‘Let’s play a game,’ they said, and threw you into it. You didn’t have time to react, and you didn’t take a decision. But now you’re here, and you gotta play by the rules.
You don’t like the rules. What if you don’t want to play by them? Do you choose not to play at all, or do you start mourning over it, waiting for the rules to change?
Can you make up your own rules?
Maybe someone likes them, and comes to play with you?
But what if no one comes?
You don’t like the rules. You don’t want to be pretty to be liked, and decent to be taken serious. But they say if you don’t change, no one is going to play with you. No one is going to like you.
You don’t like the rules, and you don’t like that there are so many of them.
‘Wear this, not that – or else…’ they say.
‘Do this, not that – or else…’ they threaten.
Or else what? What if you rather don’t play at all, before you play by their silly rules?
No one is going to like a boy who cries. That’s not manly. No one is going to like a girl that makes dirty jokes. That’s not girly. Obey the rules, or else…
He touches you unasked, and you have to find it flattering. It’s a compliment, don’t you merely exist to please someone else’s desires? Why are you dressed like that, wear something more revealing! He is never going to fall for you if you don’t prove him, here and now, that you have all the necessary anatomy! See, now he goes and talks to her, because she shows more cleavage – and you, you were just cracking a joke. That was against the rules!
She wants you to put more effort, and you don’t even know if you will ever get along. Buy her flowers, be a gentleman, objectify her for the pretty thing she is, value her existence. Even if you both know, deep down inside, that you want the same. That you want to have fun, nothing complicated, it could be so easy. But this is not a game on par, and it never will be. You have to show her you are stronger, smarter, better – the rules say it, go and read them again.
Everything you do, everything you say, will be judged and evaluated. If you slip, you’ll have to pay for it. You will be punished with social exclusion, indifference, bullying.
But they warned you. You could have played by their rules.
It’s not easy, because they don’t want it to be.
It’s not fun, because rules never are.
You don’t like the rules. Why don’t you change them?