. Today being the socially acceptable day to talk about this sort of thing, I’m preempting a piece that I’ve already postponed for a month in favor of Blackness, love, relationships, and “race stuff” in favor of  Yep; it was a good month and I’m riding the wave.

They make songs about how much more attractive a girl can be when she doesn’t act like she knows she attractive. It seems to be a widely known fact that humility is a desirable trait in a woman. People talk about humility like it’s a virtue worth practicing. Humble people are nice to be around because they don’t make you feel like less than you are, other than guilty for not seeming as humble as they are. Let’s take a deeper look…

Humility defined

Humble:
adjective, humbler, humblest.
1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are Humble definitionwrong
5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.
verb (used with object), humbled, humbling.
6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
8. to make meek

When I look at the definition of humility, it’s no wonder that I’ve ever understood why any sane person would consider humility a good characteristic to emulate. You mean to tell me that even when someone is clearly drenched in awesomeness, they’re supposed to act like they aren’t? And to what end? As if anyone every really likes watching someone acting like they’re less awesome than they are. Here’s an example: Have you ever talked to someone who you think has it all (great life, family, career, finances, home, things, etc.) and hear them talking shit about their life as if you didn’t just see them tip the valet with a 50 dollar bill. Sure, they’re being humble… but their humility seems more like an insult than an equalizer.

You know what they call a confident Woman? A bitch. You know what they call a confident man? A leader. As far as I can tell the idea of humility is one of those things that has only truly served rich men. Disclaimer: I’m not saying that there aren’t any difficulties that come with not being humble or that all seemingly confident men…. you know what, fuck this disclaimer shit too. If you don’t know that there are levels and layers to this and that I’m primarily addressing one aspect of it here because this would end up being a 5 hour dissertation on life and how much it sucks… then stop reading and go back to watching kitten videos on YouTube; This is not meant for you.

Certificate of HumilityAnyway, it seems to me that back when they were writing the so-called holy books, they decided that the best way to keep people in line; to keep people in their places was to convince them that vows of poverty and acts of humility were among the highest forms of piety. In doing so, they could demand levels of obedience and unquestioned subservience that they probably couldn’t have gotten otherwise. Further, they depicted women as inherently unclean and thus even more susceptible to sin and temptation of the flesh, they suggested even stricter penalties and even higher standards piety. Of course I could say that this is all just a theory, but unfortunately, history supports my thesis.

Since our expectations of people, and–for the purpose of this piece–women in particular, hasn’t evolved to fit the construct of modern society, we’re left with a relatively useless standard of humility that mostly serves as another way to diminish women’s willingness to require things like equal rights, respect, and higher pay. We might make better students, we might work harder and be better team players, but having been programmed to be humble, we’re less likely to demand things like raises or interfere when men are making decisions that are counterproductive or inefficient.

So fuck humility. I say claim your awesomeness. I remember back when I was getting my real estate license. I took the class and the test with a then romantic interest. He didn’t think studying or reviewing notes was a valuable use of his time. I remember how angry he got with me when he didn’t pass. Not with the test, not the instructors, but with me. I didn’t even get to celebrate my success because it might further damage his fragile ego. Almost 10 years later and I still kick myself over it. I should have celebrated. I should have focused on my success instead of trying to make him feel better about his failure. It didn’t stop him from resenting me. It didn’t make him appreciate my effort or make him try harder to succeed. Ego stroking doesn’t accomplish anything other than inflating egos that should be left to their own devices. If the only way for one person to feel good about themselves is for you “to lower [yourself] in condition, importance, or dignity” then that isn’t someone you should keep in your life. Your goal should be to surround yourself with people who encourage you to Do More & Require Better… and then celebrate your successes. Fuck Humility. 

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