Super Satchel Man: The Powerless Social Worker (ready to bang his impotent head on the brick wall of injustice)

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Superhero Avatar – Super Satchel Man

Description – The powerless social worker

Special powers – (1) banging a very frustrated head on the brick wall of banal injustice and manic bureaucracy; (2) ability to laugh cynically at the valiant failure of the same.

Alter Egos: Sri (aka Sriru, aka Sriram Ananthanarayanan)

Day Job – lovable loser and maladroit family man.

Super Satchel Man carries a satchel as he goes about his futile superhero duties of working in a healthcare system which mimics the behavior of a really gentle and benevolent fascist dictator prone to occasional bouts of rage.

Super Satchel Man’s Super Vehicle is provided by the public-commons-owned (and operated apparently) Toronto Transit Commission.

Batmobile it isn’t.

A smelly bus it is.

Super Satchel Man is a man of the people, because the people are just as frustrated and batshit insane as he is for even trying.

Life that is.

But Super Satchel Man doesn’t care, because at the end of the day, Super Satchel Man has a large and weird and loving family to go home to

And Super Satchel Man has a bunch of weird and loving friends to hang out with.

And Super Satchel Man has two amazing cats to confide in.

One of whom is Super Satchel Man’s trusted sidekick – snoring on the bed beside him.

[Our next piece will introduce Fuzzy Poo – The Pudgy and Politically Pacifist Siberian Tiger. Until then – here’s Super Satchel Man, ready to drift off into insomnia and a resigned but ultimately peaceful acceptance of his many dogged failures. Goodnight lovelies.]

 

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Why are men so scared of real love?

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Fear gets in the way of our ability to love - sus

I have always found the men in my life running scared from real love.

It doesn’t surprise me any longer. After all men offer a mirror to my soul (while women liberate it), and that mirror always shows me what insecure, egomaniacal creatures we men are – an insecurity and egomania that is ultimately a death knell for real love.

Real love requires a commitment to fight for the liberation of our loved ones with the same intensity we fight for our own. Men in general have no problem doing the latter, but ever since the advent of agriculture, patriarchy, and mass inequality many thousands of years back, we seem to have steadily declined in the former.

All the men I’ve engaged with, myself included, have fallen short when it comes to real love. Men are scared of giving too much of themselves, scared of being vulnerable, scared of letting go of that infernal male ego. And we are scared of that truly liberating life-force known as love.

Men who occupy positions of racial or ethnic power in any society are particularly sick in this regard. Because they’re also scared to let go of their unearned power and privilege.

Men think love is limited, when it is boundless if we allow ourselves to realize its true potential.

Men think love automatically means sacrifice, when it is a blissful happiness like no other if we only let go of our masculinity and chauvinism.

Men think love is best provided by control and authority, when it is only via the destruction of our sick egos that we find true love.

This includes the so-called feminist men, the progressive men, the men who supposedly believe in gender equality.

(Yeah, I ran with tons of them across many continents, and they all were scared shitless of true love.)

But I haven’t given up hope.

Because I know there was a time when men were truly loving, egalitarian, and non-violent. Before mass inequality, before despicably misogynistic religions, before the soulless devastation of the earth, before psychopathic global systems like colonialism and capitalism.

There was a time when love and egalitarianism wasn’t some kind of utopian ideal, but organically realized in our communities because we needed it for survival.

And that’s the part I think men (and those few women who behave like men, it should be added) don’t get, or at least not yet.

The reason humanity survived wasn’t because of patriarchy; it wasn’t because of war; it wasn’t because of control and authority.

It was because of love.

Real love.

Love where we had each other’s back, relied on each other, shared and shared alike, and fought for each other. Without violence and abuse, where no set of humans had power or domination over another set of souls, human or non-human.

I’m sure there are many men out there who will bristle at the title of this article. Those who accuse me of romanticism or idealism or male self-hatred (what is there not to hate? it’s liberating, let me tell you) – I am of the firm conviction that the only way humanity is going to survive this gargantuan mess we find ourselves in is with love.

So I’m going to fight for this love.

With the guidance and wisdom of the brilliant warrior-goddesses in my life, starting with the greatest human being on earth, my divine partner, Sus.

I’m going to do all I can to defeat the sickness in my soul and that of the other men in my life, and I’m not going to give up on us no matter how dickish we get.

How can I?

For better or worse, men aren’t going anywhere.

Our only choice is to heal together and take that scary, but liberating, leap of faith towards real love.

Either that, or the men of this age can perish in ignominy.

I’d rather die fighting for love, wouldn’t you?

Oh I see…the problem is the male ego (sorry it took me so long)

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Men need to dismantle their male egos in order to find love and happiness

My hitherto dense brain, situated as it is in a male noggin, recently had a small spark of realization.

This spark, like most things in my life that usher in greater love and liberation, was made possible due to my warrior-goddess of a partner.

During conversations where I think I’ve had some great liberatory insight, I usually proceed to go on and on about it with her, asking questions without waiting for answers, following which she (with monumental levels of patience, as you can see) gives me a beautiful one or two sentence response that shows she had this insight all along in much clearer and more precise ways than I ever could muster.

We often talk a lot about fighting oppression and the myriad struggles humanity wages for liberation. She’s the greatest organizer and social justice fighter I have ever known (and I’ve run with some great ones, let me tell you). Among the topics of conversation that’s always buzzing around between us is that of gender liberation, fighting patriarchy and sexism, dismantling colonialism and racism etc.

During one such conversation recently, I was sitting next to her in our bedroom talking her ear off. With much excessive verbosity and no small degree of irony, I rambled on about how my life was happier the more I listened to her and other women in my community and family. This is keeping in line with, both, my big yap and what I truly believe to be a self-evident truth around the greater intelligence, emotional resiliency, and soulfulness of women and trans people.

But added to this infantile insight was a slightly higher, toddler-like insight that centred around how it was important for me as a man to take less space, make conscious efforts to step back, do grunt work without claiming it, and learn from my mistakes because it liberated me and made me happier.

Now, I’ve known this a long time, but barring some superficial steps over the years that helped boost my ego as one of those so-called feminist men who “gets it” I didn’t really make any efforts to change the underlying rot of masculinity and sexism.

It was only when I observed how genuinely bumbling through all of that actually liberated me and made me happier, that it started to make so much sense.

So, once I belabored on all this to Sus, she responded with a very simple sentence:

“Sri, it sounds like what you’re talking about is that men need to dismantle their male egos in order to find love and happiness in their lives.”

(Ding, ding, ding!)

She then went back to quietly getting her work done, fighting for humanity, growing our child in her womb, and essentially being a far superior human being to me, which seems to come so naturally to the women in my life.

I, having taxed my limited mental and emotional capacities, proceeded to watch an episode or two of Futurama while scratching myself.

Yes indeed – yet another moment in the endless, multi-millienium cycle of evidence pointing to the inviolable fact that humanity’s only hope resides with women.

More insightful knowledge. Greater emotional resiliency. Superior soulfulness.

It bears repeating a million times over and a million times more.

So, it is with a jolly good dollop of laughably rudimentary realization that I commit body, mind, and soul to the destruction of my masculinity and this painful source of cowardice and angst known as the male ego.

I look forward to even greater happiness, love and freedom.

Thank you Sus. Also, thank you Amma, Pratima Aunty, Ammamma, Seems, Anu, Nits, Sue, Nits Bits, Jess, Heidi and all the other warrior-goddesses in my life, including those whom I might not be able to name in this post. Thanks a million times over.

How I got so lucky (and how you put up with me for so long), I have no idea.

But know that this post is for my accountability and no one else’s.

And I have a lot of work to do.