Fallback Culture By Charlie Costict

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Since cavemen days, roles were decided both by nature and dominance. Cis men provided a means to have a home and provide for the family while cis women took care of home including the family. As centuries passed, we evolved into more organized systems, kingdoms and such with kings and queens. Responsible for the welfare of the citizens with each home occupied by kings and queens within their own right. Kings with a queen by his side as his nurturer, a person he could confide in as well as bear his children. A role model for other women raising princes and princesses soon to be kings and queens. Gender roles varied depending on areas and cultures and generations inherited these societal expectations. Centuries later to more recent decades, the 50s, 60s, 70s in the U.S particularly, so was painted the American dream along with expected binary gender roles. A dream consisting of a good job, dating leading into marriage, having kids, a house complete with a white picket fence and dog. But what we have now is what can be called the Fallback Generation.
I suppose maybe the 80s helped give way to such disconnect. The drug epidemic in our Black communities had left fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, mothers, aunts and sisters dead or in jail…. or worse…. zombies roaming the streets, riddled by addiction and void of their former selves. This left a new generation to grow up without a sense of family…. a kingdom…. princes that were never raised to become kings…. create homes and protect them. Queens …. looking for love they never received at home, left to fend for themselves forcing them to have to take up our roles as well. Becoming the combination of the two but in this transition, comes frustration. People who identify as women just want to be treated as equals. They shouldn’t have to do everything alone, nor should they have to be “strong”. Cis women (not all) have begun to turn numb towards men as men (not all) continue to chase them recklessly impregnating only to abandon both them and child. While perpetuating the cycle, it’s easy to place blame but what are we doing to fix the disconnect because in the end, we are still humans who share a world together. Many still have a deep desire inside for normalcy…. a kingdom…. with a castle…. a family…. a home. Now nobody wants to love for fear of their home falling apart, cis men aren’t stepping up and cis women have become so independent, having a mate seems more of a burden than a benefit. The disconnect widens which makes it harder for our people to build together.
Perhaps technology plays a huge part. When I was a teenager, we didn’t have cellphones, forced to use a landline phone and converse with people. The introduction of texting added convenience but removed personable interaction. The days of late night calls with your boo while family members picked up the phone sucking their teeth because of your cup caking slowly disappeared. We starting falling in love with slick words and smiley faces, well prepared flattery and sweet textual nothings. Everyone became focused on what to say to get what they wanted which in a way created more dual personalities than ever and altered our expectations. When we talked on house phones, there was no premeditation, you were forced to give the real you in real time. We learned each other’s quirks and mannerisms, shared deep emotional stories and bonded through true connection. We grew out of that and evolved into texting machines, focused on our busy lives and nonchalantly entertaining the monotonous correspondence. We then get angered when that persons’ actions don’t match up to the fawning but honestly, we’re dealing with a generation that has mastered a text personality. A simple phone call would tell you how inadequate a person is when it comes to what they could possibly add to your life.
Double standards play a part as well when you include sexual exploration and identity. Women are expected by society to be monogamous and restricted in their sexual exploits or pretty much unsullied. Watching cis men do as we pleased, frustration grew from the hypocrisy of harsh criticism when women sought to find equality in defying societal norms. Whether exploring their sexual identity or preference, they continue to be judged for anything that doesn’t align with status quo. Cis women began operating like cis men, in defiance and honestly, self-preservation in a world where women are sexualized and objectified. As we cis men continued to prove our lack of love and respect, we unknowingly began to become quantified into a group of useless beings only useful for sex and money. As a group, we fail to see that we are the cause and the possible solution if we worked on ourselves. Instead we continue the same traditions of patriarchy by oppressing our women and women forced to rebel and abandon us for security.

People who identify as either men and women get overlooked or approached incorrectly, seen only for tangible goods and services. “Not all men” …” Not all women” sentiments are expressed but what are we doing to change others within our community to be better? We individualize our moralities instead of owning up to the facts of how statistically one group affects the other and thus fallback culture continues. We need more open dialogue without cognitive dissonance, or emotions written off as bitterness and just genuinely care for one another. Start a wave of old school connection devoid of the uninvolving text threads and unsaved numbers by talking to each other over the phone and in person. Bring back love letters and poems, leave a thoughtful voicemail for your boo while they’re at work. One can become many if we just try, the influence truly can spread. As technology advances, we can’t let our social skills digress or our personalities altered by society, we should be the ones fighting to influence society by keeping it balanced. I for one rather be a person willing to give chance a chance. I refuse to contribute to the disconnect because it’s deeper than us. Let’s end fallback culture.