I know, I know, everyone already saw this video of Dustin Hoffman months ago. But I want to take the theme from my previous post about how men and women aren’t THAT different (or that’s my idea anyway) and apply the same principle to this. Today I saw a post online from someone whose partner left them because of their tics and I found that so frustrating that I ended up wanting to do something about it (write a blog post).
“There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed, and that [Tootsie] was never a comedy for me.”
The real reason this is so touching is because we can all relate to it on some level regardless of the gender aspect. What Hoffman says here is true — we are all pressured to feel that women must fulfill certain physical characteristics (and even moral and emotional ones) to be acceptable. And it is very beautiful that he recognizes this. But this is so beautiful on the subject of difference and bullying in general, because all of us miss out when we disrespect others for being different. While it’s often more obvious and blatantly oppressive, women are not alone in having standards imposed on them by society; men have things they’re expected to live up to as well, and so do all of us as people, no matter what our gender is. Hoffman is crying not because he feels guilty for mistreating anyone, but because he realizes he missed out on knowing a lot of cool people. He missed a lot of really great things in life. And that is something real to be sad about — not only for others but for yourself.
So if anyone mistreats you for having OCD or tics, or if anyone dumps you from a relationship because they can’t handle how different you are, please remember that they are the one missing out — not you. It might sound really stupid or cliche at the time you are going through a heartbreak, but when you see someone like Hoffman crying because he finally gets it, maybe it will start to make sense. We should be acceptable, lovable, and desirable as whole people — not artificial, detached concepts and ideals which are difficult if not impossible to live up to.