Manners vs. Gut: When to say no.

Where do we draw the line as women? At what point do we say "Fuck manners" and put our own needs first... Who cares what others think (I feel I'm getting dangerously close to a Taylor swift song here). But in all seriousness sometimes we need to reach a point where we put self-preservation before our need to be gracious and maintain our ladylike image. It feels a bit contradictory; especially because so much of this blog is about being compassionate, respectful and generally loving. We have to train ourselves to know when to let go of the "go with the flow" attitude and fucking take action.

This all came about because a couple of nights ago I was watching the ol' family favourite Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with my gurlz (sister and mother) and I was struck by the idea of instinct vs. manners. In the final moments of the film the evil villain (daddy Skarsgard as I fondly call him) has an interesting monologue.

Let me ask you something? Why don't people trust their instincts? They sense something is wrong, someone is walking too close behind them... You knew something was wrong but you came back into the house. Did I force you, did I drag you in? No. All I had to do was offer you a drink. It's hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. But you know what? It is. And they always come willingly."

Today, as I walked my lil' dog friend through the rain I remembered as a 15/16 year old walking to my school bus stop at the bottom of my hill - it was also pouring with rain.

About 3 minutes from my house (and maybe 3 from my bus stop) a car pulled up beside me "Where are you heading, you look drenched". As cliche as it sounded, he was insistent that he drive me to my stop. He asked what my bus was. He was perfectly nice and it would have been all too easy to trust him, get in his Mini Cooper and hope that he did drop me off at my stop. Maybe he would have? All these are possibilities, but there was a point where I needed to persist and drop the game of being sweet and and say "No." Screw manners!

Intuition and gut feeling are so often ignored. Even in that situation it could have been totally within my rights to literally tell him to fuck off, or not engage at all and keep on my way but I just politely smiled and walked away.

We don't owe predators apologies for not taking the bait. Also, I know this situation couldn't have been more obvious...stranger danger 101. It is so important to trust our gut because the smaller moments are often the ones we ignore, those are the times we say to ourselves I don't want to cause a scene for fear that I might embarrass myself or hurt the feelings of said weirdo and those are the moments when we need to trust ourselves and be okay with whatever the outcome is. 

There's a great story about Debbie Harry getting into a car in NYC in the seventies as she shut the car door she noticed there wasn't a door latch, so instead of sitting politely and hoping for the best, she did what so many would've...she threw herself out of the car. The man that picked her up was Ted Bundy.

In Zen Buddhism it is understood that intuition is one of our deepest and most innate functions of the mind. It is thought to be a way to perceive reality, but can only be accessed when the mind is well integrated.  Intuition is accessible in all of us, but we're conditioned to ignore it. Our minds are filled with distractions on the reg, manifesting themselves as greed, jealousy etc. We are also taught from a young age to know of the ever looming "stranger danger" but on the opposing hand we are also told to be courteous kind and often submissive.

So tonight, don't go with the flow, say no, keep walking and stand your ground. Your gut knows whats up.

Moral of the story is be Blondie.